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Gleaves Whitney

Gleaves Whitney
Gleaves Whitney is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. He is the director of Grand Valley State University’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies. Mr. Whitney has written, edited, or contributed to several books, including John Engler: The Man, the Leader & the Legacy, American Presidents: Farewell Messages to the Nation, and the revised edition of Russell Kirk’s The American Cause.

All Americans tend to look at the nation either as disciples of Jefferson or as disciples of Adams: Jefferson told Americans what they wanted to hear; Adams told Americans what they needed to know... I. ...

The liberal conservative must be discerning. For he believes in freedom as well as in order. He believes in individualism as well as in community. He believes in the equality of all men as well as in hierarchy, natural aristocracy, and excellence...
teachers
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A free government is only sustainable if citizens can govern themselves. Socrates patiently revealed, through conversations that held a mirror up to fellow citizens, that they did not sufficiently understand such basic concepts as justice, piety, virtue, truth, and goodness when applied to themselves. Yet they presumed...
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Ideologues have been manipulating the idea of equality for two centuries now. Still, it is equality that has provided the dynamism, the moving force that has energized modern history. The great liberal and leftist revolutions of the past two centuries have all been made in the name...
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Because the Civil War is the American Iliad, it is constantly being refought in the public memory. Much is at stake, for myths make meaning, meaning makes politics, and politics make myths... Jesse Jackson made a...
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In the process of revitalizing Britain's governing principles, the American founding also unleashed the ideas of liberty and equality to an unexpected degree... A heavy overcast settled over the Huron Valley. Expecting snow at any moment, I...
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"You cannot assume your personal opinions are the truth. This is why we study history: to use the slashing blade of reason like a machete to hack through the dark jungle of false opinion until we see the light of truth"...
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Lord Acton is the prophet who foresaw our times. He anticipated the dangers of statism. But ironically he is now a setting star—passé and remote. This, it must be said, is a tragedy of his own making. It’s a mystery why he never wrote his planned magnum...
hone gritty
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My first conversation with Stephen Tonsor occurred on a mid-April morning in 1987. Already we were talking about a great nineteenth-century historian, the first principles of a European Liberal, and what it all meant to an American conservative...
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Was it coincidence? Fate? Providence? I could not know what it meant at the time. Yet September 27, 1986, would be my first encounter with the mind of Stephen Tonsor... Author's Note: At the start of a new academic...

True to principle, George Washington relinquished the power that was his for the taking. Why don’t more American children know that?... People ask why a few of us presidential junkies would like...
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Presidential farewells constitute a great American conversation among the nation’s chief executives and open our view onto a large and detailed panorama of the past... Farewell, Mr. President Tonight, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Barack Obama will deliver...

The lack of schooling in the formation of one of every four U.S. presidents underscores the paradox that even the most humble among them were often great champions of education in general and of the liberal arts in particular...
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In 2016 Americans are feeling anxious. It’s not that we are experiencing crises—we are neither in total war nor economic depression. Yet 2016 has forced us to rethink all we thought we knew. A Socialist made a credible...