Following the long and arduous summer of 1787 several of the delegates to the constitutional convention emerged from the recesses of the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia and were met by numerous inquiring citizens. One lady asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin famously replied, “A republic,” and then immediately qualified his answer with “if you can keep it.”
Alas, Franklin’s warning proved prescient. Today we see the continual erosion of the republican principles of government upon which our nation was conceived; instead replaced by an ever-expanding Federal government apparatus. Republican virtue and civic restraint have taken a back seat to governmental largesse and economic irresponsibility.
The delegates to the Constitutional Convention conceived a government of limited powers; one beholden to the people. Today, the will of the people appears to be less salient in the eyes of many of our nation’s elected officials than are the desires to pursue one’s own political agenda. Conservative values and fiscal prudence are under siege and in danger of becoming relics of our past.
Amid the almost daily assault on republican virtues resides a modicum of hope. The millions of American voices who have protested the onslaught of government abundance embody the increasingly transparent conservative values of America. The American people have come together to collectively express their disdain for this exercise in government overreach and now their voice will have the backing of a influential ally.
Last week in Naples, Fla., leadership from the Heritage Foundation, the nation’s leading conservative think tank, announced the creation of a new sister-organization. Heritage Action for America will soon undertake the ambitious agenda of bringing the heat to the political establishment and forcing our nation’s elected officials to recognize the powerful conservative sentiment that broadly defines the character of our nation. Unlike its non-profit counterpart, Heritage Action for America will be able to directly support legislation that will benefit this country. Conversely, legislation that will inhibit our personal, economic, and political freedoms can be vigorously fought.
As such, Heritage Action for America will differ in its mission from that of the Heritage Foundation. Known for its deft ability to tap into the conservative heart of the issues facing America, the Heritage Foundation has been a recognized leader in defining the conservative movement since its inception in 1973. Heritage Action for America can now take that same passion and understanding of America’s core values and apply them in a manner that adds power to the voice of America’s conservative majority.
If past is in fact prologue, the consequential and timely ascendance of Heritage Action for America will prove a defining moment in the transformation of America’s political landscape; holding government accountable to the will of the people and to the central tenets of America’s founding documents. Much like the Heritage Foundation has helped to shape the intellectual argument for conservatism for the past 40 years, Heritage Action for America will help to restore the foundational principles upon which our Founding Fathers based the tremendous experiment in political freedom that is America.
Scott G. Erickson has worked in the field of law enforcement for the past decade and holds both his B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice Studies. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.