A Much More Subdued Right-Wing Declaration

Details continue to emerge about the meeting last week in Colorado where a large group right-wing leaders gathered and decided to back John McCain, with David Barton telling The Brody File that more than 90% in attendance agreed to support McCain primarily because they abhor Barack Obama and, as we noted yesterday, are really concerned about the future of the Supreme Court :

There were 83 state and national leaders in the room from all over the country. They included heavyweights Phyllis Schlafly, Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Phil Burress, Mat Staver and representatives from Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America and the American Family Association.

David Barton, President of the conservative WallBuilders group was there too. I spoke with him about the meeting and he tells me roughly 75 of the 83 were on board for McCain at the end of the meeting.  

They don’t want Barack Obama picking Supreme Court judges. That’s why the judges issue is very important to this group and they believe McCain will be there on judges. They plan to let their supporters know about it. The “base” may be mobilizing very soon.

Charisma Magazine also provide some inside details, such as the fact that Mike Huckabee’s daughter Sarah was reportedly in attendance and that McCain has apparently been meeting with militant anti-abortion activist Alveda King, which makes sense seeing as she’s been supporting him for months.   

But the culmination of the meeting was the agreement by those in attendance to sign on to something called the “Declaration of American Values” put together by Mat Staver and David Barton.  If this sounds familiar, it is probably because it is a lot like the Values Voters’ Contract With Congress that a similar group of right-wing activists unveiled heading into the 2006 election.  The primary difference between the two is that the new declaration has dropped the laundry list of legislation they wanted to see passed that made up the bulk of the Values Voters’ Contract in favor of vague language about the “sanctity of human life” and the importance of securing our “national sovereignty and domestic tranquility” … almost as if they don’t anticipate that their legislative agenda has any chance of moving forward in the next Congress:  

“We the people of the United States of America, at this crucial time in history, do hereby affirm the core consensus values which form the basis of America’s greatness, that all men and women from every race and ethnicity are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We adhere to the rule of law embodied in the Constitution of the United States and to the principles of liberty on which America was founded. In order to maintain the blessings of liberty and justice for ourselves and our posterity, and recognizing that personal responsibility is the basis of our self-governing
Nation, we declare our allegiance:

“1. To secure the sanctity of human life by affirming the dignity of and right to life for the disabled, the ill, the aged, the poor, the disadvantaged, and for the unborn from the moment of conception. Every person is made in the image of God, and it is the responsibility and duty of all individuals and communities of faith to extend the hand of loving compassion to care for those in poverty and distress.

“2. To secure our national interest in the institution of marriage and family by embracing the union of one man and one woman as the sole form of legitimate marriage and the proper basis of family.

“3. To secure the fundamental rights of parents to the care, custody, and control of their children regarding their upbringing and education.

“4. To secure the free exercise of religion for all people, including the freedom to acknowledge God through our public
institutions and other modes of public expression and the freedom of religious conscience without coercion by penalty or force of law.

“5. To secure the moral dignity of each person, acknowledging that obscenity, pornography, and indecency debase our communities, harm our families, and undermine morality and respect. Therefore, we promote enactment and enforcement of laws to protect decency and traditional morality.

“6. To secure the right to own, possess and manage private property without arbitrary interference from government, while acknowledging the necessity of maintaining a proper and balanced care and stewardship of the environment and natural resources for the health and safety of our families.

“7. To secure the individual right to own, possess, and use firearms as central to the preservation of peace and liberty.

“8. To secure a system of checks and balances between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches within both state and federal governments, so that no one branch — particularly the judiciary — usurps the authority of the other two, and to maintain the constitutional principles of federalism which divide power between the state and federal governments.

“9. To secure our national sovereignty and domestic tranquility by maintaining a strong military; establishing and maintaining secure national borders; participating in international and diplomatic affairs without ceding authority to foreign powers that diminish or interfere with our unalienable rights; and being mindful of our history as a nation of immigrants, promoting immigration policies that observe the rule of law and are just, fair, swift, and foster national unity.

“10. To secure a system of fair taxes that are not punitive against the institution of marriage or family and are not progressive in nature, and within a limited government framework, to encourage economic opportunity, free enterprise, and free market competition.

“We hereby pledge our Names, our Lives and our Sacred Honor to this Declaration of American Values.”