Joseph Mussomeli

About Joseph Mussomeli

Joseph Mussomeli is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. He served for almost thirty-five years as an American diplomat, including tours in Egypt, Afghanistan, Morocco, and the Philippines. He was the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia and the Kingdom of Cambodia. Before entering the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980, he worked as a Deputy Attorney General in New Jersey.

Giving Good Things a Bad Name

By |2019-01-27T22:15:03-05:00January 27th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Donald Trump, History, Joseph Mussomeli, Language, Rhetoric|

President Trump has an uncanny knack for energizing his supporters and riling his adversaries, but to have a lasting positive impact on American society he will need to find a way to inspire a majority of the American people... Like most first-time visitors, I rambled as if in a trance through the temple complex at [...]

One Month and Counting: The Government Shutdown

By |2019-01-21T22:51:09-05:00January 21st, 2019|Categories: Donald Trump, Government, Immigration, Joseph Mussomeli, Politics, Senior Contributors|

My concern was that once the shutdown began, it would be difficult to end it just as it is difficult to prevent a needless bloodbath once blood begins to spill. What most of the public—including most of my former colleagues in government service—don’t seem to understand is that this shutdown is unlike all those [...]

Illiberal Lessons Learned Along the Way

By |2019-07-03T13:39:52-05:00January 15th, 2019|Categories: Charity, Culture War, Joseph Mussomeli, Modernity, Morality, Senior Contributors, Virtue, Worldview|

I keep reminding myself to look beneath and beyond labels and remain focused on the individual. Because ultimately it is the individual who matters most and who is most deserving of praise or condemnation, affection or disdain. It is a surprisingly hard lesson to learn and to remember given the current political and cultural [...]

President Trump Is Right About Syria… Even if He’s Wrong

By |2018-12-31T01:13:46-05:00December 30th, 2018|Categories: Donald Trump, Foreign Affairs, Joseph Mussomeli, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Politics, Senior Contributors|

President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, if it holds, is one of the few genuinely courageous acts of his presidency… My first thought when I heard that President Trump was finally taking our troops out of the quagmire called Syria was that he was not really serious. Given how frequently and [...]

The Eve of the Eve: A Christmas Story

By |2018-12-22T22:56:34-05:00December 23rd, 2018|Categories: Christmas, Culture, Fiction, Joseph Mussomeli, Senior Contributors|

It was still dark outside when the boy awakened and his thoughts immediately turned to the gifts that would be awaiting him under the tree downstairs. This year, like every other year he could recall, the tree was a little too tall for the ceiling and leaned precariously toward the fireplace opening. In his [...]

Twelve Ways to Christmas

By |2019-02-05T11:08:04-05:00December 16th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Christmas, Culture, Joseph Mussomeli, Religion, Tradition|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Joseph Mussomeli, as he considers Christmas as a revolution of the heart against the demands of this world for balancing the scales and righting every wrong with a hard justice. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher I. When the Outlandish Is the Only [...]

A Christmas That Almost Was

By |2018-12-11T16:15:14-05:00December 11th, 2018|Categories: Christmas, Joseph Mussomeli|

December 1969 (New Jersey) “Christmas,” the old priest snarled, “is an outrage!” He looked about the classroom, hoping to have awakened at least a few students. “Christmas violates the laws of nature and of man.” Some students seemed to be attentive, although it was mid-December and even talking about Christmas was too distracting when they [...]

The Saudi Crown Prince Starring in the Role of Henry II

By |2018-10-25T10:26:36-05:00October 21st, 2018|Categories: Ethics, Joseph Mussomeli, Journalism, Middle East, Monarchy, Politics, Tyranny|

We have all seen the scene at least once, although some of us have savored it perhaps dozens of times. The handsome, dynamic, misunderstood, modernizing young king, with his slender physique, slender beard, and even more slender morals, strutting about the banquet hall knocking the plates and goblets off the table in a drunken frenzy. [...]

The Supreme Court: “Never to the Right, Forever to the Left”

By |2018-11-25T22:10:54-05:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Joseph Mussomeli, Justice, Liberalism, Politics, Supreme Court|

Despite all the unfounded fear on the left and all the equally unfounded euphoria on the right, there will be no wholesale revamping by the Supreme Court of the liberal social order that is now deeply rooted in our culture and among our people. The conservative justices' ethos of evolution over revolution will forestall any [...]

Everything You Ever Feared to Know About American Security Policy

By |2018-10-08T09:46:31-05:00October 7th, 2018|Categories: Joseph Mussomeli, Liberty, National Security, Senior Contributors, Terrorism|

Two questions should always be asked over and over again before security measures are implemented: At what point do security measures impede security? And at one point is a free people no longer free? It has been quiet recently here in the homeland. Terrorist bombs and other attacks continue unabated in the Middle East and sporadically in Europe, but it has [...]

Syria: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

By |2018-09-18T11:01:13-05:00September 18th, 2018|Categories: Foreign Affairs, Joseph Mussomeli, Politics, Terrorism, War|

Like his predecessors, President Trump is now convinced that staying the course militarily throughout the Middle East is our only choice, worrying that a “hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists would instantly fill." If that is the standard, we will stay forever... Despite this President’s sometimes confused perspective on international relations, his world [...]