The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Soul of Politics

Posted on | September 18, 2021 | Comments Off on The Soul of Politics

by Smitty
The Soul of Politics p.48:

In his essays and articles for the public, Jaffa made at least three significant contributions to American politics. First, by insisting on the centrality of the Declaration of Independence for understanding American constitutionalism, Jaffa was among the first and most influential writers to challenge the doctrine of judicial positivism and promote a natural law jurisprudence.

Second, in his scholarly and popular writings and through his many students, Jaffa promoted an explicitly political and practically focused application of classical political philosophy. Leo Strauss, virtually single-handedly, had revived the serious reading of the great authors of the Western canon, treating them as enduringly relevant rather than historical curiosities. But without Jaffa’s relentless efforts, this stupendous achievement might have settled into an effete sect of apolitical textualism.

Third, in part through his friendship with (and constant badgering of) William F. Buckley, Jaffa was largely responsible for pulling the modern conservative movement toward a more authentically American and pro-Lincoln stance, away from nostalgia for European throne-and-altar traditionalism or (worse) the old slaveholding South.

I’m really turning into a fan of this mode of thought, most readily captured online at American Mind.

Your attention is drawn to this for some clear thinking about where we are and how to correct the current decline. Maybe its distance from DC helps the Claremont Institute be less of a GOP toolbox.


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