Defending the Founders

Mike Uhlmann, RIP

Featured image Very sad news on Tuesday of the passing of Michael Uhlmann, one of the unsung heroes of the conservative movement since the 1960s. It is not easy to convey the insight and virtue of this energetic and magnanimous man, or to do justice to his significant impact, almost always behind the scenes because of his modest and self-effacing manner. A precis of his bio, drawn from Ryan Williams’s introduction of »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 147: A Few Minutes with Hadley Arkes

Featured image I am overseas at the moment and limited to Internet by smoke signals (another failure of globalization!), but as they say in Hollywood, the show must go on, and that includes the Power Line Show. (And in case you’re wondering, not to worry: The Week in Pictures is already buttoned up and scheduled for appearance at the regular time tomorrow.) Last week I caught up with Hadley Arkes, Edward N. »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 142, Special Edition: Breaking Down the “1619 Project,” Part 2

Featured image We have a new theory about the mainstream media: they have decided to work without editors any more. How else to explain how the Washington Post slandered J.D. Vance with the claim that he decried the “falling white birth rate” (he said no such thing, and the Posthad to correct the story), or MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell going to air with a completely uncorroborated story about Trump’s supposed Russian financial connections? Or »

George Will’s Triumph

Featured image By special request, my long review (almost 4,000 words) of George Will’s big new book, The Conservative Sensibility, is out from behind the paywall at the Claremont Review of Books. Everyone should buy this book and actually read it: it is built to last, and, as I say early in the review, it “deserves to take its place with such classics as Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) and »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 140 (Special Edition): Breaking Down the “1619 Project,” Part 1

Featured image As promised in our last episode, we return early this week with the first in a series of bonus episodes devoted to a deep dive into the New York Times‘s agitprop “1619 Project” that seeks to place slavery and racism as the central fact of the American story. In this first installment, Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, “Lucretia” (who happens to teach political philosophy and American government . . »

The Power Line Podcast, Special July 4 Edition: Five Things to Know about the Declaration, with “Lucretia”

Featured image By popular demand from listeners, we’re bringing back “Lucretia,” Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, on this special edition for the July 4 holiday. Many listeners asked us to offer up mini-tutorials on various aspects of the American Founding and political thought in general, so we break down the Declaration of Independence, drawing notice to five key features—including how some of the specific indictments against King George III remain highly »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day (2)

Featured image President Calvin Coolidge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the variants of the progressive dogma that pass themselves off today »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day

Featured image On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln was in the audience as Douglas prepared to speak. Douglas graciously invited Lincoln to join him on the balcony to listen to the speech. In his speech Douglas sounded the themes of the momentous campaign that Lincoln and Douglas waged that summer and »

Do We Still “Hold These Truths”?

Featured image On the first page of Natural Right and History (1953) Leo Strauss asks: Does this nation in its maturity still cherish the faith in which it was conceived and raised? Does it still hold those “truths to be self-evident”? About a generation ago, an American diplomat could still say that “the natural and the divine foundation of the rights of man . . . is self-evident to all Americans.” Well what »

Ready, Set, Launch the New Books!

Featured image It was ten years ago that I wrote a controversial feature in the Washington Post lamenting that the conservative intellectual world was not producing significant serious books that attracted large public notice. With only a very few exceptions conservative best-sellers of the aughts seemed to be the frothy polemics from Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, and such. Lately however there are a large number of new conservative books that are making a »

Uhlmann’s Conquest

Featured image A week or ten days back we linked to Michael Uhlmann’s speech to the Claremont Institute on “The Struggle Ahead“—the “struggle” being the ongoing political battle to preserve our constitutional order from the predations of the contemporary left that hates the Constitution and its principles. But we were remiss in not including an excerpt from Claremont Institute president Ryan Williams’ introduction of Michael, which offered a summary of some of Michael’s »

Dissenting from the Leftist Party Line

Featured image Last night in my lecture at Yale on the topic of equality (previewed here, and coming soon as a podcast) I mentioned that the popular leftist attack today on the American Founding and especially on the Declaration of Independence is ironically the exact same argument the southern defenders of slavery made in the 1850s. Stephen Douglas explicitly argued that Jefferson only meant white English men in his phrase “all men are »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day (2)

Featured image President Calvin Coolidge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the variants of the progressive dogma that pass themselves off today »

Charles Kesler speaks

Featured image Last week 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 this year’s Bradley Prize awards along with Allen Guelzo and Jason Riley. I have posted the video of the event below (it is posted here on Vimeo). Charles is a gentleman, scholar, »

Jonah’s Suicide Hotline, and All That Stuff

Featured image (Dear reader—Fair warning: this is a long post, so best to settle in on the couch and make sure your dogs have completed their morning walks . . .) Okay class, everyone settle in for today’s seminar and get out your textbook, Jonah Goldberg’s Suicide of the West.  Turn to page 316, and circle this sentence: “Indeed, as much as I hold Trump in contempt, I am still compelled to »

Remembering the indispensable man

Featured image Today we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Of all the great men of the revolutionary era to whom we owe our freedom, Washington’s greatness was the rarest and the most needed. At this remove in time, it is also the hardest to comprehend. Take, for example, Washington’s contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Washington’s mere presence lent the undertaking and its handiwork the legitimacy that »

It’s Official: Liberals Hate Constitutional Government

Featured image We should be grateful to Ryan Cooper for acknowledging so forthrightly in The Week what has been obvious to conservatives for a long, long time—liberals really really hate the Constitution, because limited government is an impediment to their endless dreams of ruling over us more completely and fixing every human problem: “America’s Constitution is terrible. Let’s throw it out and start over.” Cooper makes five main points, some of which »