On June 25, Dinesh D’Souza spoke to a room full of high school students at the Reagan Ranch Center, seeking to clarify the essence of conservatism for a new generation of Americans. He argued that conservatism is centrally focused on “conserving the principals of the American Revolution.” As we celebrate Independence Day it is time for us as a nation to revisit those timeless principals of the American Revolution that conservatism works to protect and preserve.
Our nation was founded on truths our founders believed to be “self-evident.” Truths that “all men are created equal,” that government gets its power “from the consent of the governed,” and that all men hold “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” These are not truths unique to the American people, nor can the founders be credited with creating these ideas. These are truths that are written on the hearts of all men.
The culture in America today has shifted away from these timeless values. Our courts are ruling that life is no longer an unalienable right. In fact they have ruled time and time again that the killing of a fetus is a fundamental right of women. Young people are not taught that equality of opportunity is what society should strive to protect, but that equality of outcome is our country’s the ultimate goal. The principals of our nation’s founding are under direct attack through the cultural shift away from the timeless values of our founders.
This is not the first time that these principals have been threatened. Through all of our nation’s challenges, these self-evident truths were present and pressing on the hearts of the people. These truths endured a civil war, two world wars, and the rise of communism. This proves that there is nothing the enemies of freedom can do to erase or diminish these truths—and that is exactly what makes them worth conserving.
Loyal Carpenter is a student activist in College of the Ozarks’ Young Americans for Freedom chapter and an intern at Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center.