Hennessy's View

Domine, non sum dignus

Trump: The final nail in the conservative coffin?

So many battles are fought in war and in civilian life, and nothing is gained by their victory. Every battle we fight will result in a gain for us or we will not fight … There is no great gain in merely being right. To be right about some unimportant subject is not important. –General George S. Patton Jonah Goldberg explains the problem of Trump better than anyone: Read more →

Why Welfare Reform Must Continue

I can’t believe I missed this. It’s the story of Marienthal Austria. Marienthal was a town in Austria that thrived thanks to a single employer. When the flax mill went out of business in 1932, Marienthal’s population became mostly unemployed. Thanks to Austria’s liberal unemployment programs that replaced up to 90 percent of income, no one in Marienthal plunged into economic poverty as a result of the mill’s closing. But spiritual poverty was another story. Read more →

Why poverty is a conservative issue

Oh but now old friends they’re acting strange, They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed Well something’s lost, but something’s gained In living every day. –Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now I’ve looked at poor from both sides now. I get a lot of grief for pushing poverty solutions. And service. Many conservatives believe Mitt Romney was right when he uttered his infamous 47 percent line. In case you forgot: Read more →

Same-Sex Marriage Is a Tax Problem

Why is government involved in marriage at all? Taxes. Brian Bollmann makes an excellent point about same-sex marriage. Brian points out in this post that marriage is not a matter for government; contract law is. Government’s only concern in the case of a marriage is with its contractual implications: At some point in the short history of the United States (and certainly after the Civil War), state governments stepped onto the wall of separation and began getting involved in the religious institution of marriage in the appropriate area of protecting the rights to property – especially that of women. Read more →

We Were Once the Party of Ideas and Optimism

On my desk is a book titled “Grinning With the Gipper.” It’s 117 pages of Ronald Reagan’s humor.Think of that. A US president who could fill a book with jokes. My cursory review shows that about 60 percent of the jokes are on Reagan himself. And another 20 percent are on Republicans. Ronald Reagan knew that life is too short and too precious to waste it on anger and pride. Better to spend your days getting laughs. Read more →

Why Smart Phones Are More Popular Than the Tea Party

Does it bother you that people would give up essential freedoms before they’d give up their iPhone? While 26 percent of Americans report that they can’t live without their smartphone, only 20 percent of Americans say they can’t live without sex, according to this infographic compiled by FinancesOnline.com, a personal finance website. Seriously. It should bother you. [olympus_highlight color=‘yellow]Without essential freedoms, smart phones can be taken away or banned[/olympus_highlight]. Read more →

How to Sell Conservative Principles

If you’re still asking “why bother?” read this. If you still believe conservatism is an economic theory, read this. If you’re ready to [olympus_highlight color=“yellow”]create a transformational social movement that improves lives[/olympus_highlight] by providing every America with the dignity of meaningful work and the freedom to pursue happiness, watch this video. It’s Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk about his then-new book, Start With Why, and it’s the most powerful idea I’ve discovered in recent years. Read more →

America Has a Job To Do

We believe that meaningful work dignifies and enriches human lives. [olympus_highlight color=“yellow”]Every person who wants to work should find a choice of occupations to pursue. And every occupation improves the life of the person doing the work, the people the work is done for, and the family and community in which the worker lives.[/olympus_highlight] The more workers engaged in meaningful work, the better our country becomes. The opposite of work is not idleness but dependency, and dependency degrades human lives. Read more →

Do You Really Want Your Principles to Win?

in a democratic system, the minority is by definition the opposition. Their de facto position is fighting against the ideas of the other side. Political minorities fight against something that’s more powerful than they are. And over time, their entire self-identity can become utterly reliant on acting like the principled underdog. –Arthur C Brooks, The Conservative Heart My developmental psychology professor told a story of a female patient. Read more →

Why Bother?

We yearn for civic character but satisfy ourselves with symbolic gestures and celebrity circuses. We perceive no greatness in our leaders, a new meanness in ourselves. Small wonder that each new election brings a new jolt, its aftermath a new disappointment. – Neil Howe & William Strauss, The Fourth Turning Why bother? So many say it or think it. Why bother? I think it myself. A lot. I pull out of the civic process for big chunks of time, disappointed in the people I’ve voted for, disappointed in people I’ve campaigned for, disappointed in people I fight alongside, disappointed in my own ineffectiveness. Read more →