FIRST PRINCIPLES

First Principles

New York’s Actions Against the NRA Are an Omen of Things to Come

The NRA should serve its members. But it should not, in fighting for its members, also have to fend off trumped-up charges and draconian remedies aimed at silencing its message.

his week New York’s Attorney General, Letitia James, sought to dissolve the National Rifle Association. She took this action ostensibly to pursue a claim of financial mismanagement. But the real reasons are obvious: the NRA is the preeminent defender of the Second Amendment, and the Left—and New York leftists in particular—really hate guns. In her […]

First Principles

Twilight of the Founders

In our arrogance, we imagine that it is we who are disdainfully rejecting America’s Founders. They would want nothing to do with us.

ou can tell about the soul of a people by looking at who they honor. It used to be that America, more or less universally, admired its founders. But Americans today increasingly fancy themselves more evolved than George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. We imagine that these founders have been “found out.” Their great secret—their hypocrisy […]

First Principles

How to Avoid the Life Cycle and Death Spiral of a Republic

A wise Jerusalem is better than an innocent Eden.

o understand the extraordinary events in America today, it is helpful to look at the ancient wisdom of Greece and Rome. And as the wise historian Thucydides said, “If we forget the errors of the past, we are doomed to repeat them.” The classical Greek authors Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, as well as the Romans […]

First Principles

Who Elected Twitter and Facebook to Censor Speech?

Banning anyone’s political speech, left or right, is wrong. Once the speech of one party is significantly constrained or even erased, any speech opposed to the powerful will be steadily eliminated.

I have spent my professional life defending the First Amendment and the free-speech rights it enshrines. It is the bulwark of all our freedoms. The attacks on it are proliferating alarmingly. Now, the most powerful social media platforms—which function as today’s public square—are arrogantly silencing a U.S. president. If a president’s right to be heard […]

First Principles

The Strength of Strength and the Strength of Weakness

Many people claim to be fighting to create the world they would like to live in, but an astonishing number appear content to win on a technicality or disqualification rather than in a fair fight.

n the small Southwestern Pennsylvania coal-mining town where I grew up, the locals kept to themselves and were notoriously tight-lipped when it came to praising anyone for anything. The elderly residents—mostly descendants of Slovak and Croatian immigrants who came to the town to work the mine—were pessimistic people, distrustful of the Democratic politicians they voted […]

First Principles

Party, Propaganda, and Revolutionary Silence

It is time to speak the truth about the reality of what the country is experiencing.

he American people are enduring a withering bombardment of propaganda from a corporate-owned media that is beholden to financial interests, including interests that benefit from legacy trade policies with Communist China. Propaganda is a weapon of warfare abroad, and propaganda is a weapon of tyranny at home.  Propaganda works.  The tactics used and the target […]

First Principles

Fascism 101 with Professors Vittorini and Solzhenitsyn

How can you tell if you have the soul of a fascist? If you are alive and breathing, you are in danger of it.

idn’t you catch that stink?” says the big man to his fellows in the compartment on a train in Elio Vittorini’s novel, Conversations in Sicily. He is burly and blond, of Lombard and Norman blood, though a native Sicilian all the same. “What stink?” says a man who is returning to his native Sicily after […]

First Principles

Gun Control Is Dead

There’s simply no way Americans will tolerate being disarmed in the face of soaring violent crime, riots, and a neutered police force.

his summer has answered the question, “why would somebody ever need an AR-15 or a high-capacity magazine?” As the Left continues to advocate for ending private ownership of military-style rifles, Americans can also see that powerful rifles are turning up in the possession of violent rioters and looters. In this video, one can clearly see […]

First Principles

Antifa and BLM: The Greatest Second Amendment Promoters Since the NRA

Come November, does anyone think that folks who just spent $1,000 or more on firearms are going to vote for the vertiginous Joe Biden who would take their guns away and leave them unprotected?

urn stuff up, Portland! Lay waste to yourself, Seattle! Sherman redux, Atlanta! And New Yorkers, just keep on supporting de Bozo. All you Disgruntled Bernie (isn’t that redundant?) supporters, hunkered down in your parents’ basements, Facetiming in your black balaclavas, please keep on organizing those “peaceful protests” on Twitter and Facebook. Please! You Soros-funded lackeys, […]

First Principles

Build the Family

Americans should seek to extend the blessings of family life to more people. Sophie Lewis and her feminist allies, now including Black Lives Matter, blow the smoke of a pernicious ideology that instead seeks the family’s destruction.

ocial transformation continues at a breakneck pace. Ideas germinating in leftist fever swamps have become public dogmas in a matter of a generation—or a couple of weeks—or the last few hours. Thus, the calls by Sophie Lewis, and most recently Black Lives Matter, to abolish the family cannot be ignored. Lewis’s book Full Surrogacy Now: […]

First Principles

Battery Wagner: An African-American ‘Glory’ in the Fight for Freedom

Without the participation of African Americans, the war to save the Union “as it was” could not have been transformed into a war to save the Union “forever worthy of the saving”—without slavery.

uly of 1863 was a critically important month in the American Civil War. During the first three days of that month, two great armies clashed at Gettysburg, resulting in a decisive Confederate defeat. On July 4, Vicksburg, the last Confederate bastion on the Mississippi, surrendered to Major General Ulysses S. Grant. Both were great Union […]

First Principles

I’m Not Descended From Jefferson. Keep His Memorial

The American Left’s attempt to erase history is an egregious form of tyranny over the mind, and just like Jefferson, we must fight it with all our might.

very record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped.” When George Orwell wrote those prophetic words in 1984, he couldn’t have […]

First Principles

A Reign of Error

What we think about things can be as important as the things themselves, because it forms our moral stance toward the world. But what if our thoughts are in error?

t the end of The Unheavenly City: The Nature and the Future of Our Urban Crisis (1968), Edward Banfield presents a prospect regarding race relations that seems to have been fulfilled since his tumultuous years and ours: a reign of error. Let me set the stage. America had become the wealthiest nation in the history […]

First Principles

The Great Fireworks Rebellion of 2020

It could be that the Fireworks Rebellion of 2020 was the shot heard ‘round the country that signaled the defenders of America are paying attention—and unwilling to tolerate much more.

f Donald Trump’s Independence Eve address at Mount Rushmore was a battle cry for the republic, millions of Americans seemingly joined forces with the president the next evening with their own sort of ammunition: fireworks. Lockdown orders and “social distancing” decrees canceled official Fourth of July fireworks displays across the country—the latest in a long […]

First Principles

The Cancellation of David Starkey

Say one wrong word in the year 2020, and you may be next.

n 2020, you can destroy your whole life with a single word. On Thursday, David Starkey, the distinguished 75-year-old historian who is familiar to many TV viewers because of his frequent appearance on TV discussion programs, panel shows, and documentaries about the British monarchy (especially the Tudors) and Magna Carta, was interviewed online for 53 […]

Lincoln's Address at the Dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, November 19, 1863, lithograph published in Chicago by the Sherwood Lithograph Co., 1905, 41.2 x 50 cm.
First Principles

The Apple of Gold and Frame of Silver

America’s 16th president on how the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution fit together.

ll this is not the result of accident. It has a philosophical cause. Without the Constitution and the Union, we could not have attained the result; but even these, are not the primary cause of our great prosperity. There is something back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. That something, is the principle […]

First Principles

‘Liberation’ and the Dismantling of Liberty

The only way “liberation” may be pursued is through the systematic dismantling of liberty as it was understood at the founding of this nation 244 years ago this weekend.

he original idea of liberty in America was fairly narrow. “Liberty” referred simply to the state of affairs enabled by a limited government that protected the natural rights of its citizens. In fulfilling that commitment, citizens were enabled to pursue ends conducive to their own happiness and flourishing.  But as government steadily expanded, so too […]

First Principles

Why You Have a Constitutional Right to a High Capacity Magazine

Even as the very scenario that demonstrates the need for high-capacity magazines unfolded in St. Louis, the Colorado Supreme Court endorsed the view that you don’t need one.

ith no police or security within sight, Mark and Patricia McCloskey stood with their backs to their house wielding a small pistol and an AR-15. The “peaceful protest” featured a screaming scrum of hundreds smashing down the gate to a privately-owned neighborhood as they poured onto the privately-owned street just a few feet from the […]

First Principles

‘Through All the Gloom, I Can See the Rays of Ravishing Light and Glory’

Why this American Founder believed July 2, 1776, would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.”

n July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia after a lengthy debate adopted a resolution in favor of declaring independence from Great Britain. The language of the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, which Americans have celebrated ever since as Independence Day. But John Adams, who sat on the committee appointed to […]

First Principles

Grim Lessons from Aristotle on the Causes of Civil War

Why aren’t we challenging our cozy assumptions that things can’t get worse?

s the United States headed for a civil war? Every new partisan battle feels like the battle to end all battles. But contemplating apocalyptic violence and massive upheaval brings doubt: even with all the current acrimony, could it really be the case that the most successful nation on earth is spiraling towards internal war? Isn’t […]