For the considerable body of people in the western world who still believe in self-government, and in the preservation of their nations’ traditional moral identities, the overreaching of the contemporary human rights project will perhaps lead them to reconsider natural law, presented in a prudently modest formulation. This is a crucial undertaking to which Pierre Manent’s new book is a worthy contribution.
Author: Carson Holloway (Carson Holloway)
Technology may permit us to supplement, but it should not lead us to discard, the personal Socratic education that does full justice to human nature and has contributed so much to the development of our civilization.
Though Christmas is a religious holiday, secularists should appreciate its great contribution to Western Civilization: the lesson that all men are equal in their fundamental human dignity.
The values America’s elites cherish are not the incontestable truth of things, and they may even run counter to the deeper truths of American politics and human life. Those who aspire to lead our country—and to deserve to lead it—would do well to ponder these lessons by reading Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools.
American politics is suffering from a failure of empathy. In particular, the country’s elites have failed to empathize with the working class. Over the last few generations, America’s elites have stood in the way of the working class’s pursuit of the American dream by devising, and then by tenaciously defending, policies that impede upward economic mobility.
The country’s ruling elites misunderstood or ignored the concerns of a significant segment of the electorate. The Great Revolt suggests that those elites should move beyond lamenting the misfortune (to them) of Trump’s elevation to the presidency and ponder the mistakes on their part that made it possible.
Originalism is the commonsense, traditional American approach to constitutional interpretation, not a contemporary conservative invention.
In a paradoxical new book, Columbia University professor Mark Lilla correctly identifies the defects in contemporary liberalism and identity politics but cannot free himself from them.
Trump did well in Poland to eschew all talk of “the wrong side of history” and instead to emphasize the real power, for good and ill, that we have over our own destiny. By doing so he defended our dignity and upheld our humanity.
A timely book on the thought of Harry Jaffa and Walter Berns reminds us that patriotism needs to be about ideas and principles, but it cannot only be about ideas and principles. To win—and deserve to win—elections, conservatism must also inspire love of country and serve the immediate interests of the ordinary man.
The effort to combat climate change aspires to feats of social control, coordination, and foresight that are unprecedented in the history of politics. Our expectations for the movement ought to be tempered by our knowledge of human limitations.
Prudent foreign policy does not multiply the country’s enemies unnecessarily.
Hillbilly Elegy not only helps us to understand the social phenomena highlighted by Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency; it also reminds us of other things that have been obscured by that rise, but that we ought not to forget.
A bipartisan record of inadequacy by governing elites incapable of admitting their failures led to the election of Donald Trump. Thankfully, America is vast, diverse, and free enough to give itself a new governing elite if the old one can’t learn.
Donald Trump’s approach to politics has real roots in American political history. Yet, as Alexander Hamilton warned, it is very dangerous to undermine a democratic people’s confidence in their own governing classes.
Preserving democratic freedom requires prudence and true moderation that acknowledges the complex conditions on which freedom depends.
We need to reflect on and learn from Washington and Hamilton’s lesson in collaborative greatness. Their alliance forged our nation, and we will need similar alliances to preserve it and ensure its flourishing.
No American politician is ever as great as his most ardent adulators say or as bad as his most vitriolic detractors say. Still, Trump’s rise reveals a certain lowering of standards not only among the voters who support him but also in the elites who oppose him.
Voters will not respond favorably to a political party that offers them moral principles—especially principles rooted in the past—without also showing a real concern for their concrete interests.
The conservative should not act the ideologue in order to attack the demagogue, because the simplistic thinking of the ideologue is just as hostile to true statesmanship as the angry passions of the demagogue.
Aristotle’s discussion of factional conflict in his Politics gives historical insight into Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to political popularity. Ordinary Americans are acting in defense of their perceived economic interests and against the reign of political correctness.
The debate over the creation of a national bank reveals how Washington, Jefferson and Hamilton, despite profound disagreements, argued respectfully with prudence and fidelity to the Constitution. All three men offer valuable examples to today’s statesmen.
No amount of lecturing about principles will persuade voters who think that their interests are under assault—and that Trump is the only candidate taking their interests seriously.
The truth that human beings possess a natural personhood and natural rights is not incompatible with the idea of corporate personhood and rights that exist not by nature but by convention.
Justice William Brennan’s vision of a living constitution continues to dominate contemporary constitutional interpretation, in spite of its troubling inconsistencies.