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Leadership for America



America is a remarkable nation—a strong, prosperous and good nation—unique in its dedication to the principles of liberty and constitutional self-government. It is the hard work of freedom to perpetually renew this purpose and make it ever manifest in the politics and public life of our nation.

For more than 30 years, The Heritage Foundation has provided leadership for America , building a movement that launched a presidency, defeated a tyranny and turned the course of history. Now in a new century, the threats to our nation continue to grow and expand. Yet while the American people increasingly want better answers and solutions they are getting more slogans and promises.

It becomes our task, then, to build on our accomplishments, complete the unfinished work of the day and confront the expanding challenges before us.

Rediscover and revive the first principles of liberty

When asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had devised, Benjamin Franklin reportedly answered, “A republic — if you can keep it.” To keep our freedom intact, it is essential that Americans understand and preserve the underlying principles of freedom.

But this understanding is jeopardized on many fronts. Students in our high schools and colleges show a deplorable ignorance of the most basic facts of America 's founding. Our elected leaders in Washington routinely support legislation that overreaches constitutional limits on government. Judges in our courts of law, especially justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, have increasingly substituted their personal moral views for constitutional principles.

To shore up the principles that are the very foundations of American order, Heritage will pursue two broad objectives.

First Principles

Rediscovering our principles in order to reclaim our future.

Rule of Law

Reestablishing the rule of law as the foundation for constitutional...

Restore the primary institutions of civil society

The Founders' conception of a free society and limited government rested on the strength of institutions that precede our constitutional order, particularly the family and religion. Through the family, religious congregations, other forms of association, as well as education, individuals learn the virtues necessary to sustain ordered liberty.

Americans have seen these foundations of freedom eroded by several forces. Family has declined and marriage has weakened under pressure from policy and cultural changes. The role of religious freedom in maintaining liberty and the contribution of faithful individuals and congregations to the common good are no longer adequately appreciated. Public education, intended to prepare future citizens for freedom, has become shackled by government bureaucracy and union power.

Toward restoring the primary institutions of civil society, Heritage will advance two main objectives.

Family & Religion

To sustain freedom and the common good, family and religion are central


Strengthening American education by returning authority to the states and...

Expand economic opportunity and prosperity

Americans today enjoy a growing, robust economy, and several key steps will ensure that our opportunities and prosperity will continue to flourish. We can achieve these ends by pursuing four objectives.

Entitlements, Taxes & Spending

Replacing the culture of entitlements with one of mutual responsibility.

Health Care

Providing every American freedom of choice in health care.

Energy & Environment

Advancing freedom and prosperity by unleashing free enterprise, protecting...

Enterprise & Free Markets

Eliminating barriers to enterprise and innovation.

Ensure America's national security and its respect as a world leader

There's no question that rogue states like Iran are making progress toward building nuclear weapons and missile systems to deliver those weapons. Success in even one case creates a clear and present danger of nuclear attack on the United States. In this global environment, the United States must develop and deploy a ballistic missile defense system that can stop missiles launched against our homeland.

In the broader war against global terrorism, the United States needs allies who share our commitment to freedom and democracy. To attract and keep those allies, we must regain our position as a respected and responsible leader among nations. Our strategy for advancing these two broad goals:

Protect America

Protecting America and Americans from freedom’s enemies.

American Leadership

Advancing American leadership and freedom in the world.