Last year we celebrated the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Clarmeont McKenna College, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, long-time friend and tutor — for his receipt of one of 2018’s Bradley Prize awards along with Allen Guelzo and Jason Riley. Video of the event is posted here on Vimeo.
Charles is a gentleman, scholar, author, teacher, editor, advocate of America and the American propositions, and one of the wittiest men I know. He has helped turn the CRB into an irreplaceable magazine of ideas.
Charles’s leading qualities were on display in his brief remarks accepting the Bradley Prize. He recalled Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 Harvard Commencement Address in which “the great Russian novelist and historian warned the West that it was in danger of losing not only the world but also its own soul.” He continued: “In short, the fundamental crisis of the West was internal, spiritual, philosophical. ‘A decline in civic courage,’ [Solzhenitsyn] specified, ‘may be the most striking feature an outside observer notices in the West today.’ Civic courage means the courage of our convictions, which had declined because we had grown unsure of those convictions.” Charles ended his remarks with a call for the reawakening of our own civic courage. I posted the text of Charles’s remarks in “Charles Kesler speaks.”
Charles appeared last night on Mark Levin’s FOX News show. Below is a clip of the first segment. FOX News has posted a story on Charles’s appearance with a few more clips here.
Speaking of the phenomenon of “political correctness” that is now Democratic Party orthodoxy, Charles says in one of the clips at the link: “It’s become kind of… a medieval established religion. There’s an inquisition, there’s an index of forbidden books and forbidden thoughts which you’re not supposed to read or think. There is a strict moral patrol to make sure that you are not caught thinking things you shouldn’t be thinking or saying things you shouldn’t say. And it’s the antithesis of freedom.”