‘A Different Kind of Think Tank’

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In Other Work of Note

Heritage historian Lee Edwards. Photo: Chas GeerHeritage historian Lee Edwards. Photo: Chas Geer

Heritage Foundation historian Lee Edwards delivered the following remarks last week to Heritage trustees.

From the very beginning, Heritage has been a different kind of think tank.

To begin with, we are a conservative think tank with fixed First Principles based on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Other research organizations in this town, such as Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute, choose not to admit their philosophical leanings, but Heritage does not apologize for its commitment to basic conservative ideas–limited government, free enterprise, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

After we finalized our mission statement, based on these five ideas, we were challenged by Rich DeVos to craft a “bold but practical” vision statement. It took us a while but we kept at it because we realized we were shaping the future of Heritage. We wound up with just 17 words: ”The Heritage Foundation is committed to building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.” And, I am pleased to report, Rich DeVos loved it.

As a conservative think tank, we seek to empower the conservative movement. A strong Heritage and a weak movement do not serve either institution.

We are in fact the lead institution of the conservative movement—leading by what we say and what we do. Continue Reading »

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