http://www.the12points.com


About

The Twelve Points are a statement of conservative principles, objectives, philosophy, and additional guiding considerations, composed by Karl Born, a young Indianapolis writer and attorney, beginning in early 2008, completed on July 2, 2009. The idea for the Twelve Points, along with several of the points, came from the "Seven Points," an older statement of conservative principles, created by a group of young conservatives at Indiana University, in 2003: Grand Old Cause. 

The purpose of the Twelve Points is to serve as a delivery mechanism for distilled, concentrated conservative thinking, offered in order to return completeness and clarity to popular conservatism, to spread knowledge of the true principles of conservatism throughout the conservative community, and to focus and promote agreement among conservatives. 

Over the past two decades, the conservative movement has lost its uniting sense of direction, which has rendered it confused, frustrated, and impotent. Certain crucial conservative principles and concepts have faded from our common memory and lost their rightful influence and, consequently, our fellow conservatives (including conservative leaders) too often can no longer be relied upon to understand them, to be committed to them, or to apply and advance them in a coherent way. No conservative should be satisfied with the results that this has produced in American public policy. 

The Twelve Points will help to solve this problem, this statement of conservative principles being an instrument by which we may frequently recur to these fundamental principles and keep points of conservative thought freshly in our minds, teach conservative thought to the newer and younger conservatives, and provide all conservatives with a means of together affirming that, yes, we still care about these conservative principles, and conservative principles still define this movement.

Send your questions or ideas to 
the12points@gmail.com!




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TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 2010

Definitive Statements of Conservative Principles: the Text, Not the Test


I believe I have made this point before, but I want to repeat it periodically in order to prevent the Twelve Points from being misused:

The Twelve Points are not meant to be criteria for deciding who is a conservative and who is not.  They are meant to spread certain conservative ideas (in HD!).  Though it might be said that they promote some sort of conservative "purity," the Twelve Points would do so by expounding conservatism and causing others to agree with us instead of by marking those who disagree with us and sending them into political exile.  The Twelve Points are meant to promote excellence in conservative thought, not to mark and punish inadequacy.

If I had intended simply to write a document to set forth minimum standards for use of the term "conservative," it could not have been nearly as detailed or ambitious.  For example, in stating, "[T]he myriad of small but unjustified government expenditures cannot be separately defended by pointing out the relative insignificance of each of them alone, as the dollar is no less valuable when it is counted in pennies," I do not attempt to excommunicate all conservatives who have shrugged off certain spending items because of their relative inexpensiveness.  Instead, my intention was to point out to them that "the myriad of small but unjustified government expenditures cannot be separately defended by pointing out the relative insignificance of each of them alone, as the dollar is no less valuable when it is counted in pennies," with the expectation that once that point had been properly brought to their attention, they would not make that mistake as easily in the future.

Similarly, the Eleventh Point, Contemplation and Prudence, is meant to remind conservatives that we may do more harm than good unless we remember to stay calm, think, and be inquisitive and candid.  I could have written it to identify and condemn groups of conservatives that might violate this principle, but it would not have made sense to choose that option, at this point.  Why should we declare them our enemies when we might still be able to successfully encourage them to become better (wiser, more firmly conservative) allies?

That is the logic behind the Twelve Points.  We could purify the conservative movement by identifying and purging bad conservatives, but wherever possible, it would be a better option to help them to become better conservatives.