FIRST PRINCIPLES

First Principles

Peace(makers) on Earth

Surely there are rabbis and pastors who might come together to arrange a sort of exchange program of qualified, background-checked, good-hearted men.

During the Christmas-Hanukkah overlap of 2019, the annual festive season for both Christians and Jews was marred by violent reminders that in a hatred-infested world, our fears as well as our joys may intersect. A church shooting in Texas and a machete attack in New York bloodied our respective sacred celebrations. In a variety of […]

First Principles

Why Conservatism, Inc. Is Powerless Against Socialism

The truth that socialism is bad does not excuse conservatives from having to come up with a plan for America’s future. The alternative to socialism still has to be appealing—it can’t just be “not socialism.”

As America enters a new decade, a political realignment is happening. The Left, traditionally the party of the working class, now represents urban, liberal elites more interested in the latest permissive fashions than they are in what they see as the parochial concerns of their less affluent countrymen. In reaction, conservatism has aligned to an […]

First Principles

Revealing the Real Cause of Deep State Corruption

America is threatened by a loss of its constitutional system. The threat does not come from the current occupant of the White House, but from those who would seek to expel him.

What could possibly explain the transparent nonsense that is the attempt to impeach and remove President Donald Trump? The farrago of exaggerations and outright lies that the leadership of the Democrats in the House of Representatives are currently peddling makes little sense. Impeachment was a remedy crafted by the Founders to remove a corrupt official […]

First Principles

Two Fundamental Contradictions that Doom the Left

The fate of all humanity, not just that of America, depends on debunking these two fundamental premises of the Left, both of which are easily contradicted by facts.

The American Left relies upon two moral imperatives to attract supporters and demonize their opponents: saving the planet and fighting racism. In both cases, however, the Left’s chosen policy solutions stand in opposition to well-established facts. Moreover, these facts that doom leftist policies to failure are not subtle. They don’t require convoluted explanations. Anyone with […]

First Principles

The Lights of Hanukkah and Christmas

May the light deliver us from the darkness of pride, arrogance, and hate.

The lights of Hanukkah and Christmas reveal themselves in both the ratio of a spiral and the golden ratio of the curves of a candle. The lights shine from the gold of a candelabra and the glory of a chosen people. The lights shine unto all people, guiding a path to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The […]

First Principles

Agenda Moms and Child Martyrs

Like too many children today, Greta Thunberg has become a martyr for her parents’ cause.

Greta Thunberg, the world’s most polarizing young activist, has found herself in stormy seas lately. In some ways, Thunberg seems undeniably impressive—having successfully channeled the most crippling features of her autism spectrum disorder to speak with authority on the climate crisis. After being named Time‘s “Person of the Year,” Greta seemed at her zenith as the […]

First Principles

How Christianity Transformed Political Life

The season of Advent anticipates not only Christmas Day but the return of Christ. Requiting that eternal, personal love for a fallen humanity is our ultimate earthly purpose.

William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is a play as complex as it is dark. Nonetheless it is a comedy as well as a dazzling drama—full of both horror and humor, with a happy ending. Attempting to condense its subtleties does no justice to the lessons its audience learns as they experience the range of emotions […]

First Principles

The Death of Meritocracy

Call me whatever you like. I know who I am. Merit is the great equalizer.

The myriad of accusations, epithets, and insults flying around the media lately has caused me to ponder how our publicly expressed values seem to be changing. Perhaps this is driven mainly by the Twitterati, the pandering politicians, the universities, and the media. Perhaps, the vast majority still hold to their “quaint” ideas about ethics even […]

First Principles

We Must Not Ignore Christian Persecution

Editor’s note: The following are remarks delivered on November 26 to the 2nd International Conference on Christian Persecution in Budapest, Hungary. The mission of the event is “to find answers and solutions to the most neglected humanitarian and civilizational crisis of our time.” Dear Mister President, I am here to say thank you for what […]

First Principles

Leninism: The Highest Stage of Progressivism

As the talk of socialism becomes more widespread on the Left, particularly within Democratic party politics, and as anger at President Trump boils over, the advocacy of political scientists will become even clearer: first, Progressivism, then socialism, and ultimately, Leninism.

Everyone knows the universities are on the political Left. Political science is part of that problem, though it isn’t nearly as corrupt as some other disciplines. While many professors hold their partisan biases close, those inclinations all too often appear in curricula and scholarship and inevitably reach the classroom. A contrary example both of the […]

First Principles

The Foundations of the ‘Administrative/Deep State’

Reversing the administrative state will take a major effort. Recognizing that it exists and that it is not merely unconstitutional but in fact anti-constitutional is at least a beginning.

We hear a great deal these days about the “deep state,” especially as it applies to the Trump Administration. The president’s supporters use the term to describe the entrenched federal bureaucracy and what they believe to be its efforts to derail the president’s policies. Until recently, the president’s critics have dismissed the idea of a […]

First Principles

President Trump Did the Right Thing with the Dreamers.
Will the Supreme Court?

Too often the courts have deferred to executive branch officials, acting through the administrative state—or “the swamp,” as President Trump likes to call it. That may be about to change.

If one president decides that he has the power to suspend the application of a law, when he clearly has no such right, may his successor, by an executive decree, reverse his predecessor’s decision? This question, ridiculous as it sounds, is now actually before the United States Supreme Court, and will be resolved by a […]

First Principles

Praetorianism and
the ‘Deep State’

Article II gives the president sweeping powers to conduct foreign affairs and negotiate with leaders of other nations. It does not grant any such power to unelected bureaucrats to act in ways that demonstrate they approve or disapprove of foreign policy—even when they are “deeply troubled” by it.

Defenders of President Trump have long railed against the “deep state,” a name given to the entrenched bureaucracy working from within to bring down the Trump Administration. They point to the anonymous New York Times op-ed from September 2018, “I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” said to be written by a […]

First Principles

Hate Speech Laws Do Not Protect Democracy—They Threaten It

The First Amendment protects “hate speech.” So why do so many powerful figures want to criminalize this protected speech? Because this supposed menace threatens their political agenda. Last week, the Washington Post published an op-ed by MSNBC analyst Richard Stengel arguing for a ban on hate speech. Stengel, a former Obama Administration staffer and Time magazine […]

First Principles

From Bullets to Ballots, and Back to Bullets?

We are in the midst of an exciting time—the revolution of 2016, as it may be known in future generations. Once again we see the clash of two ideas of America as presented in its leading political parties.

At the beginning of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln summed up the case against partisan impeachment when he reminded his countrymen that, “It is now for [Americans] to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets, […]

First Principles

The Left-Right Divide Is About Reality Itself

If half of this country cannot distinguish truth from falsehood, that is not a good sign for the nation’s future. On that point, ironically, Left and Right can agree.

The Left-Right divide in America is, unfortunately, unbridgeable. There are three reasons. First, we are divided by our vision of what we want America to be. The Right believes the Founders’ vision was brilliant and moral, that bourgeois middle-class values are superior to alternative value systems; that rights come from God, not man; and that the state […]

First Principles

The Source of the Media’s
Post-Truth Analysis

Our need to discern the truth is and will always be essential to us in the conduct of our daily lives and even for our survival. Reality doesn’t change whether we believe in it or not.

What has happened to the news? Not so long ago, the big voices in the media at least made some effort to maintain an appearance of objectivity. But it has been evident for some time that most people in the news business today have dispensed with all pretense of fairness. The advent of Barack Obama […]

First Principles

The Right Wing Is
Anti-Government Again

Instead of conservatives becoming government cheerleaders for a Republican in the White House, hostility to the Republican president from the deep state has fueled an even deeper and more thoroughgoing skepticism of government power among Trump’s supporters.

I recently watched the “Waco” miniseries, which premiered last year on the 25th anniversary of the siege, and is now available on Amazon Prime. The production was well done, made a fair attempt to show multiple perspectives, and reminded me of how powerful the image of a church being assaulted and then burning to the […]

First Principles

Bureaucratic Rule: By What Right?

The oft-repeated statement that America suffers from meritocracy is the opposite of the truth. Pretense of excellence, not excellence itself, is the ground on which the U.S. ruling class bases its claim to legitimacy.

Americans are just beginning to realize that opposition to Donald Trump is the least explanation for what bureaucrats, corporate officials and media magnates have been doing to negate the outcome of the 2016 election. Denying that government by the people is the only legitimate form of rule, they are asserting that legitimate rule flows from […]

First Principles

A ‘Discussion-Free’ America

If you think this generation’s inquisitors will satisfy themselves with mere state censorship, job loss, and contract termination, think again. 

Ponder a reality quite different from the America of your youth. The new version is a quiet, cold, orderly place, with approved causes and very dire consequences for anyone who opposes them. Your son is eager for a military career. He has his eyes on West Point, but if he’s going to get there, he […]