Institutional Principles

To defend and carry forward America’s legacy, we as citizens must arm ourselves with facts and knowledge about the institutional principles that made America great.

Sovereignty

Ultimately, the American Revolution was a war for sovereignty, for we would never be truly independent and free to govern ourselves if we remained subjects of a foreign power. While we no longer face any imminent danger of foreign occupation, we must still protect the territorial integrity of our nation and ensure that our government always places the legal authority, rights and security of American citizens above those of anyone else.

Free Markets

A free market economy is one in which producers and consumers are free to dream, innovate, and create their own marketplaces of supply and demand. Combined with limited government interference and policies that encourage hard work and creativity, a free market economy is the best way to equitably create and distribute wealth, spur innovation and advance humankind as a civilization.

Rule of Law

Throughout much of human history, and still in too many countries today, there has been one set of the rules for the powerful, and one for everyone else. Often, this power was acquired not through just means, but through brute force or the sheer luck of one’s bloodline.

Conversely, America was founded to be a nation of laws, not men. Developed and enforced by free people through self-government, laws would reign supreme. For the American people to remain free, the rule of law and blind justice, regardless of political power, must be respected and upheld.

Religious Liberty

The first settlers came to the shores of America not only to build better lives, but to protect their individual relationship with God and practice their faith free from coercion. No freedom is more central to America’s founding, which is why many of today’s attempts to drive faith from the public square are so alien to many Americans.

If we seek to honor the foundational promise of America, we must fervently oppose any government attempt to limit the free exercise of religion, while also respecting the faith of our fellow Americans.

Freedom of Speech

Free self-government requires the free exchange of ideas, and the ability for individuals to think, speak, advocate, and argue for what they believe. While the First Amendment to the Constitution explicitly prevents Congress from passing laws that abridge our freedom of speech, we must also be wary of non-governmental attempts to suppress dissent and diverse opinions.

Second Amendment

The right to keep and bear arms is not about hunting. It is about our right as American citizens to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from danger, whether it arises from criminals or government tyranny.

Our Founders believed our rights came from God, not from government, so just as the 1st Amendment doesn’t give us the right to free speech, the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give us the right to keep and bear arms. Rather, the 2nd Amendment merely prevents the government from infringing upon it.

E Pluribus Unum

The motto E Pluribus Unum, or “out of many, one” was adopted by America’s founders to help bind our new nation together. Unlike in many other countries, our citizenship would not be defined by our race, class, creed or country of origin but instead by our dedication to the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

This notion of a unifying melting pot is why people of all backgrounds have strived to be Americans, and have been able to achieve limitless success. Today, nothing threatens this legacy more so than identity politics, which seeks to divide us by race, ethnicity, gender, class and beyond.

Individual Liberty

The term “American exceptionalism” is often misunderstood and misused to convey that we as Americans are superior to others. But rather, what it means quite literally is that America is the exception. When founded, America was unlike every other country in human history.

What made us the exception is that we were founded, in the Declaration of Independence, upon the “self evident truth” that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” In America, the individual is sovereign. Because his rights were a gift from God, not government, no government could take them away. They are “unalienable.”

This recognition of the individual citizen as the center of power represented a revolution in the relationship between the government and the governed and set the stage for America to become the beacon of hope, opportunity and prosperity that it is today.