Introduction

Ex deserto. The phrase literally means, “out of the wilderness,” from vox clamantis in deserto; a voice crying in the wilderness. Over the next several months — and I pray not years — we will hear a myriad of ideas from thinkers throughout the Republican Party and within the conservative movement on how to emerge victoriously from the wilderness. Our contention: conservatism, a movement that emphasizes limited government, free markets, personal responsibility, individual freedom and traditional American values, is already perfectly able offer solutions to our most pressing issues.

The conservative movement is founded upon the premise that the American people as a whole are better positioned and better able to produce their own solutions, with minimal government interference. Indeed, by crafting a Constitution of limited government and specifically enumerated powers, our Founders recognized that non-government institutions, the churches, the charitable societies, the private businesses — the American people themselves — are better problem solvers, better wealth creators, better equality producers, and better rights protectors than the all-powerful government. A limited government, which is charged with laying the proper soil conditions in which these private institutions are able to thrive, is the forum through which individual liberty and economic prosperity reach their zenith.

By fealty to these basic first principles, we are provided a rubric under which we may propose cutting edge policy innovations that can not only appeal to a vast majority of American voters, but will actually provide real relief to the most pressing public policy questions of the day. Health care. Social Security. Education. Tax policy. Government spending. Economic development. Transportation infrastructure.

Here at Ex Deserto, we will strongly confront these public policy issues through intellectual creativity and thoughtful dialogue, with the goals of breathing new life into a broad, conservative governing coalition — and emerging out of the wilderness.

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