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Ideas




The DLC
Key Documents

DLC | Key Document | March 1, 1990
The New Orleans Declaration
Statement Endorsed at the Fourth Annual DLC Conference


Where We Stand

We don't need polls to tell us who we are. We know where we stand, and we reaffirm the enduring principles that guide us.

In keeping with our party's grand tradition, we share Jefferson's belief in individual liberty and responsibility. We endorse Jackson's credo of equal opportunity for all, and special privileges for none. We embrace Roosevelt's thirst for innovation, and Truman's sense in the uncommon sense of common men and women. We carry on Kennedy's summons to civic duty and public service, Johnson's passion for social justice, and Carter's commitment to human rights.

We believe the promise of America is equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

We believe the Democratic Party's fundamental mission is to expand opportunity, not government.

We believe in the politics of inclusion. Our party has historically been the means by which aspiring Americans from every background have achieved equal rights and full citizenship.

We believe that America must remain energetically engaged in the worldwide struggle for individual liberty, human rights, and prosperity, not retreat from the world.

We believe that the U.S. must maintain a strong and capable defense, which reflects dramatic changes in the world, but which recognizes that the collapse of communism does not mean the end of danger.

We believe that economic growth is the prerequisite to expanding opportunity for everyone. The free market, regulated in the public interest, is the best engine of general prosperity.

We believe the right way to rebuild America's economic security is to invest in the skills and ingenuity of our people, and to expand trade, not restrict it.

We believe that all claims on government are not equal. Our leaders must reject demands that are less worthy, and hold to clear governing priorities.

We believe a progressive tax system is the only fair way to pay for government.

We believe in preventing crime and punishing criminals, not in explaining away their behavior.

We believe the purpose of social welfare is to bring the poor into the nation's economic mainstream, not to maintain them in dependence.

We believe in the protection of civil rights and the broad movement of minorities into America's economic and cultural mainstream, not racial, gender or ethnic separatism. We will not tolerate another decade in which the only civil rights movement is backward.

We believe government should respect individual liberty and stay out of our private lives and personal decisions.

We believe in the moral and cultural values that most American's share: liberty of conscience, individual responsibility, tolerance of difference, the imperative of work, the need for faith, and the importance of family.

Finally we believe that American citizenship entails responsibility as well as rights, and we mean to ask our citizens to give something back to their communities and their country.

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