The Bradley Foundation held its annual Bradley Prizes award ceremony this week in Washington on May 17. Moderated by the Wall Street Journal’s own former Bradley Prize-winning Kim Strassel, the event honored 2022 recipients Wilfred McClay, Glenn Loury, and Chen Guangcheng.
Having been sent a link to view the ceremony via live stream, my wife and I watched at our kitchen table. When the great Bill McClay finished speaking, my wife began to applaud before she realized it was just us sitting at the kitchen table. What a terrific speech.
I thought this was a case where the Prize-winners themselves honored the institution of the Prizes. The Bradley Foundation has now made the press releases, speech texts, and videos of this year’s Prize-winners available for all (links and videos below). All I can say is that they are all worth your time. I have also excerpted Bill McClay’s remarks above the video just to get the ball rolling.
So, here’s my humble little story for tonight.
At some point during the past few years, I was fortunate enough to have dinner with a very wise friend, here in Washington, at his favorite seafood restaurant near Dupont Circle. I noted that he seemed to be spending more and more of his time in a certain foreign country. He acknowledged the fact, paused for a moment, and then added the following words: “I want to live in a serious country.” It may be relevant to point out that the foreign country in question is Israel, where seriousness is an existential requirement. But it is equally important to point out that the gentleman in question is an American patriot of the highest order, the author of books on the subject. For him to say such a thing was, for me, a very serious matter.
So….Have we become an unserious country? I dismissed the idea at first. Millions of good, responsible, ordinary Americans go about their business, raising their families, paying their bills, participating in the life of their communities, building their futures. They don’t have time for the insanities that are polarizing our culture.
But then I thought again and considered the evidence….
The video of Bill’s remarks is below.