Summarizing the Top 7 Principles for Federal Leadership

Summarizing the Top 7 Principles for Federal Leadership

Over the past seven posts, Principle Based Politics has propounded a list of principles we would like to see from the leaders of our federal government. To recap, the seven pillars are:

  1. Honesty
  2. Respect (inbound; being respectable and deservedly respected)
  3. Integrity
  4. Peace
  5. Service
  6. Dignity (outbound; honoring and preserving the dignity of others)
  7. Understanding

Use of These Principles

We have coined the phrase Political Action Principles to describe these seven. Unlike Political Action Committees, which are devices formed for fundraising purposes, our list of principles can be used by voters, parties, candidates, and federal officials, while making the decisions crucial to our system of self-governance. Selecting leaders who will follow these principles is essential to preserving our democracy.

What we sincerely urge is shown in the following chart:

Our message to voters Our message to politicians
Nominate only candidates who demonstrate sound, positive principles that will move the United States of America forward. Follow the five-step process delineated in our previous post: (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.
Hold your elected representatives in Congress and the White House to high standards of principle in their decision making and conduct. If you share the seven principles, prioritize them in your policymaking and decisions.

The seven principles listed above are the start of what we, as voters, should be insisting our candidates possess before we vote for them. Accordingly, this is what political parties should be vetting and nominating. And these are the things candidates and officials should be using in making decisions and enacting laws.

A Poetic Summary

Understanding is a starting point;

dignity, a signal;

service, a motive;

peace, a goal.

Integrity is at the core;

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, a consequence; and

honesty, a habit.

These seven principles cannot be bought or faked, and, in truth, they cannot be adopted mid-life for political gain. By the time people are running for or in office, they likely either have developed these principles, or they have not. But these principles can be evaluated and applied at every step in our political process.


After one final post about the sources of our seven leadership principles for individual politicians, we will introduce next week another set of principles (or philosophies) for our federal government as a whole.

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

Look for his posts twice each week, as this blog will explore and promote the idea of principle in politics,both as to individual elected leaders and our federal government as an institution.

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