FIRST PRINCIPLES

First Principles

The Political Community of the U.S. Constitution

Our Constitution does not guarantee unanimity. That would risk tyranny. But it affords an opportunity for justice and the general good to prevail.

There will be no fireworks to celebrate the 232nd anniversary of Constitution Day, nor public readings of the document. Most will pass the day without even a moment’s reflection on the event that redefined the political community of the United States. September 17, 1787, was the day that the newly drafted Constitution was signed by […]

First Principles

Red Flags About ‘Red Flag Laws’

While there is an understandable need among lawmakers to “do something” about mass shootings, the rush to regulate should be tempered by faith in a federalism that best balances state culture with the enumerated rights that are the birthright of all Americans.

After a handful of mass shootings over the summer, Congress is returning to session flush with the need to act on gun violence. Unfortunately, consensus appears to be forming around proposals that are both ineffective and constitutionally suspect. I’m talking about federal “red flag” legislation, which would allow family members and friends to report on […]

First Principles

Pink Political Scientists vs. White Men

Left-modernism is a political assault on the white majority, but Eric Kaufmann defines “white majority” in cultural, not biological terms. His work is a data-driven counterstrike on political correctness.

You know President Trump’s politics of disruption is succeeding when political scientists begin paying attention. Aroused from their slumbers, startled profs are even revising the old syllabus and lecture notes. Many political science departments are seeing booming enrollments. What Trump means for the practice of politics has the opportunity of improving the scholarship about politics. […]

First Principles

The Intelligence Community Works for the President

Losing democratic control over the intelligence community would be the end of self-government.

It’s simply hard to know where to begin to respond to the staggering chutzpah of Jennifer Rubin’s recent Washington Post opinion column accusing the president of undermining our intelligence community. Rubin used the recent leak regarding the exfiltration (a fancy word for “removal”) of an undercover “asset” in Russia as a hook to make the […]

First Principles

The Etiquette of the Late Dauphin or the Morality of Americans?

A federal republic, as the Founders saw it, takes a certain kind of citizen, one that particularly values a certain etiquette above all others: the respect for the results of elections.

“I am the late Dauphin,” or so goes the line from Huckleberry Finn. American fraudsters long have sought to clothe themselves in the trappings of European aristocracy. A permanent elite is alien to American culture. Being alien, it is altogether fascinating. The distraction opens the door to swindle. Last week in City Journal, Harvard political […]

First Principles

Natural Disasters and the AR-15

Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc, leaving some communities in a temporary “state of nature.” Under the circumstances, the right to self-defense is indispensable.

As I was traveling from Jacksonville, Florida back home up the I-95, hundreds of electric power service vehicles from several companies were making their way south. Among those service vehicles were the ubiquitous Asplundh tree clearing trucks meshed in between the convoys. For people living on the East Coast, these were anxious days because as […]

First Principles

Lies the Left Tells About Guns

For starters, the “assault weapons” ban of 1994 had no meaningful effect on the homicide rate.

Congress reconvenes this week after a summer fraught with multiple mass shootings. Reportedly, legislation implementing tighter gun control is on the table, with rumored support by some in the White House. The rhetoric surrounding guns continues to escalate. Here’s the thing about guns. The Constitution—that handy little document—guarantees our rights to them, and that guarantee […]

First Principles

Red Flag, White Flag

Do Americans really want to adopt an informer culture?

In the wake of recent incidents in El Paso and in Dayton, our legislators—even more than usual—have been enthusiastic in their now-ritual “Dance of Death” for the Second Amendment. Their cries for more draconian background checks are joined by what is nothing less than a proposal to transform America into an informer culture. “Red flag […]

First Principles

The Inertial State

A perpetual government of the special interests, by the special interests, for the special interests.

One of the nobler elements of the American system is its jealous protection of the rights of minority interests. Going back to James Madison’s strictures about balancing faction against faction in Federalist #10, and Abraham Lincoln’s warnings against unfettered popular sovereignty in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Americans have long held to a noble tradition of respecting […]

First Principles

The Classical Tyranny of the Left’s Gun Policy

After months of dithering in a campaign as aimless as its Keroucian prologue, Beto O’Rourke had an interesting thought that’s also kind of true: “America is f—ed up” for tolerating mass shootings. He’s not wrong, but his indignant posturing is misplaced. Last week, Beto gave a rather f—ed up answer to a question about abortion. […]

First Principles

Antifa Gives Progressives a Tin-Pot Dictator High

Their violence is a feature, not a bug.

What are you supposed to do if a mob attacks you? If you have reason to believe that the mob intends to hurt you or could kill you, do you have the right to defend yourself with deadly force? Do you even have the right to say you would? Given proper policing, such questions should […]

First Principles

Property Rights as the Stumbling Block Against Slavery

It’s the natural right to property—and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise—yesterday and today.

The recent charge that the United States was founded on slavery and racism is nothing new. It is a charge that has been leveled repeatedly—and refuted—ever since the Founding. The most decisive response, of course, was the devastating American Civil War, which freed the slaves on the basis of America’s founding proposition that “all men […]

First Principles

False Crucibles

Every American generation has been tested and tempered by crises. But this generation is different—and we should be worried.

Every generation in modern American and, indeed, Western history has had its crucibles. We’ve had the Great War, the Depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and various economic crises and foreign policy challenges. There always have been existential threats to our society requiring maximum exertion. Through that hardening effort and the concurrent […]

Center for American Greatness • First Principles

We Must Ban Human Nature for the Sake of Humanity

In the wake of the Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton shootings, Americans have heard quite a bit of talk about assault weapons bans and “red flag” laws. I think it’s probably time to accept that there should be bans. Surely, though, guns aren’t the only objects in need of banning. Here are a few modest […]

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The Courts Should Stay Out of Political Battles

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Citizen Responsibility in the Face of a Mass Shooting

Center for American Greatness • First Principles • Post

Igniting Civil War

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The Latest U.N. Horror Show: Christian Refugees Ignored

First Principles

Don’t Celebrate Bastille Day

Unlike the American Revolution, in which the rule of law and the institutions of civil society survived the change of governments, the French Revolution was one of the signal bad events in world history.

ince I am writing on Bastille Day, I am prompted to wonder why the French—or anyone else, for that matter—celebrate this infamous date. After all, the “storming” of that royal keep in 1789 was the spark that started the conflagration of the French Revolution. Unlike the American Revolution, in which the rule of law and […]