Mount Vernon Statement

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The Mount Vernon Statement is a declaration of principles for the modern conservative movement. It was posted to the Internet on February 17, 2010. The Statement is notable mostly for the collection of high profile right-wing figures who signed it.


The Statement is mostly conservative boilerplate about "founding principles" and "limited government" and similar Tea Party rhetoric. No specific planks are addressed, and while the site boasts links to the text of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, neither is directly addressed. The closest the Statement comes to specificity is a series of five points defining "Constitutional conservatism":

  • It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.
  • It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.
  • It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
  • It supports America's national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.
  • It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.


The actual content of the Statement is secondary to the list of signatories, including Reagan-era conservatives and heads of major conservative organizations. For a statement centered around limited government, there are a surprisingly large number of social conservatives featured. Also, it calls explicitly for rule of law, and yet supporters of torture and indefinite detention were among the signatories.[1]

The List[edit]

Erick Erickson was also to be a signatory, but in spite of actually travelling to Mount Vernon (to sign an Internet petition), he is not featured among the signers.[2]

Richard Viguerie[edit]

Interestingly, Viguerie initially pushed back against the Statement, saying "If the people in the leadership of the conservative movement are going to put out pablum like this, the tea party people are going to make them seem irrelevant. And the tea party people are going to march to the forefront."[3] Nevertheless, he signed it just a few weeks later, calling it an "attempt to draft a document that conservatives… can get behind and begin the process of reclaiming the Republican Party for small-government conservatives."[4]

External links[edit]