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.

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OCTOBER 19, 2009

The Twelve Points are Unique

In the past year, many conservatives have offered their own proposals to explain what they think conservatism should be. The Twelve Points, however, are unique.

First, the Twelve Points are not a policy agenda or manifesto – they take an important step that is ordinarily overlooked, informing readers about conservative principles and settling matters of principle before attempting to apply those principles. A discussion of end-policy proposals is necessary as well, but the Twelve Points are instead focused on filling an important gap – reinforcing the philosophical framework for approaching the issues.

Second, the Twelve Points are not (by themselves) meant to sell conservatism to the public; they are meant to reintroduce conservative principles and thought to popular conservatism. This should bolster the popularity of conservatism, but the primary audience of the Twelve Points is conservatives themselves.

Third, because the Twelve Points encourage a more complete understanding of conservatism, they discourage conservatives from exalting certain, different principles over the rest. This will help to truly reunite conservatism, instead of simply holding a coalition of insular factions together for another couple of elections.

Fourth, the Twelve Points allow conservatives to demonstrate the extent to which American conservatives believe that the “true,” meritorious conservatism is that which is described in the Twelve Points rather than one of the regrettable anti-liberty, hysterical, or intellectually-anemic mutant variations.

Fifth, by allowing conservatives the opportunity to clarify and confirm that these are indeed the principles and objectives of conservatism, the Twelve Points lay the foundation for the construction of long-term plans to advance these principles and achieve these objectives.

To serve the last three of these purposes (and to a lesser extent, the first two), the Twelve Points rely entirely on the vocal, visible backing of American conservatives themselves. Their existence does not urge or establish a conservative consensus – only the widespread endorsement of conservatives can do this. Their existence alone will not cause their lessons to be learned – only by enthusiastically circulating them can conservatives cause this to be.

For these reasons, the principal question is now posed to you once again:

Do you like the Twelve Points?