No, We’re Not More Divided Than We Were During the Civil War

Visitors at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 2015. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)
The president of the Claremont Institute offered a curious description of the 19th-century division over slavery.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I have been an admirer of the Claremont Institute. The California-based think tank, founded in 1979, has in prior years done impressive work in recovering the legacy of the American founding, exploring the statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, and dissecting the modern rise of theories about government that are fundamentally at odds with Founding principles. Conservatism owes a great debt of gratitude, in particular, to Harry Jaffa, the late Lincoln scholar and political theorist institutionally affiliated with the Claremont Institute (which was founded by some of his students).

In the early years of the modern conservative movement, Jaffa persuaded many important figures,

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