Deneen explicitly links the Framers to the Progressives of the early twentieth century, implying that the two projects were the same and that the Progressives would have met with the Framers’ approval.
The hustling and corruption which I once celebrated as a sort of shady virtue that helped explain America’s spectacular growth now appear to me as a vice and, at its worst, a sin whose wages are death.
Incorporation is a fact of modern jurisprudence; it is now interwoven into Supreme Court case history, having produced nearly a century of judicial precedents. A conservative cannot be limited to lamenting changes.
Because constitutional rights were synonymous with the restraints on government embodied in customary law, the greatest threat to English liberties were governmental innovations that undermined centuries-old customs.
More than twenty years earlier as a Nebraska congressman, "The Great Commoner" had joined the struggle to free the Senate from the control of corrupt state legislatures, and despite three failed campaigns for the presidency, he never wavered in his determination to make the Senate a popularly elected body.
Kramnick and Moore accept that anyone who finds anything positive to say about Christian teaching is a Christian. The architect of the “Jefferson Bible” has as much claim to speak for Christianity as anyone else.
What is conservatism? Is it simply an older version of liberalism? Which traditions do conservatives “conserve” in an age of modern change? Is conservatism populist or elitist, democratic or aristocratic?
For Whigs, probably more than Democrats, literature and political rhetoric represented similar, closely related instructional devices for both individual and collective improvement. Whig literature was rarely ever for “idle” entertainment only and was almost always didactic.
Gray’s essential argument is for a regrounding of human social experience in history and nature. If we want to live in a society that is even minimally civilized, there is simply no room for growth without end and ever-more-expansive rights doctrines.
The cries of righteous indignation that I can hear show the force of ingrained habit. How could universality possibly express itself in particularity? This is surely “relativism,” “solipsism,” “historicism,” “nihilism” “situationism”! This reaction points to the need for rethinking not just morality but epistemology.
Like Gamble and Babbitt himself, I think that the Progressives distorted the historical Lincoln. In my view, however, a careful study of the words and deeds of Lincoln reconfirms Lincoln’s moral and intellectual stature.
Man is a creature of desires, and since these desires are the products of social and economic motives, good government is situated at the crossroads of individual desires. The focus of politics shifts from moral authority to the social contract.
Never does Green allow an early American leader to escape his carping scrutiny. He insists that George Washington was “an unmitigated snob whose personal integrity was protected by his social status at the top of the heap.”
Virtue is not goodness, but the means toward goodness. This is evident as soon as we ask, “Courage for what?” Understood apart from moral relations virtue seems little more than vainglory, a form of self-flattery, hence self-interest.
Few parents raise their children from infancy to assume a specific occupation or role in life. Fewer still raise them to be radical reformers. This, however, is precisely what James Mill did with his first-born child, John Stuart Mill.
If his work is treated at all, it is considered part of a sectional defense. Calhoun was concerned, however, with the most fundamental of political issues—the nature of society, the character of the human condition, and the structure of government.
Lionized in his early career by much of the historical establishment, Beard fell out of favor with his fellow liberal and progressive academics because of his opposition to the nation’s foreign policy in the years prior to World War II.
Charles Adams, a libertarian and prominent historian of taxation, seeks to demolish the “Northern interpretation” of the war, which holds that the conflict was a great moral crusade to preserve democracy.
It may be possible to make Walsh’s hermeneutic inclusiveness work, but there is no evidence it does, and certainly not on the basis of his lavishing of liberal certificates upon a multitude of dead and living thinkers.
The national debt is roughly 100 percent of our gross national product, and the people who lend to the federal government are beginning to worry that they will not get their money back. Yet without continuous borrowing, the nation cannot possibly sustain its accustomed lifestyle. Something has got to give.
Practices are concrete social realities, but they are not natural kinds. Thus, we have to allow, as I do but Frohnen does not, that in a sense we construct or individuate particular practices to suit our purposes.
Clear and irreconcilable differences in the political and constitutional philosophies of Jefferson and Marshall sparked heated debate over such monumental issues as the use of judicial review
over acts of Congress and the development of the doctrine of “implied powers.”