First Principles

Nurturing Common Sense in A Time of Crisis

We urgently need this common sense in our corporations, in Congress, and in the White House if we are to succeed as a nation, particularly in this time of crisis.

he 2020 election will be all about common sense. That is important because of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to as the Brits put it, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” But it’s also important because one candidate embodies sound, prudent action and the other has no vision and suffers from dementia, simply wanting to […]

A political cartoon showing South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks beating abolitionist and Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in the Senate chamber, after Brooks accused Sumner of insulting his uncle, Senator Andrew Butler, in an anti-slavery speech.
First Principles

This article first appeared in the Providence Journal.

Fellow Citizens No Longer?

If we believe that our opponents are not just wrong, but evil, violence against them becomes an acceptable response.

n May 22, 1856, Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina entered the Senate chamber and proceeded to beat Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts nearly to death with a cane. Brooks’ attack was prompted by Sumner’s earlier “Crime Against Kansas” speech in which he denounced the “slave power” and verbally attacked Brooks’ cousin, Senator Andrew Butler […]

First Principles

The Real Goals of ‘The 1619 Project’

Teaching young people they have no country, that there is neither God nor justice, but only their own anger to right wrongs leads not to civilized self-rule but to fanaticism and self-destruction.

rom Frederick Douglass to Martin Luther King Jr., many Americans have tried to bridge America’s racial divide. America’s newspaper of record believes it has discovered a new way. No longer preaching faith in the Constitution or civic brotherhood, the New York Times hopes that—by creating enough hatred for the nation’s founding, its ideals, and for […]

First Principles

Tolerance Is Not Enough

While it is important for us to come together and work to address shared concerns and strive to reach shared goals, it is important to remember that cultures and religions have fundamental and occasionally contradictory principles.

ast week, the Hudson Institute and the European Leadership Network hosted a panel discussion on anti-Semitism featuring many high profile religious and interfaith engagement leaders, including Imam Hassen Chalghoumi, a renowned moderate French Muslim who maintains close relations with Jewish organizations in France. The discussion, which took place in the Hudson Institute’s beautiful Pennsylvania Avenue […]

First Principles

Socialism Extinguishes the American and Biblical Ideal

The call for socialism, even so-called “democratic socialism,” is an attack on America itself.

hose today pitching democratic socialism as a safe and benign form of socialism are hiding the truth about it. By nature, socialism disregards any aspect of democratic will when it is in conflict with its fixed social agenda and goal of economic leveling. Thus, democratic socialism is an oxymoron, a seductive syntax and play on […]

First Principles

A Resource for Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty is the latest in the Ashbrook Center’s series of document collections covering major periods, themes, and institutions in American history and government. 

First Principles

The 1619 Project and its Critics

Nikole Hannah-Jones ought to step up, be courageous, and debate the historians with whom she disagrees. They’re waiting. All historical claims, particularly those with as wide-reaching and radical ramifications as these, must be discussed and scrutinized by trained scholars.

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Socialism’s Inequalities

In full-blooded socialist systems, access to government power is the paramount avenue to success.

First Principles

The Enduring Counsel of George Washington

Charity is warranted respecting political divisions when the objects of the parties are in accord. Washington’s advice for healing our divisions then and now involves remembering what ought to be our common object. But do we?

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States’ Right to Recall

The right to recall can be enacted and states should take the lead to regain power over the swamp.

First Principles

Subverting the Irrational Narrative of America

Christopher Flannery’s podcast “The American Story” works to dispel the irrational leftist narrative about America, one true and beautiful story at a time.

First Principles

This essay is adapted from an address to the annual Lincoln Day Dinner of the Boulder County, Colorado Republicans, February 8, 2020.

What It Means for America To Be the ‘Last Best Hope of Earth’

The fundamental task is not so much to imitate the actions of Abraham Lincoln, as it to imitate his acceptance of the weighty responsibility to preserve the last best hope of earth. Unless we stand up, America cannot stand out.

First Principles

You Can’t Have Representation Without First Having a People to Represent

If we have no sense of this land, this history, this language, these songs, these heroes, and no love for them, what “America” is there at all? And perhaps that is the progressive aim, at last: that there should be no America.

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What Americans Can Learn from F. W. de Klerk’s Great Betrayal of South Africa

Universal suffrage is not to be conflated with freedom. As Iraqis learned after their “liberation,” ink-stained fingers don’t inoculate against bloodstains—or rivers of blood.

First Principles

The System Worked

Even all the powers of a concentrated, entrenched establishment, corrupted political institutions, and monopolized media and education systems could not defeat the Madisonian constitutional system.

First Principles

The March for Life Proves that Cowering on ‘Social Issues’ Is Politically Stupid

Conservatives need to stop letting progressives define the limits of acceptable viewpoints and start “fighting for those who have no voice.”

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The Intersection Between Civilization and Barbarism

The forces of savagery are closer than you think.

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The Battle Between Something and Nothing

There need be no cultural war when one of the contenders fails to show up, supposing that he still exists.

First Principles

Distinguishing Between American Tragedy and Farce

The self-abasement that now characterizes the American Left’s approach to understanding America is rooted in a failure to distinguish between tragedy and farce.

First Principles

The Frightening Road To Leftist Utopia

The utopian Left believes human nature can be conquered; that they can annihilate the old Tao—and create a new one, based on their emotions.