One Year Ago

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 purpose of the Twelve Points is to serve as a delivery mechanism for distilled, concentrated conservative thinking, with the goal of returning clarity and completeness to popular conservatism, and spreading knowledge of the true principles of conservatism throughout the conservative community.

The idea for the Twelve Points, along with much of the content of the document itself, came from the "Seven Points," which was created by a group of conservative college students in 2003 at Indiana University: Grand Old Cause.

Even in light of the 2010 election results, the conservative movement has become confused and aimless. Certain essential conservative principles and considerations have faded from memory and lost their influence. The Twelve Points will help to solve this problem by reminding us of conservative thinking that we may not have considered recently, and by making that thinking available to new, developing conservatives.

Send your questions or ideas to!

MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010

On the Twelve Points and Conservative Principles, One Year Ago

I just found something that I wrote on conservative principles -- almost exactly a year ago.  As I wrote the Twelve Points, I made notes on every idea that entered my mind, including the use of the Twelve Points, how I could promote them, modifications that I intended to make to them, and the state of the conservative movement.  This passage concerns conservative principles, and more specifically, why we need to review them and declare them anew, from time to time:

Regarding the Twelve Points: without something like this, there is a high risk that people will adopt a "wrong answer."

This is not only an essential part of the solution, but also a beginning: once we know that we agree on the fundamental principles, we can create the actual agenda, and then the message. Most of this has been said before, at some point, but memories have faded, and most of us have "joined the program already in progress."  We have to affirm, from time to time, that this is what we believe, or we will wander too far away from it.

Just so that there is no misunderstanding, I did not believe, as I wrote this, that we would need to create the agenda and the message "from scratch." My belief was that alleged "conservatives" who have forgotten the accumulated wisdom that we call our "conservative principles" could not be expected to keep, implement, and defend them effectively.  Even now, in these august golden days of the Mount Vernon Statement, it is impossible to visit the comment threads under online newspaper articles without recognizing that many of the people who claim to be conservatives do not meet the kinds of standards that we ought to have, as a movement.  To solve that problem, if we care to solve it -- by which I mean, "If we care for our movement to have a future" -- we have two options.  We can either create a test to screen out all of the people who do not meet those standards, or we can communicate our principles to them and teach conservatism.  I chose the latter option, and that is why I created the Twelve Points.