Celebrating National Winston Churchill Day

Excerpt from "Fifty Years Hence"

On April 9, 1963, President Kennedy bestowed honorary citizenship on Winston Churchill. Today we continue a tradition of remembering our great friend and ally from across the pond by excerpting a portion of  his “Fifty Years Hence” essay (1931), a piece not only for the present moment, but for all time — Eds. It is…


Identity vs. Identity Politics

The human person is irreducible.

The proponents of identity politics place individual people into groups. On the surface, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. We all identify with some group or another, however significant or superficial it may be. I can say that I am an American citizen, who happens to be also a Bosnian woman, a war survivor,…


Big Chungus Energy Will Win in 2020

A large, adult political forecast.

For the uninitiated, Big Chungus is a popular meme character you may have seen around the Internet. He is a large, fat version of Bugs Bunny. But he signifies much more. First he represented the power aesthetic of the adorably chunky creature, man or beast. Then, as often happens online, the stakes were raised to…


A Victory for Intellectual Diversity in South Dakota

South Dakota’s experience with intellectual diversity legislation is a case study for the nation.

During its 2019 session the South Dakota legislature passed H.B. 1087, a bill intended to promote intellectual diversity on the state’s six public university campuses. As signed by Gov. Kristi Noem, the bill accomplishes various goods. It ensures the right of controversial speakers to access campus space, protects the free speech rights of student groups,…


Suffer the Children

A true trans story.

The following is a true story, with names and identifying information changed to protect patient privacy. The author is a medical professional. We present it as part of an ongoing series on children and the transgender movement. A long-form piece on the topic will follow next week.–Eds. “Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”  …


Losing My Past to Coronavirus

The choice of what to let go is no longer yours.

Yea, from the table of my memory I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past That youth and observation copied there, And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume of my brain, Unmixed with baser matter.              …


Corona and the Crown

It's time to lay the soil for a new age.

The American Mind frequently hosts voices that you will not hear in “mainstream” discourse. We do so in order to reveal the full panoply of the American mind, especially among the young, to our readers. As what was once considered “mainstream” rapidly hollows out, we publish writers representative of often-conflicting subgroups notable for their role…



Keep America Great Alive

“You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would be killed in a major battle. Every man is scared in his first action. If he says he’s not, he’s a goddamn liar. But the real hero is the man who fights even though he’s scared. Some men will…



Meet this moment, Mr. President, before it’s too late (and it’s almost too late)

Dear President Trump, You, Sir, are blowing it. I say this as a loyal supporter since early in your candidacy. I placed an early Predictit bet on you, and won big. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit defending you to #nevertrump cucks. My faith in your political and national instincts has never…


It’s Good to Be Against Things

Yes, “Parties of No” can win.

The new conservative coalition doesn’t make much sense. As Spencer Klavan recently observed, “More and more people at all levels of society have gone into political crisis mode, placing free speech at the top of their priority list and making common cause with absolutely anyone who will help them preserve it.” Beyond a penchant for…


How to Take Back Your Soul

At the National Conservative Conference, a vision of Christian humanism.

In Rome, at the second National Conservative Conference, two speeches were dedicated to the defense of humanity from the onslaught of progressive ideology. This ideology has been best (and most succinctly) described by The American Mind’s own James Poulos as the Pink Police State. The call to action was first articulated from an American perspective…


A New Normal?

The future of national conservatism.

As I came down to breakfast at the Hotel Nazionale in Rome on the morning of February 5, a headline on the front page of the New York Times caught my attention: “How the Far Right Became Europe’s New Normal.” I couldn’t help smiling at the irony. The paper surely meant to alarm its readers…


Wrench in the DreamWorks

A Spielbergian Fantasy Turns Dark

Young Woman: I’ve learned to hate you in the last ten years! Older Man: I never meant to hurt you. YW: I was a child. I was in love. It was wrong and you knew it! OM: You knew what you were doing. YW: Now I do. This is my place. Get out! OM: I did what I did, you don’t…


The Classical D.C. That Wasn’t

Would Daniel Patrick Moynihan have agreed with Trump?

Half a century ago, a young architect in the office of Vincent G. Kling Associates, a successful Philadelphia firm, produced a magnificent plan for the completion of the classical Federal Triangle. Situated immediately north of the Mall in Washington, the 75-acre complex of government buildings had been erected during the 1920s and ’30s. The Depression…


We Can’t Re-Found the Right on Free Speech

Life after wokeness demands we share more.

In “Can Conservatism Be Conserved?” Spencer Klavan offers a challenge we all ought to consider. Let’s say that we defeat the Army of Wokeness, or they lose all momentum, and that the major role they play right now is replaced by more straightforward class-driven lefties. The very broad tent that Klavan sees being stitched together…


It’s a Sick, Sick, Sick, Sick World

Scares and scars from the Oscars stars.

Ah, what sweet relief that was! How nice to take a break from watching videos of coronavirus-infected Chinese people dropping dead to watch drop-dead gorgeous people with much sexier diseases like Herpes and Chlamydia! Main takeaway: Whatever Penelope Cruz—who is supposedly 45—does to keep looking 25, I need that intel stat. Secondary takeaway: Tarantino wuz robbed. Yeah, I said…


The State of the Union: Our Respondents React

Updated in real time.

Andrea Yang Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema doesn’t always understand how bad thigh-high boots look on the floors of Congress, but, unlike her fellow Democrats, she understands just how bad petulance looks. While President Trump delivered a riveting SOTU address last night, most of the evil party’s ethno-fetishist and gender-narcissist sweethearts played on their phones, gossiped…


Sen. Rubio remarks on the State of the Union address

President Trump’s State of the Union address was a welcome reminder that life exists outside of Washington for millions of Americans too busy with life to pass their time hooked to the tumult of partisan politics. After watching the deterioration of our national unity and rapid politicization of every aspect of their lives, Americans have…


Stupor Howl

Halftime's sound and sexy signified nothing.

The morning of the big game, I predicted that the elderly singers poised to take the stage would appear in opaque nude panty hose and vinyl leotards, since legally the older the performer, the more skin they are required to flaunt. My prediction was very close to what they wore, except with slightly less fabric….


The Joke’s on Saturday Night Live

Absolutely everyone is fed up with our clueless elites.

Recently NBC’s Saturday Night Live aired a sketch-within-a-sketch during their Weekend Update segment, showcasing what can only be described as cast member Melissa Villaseñor’s attempt at a woke comedic synopsis of this year’s Oscar nominees. “White male rage,” sang Villaseñor, as (very white) host Colin Jost, beside her, seemed to struggle against laughter. “White male…


We Live in an Anti-Society

An Untimely Review of Joker.

I finally watched Joker, the much-hyped, and now award-winning, ersatz superhero movie which had the Twitterati up in arms back when it first came out. It recently won two Golden Globes—one for the best performance by an actor in a motion picture, which went to Joaquin Phoenix in his role as the titular character, and…


The Empty Cinema

Robert Downey Jr.’s failures in Doolittle are the failures of American film today.

Robert Downey Jr. is the only actor of his generation to play memorable characters whom audiences really and truly love. He resurrected his career, after all, playing Iron Man for more than a decade, taking breaks along the way to play Sherlock Holmes in two very successful Guy Ritchie movies. His attempted third, Dolittle, falls…


The Spirit of ’76

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech casts a golden thread across three centuries, connecting us to the source of the American dream.

This post is the third in a series by Christopher Flannery (author of The American Story podcast) reflecting on America’s identity and founding ideals—and their implications for 2020. Here are the first and second installments.—Eds. If you’re driving through Wright, Wyoming (a few hundred miles east of Jackson, 5,000 feet or so above sea level,…


“Team Human” Telepresence

How to think so we can stay in control in our digital future.

Most of our “tech titans” (or whatever) have enough skin in the game to appreciate both the rewards of public life and the routine abuse that so often comes with it. As a result, they provide us regular public statements about the unfolding future—as they see it and as they would like to see it…


The Golden Snow Globe

The solution to rule by celebrity is not more rule by other celebrities.

The internet is now predictably awash with two—and only two—videos from this year’s Golden Globes awards ceremony. In the first, British comedian Ricky Gervais uses his opening monologue to announce what is obviously true, painstakingly unspoken, and therefore punishingly funny: that his audience consists of self-satisfied prima donnas who fancy themselves sages but in fact…


Our Elites Are Steering Us Towards Civil War

They are as clueless as the ancien régime.

Along with the Upper West Side of Manhattan and a few other redoubts, my suburban neighborhood near the Maryland border represents the heart of what some pundits call the “blue church.” It is increasingly a dream world. I drop in periodically at Politics and Prose, a prominent bookstore in Northwest D.C., to browse and shop….


Elite Education is for Suckers

Classical education is rising up to take its place.

As part of our ongoing efforts to diagnose the failures of higher education, we present three pieces by college students writing “from the ground,” giving firsthand accounts of life in the 21st-century academy.—Eds. There’s a sucker born every minute. While historians aren’t sure P.T. Barnum ever said it, America’s elite universities have been proving it true…


The University Has Lost its Way

When God recedes, nihilism takes His place.

As part of our ongoing efforts to diagnose the failures of higher education, we present three pieces by college students writing “from the ground,” giving firsthand accounts of life in the 21st-century academy.—Eds. The modern university’s promise of an education is like a pair of fake Yeezys—purchased for the prestige, but an imposter of the real thing. Higher education used to develop the whole…


Where Are our Leaders?

Elite universities have failed to produce elites.

As part of our ongoing efforts to diagnose the failures of higher education, we present three pieces by college students writing “from the ground,” giving firsthand accounts of life in the 21st-century academy.—Eds. The higher education system, composed of “elite” institutions, has failed the nation. It has failed to produce men and women who are statesmen,…


Eric Whitacre: American Composer

Why he belongs in the American Canon.

Ask a connoisseur of classical music which composers should be included in the American Canon, and they’re bound to toss out a few names: Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein, the other John Adams. But ask them if Eric Whitacre belongs at the top of that list, and they’ll scoff and roll their eyes. That’s because in serious…


It’s the Child Abuse, Stupid

Reform, not Twitter, is what the Church needs.

Wait, you mean you didn’t hear about the recent gathering (or as they say, “General Assembly”—LOL, OK boomer) of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops? Their annual meeting was held in Baltimore in November; Baltimore, you may recall, was recently newsworthy for being particularly rat-infested. So many rats that no one paid much attention to a…


The Nakedness of God

An Advent reflection.

People get naked for lots of reasons. When they make love, or go to the doctor’s, or wash themselves; when they’re skinny dipping or sleeping or posing for a painting. In the ancient world Greek athletes stripped naked to compete, and Celtic soldiers did so to wage war. But everywhere nudity occurs it is extraordinary:…


A Reconquista of American Culture?

Something new must emerge from the wreckage of the Flight 93 election.

This is the second post in an ongoing series of reports and reflections from abroad by Jeremy Carl. Read the first here.–Eds. Hunter Hearns has offered a grim but accurate assessment of the results of the Flight 93 election. Despite the sincere efforts of many talented people (undermined in part, it should be said, by…


Finance Means Betting on People—Not Numbers

To Restore True Wealth Creation We Must Believe In People.

David Graeber has written a persuasive critique of the way mainstream economics treats money. His “credit theory of money,” which holds that all money is credit, is interesting. But he stops short of the true nature of money. Graeber describes how credit is created by banks, but—contrary to his implication—banks do not simply create credit…


Why Tyrants Redefine Words

To spot a would-be autocrat, look for someone who undermines language.

There is a passage that’s been haunting me for years now, from the History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. It’s about what happens when a society turns in on itself. Throughout the late 400s BC, Athens and Sparta—the two great city-states of Ancient Greece—were locked in a furious and ever-escalating struggle for dominance. Caught in…


Full Metal Racket

Raising Boys in the Shadow of Endless War

On Veteran’s Day, we flew our flags and honored those who served. As is right and just. But maybe from here on out we should prevent our young people from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces. At least until we figure out what the hell is going on. With American foreign policy in a post-Trump…


America’s Choice: Freedom or Shame

In 2020, Americans must decide whether their country is worthy of praise or contempt.

This post is the second in a series by Christopher Flannery (author of The American Story podcast) reflecting on America’s identity and founding ideals—and their implications for 2020. Here is the first installment.—Eds. I ended my last (and first) meditation with the reflection that, under our circumstances and leaving historical and philosophical subtleties and complexities aside,…


The Academy Must Worship—but Whom?

The case of Yale and Calvin

My generation was raised on many lies. One of the lies that we Millennials were raised on is: you can be anything you want to be. You cannot. Everyone can be some things. In America, wonderfully, many people can be many things. But time, circumstances, the human body, all constrain what any one person can become or…


Villanova Lays Bare America’s Campus Free Speech Threat

Chuck Grassley throws the red flag.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley recently sent letters to four universities, including Villanova University, about their faltering dedication to free speech. I was an undergrad at Villanova, went on to earn my master’s, and then worked at the university. There my commitment to public service and civic education began, and I met friends who became family….


The Trump Phenomenon vs. The Successor Entity

Trump remains our reality because his enemies are trapped in a fantasy.

Professional political analysts are still trying to figure out why the Trump phenomenon has not petered out. To the contrary, it is in at least some respects stronger than ever, not only on the partisan front but the “intellectual” one too. Despite ever more effort on the part of Trump’s adversaries, and consistently little effort…


Brand Warfare is a Fight to the Death

The fight over Chick-fil-A makes it plain.

If our present ideological convulsions may fittingly be called a culture war, then the accompanying clashes between corporate brands and consumers may fittingly be called trials by single combat. Perhaps this was inevitable: the purpose of a brand is to define the customer’s identity, and the American public is undergoing an identity crisis. It stands…


America’s Sexual Crackup

It's coming.

Of all parts of life, the internet has singled out sex and sexuality for especially staggering transformation. Until recently much of the change has taken place under the social surface. But it was inevitable people would start talking, and as we know online erotics and the erotic sensibilities unleashed online now suffuse everyday life and…


Canon-Building is Nation-Building

More on the necessity of an American Canon.

A canon is a stick for measuring things with. That’s what the Greek word kanōn, cognate with the Hebrew kanna, means. When ancient Greek music theorists, for instance, wanted to mark out the locations on a string where the notes of the scale were played, they stretched the string along a plank of wood and made notches…


Stand Up and Fight

There is nothing manly in throwing up your hands.

The dominant culture cannot dam up indefinitely the natural force of manly spiritedness. Lord knows we are trying: for years now we have witnessed the alienation of an entire generation of young men endlessly harangued about toxic masculinity. If, in the ostensible name of egalitarianism and democracy, we remain intent on denying males any permissible outlet…


A Canon, If You Can Keep It

Every nation is shaped by its canon. It’s time to shape America’s.

The American soul, unlike, say, the soul of a Frenchman, grows uneasy when it comes to canon-talk. Our egalitarian instinct effaces distinctions on a level that’s unfathomable—and unacceptable—to Europeans proud of their proprietary artistic achievements, or at least understanding of the value in celebrating them. It’s not that Americans lack opinions about what’s good and…


OK Pollster

Voters are growing sick of being sold as news.

For those with eyes to see, the sudden freak-out over the evident weakness of Elizabeth Warren as a challenger to President Trump offers a peek behind the curtain of the elite sensibility. A recent New York Times poll—you remember how predictive the election-o-meter turned out to be in 2016—shows unambiguously “bad news for Warren,” as…


Be a Man

Gender theorists know what they are doing when they target children. We should know what we’re doing when we fight back.

In the late 500s BC, the military dictator Aristodemus took over the Greek colony of Cumae. He slaughtered his enemies en masse and undertook to ensure that no Cumaean man would ever be more than his slave. Here is how he did it, according to the essayist Dionysius of Halicarnassus. “To ensure that no noble or…


The Dissident Right Embraces Realism, Not Nihilism

Mr. B.A. Pervert Knows Leftists Don't Believe in Democracy.

This response to our recent discussion of Bronze Age Mindset was sent to us anonymously via post in hard copy. We have made a few very minor editorial alterations, necessarily without the author’s approval, before presenting it to you here. — Eds. To begin, I want to express my thanks to The American Mind and to…


Wat iz Bronze Age Mindset?

Any critique of the online right needs a full understanding of its ethos.

A specter is haunting the right-wing world—the specter of Bronze Age Pervert. His book, Bronze Age Mindset, has been a breakout hit among certain segments of the Very Online Right—prompting a response, first from Michael Anton in the Claremont Review of Books, and then from various authors in these pages. What is it in Bronze…


BAP’s Bait and Switch

The dissident Right has no idea where it’s going, but it knows it wants to get there fast.

In my ideal world, Bronze Age Pervert would be treated as a symptom of our politics rather than a theorist of them. Actually he wouldn’t exist, as there’d be no internet. We do not live in my ideal world, however—and by reviewing Bronze Age Mindset for the Claremont Review of Books, Michael Anton has effectively…


TERF Wars: How Radical Lesbians Are Braver Than You Are

While you watch Fox News, radical leftwing lesbians are fighting your culture war.

An epic battle is being waged on the left. It’s not between Medicare for All nuts and Obamacare nostalgics. It’s not even between the Green New Dealers and the Slightly Less Green Dealers. It’s between feminists and transgenderists.TERF Wars Radical, leftwing ladies—the “feminazis” of old—are mostly progressives, pro-abortion, and against basically everything mainline conservatives believe…


President Trump Puts an End to Endless War

We will no longer go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.

In withdrawing US forces from northern Syria, President Trump is doing more than moving our troops out of harm’s way. He is raising a fundamental question: for what should Americans fight and die? Nearly two decades after September 11th, can a President still tell a mother and father who have lost their son in the…


“And You Call Yourself a Christian?”

How Liberals Trick Republicans into Ceding the Moral High Ground.

Bet you’ve noticed this. Happens almost daily on TV and Twitter. And…it magically works every time. Dumb Republican: “We have to enforce existing immigration laws.” Atheist Liberal: “And you call yourself a Christian? No Christian would turn away the poor!” Dumb Republican: [acts out And I Oop meme, cowers silently in shame.] Noted Christian theologian…


Kanye Actually Did It

Blinking in disbelief, Christians are realizing that “Jesus Is King” means what it says.

When Kanye West’s new album, “Jesus Is King,” dropped last week, my Twitter timeline resembled a support group meeting for recovering abuse victims. Many of my followers are conservative Christians, and they emerged—wary, skittish, but achingly hopeful—to hear what Ye had to say about his return to Christ. On one level they were concerned that…


Learn to Rule

Reclaim politics, founders!

One way or the other, characteristically, the richest, most powerful, and most calculating move to the front of the pack. Historically that has meant a leading role in politics—grand politics. Politics as the highest plane humans can operate on. Politics as what encompasses the world, the universe. People can argue over whether war, and “war in…


The Party of 1776

Election 2020 is a choice between the America of the Founding and an America beset with guilt.

This post is the first in a series by Christopher Flannery (author of The American Story podcast) reflecting on America’s identity and founding ideals—and their implications for 2020.—Eds. It was the first day of class and students were taking their seats. An earnest young sophomore came up and asked if she could make an announcement:…


Which Way, Jester Man?

In a collapsing age, humor and spirit alone won’t do us justice.

I  appreciate Bronze Age Pervert’s (BAP’s) measured response to what I tried to make a measured review of his most unusual book. Yet most of what he now writes pertains less to my review than to the underlying phenomenon my review attempted to bring to light for a—let us say—older, more mainstream or establishment audience….


The Extreme Left has Abandoned Free Speech

The case of Reddit shows how bad it’s gotten.

On September 27th, 2018, the behemoth online discussion forum Reddit “quarantined” 23 of its “subreddits,” subsidiary discussion threads within the larger site. Internet communities “dedicated,” in Reddit’s words, “to shocking or highly offensive content” would be placed on a kind of probation. Quarantined subreddits are disallowed from generating ad revenue. They cannot be found in…


Overseas: Damage to Catalonia

Mad crowds and pseudo-events wrack Barcelona.

This is the first post in an ongoing series of reports and reflections from abroad by Jeremy Carl. –Eds.As I type these words, protesters are facing off with police right in front of our apartment. I hear the resounding chants and the wail of sirens. In the distance, from our view on a high floor…


What Good is Bill Buckley Anymore?

The minor prophets of conservatism may be past their sell-by date.

Conservatives, or rather, conservative intellectuals—whoever may officially pass for one these days—have a nostalgia problem. To a degree, it’s inescapable. After all, the conservation of tradition—a kind of backward-looking, cautious naysaying—is what distinguishes us from the wild yes-making progressives. So in a sense our nostalgia is both good and bad. It is good to remember…


TV Rules vs. Digital Rules

The case of CNN.

An undercover investigation has shown that CNN is indeed a biased news network from the top on down. As well they should be, some doubtless say. This “reveal” might be important in a couple different ways. The first way counts for a lot according to the televisual rules that politics has played by lo these many…


Virtue and Consent: the Twin Principles of Just Government

Libertarianism again fails natural right.

The teaser for David Gordon’s reply to me—“Harry Jaffa’s disciples are rather sensitive to criticism”—represents an old, tired, disreputable rhetorical trick. Attack someone baselessly and then attack them again for the impudence of responding, as if the existence of the reply is itself proof of the attackee’s unworthiness. But what is one supposed to do…


How Customizable Should a Human Be?

Technology is raising fundamental questions that we’re not ready to answer.

Let me tell you three stories, and then let me ask you some hard questions. The first story is this. In February of 2019, after 23 weeks of gestation in her mother’s womb, a baby girl was treated for the developmental abnormality known as spina bifida. Doctors at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio performed a delicate…


“Economic Justice” Isn’t Just

Debunking a contradiction in terms.

Economic inequality dominates the news. More and more Americans say too much wealth is in the hands of too few—an undesirable, if not unjust, economic state of affairs. The answer, according to some, is higher taxes. The concerns about economic inequality are many: limited opportunities that leave the less fortunate behind; potential resentment and social…


The Struggle Ahead

Remarks accepting the Claremont Institute’s Henry Salvatori Prize in the American Founding, Washington, D.C., October 27, 2018.

Thank you, Ryan, for your generous remarks. My thanks, too, to the board of the Claremont Institute for their kindness in bestowing this award upon me. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be associated with all of you. Anyone who tells you he doesn’t enjoy hearing his virtues being lied about isn’t telling…


In Honor of Michael M. Uhlmann

Introductory remarks honoring Michael M. Uhlmann, recipient of the Claremont Institute’s Henry Salvatori Prize in the American Founding, Washington, D.C., October 27, 2018.

To many of you here tonight, former students of his—whether in graduate school or Claremont’s fellowship programs—Michael Uhlmann needs little introduction. We know him as a beloved teacher, friend, confidant, and sometimes coconspirator—and as Uhlmann always likes to add to that last label—“currently unindicted.” But I do want to spend some time sketching his extraordinary…


Heed Trump’s Warning on Sovereignty

“The future does not belong to globalists,” President Trump told the dedicated globalists at the United Nations in his speech there last month. “The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.” In…


The “Cultural Identity” Scam

This morning the Economist ran one of its daily podcasts, a topic of which was Trump voters in mining country. These voters, said Political Editor James Astill, are continuing to support the president even though their jobs have not returned as he promised they would. Astill’s takeaway insight from this phenomenon was that “cultural identity” is…


Libertarianism: A Feel-Good Suicide Pact

If you want to know why libertarianism recedes further into irrelevance by the day, look no further than David Gordon’s attempt to wrestle down the ideas of “Bronze Age Pervert” (a/k/a “BAP”), whose self-published book I reviewed in the Summer 2019 Claremont Review of Books. Gordon’s purported target is BAP himself but he spends far…


Why Super Mario Mac & Cheese Matters

Last night for the first time in ages I thought about Super Mario Mac & Cheese shapes. Remember those? The Kraft kind. Super Mario Mac came in the usual cardboard box, only instead of the standard curved noodles it had starchy little effigies of Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad, and the bouncy plumber himself. These you…


Athens and Jerusalem, Rome and America

My friend Paul R. DeHart recently took Patrick Deneen to task for his characterization of the American regime. DeHart goes through the evidence of the founding: The Federalist, the structure of the Constitution, the writings of Locke, and colonial preaching and political statements. In these, he persuasively shows that America is not a Hobbesian experiment,…


The Cancellation Machine

What really surprises one about Shane Gillis’s rise and fall is its swiftness. Just a few weeks ago, the stand-up comic found himself elevated to the top of his field, a new cast member on Saturday Night Live. Within hours, racist jokes he had told on obscure podcasts “resurfaced.” Within days, he had been dumped….


David French Channels Monty Python: A Response from Hadley Arkes

I used to say of our late friend Justice Scalia that, in composing his opinions, he would offer the most handsome examples of the moral reasoning of the natural law, while professing up and down that such reasoning should not be offered by a judge. We have seen judges backing into the reasoning of natural…


Bad Science Makes for Bad Government

In 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dismissed its existing Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and established a new panel. Ex-CASAC member John Balmes took to The New York Times to argue that the new CASAC review of the EPA’s Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter is a tool to allow freer emissions of the…


A Republic, If You Can Found It

The Law & Liberty website features what amounts to an attack on the American Founding by Professor Ted McAllister titled “Self-Rule is the Basis of American Nationalism… Not Natural Rights.” It is putatively a response to Steve Hayward’s Liberty Forum essay on nationalism, but fails to grasp the essence of Hayward’s argument. I will leave…


Our Constitutional Order Prioritizes Justice, Not Procedure

The intramural dialogue between the New York Post’s Sohrab Ahmari and National Review’s David French continues to unfold. Some may wonder when it will end—but there is no more important intellectual debate in all of contemporary political discourse, and it is crucial that we all grasp the stakes. There is much to be said about…


Genealogy of Cuckery

The value of the Sohrab Ahmari-David French saga is in what’s unearthed by the reactions it kicks up. Example: National Review Senior Editor Jay Nordlinger’s takeaway is “there’s nothing fancy or philosophical here: It’s just that David won’t bow to Trump and Trumpism, and that is what cannot be borne and must be punished.” We…


The Limits of Liberty

“Unsatisfying.” Michael Brendan Dougherty’s tweet following the debate between classical-liberal stalwart David French and his post-fusionist conservative opponent Sohrab Ahmari captures how I felt once the melee ended. Here’s hoping the next debate, to be held this week at Notre Dame with Charles Kesler, Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, is better. The last…


Debates Are No Substitute for Politics

Last week, the first Ahmari-French debate about the relationship between Christianity and American politics in the coming generation took place at the Catholic University of America, moderated by the softest-spoken conservative intellectual, Ross Douthat. This is the most important debate among social conservatives in recent years and yet it is strangely marginal, reflecting the marginalization…


Christians Must Face the Primal Digital Politics of Identity

The surge of attention around the Catholic University debate between Sohrab Ahmari and David French, and the ebb that followed, mirrored the reaction to a recent and similarly hot ticket: Jordan Peterson versus Slavoj Žižek. That debate, which pitted capitalism against socialism, and/or Jung against Lacan, packed the house full of youngish intellectuals desperate for…


Moral Relativism is our True Constitutional Enemy

Young Sohrab Ahmari did a spirited thing when he picked a fight earlier this year with David French, a man we both regard as a political friend. At the Catholic University, a large crowd showed up to see the first personal encounter between the two writers. At issue, supposedly, was the seriousness of conservatives in…


A Deplorable Looks for a Date

I am a widower of nearly two years who recently decided to look for a lady companion. Where to begin? Not online. I had signed up for Facebook in its early days, but upon receiving a deluge of friend requests—some from people I would not remotely call “friends”—I ran for the hills. I suppose I…


The Nation Is Not a Sin

You know a bad-faith argument is around the corner when a writer warns that two situations aren’t analogous, then immediately goes on to draw a parallel between them. Witness the statement “Against the New Nationalism,” published recently by Commonweal. “Our situation,” the signatories concede, “is surely different” from that of Germany in the 1930s. Yet they…


Four Things Every American Should Know About the Declaration of Independence

Every American knows that July 4th marks the day, 243 years ago, that the Continental Congress adopted a declaration asserting independence from British rule. Unfortunately, that’s about all we seem to remember. And every month brings new evidence that Americans don’t know their history, and that, unsurprisingly, colleges and universities aren’t teaching it. When the…


GOP Senators Are Blowing It on Free Speech

Republican Senators are increasingly talking about the suppression of free speech on college campuses, but they refuse to actually do anything about it. We need real free speech protections in reauthorization of the Higher Education Act—protections that lead colleges to change their policies and threaten serious penalties if they don’t. Earlier this year, the National…


Forgetting the Founders: The 2020 Democratic Field

A long line of suitors in the 2020 presidential election is forming, with each would-be-president fighting to interpret the Constitution to fit their political agenda. Bernie Sanders is at it again, attempting to read a universal right to healthcare into the Constitution, while Kamala Harris seeks to alter campaign finance laws “For the People.” No…


The German Stamp on Wilson’s Administrative Progressivism

Paul Gottfried questions the connection between the American Progressives and German political thought—Hegel’s in particular. I’m not quite sure what he means by the “cottage industry” he attributes to me, but it is the case that this connection is an important piece of arguments made about the Progressives by me, John Marini, and others in…


How “German” Were the Progressives?

Contrary to James Poulos and Glenn Ellmers writing in The American Mind, I did not produce a “mixed review” of John Marini’s excellent study of the American administrative state. I extolled Marini’s examination of our increasingly unaccountable centralized state and was especially drawn to his focus on Congress’s role in this misfortune. But I part…