What’s In a Doctrine?

The Claremont Institute sponsored an event in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago called “Conservatism in the Trump Era.” There, the speakers explained, in keeping with Plato’s Republic, “the foreign policy of a sensible nation is never devoted to the good of other nations, unless the good of another nation directly promotes the existence

By | 2017-04-03T05:32:04+00:00 March 25th, 2017|

Can Activist Judges Be Controlled?

Congress failed in 1805 to impeach Justice Samuel Chase. But circumstances have changed. The disquieting spectacle of three unelected judges (all appointed by President Barack Obama) enjoining the signature initiative of the newly inaugurated President Donald Trump, without even citing the statute—8 U.S.C. section 1182(f)—that expressly authorizes the action they just stopped, has focused

By | 2017-03-20T15:34:45+00:00 March 20th, 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|

Trump the “Anti-Enlightenment Man” Revisited

Immanuel Kant, philosopher of the counter-Enlightenment. I suppose we must prepare ourselves for more pseudo-intellectual drivel about the Enlightenment from people who oppose Donald Trump. David Brooks of the New York Times appears to have gotten the ball rolling with “The Enlightenment Project.” Now Andrew Small has joined in with “The Counter-Enlightenment and

By | 2017-03-16T14:39:46+00:00 March 16th, 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|

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|

Looking at Trump as a Turnaround Executive

The 2016 election outcome was an unexpectedly loud declaration by the American people about their dissatisfaction with the direction of the country. Further, the magnitude of the post-election polarization has ensured the historical habit of “happy talk” promoting the need for bipartisan initiatives that bring us together is absent and not going to happen. We

By | 2017-02-28T16:38:55+00:00 February 28th, 2017|

Trump Needs to be Trump Tonight

Hours ahead of President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress, the usual talking heads are on hand to offer their usual clichéd and conventional political wisdom. Just as they did in the campaign after he won the primary, the legacy media has a unified message to Trump: become “presidential.” This was the

By | 2017-02-28T13:37:23+00:00 February 28th, 2017|

It’s Not Idolatry to Call for Unity in the Fight

From some well-meaning patriots on the Right, there is a great resistance to accept Donald Trump, and an almost scrupulous religious impulse to qualify every positive statement about him with criticisms of his personality and character. Some conservative intellectuals are lost in a moral revulsion for a man they have seen and heard talking about

By | 2017-02-28T13:15:14+00:00 February 28th, 2017|