There is a lot of discussion going on nationally about the future of conservatism and what that means. This is not new but has been energized by the emergence of President Donald Trump and his successful political campaign and overall dominance of the Republican Party. The latest debate centers around how exactly to challenge much of the Left in the public square given their commitment to wiping out any opposing worldview they abhor. Brooke Medina and I tried to address a little bit of how we should navigate the cultural wars and the debate around it on the upcoming podcast (you can watch the uncut edition of this discussion here).
I thought I’d compile a short reading list related to some of that for Civitas readers. However, I don’t want to merely focus on politics. Taking our mind off the government and all the infighting is essential for conservatism to flourish in this country. Perhaps the best recent article was written by Graham Tomlin, a Bishop in the Church of England. I’ll highlight that below too.
There is a lot of good news in the nation and world despite media obsession over the president and our national division. People of different stripes and persuasions still get along, often in intimate work environments or even in families. In so many respects, North Carolina is certainly better off than it was a decade ago from an economic standpoint. It’s a little fatiguing that some see more spending and government as the solution no matter that free-market and conservative policies are raising wages and benefiting different constituencies across our state.
Far from perfect, but overall, management of our budget and tax relief in this state remains an example for the nation. In a political world that is often too chaotic, some credit should be given to many of the members of the North Carolina General Assembly who have helped to set this state on a saner spending and economic path.
Below are a few articles to pick and choose from that I found interesting from across the web. Tomlin’s article simply brought me to tears (good ones) and was a reminder that we can all do more for the common good. Many of these pieces point us to what we all know: the government is not the solution for our collective ills.
Low-tax states are adding jobs 80% faster than high-tax states due to Trump’s tax cut & SALT Cap, Chuck DeVore, Forbes.
The perfect power of weakness, Graham Tomlin, Unherd
Finally, a Supreme Court justice recognizes the eugenicist origins of abortion, C.C. Pecknold, Catholic Herald
How progressivism enabled the rise of the populist right, Eric Kaufmann, Quillette.com
Five insights Christianity brings to politics, Michael Matheson Miller, Law & Liberty
Sohrab Amari vs. David French, Rod Dreher, American Conservative
The dictatorship of the young, David Masciortra, American Conservative
Can we believe? A personal reflection on why we shouldn’t abandon the faith that has nourished Western Civilization, Andrew Klavan, City Journal
Why can’t I afford to live here, Sara Hines, American Conservative
Having a sense of purpose helps you live longer, Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard
The books of college libraries are turning into wallpaper, Dan Cohen, The Atlantic
Rural Americans would be serfs if we abolished the Electoral College, Trent England, USA Today