Ben Carson Launches Conservative Think Tank to ‘Serve as a Check on Political Power’ in D.C.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)
Win McNamee/Pool via AP

Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson announced Wednesday he is launching a conservative think tank aimed at preserving “individual and religious liberty.”

Carson’s announcement on the new think tank, dubbed the American Cornerstone Institute (ACI), came in a commentary piece for RealClearPolitics titled American Cornerstone: A Much-Needed Endeavor. He wrote:

My time serving as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development over the last four years taught me many things, none more important than the necessity for collaboration and mutual understanding. I saw first-hand that, when we work together as one nation, the American Dream becomes attainable for all and opportunity becomes limitless.

In the piece, Carson stated the project will provide “common-sense solutions,” reminding readers the “first step in healing is to start talking to one another again.”

“It is for these reasons — and many others — that I am launching a nonprofit conservative think tank with the goal of providing common-sense solutions to some of our nation’s biggest problems,” Carson added. “The first step in healing is to start talking to one another again.”

Carson said the think tank will engage with local governments in an effort to find solutions to problems we face as a nation.

“ACI will focus on a diverse set of issues that influence important policy discussions. We will engage with local governments and work with communities to find solutions to our nation’s problems.

Carson also said the think tank “will serve as a check on political power in Washington” and “will actively push and remind the powers that be to allow and even empower local communities to govern their own affairs.”

Carson celebrated the announcement on Twitter, encouraging his followers to take a look at the newly created think tank’s website.

“Today I am proud to announce the launch of my new think tank, The American Cornerstone Institute,” Carson said. “Please follow along @ACI1776 and visit our website at”

A mission statement shared to the think tank’s official website vows to promote and preserve “individual and religious liberty”:

The American Cornerstone Institute (ACI) is dedicated to promoting and preserving individual and religious liberty, helping our country’s most vulnerable find new hope, and developing methods to decrease the federal government’s role in society and to improve efficiency to best serve ALL our nation’s citizens. Headed by world-renowned neurosurgeon, presidential candidate, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, ACI will be a voice for reason and civility in a nation that is increasingly devoid of common sense.

The website also shared a vision statement, which says the think tank “will champion conservative solutions to the real problems our nation faces” and affirms that the “ACI is not afraid to challenge conventional or prevailing groupthink on key public policy questions and will push back against the lies and distortion that are often targeted toward conservative ideas.”

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