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Matthew Schmitz is senior editor of First Things. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Spectator, the Catholic Herald, and other publications. He holds an A.B. in English from Princeton University. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Bourgeois Vice

From the November 2019 Print Edition

While driving from Illinois to Iowa, ­Donald McCloskey had an epiphany. He had spent the previous night dancing at lesbian bars in Aurora and now was returning to his home in Iowa City, where he was known as a libertarian economist and conservative “by academic standards.” Once again he would . . . . Continue Reading »

Two False Newmans

From the October 2019 Print Edition

On October 13, Pope Francis will declare John Henry Newman a saint. Catholics from around the world will crowd St. ­Peter’s Square to see the greatest religious thinker of Victorian England raised to the altars. Amid the joy and apparent concord of that day, there will be at least two . . . . Continue Reading »

The True Con

From the Aug/Sept 2019 Print Edition

In June, an announcer on CBS observed, “George Will is essentially unchanged from the way he looked forty years ago.” He still wears Brooks Brothers. He still parts his hair on the left. And in politics, while lesser men have compromised with the ascendancy of ­Donald Trump, Will has stayed . . . . Continue Reading »

A Nation of Americans

From the June/July 2019 Print Edition

America is a nation of immigrants. America has always been a nation of immigrants. Or so we are constantly told. Strange, then, that the phrase did not become common until John F. Kennedy published a book with that title in 1958. “All Americans have been immigrants or the descendants of . . . . Continue Reading »

Immigration Idealism

From the May 2019 Print Edition

For much of my life, I believed in open borders. Aside from violent criminals, I could think of no person who had entered this country illegally or overstayed a visa who deserved to be sent away. But in fact, I had thought little about the matter. I simply meant well, and I knew that all . . . . Continue Reading »

Sentimental Frenzy

From the March 2019 Print Edition

On the basis of a sixty-second clip, thousands of prominent Americans rushed to denounce the students of Covington Catholic High School. The students’ alleged crime was mobbing an American Indian activist named Nathan Phillips while wearing “Make America Great Again” caps. Respectable people . . . . Continue Reading »

The Winter of Love

From the January 2019 Print Edition

No one who welcomed the sixties as a liberation can understand what it has been like to grow up in their wake. Authorities mouth the rhetoric of revolution, shocking slogans have become clichés, and the anthems of Woodstock and Altamont sell sedans to aging Baby Boomers. A banner at the Paris . . . . Continue Reading »