Electing the Proper Elites

Our government attempted to bring the best features of a monarchy, and aristocracy and and democracy together without the faults; an ambitious project.  Our representatives are not just reflections of a majority will; but executors of judgment with an eye towards more that the next election.  This means that sometimes they must say “no” to the populist majority.  The Constitution makes this easy on some issues but not all.

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Cowardice in the Newsrooms

“Fear instead of reason—fear of losing a job in the next Twitter eruption, fear of being knifed by ideologically obsessed colleagues—determines what you can see, hear or be taught in certain of our institutions. “

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The Need to Say ‘No’

What distinguishes a republic from a democracy is recognition of the need to say ‘no’ to the majority every now and then.

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Heartless Tyranny of Ideas

“Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.”

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Fragile Institutions

“True conservatives tend to have a particular understanding of the fragility of things. They understand that every human institution is, in its way, built on sand.”

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Fanaticism Defined

The world of ideas tempered by a realistic notion of human nature, moral considerations, and actual experiences is illuminating and useful. Attempting to bend human reality to theories in isolation is the definition of fanaticism.

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The Electoral College Saves the Day

The left that so opposed the Electoral College in 2016 should appreciate its genius today. They should also appreciate the nature of federalism with state and local governments that are not beholden to the president.  The framers had a realistic view of human nature that they should not be trusted with concentrated power. It was as if they understood the possibility that just occurred.

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Ending Partisan Vengence

“But we must not imitate and escalate what we repudiate. Our duty is to govern for the public good. The United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance.”

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The Age of Anger Algorithms

“We all like being told not merely that our opinions are reasonable but also that we’re the only group left standing between America and an imminent socialist or fascist hellscape.”

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Doubling Down on a Losing Hand

This is the narcissism of minor differences.  We will react more strongly to disagreement within our tribe than a greater threat from outside the tribe. Sunnis and Shiites; Catholics and Protestants.

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The Necessity of Auxiliary Precautions

The dignity and flawed nature of man and the need to restrain his access to central power, the necessary limits on democracy, and the need to view freedom in the individual rather than collective have become the defining tenets of modern conservatism. History has confirmed their value.

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Noble Ends Require Noble Means

Each side justifies divisive means to achieve their ends; but even when you win a race to the bottom you end up at the bottom.

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The Books of 2020

As a rule of thumb I lean towards volumes that are at least 20 years old- if they are still in demand today they must have some staying power. I always find a few volumes that I have read before.  There is usually much to be gained from the second reading.

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Checking Government Power

Not only is the growth of central government power antithetical to the founding principles, it has proven as short of necessary competence as it is short of legitimacy.  As economics has rivaled politics for our attention new scholarship has observed the dispersed nature of knowledge that separates knowledge from power at the federal level.

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Genuine Insight on Race

“Genuine insight generally doesn’t make you angry and anxious. It makes you smile, and generates gratitude.”

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Trump Clickbait

Trump will not go away because 1) despite his flaws he reaches a demographic no one else reaches and 2) the left will not want to give up the lucre of Trump click-bait.

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Expunging Guilt from Affluent Liberals

“Human history for these guys is just an endless rotation of oppressor and oppressed, a revolving door of masters and slaves in Hegel’s view, proletariat and bourgeoisie for Marx, privileged white people vs. marginalized people of color in Critical Race Theory. “

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Federalism Ends Where the Bill of Rights Begins

“States can grant more liberty than required by the Bill of Rights, but they cannot grant less.”

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A Nicer Form of Tyranny

“The village may have replaced the state, and in turn may have replaced the fist with the hug, but an unwanted embrace from which you cannot escape is just a nicer form of tyranny.”

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