French political philosopher Pierre Manent has given us all a great gift in his new book Natural Law and Human Rights: Toward a Recovery of Practical Reason. First published in French in 2018, this work is recently available in an English translation by Ralph Hancock. Manent’s concern with practical reason (as opposed to mere theory) … Continue reading Debunking Natural Rights and Recovering Natural Law
An editorial recently appeared in the L.A. Times entitled “What can you do about the Trumpites next door?” The author, Virginia Heffernan, begins by lamenting the fact that her Trump-supporting neighbors at her “pandemic getaway” home “just plowed our driveway without being asked and did a great job.” “Oh, heck no.” She begins. “How am … Continue reading The Parable of the Good Trump Supporter and the Ungrateful Neighbor
Populism is all the rage these days, though like many other -ism’s, it can be notoriously hard to define. It may be instructive to compare populism to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream: pleasant to the taste, unhealthy in excess, and vaguely associated with communism. Also, it comes in many flavors. Populism can arise on both … Continue reading The Perils and Promise of Populism
If you still don’t understand the populist fury that fueled the rise of Trump (and would have earned Bernie the nomination in 2016 and 2020 if he had been allowed to win), just look at what’s happening with GameStop right now. Could I have explained to you what a short sale is just twenty-four hours … Continue reading GameStop Populism
Is multicultural democracy possible? To even ask such a question is enough to land one in hot water these days. Growing up in the 1990's, “multiculturalism” and “diversity” were exciting new buzzwords; today they have acquired the status of dogma. However, I would argue that a certain form of multiculturalism poses an existential challenge to … Continue reading Multiculturalism, Democracy, and the Culture Wars
There’s a certain kind of adversity that bonds people together, a brand of struggle that brings out the “better angels” of our nature. We experienced just such adversity after the September 11th attacks: a unifying moment when strangers comforted each other and American flags seemed to wave from every home. It’s hard to imagine that … Continue reading 2020: The Year that Broke Us
Is it possible that almost every disturbing trend in American society shares a common theme – one that is both obvious in its harm, and yet politically unspeakable? If so, then Mary Eberstadt has named it for us in this brilliant essay just published in First Things. The culprit: a veritable epidemic of fatherlessness. A … Continue reading The Loss of Fatherhood and the Rise of the Nanny State
Yesterday’s Gospel was the Parable of the Talents, as described in the Book of Matthew. For those unfamiliar with the story, it begins with a master who entrusts his servants with his property before embarking on a long journey. To the first servant he gives five talents, roughly equivalent to twenty years’ wages. To the … Continue reading Personal Responsibility and the Parable of the Talents
This is the question Americans should be asking themselves right now; that is, aside from the fifty million who have already voted. Which of these two men – both in their seventies, both unafraid to go on the attack, and yet with two very different visions for America – do you want flying the plane … Continue reading Trump vs. Biden: Who Do You Want Flying the Plane?
Midway through the Vice Presidential debate, it was already obvious how the media was going to spin it. The narrative was predetermined: all Mike Pence had to do was challenge Kamala Harris (a guarantee considering the nature of the event, a debate), and they could accuse him of sexist bullying, or – to use a … Continue reading Do Women Need Equal Treatment or Special Treatment?