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Archive of posts published in the tag: National Review

The Great Fiction

“Federalism and localism aren’t aesthetic preferences or ideological leanings that come out of nowhere — they are peace-keeping mechanisms necessary to the stable functioning of a diverse society.”

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A Different Bundle of Prejudices

“Conservatives have long understood that our choice is not between a bundle of prejudices and enlightened scientific management but between a bundle of prejudices and a different bundle of prejudices.”

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Protecting the Devils and the Saints

“..we still cannot cut down the rules that protect the Devil without cutting down the rules that protect the saints.” 

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Economic Nationalism

“For the politician, jobs are not a means to some end — Cadillacs, bales of cotton, iPhones — but an end in and of themselves.”

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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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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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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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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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History Can be Discovered but not Dictated

“It is unprofessional for historians to view the multifarious and complex motivations of millions of people over hundreds of years through a single prism, as for example the 1619 Project does in its attempt to view all American history solely through the monstrous story of slavery. Similarly, although more and more people believe in conspiracy theories, they do not make good history. If there is a choice between a conspiracy and a mess, the truth is usually the mess. Or a messed-up conspiracy.”

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Temperamental vs Classical Conservatism

“One of the paradoxes of American conservatism is that one of the things American conservatives seek to conserve is American liberalism, which is rooted in the Anglo–Protestant liberalism of Locke, Smith, et al. “

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The Political Immune System

“Our nation has a strong immune system against threats of the sort Trump presents. It has a very weak immune system against threats of the sort Harris presents. “

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Federalism and Health Care

Healthcare does more to illuminate the divide in political ideology than any other issue. It merges the ideological and pragmatic limits of central power;  the dispersal of interests (and thus the difficulty of consensus) and the dispersal of knowledge, the ‘fatal conceit’ that any central power can know how to manage complex markets for a vast and diversified nation.  Health care challenges the authority and the competence of central power.

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Effortless Contrition

Virtue Signaling is an effortless act of contrition that empowers a mob to act more like a mob. Real solutions require thinking, listening and effort; not threats, intimidation and scapegoating.  Systemic racism and white guilt is just a way to avoid accountability, using a narrative as a scapegoat.  

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History on Trial- The 1619 Project

Slavery in the American experience is worthy of study and analysis; it is a smear on our historical and political culture and is detestable enough in its incontestable reality.  There is no need to distort the reality, disregard accuracy and fabricate facts unless your purpose is an agenda other than truth and understanding.  

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Consensus and Credibility

“the diminished credibility of the major news media, the courts, the political professionals, and the academics is not the result of histrionic right-wing criticism. It is the result of shoddy work by the people entrusted with the care and development of those institutions, of corruption and intellectual dishonesty at the highest levels filtering down to high-school history classrooms.”

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Covid Thoughts 2020 04 18

Shuttering large swaths of the economy is a huge unquantifiable cost we would only consider in such a dire health care scenario.  It appears that new information reflects a significant overestimation of the mortality.  When we referred to the mortality, we compared the number of deaths to the number of DIAGNOSED cases and compared that rate to the last flu which measures the number of deaths to the number of ESTIMATED cases, understanding that many who have the flu that never see a doctor. 

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Rights Trump Democracy

“The destructive nature of socialism comes not from its tendency to trample on democracy (though socialism often does trample on democracy) but from its total disregard for rights — rights that are, in the context of the United States and other liberal-democratic systems, beyond the reach of mere majorities.”

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Restricting Democracy

“The rising authoritarianism of our time is not an aberration but the ordinary natural fulfillment of mass democracy when it has overflowed its constitutional restraints”

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A Bottomless Well of Misery

“The problems of socialism are problems of socialism — problems related to the absence of markets, innovation, and free enterprise and, principally, problems related to the epistemic impossibility of the socialist promise: rational central planning of economic activity. The problems of socialism are not the problems of authoritarianism and will not be cured by democracy.”

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Impeachment Afterthoughts

The impeachment seemed liked a hail Mary from the inception, motivated more by rage than reason. That is precisely why the constitution designed the process as they did to start in the House and then move to the Senate.  Rather than viewed as a Constitutional crisis, it should be affirmed as its proper functioning. It does not become a threat to the constitutional order just because you disagree with the outcome.

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