The health care debate has prompted a litany of questions regarding costs and coverage, but seldom have concerns about the constitutionality of the bill been discussed. One reporter dared to ask House Speaker Nancy Pelosi where the Constitution grants Congress the authority to implement an individual health care mandate. Speaker Pelosi seemingly frustrated and annoyed, replied, Are you serious? Are you serious?
Americans, politicians included, must take our founding principles seriously again. Unfortunately, our political leaders in Washington, and the elites in the media and in our universities, have concluded that Americas principles do not apply to life in the 21st Century. But the real truth is that the timeless principles of our founding, even today, are popular among Americans, and, more importantly, are our best guide to solving today’s problems.
Heritages New Book
The Heritage Foundations leading scholar on the American founding, Dr. Matthew Spalding, has just finished an engaging book laying out the core principles of liberty, detailing the Progressive liberals assault on those principles and explaining why we must vigilantly defend and reapply these principles if we are to save our country. His book, We Still Hold These Truths, explains whats at stake and how a return to our eternal and guiding principles is a necessary step in reversing the so-called progress that is making America look more and more like a centralized socialist state.
Dr. Spalding explains that a highly regulated society and economy, with nationalized industries, socialized health care, and rule more by bureaucrats than elected legislatures, is not what our Founding Fathers intended for our nation. Despite constant criticism and scorn by academic elites, political leaders and the popular media, most Americans still believe in the Founders principles and are deeply concerned witness recent town hall meetings and expanding tea parties about turning away from them. The change we need is a great renewal of the foundational principles and limited constitutional government that are the true roots of our country’s greatness. In a world of moral confusion, and of arbitrary and unlimited government, the American founding is our best access to permanent truths and our best ground from which to launch a radical questioning of the whole progressive project.
Champion First Principles
Our first principles Liberty first and foremost, Equality, Natural Rights, The Consent of the Governed, Private Property, Religious Freedom, The Rule of Law, Constitutionalism, Self-Government, and Independence are powerful ideas. It is imperative that conservatives actively champion these principles in both the policy arena, as well as in our culture. It does not require a revolution in the common meaning of the word, but rather a radical reapplication of these principles to the policy questions of the day. We need to make these principles relevant again so that they are an expression of the American Mind, as Jefferson said.
To this day, so many years after the American Revolution, our first principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the United States Constitution still define us as a nation and inspire us as a people. These principles are responsible for a prosperous and just nation unlike any other a powerful beacon to all those who strive for freedom. They are the unchanging standards that inform and guide us in changing times. We must rediscover them so that we can reclaim our future.