Prudence as Excellence: Edmund Burke, Abraham Lincoln and the Problem of Greatness

By |2017-10-12T10:08:28-05:00April 1st, 2013|Categories: Abraham Lincoln, Edmund Burke|Tags: |

Edmund Burke Our conference is subtitled “equality and the survival of heroism.”  My concern is the survival of prudence amid the longing for heroism—in particular, the misalignment between ambition and circumstance, the persistent pursuit of legacy, especially by presidents.  We live in a democratic age.  Whence greatness if it is also an ordinary [...]

Presidential Power and the War on Terror: Whence Congress?

By |2014-01-28T20:30:42-06:00February 16th, 2013|Categories: Politics, Terrorism, War|Tags: |

Sunday’s New York Times carries a less than astonishing report, following the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s hearings on John O. Brennan’s nomination to be Director of Central Intelligence, that President Obama’s terrorism policies have turned out to be remarkably similar to his predecessor’s. “Obama’s Turn,” the headline runs, “in Bush’s Bind.” Bind? The suggestion [...]

Madison’s Metronome: The Sovereign Physician of Our Passions

By |2016-08-23T00:31:18-05:00September 19th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Constitution, Featured, James Madison|Tags: |

An excerpt from Madison’s Metronome: The Constitution, Majority Rule, and the Tempo of American Politics. Twelve-year-olds do not read Michel de Montaigne anymore, much less take notes. James Madison did both, and a circa 1763 entry in his childhood commonplace book indicates that one of the French essayist’s observations made a particular impression: “Time,” Montaigne wrote [...]

The War on Terror and the Quest for Community

By |2014-01-16T22:24:46-06:00September 2nd, 2012|Categories: Community, Conservatism, Foreign Affairs, Politics, Robert Nisbet, War|Tags: |

There will be ample disputation at this week’s and next’s presidential nominating conventions, but one point is virtually sure to unite them: a rhetorical commitment to the “War on Terror” and, particularly, to the troops fighting it. Already, Paul Ryan has offered up the obligatory salute to the troops who have “defended our freedom”—which is, [...]

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