Some rights are grounded in the need for agents to fulfill their perceived responsibilities, including their obligation to pursue knowledge. This obligation, along with the communal nature of inquiry, supports a right to free speech that acquires particular stringency in those communities where inquiry is most essential.
You can’t beat a flawed moral vision with no moral vision. This is not idealism but hard political reality.
The modern administrative state and our militant secular culture are like two heads of a single hydra. To destroy the beast, we must deal with the monster in its totality.
228 years ago today, the Framers at the Constitutional Convention decided the power to declare war would be reserved to Congress, and the power to conduct war and make peace would be reserved to the president. Presidents and congresses have not always followed the Constitution in matters of war, but that doesn’t mean the Constitution has changed.
The idea that some groups are objectively disadvantaged in our society should not be dismissed by conservatives. After all, we believe that we are all embedded in a tapestry of traditions that inform our personal and communal identities.
The recent Obergefell decision should serve as a wake-up call to conservatives. In particular, conservatives should rethink the Republican Party platform and work to refocus the GOP around the broad theme of “nature.”
Instead of settling for damage control, now is the time for conservatives to outline a far-reaching pro-market economic reform agenda. Not only should conservatives explain how America’s economy can be changed in ways that promote lasting growth and wider prosperity, but they should also speak in moral terms, presenting a convincing normative alternative to progressivism’s social democratic vision.
If passed, the Equality Act would empower the government to discriminate against those who do not accept a sexually permissive understanding of human nature that denies sexual complementarity.
Justice Kennedy’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision is anchored in the liberty to “define and express” one’s identity. But this view of man is not as exalted as it seems. According to Kennedy, self-defined man, if he’s unmarried, remains tragically lonely, and without state recognition, might even doubt his own dignity.
The future of marriage in the United States may look grim, but so did the pro-life cause look forty years ago. Embattled social conservatives should find hope in the demographic shifts that trailed the legalization of abortion.
Decisions of the Supreme Court that go beyond power delegated to the judicial branch or are contrary to the Constitution are null and void. To protect our constitutional republic, citizens, states, and the other branches of the federal government must resist any such decision.
Lincoln’s second inaugural address, 150 years old today, is as pertinent as ever. It reminds us that we must resist the poisonous temptation to see those with whom we disagree as bitter enemies even as we vigorously defend the moral truths that ought to guide our public life.
With his intelligence and his oratorical gifts, Mario Cuomo could have been the true champion of the little guy—the littlest of all—if he had kept the Democratic Party from becoming captive to the abortion interest.
Instead of simply reacting to modern liberalism’s advances, it’s time for conservatives to consider what their own fundamental transformation of America would look like.
By purifying their party of imprudent rhetoric, Republicans will be better able to identify adequate immigration policies, win the respect of Latino citizens, and form a reasonable response to the president’s recent executive action.
New data suggest that countries that value and protect religious liberty offer fertile soil for economic liberty to flourish.
The disappearance of forty-three Mexican students serves as a cautionary tale—and a reminder of the crucial importance of what civic trust we Americans still have.
Responses to the Hobby Lobby case demonstrate the importance of conservatives and libertarians working toward common goals.
It is impossible to make a political argument without also making a moral claim. Demanding tolerance often functions as a way to evade robust discourse about the merits of one’s principles.
The totalitarian temptation can never be entirely overcome, and there is always a possibility that barbarism will return. Thus, we must ceaselessly strive to pursue love, dignity, and freedom.
Legislators and judges not only can but must gauge the moral justification of every law.
Civility is due not to a person’s opinions, but to the person himself.
Opportunity is not merely the absence of artificially imposed impediments. It is also the capacity to pursue happiness, individually and in community. Adapted from the 2014 Index of Culture and Opportunity.
Through executive orders and judicial overreach, American government has eroded the separation of powers and lost its commitment to liberal ideals. The second in a two-part series.
An illiberal mindset is spreading across America, corrupting our culture and our politics. The first of a two-part series.
What threatens human flourishing today are governments inspired by authoritarian progressivism.
Fusionism is not merely a form of coalition building. It provides a common language for the broader conservative movement and a positive vision for the future of the country.
It’s important to talk about liberty, but not in isolation. Our language should reflect the truth that reason, justice, equality, and virtue make freedom possible.
Republicans should not try to tell women what they or their families need. The best way to defuse the work-family problem is by sympathetically acknowledging its reality and promising women that they will work to open a wider variety of educational and professional alternatives for them.
Contemporary politicians are in a delicate position. If they don’t seem properly sympathetic to the challenges American women face, they are blamed for them. Yet there is no neat solution to these competing demands. The first in a two-part series.
Legislative battles are heating up across the United States on the issues of surrogacy contracts and the regulation of assisted reproduction. If we are truly concerned for the welfare of women and children, we must oppose such practices.
Conservatives and libertarians must rediscover the things that bind them together. A return to Frank Meyer’s philosophy of “fusionism” could provide a roadmap to unity.
Nevada’s governor and attorney general have engaged in a cynical political ploy to undermine a decision by the people of Nevada to retain a sound understanding of marriage.
The unchecked progress of sexual liberalism means that we cannot say what kind of moral culture our children will inhabit as adults or, accordingly, what kind of moral culture will form our grandchildren. No responsible person can support such a movement.
Conservatives must resist the temptation toward “big-government conservatism.” Easy acceptance of extra-constitutional federal powers betrays the philosophical roots of the conservative movement.
By passing HR 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, Congress could settle the matter of federal funding for abortion once and for all, and start addressing the real needs of American women. Adapted from testimony delivered before the House Judiciary Committee on January 9, 2014.
The age in which all states were united in understanding marriage as the exclusive union of man and woman for life has passed away. Now, new legislation seeks to protect the right of each state to define marriage for those who reside within its borders.
Government may be able to provide material assistance, but it has failed to address the deeper causes of poverty. Worse, it has discouraged the most important defenses against poverty in America—work and marriage.
Constitutional amendments requiring Congress to pass a balanced budget are unrealistic and doomed to fail. It would be more effective to combat deficit spending by requiring the president to submit a balanced budget.
When President Obama lied about the Affordable Care Act, he substituted his own self-governance and self-constitution for that of the American people.
Conservatives need to refine their understanding and presentation of the moral substance of their cause, crafting a message that appeals to both reason and imagination.
The political and spiritual journey of a black Catholic staffer at the Democratic National Committee who quits his job in response to the Obama administration’s aggressive pro-abortion tactics and becomes a proud Republican.
The late Jean Bethke Elshtain understood that human beings are inherently relational, arguing that families are essential for human flourishing.
The president and Congressional supporters of attacking Syria suggest by their actions a strong disregard for public opinion and self-government.
Gabriel Schoenfeld’s new book, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign, offers an insider’s account of how misguided campaign tactics led to Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential election.
Conservatives need to argue as lovers: As we woo the person across from us, we are funny, self-effacing, merciful, and confident.
Obama’s re-election was not inevitable. He won because he secured the votes he absolutely needed and convinced many others simply not to vote.
Unlikely characters, including gay men, are leading the French people in protest against redefining marriage. A repeating refrain is “the rights of children trump the right to children.” Americans should follow their example of mobilizing across party lines.
Conservatives need to expand their favor with women voters by investing in female candidates and spokespeople, and by reframing their social policies in pro-woman and pro-family terms.
By discarding its support for life, marriage, and religious freedom, the GOP, contrary to what some party members think, will doom itself to minority status.