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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Why the Twelve Points are Needed -- Short Version

This is a problem that needs to be solved -- the conservative movement has become confused, fractured, and ineffective.

Among the causes of this problem, one is particularly important: Conservative philosophy and thought are communicated (both to fledgling and veteran conservatives) in a way that is ineffective in keeping a large number of our principles and important considerations actively in circulation at once. Essential principles (and widespread understanding of them) have eroded over time, for this reason, and wisdom has been lost.

In addition to this loss, the erosion has caused conservatives to divide and disperse. Previously, whatever their primary concerns were, conservatives were united because they realized that in this country, if not elsewhere, certain ideas work best in concert: economic freedom, freedom as an element of justice, our Constitution and the rule of law, the traditions of liberty, maintenance of military strength, “prudence,” and the responsible behavior and independence of individuals, families, and voluntary associations.  Each of these is best served when all are taken together. A conservative who cares about any of them must be attentive to all of them. The result is not just a practical political alliance -- it is (or should be) a true unification. When factions of conservatives have forgotten, neglected, or abandoned some of these concerns, however, disunity results.

The Twelve Points are a step toward solving these problems. They summarize these conservative considerations and principles, tie them together, and submit them to conservatives for their (or "our") consideration. By reaffirming and communicating them, we can use the Twelve Points to re-infuse popular conservatism with the rich intellectual heritage of the conservative philosophy itself.

Once we have done so, we will be ready to face the greater challenge before us –- promoting that philosophy, further developing specific policy proposals that would implement conservative reform, considering what we need to do in order to put those proposals to use, and, finally, taking action.

In conclusion, let us simplify the questions now posed to conservatives as a result of this submission of the Twelve Points:

Do you like the Twelve Points?

Should your friends like the Twelve Points, too?