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  • Commentary posted October 28, 2014 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. Another Time for Choosing

    Fifty years ago to the day, a political star was born in America. His name was Ronald Reagan, and he seized the national imagination with a mesmerizing television address titled “A Time for Choosing.” The address was described by political analysts David Broder and Stephen Hess as “the most successful political debut since William Jennings Bryan electrified the 1896…

  • Makers of American Political Thought Series posted October 23, 2014 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. The Conservative Mind of Russell Kirk

    In the early 1950s, intellectuals on both the Right and the Left who were at odds about almost everything, agreed on one thing: Conservatism as a defined philosophy and movement scarcely existed in America. Respected intellectuals on the Left such as Lionel Trilling argued that modern “liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition” in the…

  • Commentary posted September 12, 2014 by Arthur Milikh Putin Attacks the West's Soft Underbelly

    Many Americans have a hard time understanding Vladimir Putin. This is partly by design: The cleverness of Russia’s president hovers just outside the West’s intellectual grasp. His love of conquest and glory appear to us as monstrous, cruel, and unnecessary. Why? Putin, it seems, knows this about us, and seeks to exploit our blurry vision. He is waging a new genre of…

  • Commentary posted August 25, 2014 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan

    Not since Edmund Morris’s bizarre semi-fictional biography of Ronald Reagan has there been such a deeply disappointing Reagan book as Rick Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. No sooner was it published than it was greeted with charges of plagiarism, egregious misstatements, and “invisible” footnotes. It is always useful to know…

  • Makers of American Political Thought Series posted July 3, 2014 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. Barry M. Goldwater: The Most Consequential Loser in American Politics

    On November 3, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson was re-elected by the largest popular vote margin in U.S. history, crushing his conservative opponent, Republican Barry Goldwater. Johnson received 61 percent of the vote, topping the previous record set by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and carried 44 states for a total of 486 electoral votes. The election also produced the…

  • Commentary posted June 27, 2014 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. The Collapse of Communism

    History often seems to move slowly — like sand through an hourglass – until, also like the sand, at the last moment, it suddenly speeds up and runs out. The Berlin Wall had stood, solid and ugly, since 1961 when President Ronald Reagan went to Germany 27 years ago today, and stood there and challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!” Just two years later the…

  • Commentary posted June 4, 2014 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. The People Want Rights as Much as Rice

    Man does not live by bread alone. So the Bible says, and it’s the message of Tiananmen Square. Chinese students filled that space 25 years ago to demand free speech, democracy, and an end to corruption. Instead, their protest ended in tragedy. Hundreds of young people were killed the night of June 3, 1989, by Chinese Communist soldiers. But they did not die in vain.…

  • Commentary posted May 29, 2014 by David Azerrad Life Isn't A Zero-Sum Game

    It may be the most tired trope in the conservative talking-point repertoire: we stand for equality of opportunity, not equality of results. Cue the applause. Without even naming liberals, the point is clearly conveyed to all: they don’t. Those darn liberals believe in equality of outcomes and they won’t rest until they’ve redistributed every last dollar in America. This…

  • Commentary posted May 3, 2014 by Rich Tucker Creatively Destroying Government

    If you want to understand how markets, and creative destruction, work, just turn to the comics page in your local newspaper. If you can find a copy. Newspaper circulation is tumbling. Yet comics, and the newspapers they appear in, exist in the free market. As newspapers fade, people will be forced to find other ways to follow their beloved strips. Artists will adapt.…

  • Commentary posted April 25, 2014 by Rich Tucker Legislate, don't agitate

    Today's lawmakers have plenty to say. Each legislative session is packed with hearings, press releases and news conferences. But should we even bother listening? Consider the simmering Internal Revenue Service scandal. We know that the IRS singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny. Its own inspector general acknowledges as much. "The effort to single out tea…

  • Backgrounder posted April 9, 2014 by Matthew Grinney, Emily Goff Bringing Transportation Decisions Closer to the People: Why States and Localities Should Have More Control

    The current highway authorization bill is set to expire on October 1, 2014. As Congress considers its reauthorization, including changes in the federal highway program, the question that should be at the center of the debate is: Which level of government—federal, state, or local—is best suited to maintain, improve, and expand the nation’s surface transportation…

  • Commentary posted April 7, 2014 by Rich Tucker Don't forget to tingle at the benefits of capitalism

    In his classic baseball book “Ball Four,” Jim Bouton writes that as a child he longed to be able to run, just once, across the beautiful outfield grass. Yet as an adult and a major league ballplayer, he takes being on the field for granted. “Sometimes I forget to tingle,” he writes. In our capitalist system, we're all forgetting to tingle. Consider one of the good…

  • Commentary posted April 5, 2014 by Rich Tucker Nobody’s in Charge

    Our federal government is very good at moving money from place to place. In fact, some 70 percent of federal government spending consists of simply shipping money from one place to another -- after taking a cut off the top. "In effect the government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine," notes John Merline at Investor’s Business Daily, "taking $2.6…

  • Commentary posted March 15, 2014 by Rich Tucker Veteran retirements highlight how much Congress has made itself powerless

    Stay in any job for six decades and you’re bound to be a bit jaded when you finally retire. “I find serving in the House to be obnoxious,” Rep. John Dingell recently told the Detroit News. “It's become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets.” So he's stepping aside, after 59 years. Despite the obnoxiousness, he hopes his…

  • Commentary posted February 17, 2014 by Rich Tucker Celebrate birthday of Washington, by George!

    These days, American culture treats all children as if they live in Lake Wobegone. Everyone is exceptional. Everyone gets a trophy. Of course, if everyone’s an honor student, no one is. The obvious problem is that this makes it more difficult to recognize, and celebrate, someone who is truly exceptional. Consider George Washington. He was that rarity: “the…