The Illiberalism of Speech Apologies

Matthew J. Mayhew recently posted this essay in Inside Higher Ed. It is an earnest and exceedingly odd sequel to his first essay, “Why America Needs College Football.” He has learned that there was an implicit racism in his initial essay that has “deepened the pain experienced by my ignorance related to Black male athletes and the Black community.” He has learned his lesson and the sequel apologizes for the “hurt, sadness, frustration, fatigue, exhaustion and pain this article has caused anyone.” He expresses so much contrition about the “deep ache for the damage I have done” that it feels … Continue reading The Illiberalism of Speech Apologies

The Stupidity of the Johnson & Johnson Pause

Update: Although not definitive, this study would seem to supply some evidence for my claim. The pause on J&J shots because of an astronomically low risk rate is, I think, remarkably stupid. The chances of getting hit by lightning or winning the lottery are higher than the chance of a blood clot. Medicine always carries risks. The risks are typically much higher than 6 in one million. Although the American public might overrate such risks (they actually think the next ticket is the one that wins them the lottery), the “scientists” at the CDC should know better. Apparently, the people … Continue reading The Stupidity of the Johnson & Johnson Pause

Noblesse Oblige, the Class Divide, and Race

This divide isn’t soluble by simply lambasting the losers as uncivilized racists. Nor, on the other side, is it soluble by calling the winners “rodents” and “zombies,” as Glenn Ellmers did in his recent piece in The American Mind. I’m honestly not sure what the answer is except that I know, as my daughter would say, those aren’t it. I also know that it has to begin by us all admitting what is more and more obvious: there’s a deep class divide in America in which access from one side to the other is nearly insurmountable. Continue reading Noblesse Oblige, the Class Divide, and Race

The Dignity of Work and the Class Divide in America

Bonnie Honig’s outstanding essay for us a couple of days ago suggests that we ought appreciate the intrinsic dignity of work. Our society, however, doesn’t always appreciate that dignity. She writes: “‘Care-work’ or manual labor is “treated as ‘low,’ and it is not paid properly. Providers are often anonymized and rewarded for their labors with job insecurity and vulnerability.” This lack of dignity, reward, or even security for manual labor has been revealed with real clarity by the quarantine. The events of January 6th and the excessive politicization of mask-wearing obscured what the quarantine should have taught us about this … Continue reading The Dignity of Work and the Class Divide in America

The Texas mask mandate and the true nature of Conservatism

But as a resident of the state who doesn’t even live in Austin, the answer would surprise most of the country. Same number of masked students at Baylor (although it has maintained the mask requirement on University grounds); same number of masked people, if not even more, in the grocery store; same number in every public space that you can imagine. Continue reading The Texas mask mandate and the true nature of Conservatism

Separation of Parties, not Powers?

Both George and Greg suggest that my separation of powers argument concerning Biden’s air strikes doesn’t square with the fact that political parties have replaced the separation of powers. I agree with them that this has now become the conventional opinion regarding the separation of powers. And, as they rightly note, the dominance of parties over powers is especially clear during unified control of government. The majority party in Congress doesn’t assert its institutional rights very strongly if it also controls the Presidency. That being said, I think this argument is somewhat overstated. Ultimately, it depends some on thinking of … Continue reading Separation of Parties, not Powers?

Syrian Air Strikes and Presidential Authority

In the wake of Biden’s air strikes against Syria, many of his opponents are returning to statements he and Kamala Harris made critical of Trump for similar kinds of strikes. Although I understand the inevitable politics of these things, I would suggest that we’re witnessing the separation of powers succeed. As President, Biden has a different set of responsibilities than he did as a presidential candidate or as an opponent of the past President. Given this difference, it shouldn’t surprise us that he is behaving differently. The Constitution itself induces and even encourages such hypocrisy. Senators have certain kinds of … Continue reading Syrian Air Strikes and Presidential Authority

The Danger of All-or-Nothing Elections and the Claremont Message

Milikh’s message might still make Laura uncomfortable but, to the extent that it is political rather than doomsday-ish, I think it a very important advancement. Our democracy depends on an intelligible conservatism that isn’t flirting every four years with rhetoric about the death of all civilization. Continue reading The Danger of All-or-Nothing Elections and the Claremont Message

University Press of Kansas

Below you’ll find a letter written recently by the American Political Thought section urging the continued funding on the press. Here is a link to a change.org site where you can sign a petition: https://www.change.org/p/university-of-kansas-save-university-press-of-kansas. We might also be able to add your name to the letter. If you’d like to do that, just put your name in the comments section of this post. Continue reading University Press of Kansas

A Definition of the New Conservatism and Claremont’s Role In It

Laura Field recently posted a summary of and links to the discussions of Trump by those affiliated with the Claremont Institute. Their unabashed and even enthusiastic support of Trump has perplexed many who were sympathetic to and even supportive of Claremont’s mission prior to their Trumpian term. Why were they supporting a man who seemed so contrary to their prior celebration of and veneration for the American tradition of prudence as represented by someone like Abraham Lincoln? I suppose Lincoln and Trump both believe in America…but what else do they have in common? Why were they defending a man who … Continue reading A Definition of the New Conservatism and Claremont’s Role In It