The Yorktown Declaration


YORKTOWN_ Surrender_of_Lord_Cornwallis

We, the undersigned, are Virginians united by ideas we hold in common which deem us as conservatives.  That as conservatives, we believe the individual is sovereign, giving specified authority and power to representative governments limited by written constitutions.

As conservatives, we believe in the rights of the individual conscience to first and foremost govern ourselves; in principles governed by individual conscience, defining who we are and what we believe as the best, most practical and most moral way to govern.

That as conservatives, we choose to form political associations for the purpose of advancing the conservative principles that preserve the best of our traditions.

That when political parties or public persons no longer serve as vehicles for the advancement of such ideas, and further, when they become detrimental and even hostile to that advancement, it is the moral duty of principled conservatives to resist.

That what makes for a moral government is a moral people, that moral governance ought to focus on process and not in achieving ends, that liberty is the right to do as we ought, that “legal plunder” takes many forms, and when those who pretend to leadership abuse the confidence of our principles for personal gain, they destroy the very fabric of representative government.

That while principles can be compromised, conscience can never be — and to ask Virginians to compromise our conscience in support of persons who do not and have never supported our conservative values would directly violate our consciences, and destroy the very substance of what the Virginia experiment of freedom is meant to be.

That while the conservative coalition may not agree on every purpose, that what unites us is not an imposition of loyalty but a leadership that emphasizes harmony over unity; of vision over vulgarity; of conscience over loyalty oaths.

Therefore, as conservatives we bind ourselves in common purpose to the defense of these principles — not as a third party, but as a “third force” in the tradition of the Tertium Quids — the third way in Virginia. . 

That further, we reject any attempt to coerce any member of the conservative coalition to operate, endorse, support or finance a candidate in whom they disbelieve, that to “compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.”

That further, we recommit ourselves to the 400-year great experiment of liberty on the North American continent in the best traditions of our Virginia forefathers.

And that further, should the Virginia Republican Party no longer invest itself in the advancement of conservative principles and the defense of the rights of conscience, that we obligate ourselves and our allies to pursue whatever political ends required to secure those principles for our children and future generations of Virginians.