Magazine April 20, 2015, Issue

Letters

Mr. Republican’s Military

In “Conservatarianism” (March 23), Charles C. W. Cooke characterizes “the Right’s traditional approach to defense” as being based on the “sober recognition that the global order requires a strong power [namely, the U.S.] to underwrite its security.”

Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio was “Mr. Republican” of the 1940s and ’50s and narrowly lost the Republican presidential nomination to Eisenhower in 1952. His credentials as a “traditional” conservative are impeccable. He had this to say about the use of military force in a speech to the American Assembly on May 22, 1951:

My view is that American foreign policy should be directed primarily to the protection of the liberty of the people of the United States, and that war should only be undertaken when necessary to protect that liberty, that we are not justified in going to war simply to increase the standard of living of the people throughout the world, or to protect their liberty unless such protection is necessary for our own defense. . . .There is one policy and only one policy which can destroy this nation — the commitment to projects beyond our capacity to fulfill.

Taft saw a leadership role for America, but not a leadership based on power. In his book A Foreign Policy for Americans (1951), he said that we should assume “moral leadership . . . in impressing on the world that only through liberty and law and justice . . . can [it] hope to obtain the standards which we have attained in the United States.”

Traditional conservatives such as Taft supported the selective application of American power (he supported the Korean War, for example) but not its use to underwrite the security of the “global order.” Sadly, this misreading of history limits the usefulness of Mr. Cooke’s article as a blueprint for an alliance between conservatives and libertarians.

David E. Steuber

Mineral Point, Wis.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

The Taxman Endureth

‘Completely unworkable,” “irresponsible,” “happy talk,” “a disservice to the political process.” That’s just a sampling of what tax experts, most of them right of center, told me they think of ...
Politics & Policy

The Anti-Scold

The renegade British television presenter Jeremy Clarkson has been fired from his wildly popular automotive show, Top Gear, and his fans are not happy. A petition, hosted by Change.org, attracted ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Majoring in Anthro

Not long ago, Eric Owens of the Daily Caller wrote an article about the latest antics of the American Anthropological Association. (They were threatening to boycott Israel.) He described anthropology ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Upper Crust

After more than two centuries as one of New York’s founding clans, the Roosevelts discovered that their family tree had so many branches that a woman could marry within the ...
Politics & Policy

On the Couch

Theodore Dalrymple begins this anti-psychology polemic with a quote from the great 17th-century memoirist François de La Rochefoucauld: “In the misfortunes of our friends, there is something not entirely unpleasing.” ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Mr. Republican’s Military In “Conservatarianism” (March 23), Charles C. W. Cooke characterizes “the Right’s traditional approach to defense” as being based on the “sober recognition that the global order requires a ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The Left predicted that Jon Stewart’s succession by a biracial foreigner would be greeted with hate and fear from paranoid, partisan zealots. And they were right. ‐ Clean as a ...
The Long View

Announcing the 2017 MSNBC Schedule!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Announcing the 2017 MSNBC Schedule! Chelsea Clinton, president and CEO of MSNBC, the nation’s leading progressive Web- and mobile-based news and information network, announced a new lineup this afternoon. “This ...
Athwart

Persian Doormat

If the president wanted to give Iran nuclear weapons, how would he act differently? It’s a silly question. An executive order, obviously. No, these talks have been an attempt to ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

THE MOVEMENT ‘HE SHALL FEED HIS FLOCK’ FROM THE MESSIAH You bought me rest from wind and hail. I lay my head on the balcony rail. Crickets are seething all around. I lay my ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department ... Read More
Elections

Trouble in the Workers’ Paradise

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is precisely the sort of campaign surrogate you want, especially if you are Bernie Sanders: She is young, energetic, charismatic, popular (with the people she needs to be popular with, anyway), and, happily, currently ineligible to run for the presidency ... Read More
Elections

Trouble in the Workers’ Paradise

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is precisely the sort of campaign surrogate you want, especially if you are Bernie Sanders: She is young, energetic, charismatic, popular (with the people she needs to be popular with, anyway), and, happily, currently ineligible to run for the presidency ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Roger Stone Double Standard

Whether Roger Stone, the loopy, self-aggrandizing political operative, deserves nine years in Supermax for obstructing an investigation into Russia–Donald Trump “collusion” is debatable. Whether the powerful men who helped create the investigation that ensnared Stone have been allowed to lie with impunity ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Roger Stone Double Standard

Whether Roger Stone, the loopy, self-aggrandizing political operative, deserves nine years in Supermax for obstructing an investigation into Russia–Donald Trump “collusion” is debatable. Whether the powerful men who helped create the investigation that ensnared Stone have been allowed to lie with impunity ... Read More