What may be health in the soul is a horror show in political life. Continue Reading »
In both her logorrheic memoirs, Hillary Clinton writes in the anodyne crisis mode of a government spokesman during an agency meltdown—carefully and dryly, never conceding wrongdoing and always interpreting past decisions in the best possible light. Most political spokesmen and many politicians . . . . Continue Reading »
This week, Pew Research Center released a poll of over 4,000 individuals who had attended a religious service within the past few months. It asked respondents how often clergy had spoken out about various social and political issues. An impressive 64 percent of respondents reported that they had . . . . Continue Reading »
I believe that a sense of honor is essential in a political leader and includes commitments to telling the truth (no matter how discomforting) and to doing one’s duty (irrespective of political risk). I believe that a knowledge of history and an openness to learn from it are essential qualities in any public official who proposes to bend the curve of history in a more humane and just direction. I believe that politicians who ignore the danger of unintended consequences inevitably make matters worse rather than better. Continue Reading »
Last Friday, on May 6, Pope Francis was awarded the Charlemagne Prize, which is conferred annually by the city of Aachen, Germany, upon persons who in one way or another represent European ideals and contribute to European integration. The address Francis gave on the occasion is notable for a number . . . . Continue Reading »
The results of the New York Republican primary should be the final proof that conservatives should move beyond the Jack Kemp model of politics. But you shouldn't listen to me. You should listen to Jack Kemp's former constituents.Jack Kemp brought a great deal of optimism to the often dreary and . . . . Continue Reading »
In recent decades, Abraham Lincoln’s reputation has not fared particularly well in the black community. Ebony magazine editor Lerone Bennett, Jr., famously argued that Lincoln was a proslavery white supremacist, while Julius Lester wrote that African Americans “have no reason to feel grateful to Abraham Lincoln. Rather, they should be angry at him.”
Whether or not we find these contemporary parallels apt, Rahe’s focus may help us understand Sparta’s important role in early modern Europe, on which he has written significant scholarship. Rousseau modeled his ideal communities on Sparta. American patriot Samuel Adams dreamed of his native Boston as “a Christian Sparta” that valued virtue over wealth, though New England ended up pursuing the more Athenian path of a democratic commercial republic. With the deindustrialization of America and the growth of a large standing army, we may come to appreciate the virtues of Sparta once again.