Monday, June 09, 2008

A Most Important List

As the attention span of the average American grows shorter and shorter, the list of publishers using lists grows longer and longer. Here's a list of ten lists from recent magazine covers:
  1. Men's Health: 10 Ways to Supercharge a Boring Gym Session
  2. Good Housekeeping: 10 Best Places to Raise a Family
  3. Popular Science: America's 50 Greenest Cities
  4. Southern Living: 40 Things Every Southerner Should Do
  5. Cosmopolitan: 250 of Your Beauty Questions Answered
  6. Consumer Reports: 10 Common Car-Buying Mistakes
  7. Popular Photography: 101 Tips
  8. Money: The 10 Best Big Cities
  9. Fast Company: 15 Reasons Google is No. 1
  10. Sports Illustrated: The Top 100 Sports Books of All Time
Just about everyone enjoys perusing a list. In 1977, Irving Wallace, his son David Wallechinsky, and his daughter, Amy Wallace published The Book of Lists. The work of this trio has grown into a decades long enterprise, with four sequels. Their latest, The New Book of Lists, appeared in 2005.

As a writer, I easily forget that most folks like their reading in tiny bites. And I constantly struggle to keep my words to a minimum. I don't always succeed.

As we move into the general election season, I offer below, my list of ten cornerstones of our American republic. These ten cornerstones played a major role in forming our nation, enabling freedom and prosperity to flourish through the generations in our land.

Yet over the last seventy years, we have been gradually veering further and further from the core principles represented by the words below. And as we do, our freedom is slowly being chipped away.

As you evaluate candidates this fall, set their ideas up against this list and see how they fare.

The list is not new. I originally published it on July 4th, 2006. I have since added one more cornerstone‚ÄĒproperty.

Today I offer only the list. If you wish to delve deeper into the ideas behind the words below, click here.
  1. Transcendence
  2. Self-Government
  3. Liberty of Conscience
  4. Individuality
  5. Moral Law
  6. Covenantalism
  7. Separation of Powers
  8. Republicanism
  9. Federalism
  10. Property

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