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Dear Friends,

Conservatism, it has been said, is not an ideology but a way of viewing the world. This is partially true: conservatives seek to impose no utopian vision upon an imperfectible humanity.

At the same time, conservatism presupposes both human dignity and fallenness, and argues that personal virtue must be the foundation of political self-governance. Conservatism is suspicious of schemes to change humanity through external constraints, or reshape human nature through insistent indoctrination.

At Independence Hall in 1861, Abraham Lincoln said, "The Declaration of Independence gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance."

An equal chance because, as the Declaration says, all men are of equal merit in the sight of their Creator. This was not only Lincoln's claim; it has been the principle claim of our Republic since its founding.

Despite its protestations to the contrary, the Left argues that most men are not, in fact, created equal: The "masses" are too reactionary to know what's good for them, too benighted to recognize the obvious truths of political liberalism, too fearful of the bracing, brave new world that Godless men can create.

Most people understand, intuitively, that grand plans for social engineering and cultural transformation will collapse under the weight of human arrogance, incompetence, and elitism. They grasp that there are limits to human commitments and even love, which is why one man and one woman marry each other, and do not have multiple partners. It's why each of us cares for his own children more than those of our neighbors. It's why one can have only so many close friends: People are finite, and there's only so much of each of us to go around.

This is not a cynical perspective, but it is not naive either. It is conservative, taking and enjoying reality as it is. "Conservatism advocates that the wisdom of the past be used to create a promising future," writes constitutional scholar Patrick Garry. "It does not seek to simply confer a basket of benefits in the present, without regard to whether those benefits will build a foundation for a more lasting and promising future" (Conservatism Redefined, pp. 153-154).

"A more lasting and promising future." That's the vision of Family Research Council for all Americans. Thank you for sharing in it with us.


Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

P.S. FRC has just released five new publications, which can be downloaded at no charge by clicking on the links below:

Educational Freedom and Reform


Legislation and Policy Proposals

Government Reform



Health Care


Conscience Protection

Health care reform: Political and Legislative efforts


Human Life and Bioethics


Bioethics and Biotechnology

Euthanasia and End of Life Issues

Stem Cell Research

To read about the latest advances in ethical adult stem cell research, keep up with leading-edge reports from FRC's Dr. David Prentice, click here.

Marriage and Family


Family Economics

Family Structure




Religion and Public Policy

Religious Liberty

Religion in America




International Economy and Family

Religious Persecution

Sharia law -- U.S., foreign

The Courts

Constitutional Issues

Judicial Activism

Other News of Note

Book reviews