Convention on Founding Principles

Declaration of Principles

These principles reflect core values upon which America’s enduring success depends. We urge a recommitment to them, that they serve as a guide to future American leadership. Delegates to the convention will consider and ratify a Declaration of Principles based on those listed here, expressing the ideas that shape our movement.

1. All men and women are created equal and free, having the same inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We reject any suggestion that these inherent rights are granted by government and condemn the evil ideologies of racism, including white supremacy.

2. The primary purpose of government is to secure these rights with the consent of the people through the rule of law, which is fundamental to a free and just society protecting the lives, liberty and property of all citizens.

We support measures that ensure the accountability of those who hold elective office and execute the powers of government, including law enforcement. The independence of federal investigators, inspectors general and “whistleblowers” are critical to protecting the rights of the citizenry. We reject those who corruptly exploit the powers of government for personal or partisan benefit and who hold themselves above the law.

3. Free, fair and secure elections are essential for obtaining the people’s consent and ensuring accountable government.

The people’s equal right to vote is a cornerstone of our democracy. We support measures that make voting more accessible for all eligible citizens such as expanded vote-by-mail and others that strengthen electoral competition such as fair redistricting. We reject interference in our elections by the Russian government or any other foreign actors.

4. We honor the Constitution and the separation of powers between the three branches of government.

Presidents who seek to erode constitutional checks and balances to gain undue power threaten our freedom. The Article I powers of Congress, including its oversight and funding powers, must be free from presidential obstruction and overreach, and provide the requisite check upon abuse of executive power.

5. The judiciary is accountable to the Constitution rather than to political parties or the elected leaders who nominate or confirm its judges.

Politicization of the courts through the appointment of partisan loyalists rather than impartial judges is inherently dangerous to the independence of the judiciary. We support leaders who protect the integrity and independence of the judicial branch.

6. Truth and facts are essential to liberty and justice, and our leaders must consistently honor, defend and promote them.

Without truth, government is unaccountable and ineffective. We support leaders who embrace truth, facts and knowledge and reject those who deceive the people through disinformation and other means in pursuit of power.

7. Elected leaders have a duty to administer the powers entrusted to them with the highest levels of integrity, honor and service.

The absence of these qualities in elected officials is the ultimate source of corruption, abuse of power, and threats to our liberty. We support leaders who consistently exhibit integrity, honor and service.

8. We believe in an America defined by its ideals, welcoming to those — regardless of race, gender or creed — seeking refuge, happiness, and a homeland to contribute their talents.

We reject the false notion that America is defined by the races and birthplaces of its citizens, and we condemn the cruel and inhumane treatment of those who turn to our country for help. Family separation, child imprisonment, and denial of aid to those in danger are contrary to our values and heritage as a nation of immigrants.

9. America must be a beacon of liberty in the world, advancing human freedom by example and with pragmatic use of its economic, diplomatic and military power.

We support free-nation alliances and rebuke those who curry favor with foreign dictators. We advocate for a foreign policy that reflects our values and interests, and stands as a bulwark against the authoritarian regimes of Moscow, Riyadh, Beijing and elsewhere.

10. Market-based economies honor our natural liberty and are the most efficient and equitable known systems for fostering personal accomplishment and growth, thus ensuring national prosperity.

We urge recommitment to a free-enterprise system that does not favor the powerful and wealthy, but instead offers real opportunity on an equal basis to all Americans. We call for an end to costly trade wars, “crony” capitalism, anti-competitive corruption, and the use of regulatory powers for political intimidation and retribution.

11. Government must exercise responsible stewardship of public finances, lands and other resources belonging to the people.

Reckless spending and an ever-expanding national debt threaten our security and stability, while irresponsible management of our natural resources jeopardizes the public health and our long-term prosperity. We support policies that balance spending with revenue, decrease the national debt, and sustain and protect our natural resources and environment for future generations.

12. Free speech and a free press are guaranteed by the Constitution and essential to an accountable government.

We condemn the efforts of authoritarian leaders to impede or control the press and erode public support for its vital role in our system of self-government. We support measures that expand government transparency and that protect the press from government retribution.

13. A core mission of government and elected officials is to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare.

We categorically condemn policies that undermine the public health and safety of our citizens through neglect, negligence and disregard for fact-based policies and through the denial of basic healthcare for our most vulnerable citizens. We further condemn the failure to protect and defend those who are serving, and have served, in our Armed Forces by deferring to foreign powers and endangering our troops in the field.