How good is your knowledge of civics? What are the three branches of government? That is just an example of the questions that the Intercollegiate Studies Institute asked in a civic literacy survey they administered during the 2008 election year. Their findings were rather shocking, in their sampling 71 percent failed. Nationwide the average score was 49 percent.

Like other indicators ISI's results give us a better understanding of why politics in America today are a drift from their historical moorings.

This understanding, in part, was behind the recently released Mount Vernon Statement. The one page statement, which you can read and sign online at, was signed by many of the nations conservative leaders at a special unveiling at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington --- that's not a question on the civic literacy quiz, but its good to know.

While some on the Left have criticized the statement as a return to the past because we are in denial about the present, as one of the signers, I see it much differently.

It is important that each generation renews its commitment to the enduring founding principles that have built and sustained this nation.

What are those principles?

National security, economic opportunity, religious liberty and personal responsibility. These are the enduring principles that founders enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and established in the Constitution and now we must return them to center stage in America again.

This is a perfect time to remind America of these principles as public opinion polls show that the majority of Americans are either disenchanted or disgruntled with this Administration and this Congress.

I invite you to add your name to the Mount Vernon Statement.

You can take hope in the fact that some things never change and these principles are among them.