What MLK Has in Common with the Founding Fathers

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In Heritage Work

Photo: Daily Signal

Martin Luther King may not have been a conservative, but his vision for America as a place of opportunity for all is entirely consistent with conservative principles. At this time of division in our country, it is important to look back at leaders like King who promoted unity and the dignity of the human person.

His advocacy of universal morality and the inherent rights of the individual puts him squarely in line with leaders like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. In a new Heritage Foundation report, Peter Myers writes that what Lincoln said of Jefferson could have just as easily been said of King: Continue Reading »

Standing with France

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In Heritage Work

Photo: Alain Apaydyn/Newscom

Writing on The Daily Signal, Heritage’s Mike Gonzalez explains why Americans are standing with France in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre:

On Sept. 13, 2001, two days after 9/11, the Parisian daily Le Monde published an editorial titled Nous sommes tous Américains, “We Are All Americans” in the language of Moliere. It shocked many, not least Le Monde’s legions of readers.

“How can we not feel, as we have in the gravest moments of our history, but profoundly in solidarity with this people and this country, the United States, with whom we are so close and to whom we owe our liberty, and therefore our solidarity,” wrote the long-time editor of Le Monde, Jean-Marie Colombani.

It was an extraordinary event, not least because Le Monde is a leftist publication not exactly known for pro-American affectations. Colombani’s mention of the U.S. role in liberating France from Hitler’s grip was stunning. There are many grateful Frenchmen who remember the GIs, but they are usually in places like Normandy and the Ardennes, just not in the Left Bank of Paris.

It is in this vein that many Americans are reacting today to the carnage in eastern Paris, where two gunmen invaded the headquarters of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and wounding many others.

The crime has all the look of a terrorist Islamic attack, as Charlie Hebdo delights in ridiculing all religions, including Islam. But the reason many Americans today are feeling that Nous sommes tous Francais runs deeper than mere alliance in the war on terror. Republican fellow feelings and memories of LaFayette and Rochambeau are suddenly awakened even in the most recalcitrant New England Yankee.

The good feelings that followed 9/11 in Paris were quickly dissipated and France soon went back to being “a prickly ally”, in Henry Kissinger’s description. Colombani got a ton of letters from irate socialist readers who pretty much who pretty much said, “I am definitely not an American.”

Likewise, here we will soon go back to our uneasy relationship with France. Just not today. Today is the day to remember and honor Alexis de Toqueville, the Frenchman who understood us better than many Americans.

Six Questions with David Azerrad: Why First Principles Are the Basis for Everything Heritage Does


In Heritage Work

David Azerrad

David Azerrad

At The Heritage Foundatiomn, there’s a unifying force for every public policy question: the First Principles established by America’s Founding Fathers. We asked David Azerrad, director of Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, for his insights on what First Principles mean for Heritage, our supporters, and our great nation.

How would you define First Principles?

First Principles are the bedrock principles that guide our thinking. For any worldview there must be a North Star from which you take your bearings. First Principles are conservatives’ North Star—timeless guiding principles on the basis of which we address specific policy questions. Continue Reading »

How Heritage Turns Your Conservative Policy Ideas into Reality

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In Heritage Work

A core mission of The Heritage Foundation is to generate ideas for policies based on your conservative principles. But ideas don’t change the world on their own.

If we want to make this country free, safe, and prosperous, then we need to make conservative ideas part of everyday life, Heritage experts Jen Marshall, Derrick Morgan, and Jim Carafano said last week at Heritage’s President’s Club Meeting.

The process of making your principles a reality involves three steps: Continue Reading »

How Heritage Builds Respect for America’s Founding Principles on Capitol Hill


In Heritage Work

One of Heritage’s key missions is to educate lawmakers and Capitol Hill staff about your conservative principles and how they apply to today’s most critical debates.

Fifty-nine Senate and House staffers graduated last week from Heritage’s Congressional Fellowship program, which equips staffers with a solid grounding in America’s First Principles and knowledge of critical issues like cutting spending, protecting America, and restoring constitutional government.

The Congressional Fellowship is a weekly educational program for legislative and communications staff which runs from January to September. This year, Heritage held 24 luncheons on Capitol Hill featuring Heritage policy experts and leading conservative thinkers.

By educating these Capitol Hill staffers, we can pave the way for future conservative victories and change America’s course.

Do you think it’s important to communicate the principles of America’s Founding to Congressional staffers?

227 Years of the United States Constitution, Explained in One Must-Have Book

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In Other Work of Note

Last week, America marked the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the United States Constitution.

To commemorate this milestone, The Heritage Foundation released the second edition of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. This new edition includes updates to reflect new laws and court decisions that affect how the nation’s highest law impacts Americans.

The first edition of the Guide, which features clause-by-clause analysis of the entire Constitution from leading scholars, was published in 2005 to critical acclaim. It has sold more than 50,000 copies.

In 2012, Heritage published the full text online. Since then, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution Online has been visited over 1.3 million times. The hard copy of the book has sold over 50,000 copies.

The enormous popularity of our guide is proof of how relevant and revered the Constitution still remains.

Purchase your copy of the Guide‘s second edition, or read the full text online.

Did you celebrate Constitution Day? Tell us what makes you proud to carry on the mantle of liberty.

This Statement Helped Heritage Interns Win Their Debate With Cato


In Other Work of Note

Every summer, Heritage Foundation interns debate political philosophy with interns from the libertarian Cato Institute.

This debate is an opportunity for Heritage interns to refine their understanding of America’s first principles and how they apply to today’s most important issues.

Heritage interns were judged the winner of this year’s debate, in part because of the opening statement by intern Louis Cola.

Read his full remarks, below, and tell us what you think in the comments. Continue Reading »

The Supreme Court Blocks the Obama Administration’s Attack on Religious Liberty


In Other Work of Note


The media wait for the Hobby Lobby lawyers to make their first public statement in front of the Supreme Court. Photo credit: Kayla Toth

In their ruling Monday in the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court struck a blow against Obamacare’s coercive contraceptive mandate.

“The government can’t compel a ‘closely held’  business such as the Hobby Lobby chain to cover abortion-inducing drugs or devices in employee health plans if doing so would violate the employer’s moral and religious beliefs,” Heritage’s Kelsey Harkness explains.

Heritage experts Sarah Torre and Elizabeth Slattery explain what this ruling means:

To be clear, the decision today applies only to the Obamacare rule that was threatening the religious freedom of the Greens’ and Hahns’ family businesses. Other claims for religious exemptions by closely held family businesses from other laws will have to be litigated on a case-by-case basis. RFRA doesn’t provide a blank check for religious believers to do whatever they want in the name of religion and neither does today’s decision.

With today’s ruling, the Greens’ and Hahns’ family businesses will be able to continue offering their employees generous healthcare plans (which cover most forms of contraception) without fear of government penalties. And the women who work for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood remain free – like all women – to make their own decisions about these four drugs and devices (as well as other birth control) and to purchase or find insurance coverage for them. But the government cannot coerce these family businesses to participate in those decisions in violation of their beliefs.

Do you think the court made the right call in the Hobby Lobby case?

How Heritage’s Partnership With an Inner-City School Helps Spread Your Conservative Ideas

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In Heritage Work

Denzel and James help to organize YLP brochures.

Washington, DC charter school students Denzel Hilliard (left) and James Stokes (right) are working with Heritage’s Young Leaders Program this summer.

For the last eight years, The Heritage Foundation has sponsored a fellowship for students from the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy in Washington, D.C. to educate them about conservative principles.

This year’s fellows, Denzel Hilliard and James Stokes, Jr. joined other interns in Heritage’s Young Leaders Program for policy briefings with Heritage experts and lectures about America’s First Principles. These lectures were particularly important to Stokes, he said, because they enhanced his education.

The students also worked directly with Heritage policy analysts, who mentored them on their careers, and gave them an opportunity to research and write about a public policy topic of their choice. Hilliard wrote about how free trade strengthens the economy, while Stokes’ article focused on American nuclear policy.

Both students agreed that the Heritage fellowship opened their eyes to new ideas and schools of thought, and they are grateful for the experience they received. Continue Reading »

Five Former Heritage Interns Selected for Prestigious Publius Fellowship

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In Heritage Impact

The Claremont Institute announced its 2014 Publius Fellows this week. Of the 14 rising conservative leaders selected, five are former Heritage Foundation interns: Gregory Collins, Travis LaCouter, Emil Maine, Avi Snyder, and Edward Walton.

The Publius Fellows, all young conservatives “pursuing careers in politics, scholarship, journalism, and related fields,” will gather in July to study the “moral and political principles of the American constitutional order.”

Through 40 seminars and discussions with distinguished scholars, the fellows will discuss a variety of topics including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the the Federalist Papers. Publius is the pen name used by John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton to promote and defend the Constitution during the ratification debates.

Having participated in Heritage’s internship program, Collins, LaCouter, Maine, Snyder, and Walton are no strangers to conservative ideas. Heritage’s Young Leaders Program educates interns on American government and our founding principles through policy briefings and First Principles lectures. These will provide a solid foundation for these new fellows as they enter what has been called “boot camp for the political brain.”

Visit the Young Leaders Program page for more information about Heritage’s internship program.

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