In some states, it’s almost impossible for pro-life governors to appoint originalist judges. That’s why we must pursue state-level judicial reforms before Dobbs is decided. To make the most of this opportunity, most of us need to turn our attention away from DC and toward our state capitols.
A healthy political community must find ways to reflect on and revise its founding myth. Actions in legislatures and state education boards are proxy arguments over the future of our constituting narrative. For catalyzing this, we should be grateful to critical race theory—for its insight, for its limitations, and even for its clarity-inducing confusions.
The only reliable method we have found to aggregate preferences, abilities, and efforts is the free market. Through the price system, it aligns incentives with information revelation. This method is not perfect, and its outcomes are often unsatisfactory. Nevertheless, like democracy, all the other alternatives, including “digital socialism,” are worse.
The historical parallels between fourteenth-century Europe and our own times can be useful in our current civilizational crisis. Petrarch aimed to create a new synthesis between classical and Christian civilization, to use the resources of antiquity to heal the spiritual diseases of his own time. What he and his followers created over the next century and a half is known to historians as the Renaissance, the rebirth of antiquity. It followed a formula that can still work today.
Robert P. George is the leading conservative advocate of the importance of good faith dialogue with those he calls “reasonable people of good will” on all sides of the political spectrum. But is such dialogue still possible in our new woke environment?
Many key constitutional clauses were drafted as compromise provisions intended to win over the members of intensely warring intellectual and political tribes. This ought to cut strongly in favor of a dispositional humility about an interpreter’s ability to definitively discern the most accurate original meanings of these clauses. In these situations, statesmen ought to err on the side of certain substantive ideals of natural justice, human flourishing, and the common good.
Common-good originalism’s historical understanding of the Constitution’s adoption is perhaps its weakest link. The Constitution emerged from a negotiated consensus of a complex popular sovereign—a fact that ought to reinforce a judge’s commitment to the written text.
Used to be the Democrats called themselves the “Party of the Little Guy.” Today, I think that’s us. As the Democrats move farther and farther to the left, I think they’re scaring normal people. If their party keeps acting crazy, scaring regular people, and we don’t—if we just act on principle with a smile on our face, articulating a vision that allows Americans to thrive, while they keep pushing the latest idea from the Harvard Faculty Lounge—well, I think our vision will win out.
Defenders of the free exercise of religion need to accept that we are playing a long game. Religious freedom is winning, even if the Court’s religious freedom jurisprudence develops over the span of more than one term.
Our goal should be to ensure that all the priests ordained from our seminaries will possess the flexibility and affective maturity to live and thrive as holy shepherds and spiritual guides.
Economics today is a decadent discipline, with a rich legacy but atrophied creativity. Uncredentialed economists and maverick academics offer the best hope for reviving worthwhile economics.
The trick of John Kennedy Toole’s novel is that it draws you into the story with its comedy without requiring you to consciously assess the disjointedness of the protagonist’s way of reading the world. Even without stepping back and intellectualizing the problem, you learn how not to read by experiencing Reilly’s inept ways of reading and living.