A fresh commitment to America’s founding principles and leadership in the cause of human rights.
How much does the gap between rich and poor matter? In 1979, for every dollar the poorest fifth of the American population earned, the richest fifth earned nine. By 1997, that gap had increased to fifteen to one. Is this growing income inequality a serious problem? Is the size of the gap between rich and poor less important than the poor's absolute level of income? In other words, should we focus on reducing the income gap or on fighting poverty?
On Tuesday, Massachusetts voters delivered a stunning rebuke to the transformative agenda obdurately pursued by President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and their minions. . . .
To understand the sometimes glaring gaps between candidate Obama’s promises and President Obama’s policies, it is useful to appreciate an old tension in American progressivism. . . .
Masters of the art teach that subtlety, indirection, and on occasion mis-direction are crucial to successful diplomacy...
Among their many aspirations for his presidency, Barack Obama’s admirers nurse a persistent hope that he might be able to end the culture wars...
On the way to the airport in Atlanta last week, I stumbled upon a radio debate between Michael Medved and Christopher Hitchens on the topic of Hitchens’ latest book - namely, whether or not religion poisons everything...
Progressives are fond of saying that they stand for empathy and compromise, and are quick to blame conservatives for polarizing our politics. Their feverish reaction last week to the Supreme Court’s thoughtful 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. shows that progressives could use more of the virtues they claim as their own.
Liberalism, most people would agree, stands for the state's responsibility to actively improve the social, economic, and political quality of citizens’ lives. In a more fundamental sense liberalism also denotes certain qualities of mind and character, among them tolerance, generosity, the capacity to engage civilly competing opinions, and a determination to base politics on reason rather than physical force or arbitrary authority.
This week came news that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant burned alive a Jordanian pilot in a metal cage. Thursday morning's National Prayer Breakfast speech represented the first sign that President Obama is prepared to acknowledge a connection between Islam and the violence -- beheadings, mass murders, rape, human slavery, state sponsorship of terrorism, and military conquest -- jihadists are perpetrating in Muhammad’s name.
In April, former New York Times journalist Judith Miller revealed in “The Story” that by manipulating her memory through tendentious questioning and withholding exculpatory evidence, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald induced her to give false testimony that in 2007 helped convict I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby of obstruction of justice, false statements, and perjury.
A few years ago on a lazy Friday afternoon, my friend Ronit Vardi—a veteran journalist and longtime resident of this frenetic city perched between the Mediterranean and the Middle East—looked askance when I told her that I was headed to Jerusalem to teach a seminar on Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
The 2016 election campaign has proved a trying one for citizens who seek sobriety, integrity, and fidelity to principle in their presidential candidates. The two major party nominees’ glaring deficiencies have provoked cries of despair from many high-minded voters. But that is a luxury the nation can ill afford.
In “Why Liberalism Failed,” Patrick Deneen makes an eye-opening contribution to the critique of liberalism. Equating liberalism with the modern tradition of freedom, he distills abuses of state power, nature, culture, technology, and education that are undertaken in freedom’s name yet leave citizens less self-sufficient, less disposed to cooperate, and less capable of looking beyond material goods and social status to the cultivation of character and to the claims of duty.
According to an email obtained by the Independent, Claremont McKenna College (CMC)—ranked number one for free speech among California colleges—is in the process of rolling out the Open Academy initiative. This initiative seeks to bring additional funding to expand viewpoint diversity in the Athenaeum speaker series—already recognized as a haven for speakers of many ideological perspectives —, in the classroom, and to help students build skills to engage in effective dialogue with those whom they disagree.
In the United States, conservatism and liberalism — often to the consternation of conservatives and liberals — are ineluctably intertwined. This turns out to be true of foreign affairs as well as of domestic affairs. Attention to this entwinement helps bring into focus the key question concerning the contemporary dispute about the post-World War II international order and the United States’ role in maintaining it: What policies best advance America’s interest in conserving freedom?
Many progressives think that independence from religious belief is a crucial source of the power of human rights. According to many conservatives, the spurning of faith reflects a dangerous delusion inscribed in human rights doctrine. Amid the bad blood and casual vituperation that do daily damage to American politics, correcting the error common to the left and right that human rights are one thing and religion entirely another might contribute to rebuilding common ground.
The term “liberalism” ranks among the most contested in our political lexicon. It should also be regarded as among the most vital. In the large sense, liberalism names the modern tradition of freedom. Liberalism so understood was the dominant strand in our nation’s founding. Appreciating the standard accusations against it and why it is worthy of defense is crucial to conserving the best of the American constitutional tradition.
In early July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched the Commission on Unalienable Rights. “The commission’s mission,” he explained in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, “isn’t to discover new principles but to ground our discussion of human rights in America’s founding principles.” The announcement of the panel’s existence and mandate immediately triggered a barrage of skepticism, indignation, and anger. The misunderstandings that the criticisms embody underscore the urgency of the commission’s work.
Perhaps at no time since the decade or so preceding the Civil War have debates about America’s commitment to fundamental rights been as rancorous as today. Yet at no time have fundamental rights in the United States been enjoyed by so wide and diverse a population as they are now. The contrast in contemporary America between the public rancor and the political reality reflects an estrangement from history and an accompanying loss of perspective.