sábado, 25 de febrero de 2017

That is what true conservatism means, or it means nothing...

Essays of the Week

by George W. Carey
The American strain of conservatism emphasizes popular government, taking care to provide for the rule of law, as well as to mark out the realms in which majorities can rule. It also provides yardsticks we can use to determine when it is that the prerogatives of the majority have been trampled upon by unaccountable judges. American conservatives, who take their bearings from our political tradition, are not at all reluctant in urging the American people to take back their heritage through the political processes available to them, even if this means being called “populists.” Nor are they afraid to denounce judicial tyranny as illegitimate, which it most surely is. The test for American conservatives in the years to come, oddly enough, will be the extent to which they are successful in restoring popular self-government...

by Eva Brann
The Bible is not passé, not of the past, in the sense of “bygone” insofar as faith may be failing, because its depths are thought-inducing for the faithful as well as the faithless—perhaps they ought to be ever more so for the latter. And similarly, the Bible is not out of fashion insofar as its prescriptions may be inapplicable to contemporary life because it is the very lesson book for thinking about what it means to duck out from under obedience to a divinity and to be driven only by the necessities of the world. The Bible is just the best example for my claim: None of the works of the Tradition are to be considered old, except insofar as in human works—not so much in human beings—old age often brings beauty... 

by Peter S. Rieth
Equality under law underlies American citizenship, and so anyone can aspire to become an American, but the American citizen is by definition unequal to the non-citizen, and the legal aspiring immigrant is unequal to the illegal immigrant. The citizen and the legal immigrant are superior; the non-citizen and the illegal immigrant are inferior. To contend otherwise means to reason that the lawful aspirations of those who want to become Americans are equal to the unlawful aspirations of those who want to illegally take advantage of America. To view the two as equals is the definition of national suicide. To contend that viewing citizens and legal aliens as superior is discrimination is true, but it is the same type of discrimination as the distinction between prison guards and prisoners... [MORE]

by Glenn Arbery
It is difficult to imagine great shifts in politics without great poetry informing them. During England’s rise to world power, for example, William Shakespeare’s imagination absorbed the political sphere so profoundly that his insight informs almost every conceivable political circumstance. Ambition, rivalry, questions of legitimacy in office, appeals to shifting popular judgment, delusions of power, agonized self-scrutiny—nothing escapes him. Not only can he write Richard II’s self-pitying vacillations, but he can also invent Henry V’s superb St. Crispin’s Day speech for the morning of the Battle of Agincourt. There is no evidence that Shakespeare ever held public office, but other poets were directly entangled in the public sphere, including the two great epic poets of Christianity, Dante Alighieri and John Milton...

by Bruce Frohnen
The myth of civil service neutrality, like the myth of an unbiased press, has fostered the growth of an arrogant, self-interested governing class and structure than can and will defend its own interests. One need not be a conspiracy theorist to recognize the need to set aside such myths and to subject, not just political aides, but administrators themselves, to standards of discipline and loyalty to duly elected officials. This means that administrations seeking to undermine the preferred institutional arrangements of what has come to be called the Deep State must be undermined, most obviously through the spread of (often false) stories that make for good copy in the legacy media...

by Gleaves Whitney
Like Cincinnatus, George Washington put down his sword and took up his plow, making him the most trusted man in America. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 selected him to be their president, knowing he would not abuse his position to aggrandize himself. And a grateful nation unanimously elected him president of the United States in 1789 and again in 1792, because they knew he would devote all his energies to serving the new nation. Washington, when convinced that he had done all he could to help the country, retired after two terms as president. True to principle, he relinquished the power that was his for the taking. It was an example of selfless leadership that inspires Americans and the world to this day. Why don’t more American children know that?...

by Robert H. Bork
This is not a counsel of despair. There is no iron law that bad trends must continue in a straight line forever. Perhaps we will stop the seemingly inexorable growth of government control of our lives. Taking back the culture will not be easy, but religion rejects despair. The four cardinal Christian virtues, paralleled in other religions, are, after all, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. These are quite enough to take back the culture. In our current cultural wars, perhaps the most important of the virtues for conservatives is fortitude—the courage to take stands that are not immediately popular, the courage to ignore the opinion polls. Otherwise, we will never change the polls. That is what true conservatism means, or it means nothing...
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