In an age where much of the Right is embracing nationalism, populism, and the cult of personality that is Trumpism, some are beginning to ask themselves what being a conservative even means anymore? But few have gone further to reinforce the idea that conservatism is about putting principles over party loyalty or allegiance to any one individual than Heath Mayo. Heath joins Saving Elephants host Josh Lewis to discuss the #PrinciplesFirst movement and how it’s shaping what it means to be a conservative by developing a vision for the future without abandoning the principles of the past.
Heath Mayo is a native of East Texas and currently a management consultant at Bain & Company where he helps some of the country's largest companies solve their strategic challenges. He did his undergraduate work at Brown University where he pitched on the baseball team and graduated from Yale Law School this past May. Politically, Heath is a self-described conservative activist and most recently traveled to New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida volunteering for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign.
During the build-up to the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Heath became frustrated over the line-up of speakers who did not represent the conservative movement he was immersed in during college but instead embodied a group who did not tolerate competing ideas or calls to principles over party. Heath tweeted—jokingly—that conservatives who were still interested in putting principles first should meet separately during CPAC and the tweet went viral. Ever since then Heath has been facilitating meetings with conservatives across the U.S. who are interested in restoring the movement. These sessions are held under the banner #PrinciplesFirst.
#PrinciplesFirst sessions are designed to be 2-hour brainstorming sessions that bring together the most energized folks with the goal of (1) determining what a modern definition of conservatism is—what its principles are and how those principles might map onto a modern conservative agenda, and (2) developing a plan of action that can actually elevate those principles back into the national discussion which have fallen out of favor on the right as personalities have gotten bigger and crowded out an idea-driven discourse.
You can follow Heath on Twitter @HeathMayo