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Archive of posts published in the tag: National Review

The Contempt Speech

“A president shouting that 52 senators and millions of Americans are racist unless he gets whatever he wants is proving exactly why the Framers built the Senate to check his power”

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Permanent Crisis

We need to realize that crisis are inevitable.  Ideologues will debate causes long after they pass, but it does not matter if the cause is excessive individualism, unfettered free markets, limited government, excessive government, globalism, the administrative state, or utopian socialism. Any theory of human action in a complex interrelated world will fail occasionally; but we fail a critical test when we equate the ‘failings’ of an ideology with the ‘failure’ of an ideology.  To understand our beliefs we need to know their limits.

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The Only Loyalty that Matters

“If you are not used to the intellectual compartmentalization required of an American politician, it can be jarring to hear, e.g., Senator Sanders demanding “revolution” at 10 a.m. and denouncing “insurrection” at 10:15 a.m”

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A Carefully Constructed Republic

The critical point is not that we are simply a republic and not a democracy, but that we are a very carefully constructed republic, reflecting an understanding of human nature, with numerous firewalls that are designed to prevent the democracy from degenerating into anarchy and tyranny.

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The Liberal Q-Anon

“A note to our progressive friends: This is your version of Q-Anon — falling for obvious, ridiculous lies because you want to believe the worst about people you hate.”

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Democracy and Climate

“Progressives have long struggled with the tension between their desire, often genuine, to be democratizers and their desire to give experts (however unreliably identified) a larger role in the administration of public affairs. “

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Covid Progressivism

“In its Wilsonian form, progressivism is a system in which the elected branches attempt to permanently outsource many of the country’s key political decisions to an ostensibly disinterested technocracy. When that technocracy is trusted, as it was for a while in the early 20th century and again in the 1950s and early to mid 1960s, those attempts enjoy a sufficient degree of support. When that technocracy is not trusted, as was the case after the fall of Robert McNamara and during the malaise-ridden 1970s, those attempts create a mighty backlash.”

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The Agent Principal Problem

Because socialism always begins with a man in a workshirt and ends with a guy dressed up as Cap’n Crunch,

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Will Banning Trump from Facebook be Counterproductive?

The media would be better to trust their users than to damage their own credibility. The rules should be clear and simple about what is allowed and should be followed strictly regardless of content.  No one who is suspended should be surprised and a suspension should not be judged by a board that will only  likely reflect an organization’s internal bias.

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Social Media Bypasses Important Mediating Institutions

“We need mediating institutions, because human beings are capable of extraordinarily evil things and very much prone to banal evil and petty corruption — and easily seduced by the crude stimulation of mere novelty.”

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Governing the Here and Now

“”What we do at the personal level, we also do at the political level. That is why we are so fixated on statues put up a century ago and on the average daily temperatures a century hence — anything to avoid looking soberly at our real troubles in the here and now.”

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The Neighbor Proxy

“What we have instead today is the inclination on both right and left to make it as easy as possible for us to live as strangers to one another. “

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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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