Shootout over Natural Law at Gorsuch Gulch?

Supreme Court justices sometimes devise overly clever “tests” in their opinions to determine the constitutionality of a law or government action. Here’s my one-pronged (and multi-part) Supreme Court minimal competency test, derived from Abraham Lincoln’s critique of Chief Justice Taney’s opinion in Dred Scot: Was Lincoln right in making the Declaration of Independence the basis of constitutional government?

By | 2017-03-21T15:39:54+00:00 March 21st, 2017|

A Government of Laws, Not Men

I suspect that nearly all readers of American Greatness are familiar with John Adams’ famous statement about the rule of law in his Constitution for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approved by the voters in 1780. “In the government of this commonwealth,” Adams wrote, “the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or

By | 2017-03-19T09:28:33+00:00 March 19th, 2017|

Why Republicans Cannot Bear Trump’s Spending Plan in One Easy Lesson

The White House on Thursday released what officials variously described as a “skinny budget,” a “hard power budget,” and—most memorably—an “America First” budget that begins “a New Chapter of American Greatness.” (I’m partial to the last one.) As flattering as that sounds, the truth is President Trump’s first budget outline is far from “great.” The

By | 2017-03-17T13:35:32+00:00 March 17th, 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|

A Modest Proposal For Shrinking The Government

Writing this month in The New Criterion, I noted the great angst emanating from the “Arts Community” over speculation that the Trump Administration might cut federal funding for various cultural programs. Yes, it’s true: the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities (each of which currently receives about $175 million per year) and the Corporation

By | 2017-03-12T21:50:31+00:00 March 12th, 2017|

Lowering the Voting Age Would Further Cheapen the Franchise

What is it with certain Democrats and their desire to debase the vote? I can’t think of any other way to describe it. That would be the obvious upshot of a proposal by California Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, to reduce the voting age to 17. “Young people are our future,” Low said. “Lowering the voting

By | 2017-04-03T05:36:05+00:00 March 10th, 2017|

Washington, D.C. Needs a Recession

Banish the bureaucrats! It's time to see some outsourcing of federal jobs in America's Capital City or, perhaps, just serious layoffs. Visiting the District of Columbia is an awful experience when you work hard to support your family out in the hinterlands. You arrive in a place with constant construction. Houses that would be $300,000

By | 2017-03-07T18:29:56+00:00 March 7th, 2017|

Deficits Do Matter

When former Vice President Dick Cheney nonchalantly quipped to former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill that “deficits don’t matter,” every fiscal conservative and anti-war liberal set their proverbial hair on fire. Under President George W. Bush, a modest surplus left behind by his predecessor was spent away on ill-advised entitlement programs, the mismanaged wars in Iraq

By | 2017-03-07T15:54:39+00:00 March 7th, 2017|

On the Moderation of Donald Trump

Moderation is a virtue, a human excellence. As Aristotle described it, moderation is a habit of choosing the mean between too much and too little. After President Trump's speech last week to a joint session of Congress, the inanity that Trump "became President tonight" was the new mantra of many in the media.

By | 2017-03-06T11:03:05+00:00 March 6th, 2017|

Nationalism Never Died (We Just Ignored It)

The rise of Donald Trump, last year’s Brexit vote, or the rise of alternative Right parties (such as Germany’s Alternativ für Deutschland and France’s National Front parties) all represent nationalistic movements. They may take different forms, but the concept of globalism has taken a pretty serious hit these last few years. In this morass, the

By | 2017-03-05T16:28:53+00:00 March 5th, 2017|