What’s the Declaration’s Purpose?
Conservatives for far too long have allowed their policy proposals and vision for America to be severely distorted by a hostile media and their own focus on isolated issues, like “free markets”, that aren’t seen as fitting together into an attractive whole. The Declaration of Fundamental Expectations of the Citizens of Maine is a concerted initiative of the MHPC to turn this situation around. It’s purpose is twofold: 1) to describe the gross moral and policy failures of progressivism and the social damage they cause and 2) to present in an accessible, self-contained statement the inherently positive and productive vision of a Maine based on conservative values and policies. Its concerns range from national character to concrete policy proposals. There isn’t a readily-identifiable, contemporary, self-contained, concise statement of conservatism anywhere on the horizon. We aspire to make one.
What are the Declaration’s goals?
In the longer term, the goals are to see the adoption in Maine of conservative policies in areas including government operations, citizenship, taxes, public benefits, and education that are likely to improve the well-being of Maine residents. But these will require the eventual support of elected officials and others.
In the short term, in areas more within MHPC’s control, our goals are, 1) to create and grow a grass-roots movement motivated by the Declaration and dedicated to its conservative vision, 2) to grow the Maine Wire into a comprehensive source of alternative daily news and commentary in Maine with a large readership, and 3) to increase MHPC’s staff of policy experts and our output.
Is there a budget associated with the Declaration?
Yes. MHPC’s work in connection with a grass roots campaign would cost, in our initial phase, $50,000. Making the Maine Wire “mission-capable” in terms of the Declaration would cost $40,000. Up-grading our policy work would cost in the initial phase, $75,000. These costs total $165,000.
What signs will MHPC be looking for to see whether the initiative is succeeding?
We will be looking for things like the following: the number of and intensity with which Maine citizens say that it captures their own concerns about the State and the direction in which its heading; measurably disrupting the apathy or resignation of individuals with conservative potential; media mentions; citation by other conservative groups, including out-of-state ones, as an innovative and aggressive statement of conservative views; financial support; policy-maker recognition.
Isn’t the title a mouthful?
Well, yes. We wanted every part of the document to say something, including the title. “Declaration” implies the gravity and urgency of the cause. “Fundamental Expectations” suggests that our goals aren’t personal whims but things we should reasonably expect and demand to have in any wealthy, developed country. “Citizens” implies that we’re talking about individuals who have civic responsibilities as well as rights. A reader gets the sense of the document just from the title. We could have had a short one, like “Maine Manifesto”, but that doesn’t communicate anything. It’s empty language, like most political talk. We’re allergic to that.