In evaluating the fitness and competence of the various candidates competing for the Presidency of the United States, the voter will surely wonder about a candidate’s ethical and intellectual character in general, and about his or her identification with American culture in particular.
As I ponder the basic beliefs of the United States, and if I also consider a few measures that should be taken to preserve these beliefs, I find myself among a diminishing percentage of college-educated Americans that can earnestly say the following about their own country, in which they enjoy the blessings of freedom and due process of law:
The ten basic American beliefs:
- We believe in the Biblical heritage of the American people.
- We believe that this heritage is the touchstone of American Exceptionalism.
- We believe that the ideas and ideals of the Bible of Israel, which permeated the curricular of American colleges during the colonial and constitution-forming period, underlie the greatness of America’s Founding Fathers.
- We believe that America’s first foundational document, the Declaration of Independence, conveys the philosophical and theological foundation of the American Republic by affirming the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”
- We believe that America’s second foundational document, the Federal Constitution, provides the institutional structure for implementing the ends of the Declaration of Independence by proclaiming man’s inalienable rights to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” – which rights logically entail limited government and institutional checks and balances.
- We believe that the previous principles should occupy a conspicuous place in all levels of American education.
- We believe that American foreign policy should be consistent with the ethical monotheism of the Declaration of Independence and should therefore exemplify the benevolence and magnanimity emphasized by George Washington in his celebrated “Farewell Address.”
- We believe that ethical monotheism constitutes the unbreakable bond that unites America and Israel and should stand as the bulwark against any form of global imperialism.
- We believe that Congress, in accordance with Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, should limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, while affirming the venerable principle of “original intent” (of the Founders) as the basis of judicial rulings.
- We believe that a non-partisan Candidate Transparency Office should be established to disseminate information about a candidate’s place of birth, education, financial assets, sources of income, membership in non-governmental organizations, and previous public service.
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