I’m looking forward to Heritage’s celebration on Thursday, November 5, of Matthew Spalding’s new book, “We Still Hold These Truths.”

Our most underappreciated President, Cal Coolidge, wrote: “We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. They did not create our Declaration [of Independence]. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first.”

Our material prosperity and our freedom both seem to be diminishing. Dr. Spalding’s book reminds us that the “things of the spirit” must be our priority. Americans sometimes take for granted the ageless principles that form the foundation of the freest, most prosperous, and generous society in human history. We cherish these great results, but they cannot continue if we forget the natural God-given rights and obligations which are their cause.

In clear, nonacademic, and moving language, Dr. Spalding explains the importance of primary truths such as liberty, equality, and private property, as well as the assault of “progressivism” on these truths. This book helps us understand and defend these truths, not as abstractions but as the ongoing mission of a political system which the Founders designed to help fulfill the best potential in all human beings. Moral relativism now pervades Washington, mindlessly seeking “change” for the sake of “change.” But we disregard changeless truths at our peril. By refocusing our attention on the roots of individual freedom and prosperity, Dr. Spalding performs the invaluable public service of inspiring a rebirth of the American idea at a time of great need.

But “We Still Hold These Truths” is not for America alone. Enduring principles are universal, belonging to every human being in every land. By carrying these ideas to peoples living under tyranny and poverty on every continent, this book can help fulfill the Founders’ vision of a world transformed and ennobled by human freedom.