Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In 2019-2021, he served as the Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, executive secretary of the department's Commission on Unalienable Rights, and senior adviser to the...
Democracy and freedom currently hang by a thread in Hong Kong. How much longer will China tolerate dissent before violently crushing the protests? What is America's role and responsibility in the fight to save liberty in Hong Kong?
As the United States and the world embark on fraught conversations about race, history, law enforcement, and the underpinnings of our very civilization, Ayaan Hirsi Ali joins Peter Robinson for an enlightening conversation.
In 1997, Margaret Thatcher asked Charles Moore (also known as Baron Moore of Etchingham) to write her biography, under two conditions: that she would never read the manuscript and that the work would appear only after her death. Twenty-four years later, Moore has just published the third and final volume of Herself Alone: The Authorized Biography. In this conversation, Peter Robinson and Moore discuss Thatcher’s final years as prime minister and her life out of office.
It’s the last show of the year for Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, and as is our tradition (for the last two years, anyhow), we’ve invited two of our favorite journalists —Ross Douthat of the New York Times and Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal— to look back, discuss, and analyze the year that was. We delve, discuss, and predict politics, the law, COVID, the future of Roe v. Wade, and much more.
In what has now become an annual tradition on Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, law professors John Yoo and Richard Epstein join the show to opine on a newly minted Supreme Court. For the first time in decades, today’s court is dominated by a majority of originalist justices—justices who believe the Constitution means today just what the document meant when it was ratified more than 200 years ago.
As you endure the long hours of holiday travel, listen to Hoover’s top scholars offer their thoughtful analytic perspective on the big issues of 2017.
How close in style and substance is Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln, one of our greatest presidents, who also hailed from Illinois and emerged from a humble background to lead our nation in a time of crisis? Ferguson and Long examine the first inaugural addresses of both men to explore the parallels between the two and offer insights into how President Obama will guide our nation. (36:54 ) Video transcript
James Woolsey discusses the failure of the intelligence community in the run-up to the Iraq war and considers Barak Obama’s selection of Leon Panetta to head the CIA in light of the historical relationship between the president and the CIA director. He outlines the challenges the intelligent community faces in what he calls America’s war against “theocratic totalitarianism.” Finally, he asserts that it is imperative for us to destroy oil as a strategic commodity – not only for our security but also for the good of the planet. (36:56 ) Video transcript
The Constitution “is not living, but dead.” With these words Associate Justice Scalia sums up how he believes we should think about the Constitution – a way of thinking that underpins the theory of “originalism” which guides his approach to cases that come before the Supreme Court. In expounding on originalism, Scalia takes the Court to task on past decisions, including Roe v. Wade, and measures just how far the Court can and should go in reversing these mistakes. (37:24 ) Video transcript
Amity Shlaes challenges the received wisdom that the Great Depression occurred because capitalism broke and that it ended because FDR, and government in general, came to the rescue. According to Shlaes, it was the government that made the Great Depression worse. And was FDR’s progressivism, as evident in the New Deal, really all that new, or was it a step along a progressive continuum that already had been established? (34:39) Video transcript
Should we care what the founders would say about modern-day America? Richard Brookhiser says yes. If so, how should we consider some of our thornier contemporary issues in light of what the founders thought, such as “originalism” in constitutional matters, America as a “religious” nation if not a Christian nation, or even the fundamental principles of U.S. foreign policy? Even the bruising political battles currently being waged in Washington may be better understood in the context of the political wars our founders fought when the Republic was born. (32:55) Video transcript
Sowell describes the critical differences between interests and visions. Interests, he says, are articulated by people who know what their interests are and what they want to do about them. Visions, however, are the implicit assumptions by which people operate. In politics, visions are either “constrained” or “unconstrained.” A closer look at the statements of both McCain and Obama reveals which “vision” motivates their policy positions, particularly as they pertain to the war, the law, and economics. (37:38) Video transcript
Shelby Steele asserts that Barack Obama won the presidential election by successfully basing his candidacy on race, “Obama’s special charisma … always came … from the racial idealism he embodied. … This was his only true political originality.” Steele holds that whites voted less for real “change” than for documentation of a change that has already occurred in race relations in America. But will four or eight years of Barack Obama free whites from the taint of racism or make them still more complicit in it? (37:40) Video transcript
From his vantage point inside Hollywood and the arts and from the perspective of a writer whose work is imbued with religious themes, Klavan deconstructs the Left’s argument that Western civilization — from its embrace of capitalism to its foundations in Judeo-Christian doctrine to its traditions of personal liberty — is in error and needs to go. Klavan says “that argument has failed spectacularly, in every way” and that, when you do not relinquish a failed argument, all you have left is insult and ridicule. (39:22) Video transcript
Relic: How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government--and Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency
What does the Constitution allow in terms of executive power and impeachment proceedings?
Has increased immigration to EU member nations created distrust and delusion, contributing to a continent in the grip of a culture in the midst of its own suicide?
The balance of virtue and rules flaunting in modern society.
A special one-on-one interview with Vice President Mike Pence.
The building blocks for a futuristic American state.