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Last Friday Bill Randall published his ‘Charter of Principles’ on Facebook. Then, so more people would read it, he published it again a few hours later. And with reason. It is an impressive statement. Eloquent. Profound. Articulate.
 
The problem is Randall did not write it. He plagiarized it.
 
Fifty years ago, back in 1960, a group of young conservatives met at William F. Buckley’s home in Sharon, Connecticut and founded Young Americans for Freedom. Respected journalist and author M. Stanton Evans wrote the organization’s charter – The Sharon Statement.
 
Compare Bill Randall’s words in his ‘Charter’ to Stan Evans’ Sharon Statement:
 
Randall: “We further affirm that foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his or her God-given free will, from whence is derived such person’s right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force, unreasonable constraints, or unlawful outside intervention to restrict individual freedom that is not allowed at the expense of another’s;
 
The Sharon Statement: WE, as young conservatives believe: THAT foremost among the transcendent values is the individual’s use of his God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force;
 
THAT liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom;
 
Randall: “We affirm that liberty and freedom are indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom.”
 
Randall: “We affirm that the Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power.”
 
The Sharon Statement: THAT the Constitution of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining it from the concentration of abuse of power;
 
Randall: We affirm that the market economy, equitably allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government, and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human needs.
 
The Sharon Statement: THAT the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier to human needs;
 
Randall: We further affirm that when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation. We deny that government should operate on the tenant [sic] of taking from one person to bestow on another, for this diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both;
 
The Sharon Statement: THAT when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation, that when it takes from one to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both;
 
Randall: “We affirm that the national sovereignty of the United States is to be maintained without compromise; that history shows periods of freedom are rare, and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies; foreign and domestic.
 
The Sharon Statement: “THAT we will be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United States is secure; that history shows periods of freedom are rare, and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their rights against all enemies…
 
Randall: We further affirm that United States foreign policy must be judged solely by the following criterion: “Does this policy serve the just interests of the United States?”
 
The Sharon Statement: THAT American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?
 
With all the chicanery that goes on in politics today plagiarism may not sound like all that big a vice. But consider this: It would have been easy for Bill Randall to simply tell the truth. All he had to do was quote Stanton Evans and say, That’s an eloquent statement and I agree with every word of it. Bill Randall mislead people when it would have been easy to tell the truth. Is he likely to level with them when the going gets tough?
 
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