Discover more from Freedom Conservatism
New FreeCon signatories bring significant expertise and credibility
When the Freedom Conservatism project went live on July 13, we had 83 signatories to our Statement of Principles. Each was committed to a conservatism “informed by timeless principles,” as co-organizer John Hood put it, but also a conservatism “refreshed and revitalized to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”
As of today, that list of signatories has grown to 238 names! They are conservatives, libertarians, and classical liberals representing a wide range of perspectives, backgrounds, institutional affiliations, policy expertise, and leadership roles.
Here are some of the FreeCons who’ve joined our project in recent weeks:
Michael Rubin is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he specializes in Iran, Turkey, and the broader Middle East. A former Pentagon official, Rubin has served and taught in multiple countries, edited Middle East Quarterly, and written or contributed to numerous books.
Jerry L. Jordan served as a president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for more than a decade. A veteran of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisors, Jordan also worked in commercial banking and served as president of the National Association for Business Economics.
Arturo Bauermeister is general counsel at the Puerto Rico Institute for Economic Liberty, which promotes individual liberty and responsibility, the rule of law, private property, and effective and accountable government for the commonwealth.
Jessica Melugin is director of the Center for Technology & Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A frequent cable news and radio guest, Melugin has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and USA Today.
Jonathan Cannon is policy counsel in technology and innovation at the R Street Institute, where he writes often on privacy, antitrust and telecom policy. He formerly worked in legal advisory roles at the Federal Communications Commission.
Justin Perry teaches in the Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences and runs a research lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Perry previous held positions at the National Institutes for Health and the University of Virginia.
Sean Duffy is president of the strategic communications firm Shamrock Strategies. A veteran of the administrations of former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, Duffy previously led a state think tank and worked as a news reporter.
Matthew Mitchell is a senior research affiliate at West Virginia University’s Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation and a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Economic Freedom. Mitchell testifies often at congressional and legislative hearings.
Raymond J. Keating serves as chief economist with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. A prolific writer and podcaster, Keating is also the author of 17 novels and stories in the Pastor Stephen Grant series of thrillers and mysteries.
David Harmer is CEO of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. A former staffer for the Senate Judiciary Committee and private attorney for financial institutions, Harmer has also served the conservative movement as an author and public-interest litigator.
Jordan McGillis serves as economics editor at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. A former deputy policy director at the Institute for Energy Research, McGillis has written for such publications as National Review and The American Spectator.
Kevin Gutzman is a history professor at Western Connecticut State University and the author of, among other books, James Madison and the Making of America (2012) and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution (2007).
Nothing but theater
Another new signatory to the FreeCon statement is Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. A veteran of two presidential campaigns, Riedl served as chief economist to U.S. Sen. Rob Portman and as staff director of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth.
In a CNN commentary, Riedl described America as “hurtling toward a debt crisis” because of profligate spending and rising interest rates. “The debt party is over, and the hangover will be painful.”
In sharp contrast to our rivals, Freedom Conservatives are serious about bringing the federal budget into balance, which will require changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlements.
That’s why we’re delighted to count Brian Riedl among our ranks. Few fiscal analysts are as clear-eyed. He’s rebutted both progressive claims that taxing the wealthy would solve the problem and populist claims that government shutdowns are a useful tactic.
Yet another FreeCon signatory is Stephen Kent, a public relations specialist for the Consumer Choice Center. He’s the author of the Substack This Is The Way and the book How The Force Can Fix The World: Lessons on Life, Liberty & Happiness from a Galaxy, Far Far Away (2021).
“Freedom Conservatism’s reaffirmation of support for the Pursuit of Happiness says to me that this movement is still about letting Americans figure it out on their own,” Kent wrote.
“Our opponents to the Left and Right have embraced a ‘control freak’ attitude about defining happiness which truly alarms me. Their vision restricts choice, experimentation, and opportunity in favor of stricture, predetermination, and top-down enforcement of what they deem worthy of pursuit. I choose Freedom. And I still believe that a political movement that relinquishes the desire to control others is more worthy of the Founders’ vision for America.”
Kent’s disdain for control freaks includes the tyrants who rule China and the western elites who enable them. In a USA Today column last week, he urged Americans to watch pro-freedom films Chinese communists have attempted to erase from popular memory, such as Seven Years in Tibet and Martin Scorcese’s Kundun.
“Consumers will have to demand more from our nation’s storytellers and media companies if open discourse is going to survive,” Kent wrote.
Thanks for reading Freedom Conservatism! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.