Labels as a First Step Toward Finding Deeper Meaning
I received the December 2004 issue of The Proposition, a publication of the Claremont Institute. As a graduate of Harvey Mudd College, one of the Claremont Colleges, who also satisfied the requirements for a political science major at Claremont McKenna College, I found one of the quotes in the issue to be an interesting perspective on a world that simply adores putting labels on most everything:
The idea that government should be limited in its powers and that we should be a moral, self-governing people was commonsense wisdom for America’s Founders, and it remains so for Americans who love freedom and constitutional government. The problem today is that many people simply don’t understand these principles. From liberal intellectual elites, to most of the media, to those government “experts” who exert increasing control over our lives, the most influential people and institutions are trying to turn America into something other than the free country it has always been.
In conservative politics these days there is much talk of “Neo-Conservatives” and “Paleo-Conservatives” and “Libertarians.” Because of our 25 years of hard work…there is talk now of what it means to be a “Claremont Conservative.” When asked what this means, we explain that a Claremont Conservative is someone who believes in the principles of the Declaration of Independence – that all men are created equal, and that government exists to defend our natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A Claremont Conservative agrees with Alexander Hamilton that citizens are capable of governing themselves through “reflection and choice,” and that we do not need bureaucratic experts telling us how to raise our children or run our businesses. A Claremont Conservative thinks the opinions of American citizens are as important, if not more, than the opinions of bureaucrats.
You can see the various projects of the Claremont Institute at their website and discover several of my personal favorites: “A User’s Guide to the Declaration of Independence” website, the “Rediscovering George Washington” website, and the “Vindicating the Founders” website.
America would benefit greatly if all citizens developed a deeper understanding of the principles on which the founding of our great nation was built. Happy reading!
There is a wonderful posting at Power Line about the Claremont Institute and the Claremont Review of Books. I also heartily endorse Marc’s comments about the latter publication; it is a must read for anyone serious about politics.