What’s In a Doctrine?

The Claremont Institute sponsored an event in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago called “Conservatism in the Trump Era.” There, the speakers explained, in keeping with Plato’s Republic, “the foreign policy of a sensible nation is never devoted to the good of other nations, unless the good of another nation directly promotes the existence

By | 2017-04-03T05:32:04+00:00 March 25th, 2017|

In Feinstein vs. Gorsuch, Originalism Wins

Neil Gorsuch is no Robert Bork—to the great chagrin of the Senate Democrats who are trying to block his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thirty years ago, Senate Democrats derailed Bork’s nomination, claiming the judge’s judicial philosophy of “judicial restraint” was well beyond the mainstream. Today, Democrats are looking for any reason at all

By | 2017-03-23T14:53:47+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|

Trump’s Brand of Self-Government on Display in Recent Rallies

Donald Trump famously promised to be a “cheerleader” for the country when he launched his 2016 presidential campaign, saying he would “take the brand of the United States and make it great again.” Now, in an ongoing series of rallies, he is doing just that. And, perhaps surprisingly, his idea of America’s brand highlights the

By | 2017-03-22T18:40:16+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|

Make Americanism Great Again

I recently received an e-mail—you may have seen it, too—from a person who has been a prominent spokesman for the GOP and now is a NeverTrumper. He notes that the GOP and American conservatism appear to have arrived at a turning point. Perhaps, he suggests, we should abandon the label “conservative” and reclaim for ourselves

By | 2017-03-22T15:29:49+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|

Trump the “Anti-Enlightenment Man” Revisited

Immanuel Kant, philosopher of the counter-Enlightenment. I suppose we must prepare ourselves for more pseudo-intellectual drivel about the Enlightenment from people who oppose Donald Trump. David Brooks of the New York Times appears to have gotten the ball rolling with “The Enlightenment Project.” Now Andrew Small has joined in with “The Counter-Enlightenment and

By | 2017-03-16T14:39:46+00:00 March 16th, 2017|

Political Loyalty Precedes Fundamental Rights: A Reply to Jesse Merriam

Jesse Merriam makes an attractive case for a more principled and thereby, he hopes, more successful approach for conservatives arguing religious liberty cases in the courts. He is concerned in particular with State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers, involving a florist who cited her Christian beliefs in refusing to make a floral arrangement for a same-sex

By | 2017-03-14T22:20:22+00:00 March 14th, 2017|

Political Violence and Coming-of-Age for an American Student

The recent events at Middlebury College should have been a jolting reminder that all is not well in our polarized culture or, especially, in our institutions of higher learning. The level of chaos on display two weeks ago was incongruent with the understanding most of us have about the experience of university life, and somehow even

By | 2017-03-14T22:03:29+00:00 March 14th, 2017|

Losing is Contagious: Inconsistent Conservatism Leads to Crushing Consistency on Courts

The U.S. Supreme Court recently avoided deciding a closely followed transgender-rights lawsuit over public-school bathrooms, instead sending the case back to the lower court. But another sexual-orientation lawsuit, State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers, may soon come before the high court. This case arose after Arlene’s Flowers, a flower shop owned by Barronelle Stutzman, refused

By | 2017-03-13T22:24:54+00:00 March 14th, 2017|

Our Conservative Folks

Back in the days of Jim Crow, many whites defended racial discrimination by trotting out stereotypes about “Our Black Folks,” who they maintained were satisfied with the status quo. Oh, they are quite happy with being maids, bootblacks, and sharecroppers, said the apologists. They like living on their “side of the fence,” as a character

By | 2017-04-03T05:35:25+00:00 March 10th, 2017|

Real Healthcare Reform Will Require a Fight

If you think we got the American Health Care Act (variously nicknamed RyanCare or TrumpCare) because the conservative establishment has once again sold us down the river, I’ve got some oceanfront real estate in Arizona I’d like to show you. Paul Ryan and Donald Trump are not the problem, we are. Rather, our silence is.

By | 2017-03-09T17:00:46+00:00 March 9th, 2017|