No amount of high principles or decorous manners can exempt conservatives from the responsibility to continue the work that Donald Trump has begun. President Trump somehow has attached his robust self-love to a love of our country. He can use help articulating the meaning of this country, but he knows what it doesn’t mean, what it is opposed to: the pincer movement of cosmopolitanism and identity politics. Recognition of this threat is the one thing needful at this moment, for the conservative movement and for the United States of America.
Pillar: <span>Politics & Law</span>
The third pillar of a decent society is a just system of politics and law. Such a government does not bind all persons, families, institutions of civil society, and actors in the marketplace to itself as subservient features of an all-pervading authority. Instead, it honors and protects the inherent equal dignity of all persons, safeguards the family as the primary school of virtue, and seeks justice through the rule of law.
For too long we have acquiesced to the political choices given to us, tried to figure out what the lesser evil is, and voted for that. Instead, we should demand a vision of the good that we share in our political space and vote for the party that espouses that vision: the American Solidarity Party.
The duty of Christians is to be the soul—even more specifically, the conscience—of our civilization. The options this November, and the trajectories they promise, are not acceptable, and in choosing between them we risk forsaking our calling by soiling our witness.
Once we no longer care about the truth, our own deliberations become corrupt. When the positions we take and the policies we advocate are not restrained by truth, it no longer seems to matter how we bring about our agenda. All that matters is that we win.
In the past, disparate groups on the American right were united by their opposition to communism. Today, fears of the threat of an ascendant China, the growing boldness of cancel culture, and the enervating philosophy of the “woke” proselytizers form the basis of new right-wing coalitions. If Trump succeeds, the big government of the American right will be one that embraces American ideals, American history, and American religion rather than tearing it down in pursuit of some post-religious techno-secular utopia.
If we think there’s too much government regulation, then the authentically conservative solution is not to say, “Well, let’s just try to operate a landscape of isolated individuals jostling in a competitively economic marketplace,” but “Let’s create institutions of countervailing power so that where exploitation is happening, the people themselves are equipped to resist it, and the government doesn’t need to intervene to fix it.” If designed correctly, a system of sectoral labor unions can actually help achieve the conservative goal of limited government.
All “dissidents” and men of good will need to give serious thought to the ways they might resist the regnant ideological lies all around us. In this task, Rod Dreher’s Live Not By Lies will remain indispensable for what might be a long time to come.
The pitfall of standard anti-racism is its simplistic attribution of all such disparities to systemic racism or racist policy. Simplistic analysis suggests simplistic solutions, some of which may be detrimental to black people. Heterodox thinkers challenge simple diagnoses and solutions, steering us toward constructive endeavor to achieve genuine progress.
While both presidential candidates have changed their views on abortion over the past decades, their actions in recent years clarify the direction that they would likely take while in office. President Trump has maintained a consistent pro-life record in office that affects the regulations of various executive agencies and American leadership on the world stage. On the other hand, former Vice President Biden has moved to support his party’s current position of actively promoting federal funding for the abortion industry and cementing abortion as a constitutional right.
“One Billion Americans” is more than a cheeky provocation. It is a reflection on what it might take to restore American vitality, and the policy steps needed to get us there.
The republication of Jacques Necker’s On Executive Power in Great States is an occasion to consider that eternal conundrum: how to empower but also limit the executive branch.
The opinion editor of Newsweek should be commended for striving to publish a diversity of views at the site, but its editor-in-chief committed journalistic malpractice by taking down an essay already published in order to reschedule it when it could be “balanced” by a view less challenging to the site’s readers.
Hobbes’ thin conception of natural law cannot sustain all the activities of a fully flourishing community, but it does appeal to those who live in fear of losing their basic security. Many people are possessed by that fear today, as many were in Hobbes’ time. But we have much to lose if the Hobbesian view of law prevails.
When people quickly compare the Norwegian and Venezuelan economies, they tend to see the one trait they have in common: a big public sector. However, when we study these countries in depth, it becomes evident that the two follow opposite economic principles. While Norway’s economy is among the freest in the world, Venezuela has become a prime example of what a socialist economy looks like.
An excessive desire for certainty about COVID-19 is leading to counter-productive responses. We must make decisions based upon the limited information we have, and then execute those decisions with conviction. But let us have the humility to admit when we are wrong.
Our culture’s deep ingratitude is the long, nihilistic outworking of the logic of modern thought itself. When human experience is reduced to only will and power struggle, there no room for gratefulness. Those of us who have not renounced cosmic order and the providence that brings that order to fulfillment, by contrast, know that all things willed or permitted by God work for good. Thus we should be grateful—profoundly grateful—for everything.
Even though European nationalist parties have been in power for over a decade in Hungary and coming close to a decade in Poland, the EU diplomatic machinery continues to aggressively promote abortion rights and the LGBTQ agenda at the United Nations and around the world
Can the American people and their representatives set aside their immediate interests and attachments and “think constitutionally” about the presidency, and about how we choose presidents? Some scholars hope so. But the passionate partisanship of the most attentive Americans, and the inattentiveness and apathy of the least partisan Americans, make this hope seem forlorn indeed.
Senator Hawley should turn the tables during confirmation hearings and force Democrats to defend their abortion extremism. What’s more, he should act on precedents stemming from the days of Lincoln down to our own, precedents involving the authority of the political branches to counter at times and limit the holdings of the Supreme Court.
Any effort to seat justices who will overturn Roe needs to take account of the serious political obstacles that stand in the way. We must not surrender in the face of these obstacles. But we must recognize them in order to navigate through them.
Political realities can be confronted and transformed, but they cannot simply be imagined away. Unfortunately, Senator Hawley’s pro-life litmus test promises no more success in the future than it would have had in the past.
We must not forget that there were stark disagreements over what human rights consisted of at the dawn of the international human rights project in 1948. It was the focus on a common denominator upon which all States could agree that allowed for an international human rights framework to emerge. The US Commission on Unalienable Rights is right to encourage a recommitment to this vision if we are to save the international human rights project.
The emerging discussion about in vitro gametogenesis and other types of multi-parent technologies demands renewed attention to why children do well with only two parents, and why those parents do best to procreate in the ordinary way, even with all its inefficiencies, burdens, and failures.
Despite many excellent elements, the Commission’s first report falls short where it matters most. The right to life is the most fundamental right, the one on which all authentic human rights depend. The commission may revise the initial draft of the report following a public comment period. If the foremost experts on human rights in the United States could not agree that international human rights law affords children in the womb any protections at all, how can Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his team be expected to contradict them in American diplomacy?
In many ways, Abraham Lincoln has almost loomed entirely too largely in our national consciousness, since it has now become difficult to get around the acknowledgment of his greatness to discover just what it was that made him great. Jon Schaff’s new book is an attempt to do just that.