Conservatives—indeed, all Americans—should take heart: The constitutional order is showing its resilience. Whether because of or despite President Trump’s numerous executive orders reducing the regulatory burden on business and the tax reform he signed into law in December, the economy is humming. Unemployment, including for blacks and Latinos, is at or near record lows.
Last week in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court threaded the needle. Whether the thread will hold is uncertain. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s narrowly crafted majority opinion protected religious liberty without impairing gay rights.
A nation that “encourages its citizens to challenge authority, ask the next question, and defy the obvious.”
In these confounding times, conservatives would do well to recall that modern conservatism is a creature of confounding times. Both the broad school of politics that emerged in England in the 17th and 18th centuries and the mature, post-World War II American variant arose to combat new threats to freedom -- and freedom’s moral, cultural, and religious preconditions.
Our politics increasingly encourages citizens — members of the intellectual and political elite particularly — to take to an extreme the perennial human propensity to take one’s opinions to an extreme. This imperils liberal democracy in America.
Patrick Deneen, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, has written an angry and breathless polemic against liberalism in the large sense — that is, the school of political thought that holds that human beings are by nature free and equal, and that the chief purpose of government is to secure individual rights.
In “Why Liberalism Failed,” Patrick Deneen attributes to John Locke’s liberalism the purpose of emancipating individuals from every imaginable form of constraint. This undergirds Deneen’s thesis that liberalism promulgates false and self-defeating ideas about human nature, morality, and politics.
In “Why Liberalism Failed,” Patrick Deneen contends that today’s liberal regimes deserve to perish because they do not live up to the classical conception of political excellence. But the spirit of his critique clashes with the purpose of the ancients’ examination of the best regime.
The world continues to feed Palestinians’ delusions that they will one day return to land that is now part of Israel—encouraging the Palestinians to spurn peaceful solutions that could actually be attained.
[Subscription Required] Of all the strange and remarkable features of politics in the Trump era, among the least surprising is the alliance between conservatism and populism.
Israel has long sought both a distinctively Jewish identity and modern nationhood. Wise leadership can enable it to achieve each.
Like an individual mixed up about his convictions, a nation perplexed about its principles is prone to self-inflicted wounds. Both are likely to wander aimlessly and choose friends poorly while falling for the blandishments of adversaries. They are prone to misjudge their interests and misconstrue justice. A nation perplexed about its principles exacerbates citizens’ muddle about their convictions.
Of all the strange and remarkable features of politics in the Trump era, among the least strange and remarkable is the alliance that has emerged between conservatism and populism. That it seems so striking to many conservatives reflects a certain disconnection from their tradition. The uncertainty and agitation that the alliance introduced into conservative ranks underscore the importance of recovering a lively appreciation of conservatism’s origins, major ideas, and perennial task.
Many in the United States worry about the erosion of democratic norms. Too few, however, exhibit concern for the steady deterioration over the last half century of the essential democratic norm of free speech.
Today, according to Claremont Institute President Ryan Williams, “multiculturalism and its politics of identity pose an existential threat to the American political order comparable to slavery in the 1850s or communism during the Cold War.”
Of the many causes of political polarization in the United States, the conflict between religion and secularism is the oldest and deepest. Easing this conflict — desirable for its own sake — stands a chance of also tempering the increasingly entrenched enmity in our politics between right and left.
The divisions among American conservatives have generally been more evident -- certainly to conservatives -- than the principles that might unite them. President Reagan’s two terms are the exception. The pronounced divisions of today are the rule.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday launched a commission on “unalienable rights” that will help the State Department determine what it considers a universal human right when deciding to commit American support.
The Constitution blends political ideas into a harmonious whole. Modern partisan warfare, on the other hand, sharpens differences and dulls the harmony, and democracy suffers.