Summarizing Our Seven Foundational Principles for Federal Government

Summarizing Our Seven Foundational Principles for Federal Government

Principle Based Politics believes there is a certain way the U.S. Government should treat the people of our country. That manner of treatment is found in the set of Principles for Federal Government we have presented over the past month. If adopted and applied by our federal leaders, these principles will allow the national government to fulfill its intended purposes. Our list reads as follows: 

  • Equality
  • Freedom and free enterprise
  • Transparency
  • Law and justice
  • Protecting the vulnerable
  • Religious freedom and separation
  • Limited government

Use of These Principles

Like our previous list of leadership principles—honesty, respect, integrity, peace, service, dignity, and understanding—the above government principles can be employed, first, by voters in deciding who to elect. And the governing principles can (and should) be utilized by elected federal officials while making policy decisions. Consistent use of these principles will reduce partisanship, improve voter confidence, enable trust, and produce positive action. All of this will help preserve our democracy.

How, exactly, would this work? How can these government principles actually be applied? Our answer to those questions can be summed up as follows:

Our suggestion for voters

Our suggestion for politicians

Nominate and vote only for candidates who adhere to the governing principles intended by the founders of the United States of America.

Hold your elected representatives in Congress and the White House to these principles in their decision making and conduct.

Follow a principle-based process that includes these five steps: (1) Identify the decision or action at issue, (2) determine which principles apply, (3) consider which principles control, (4) analyze the impact of principles on outcomes, and (5) decide or act in accordance with this analysis.

An important question is what guides the decisions a senator, representative, or even a president will make. The answer can be principles, or it can be many other, often bad things, including the sheer desire to get reelected. To be principle-based, political decision making requires prioritized thinking, and the first thought in all instances should be about principles. Voters should consider a candidate’s principles foremost. Before party affiliation, before demographics, and before even biography and experience, voters should determine whether the candidate possesses the key leadership principles and will honor the governing principles identified here. 

Similarly, elected federal leaders should consider and govern according to these principles. Rather than party officials, lobbyists, wealthy contributors, pollsters, or election strategists, our politicians should consult these principles. After all, these are the fundamental and foundational principles on which our nation was formed and around which our government itself was designed. 

A Poetic Summary

Equality is a self-evident truth;

freedom and free enterprise, unalienable;

transparency, a necessity;

law and justice, national cornerstones.

Protecting the vulnerable is the right thing to do;

religious freedom, absolutely imperative;

and limited government, a must.

These seven governing principles have undergirded our democracy since its inception. All seven are directly or indirectly found in the United States Constitution, and most follow from the Declaration of Independence. The Bible points us toward these principles, as well.

These principles, in fact, answer the fundamental question about why our federal government exists. These principles tell us how best the government can achieve its purposes. These principles help us, indeed, to form a more perfect union, as the drafters of our Constitution so eloquently sought.


Having now articulated and explained the leadership and government principles for which we advocate, Principle Based Politics will turn to application of those principles. Future blog posts will address the policy issues facing our federal government and the positions on those issues that result from our principle-based process.

Written by Quentin R. Wittrock, founder of Principle Based Politics. 

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