FIRST PRINCIPLES

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 […]

Center for American Greatness • First Principles • Post

Igniting Civil War

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 […]

First Principles • History • Law and Order • Post • The Courts

Liberalism, Originalism, and the Constitution

No one would mistake the Supreme Court’s liberal justices for adherents to the concept of “originalism,” or the belief that one should consider—first and foremost—the Founders’ intent when ruling on constitutional issues. And yet their opinions in the Maryland “Peace Cross” case suggests that they, at least implicitly, support the idea. In American Legion v. […]

America • Americanism • First Principles • History • Post • The Declaration

The Lessons of the Declaration of Independence

The colonists’ quest for independence from the British in 1776 began with a goal: “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” Declaring independence meant that Americans were no longer subordinate to the British monarch nor subject to the […]

First Principles

What Happened to America’s Elite?

It happened on campus. Once upon a time, the foundation of an American college education was common sense. Common sense realism was the philosophy young Americans learned in U.S. colleges. In the words of the great American historian, Arthur Herman, “Common Sense Realism was virtually the official creed of the American Republic.” Another great American […]