Magazine | June 03, 2019, Issue


Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium, Apr 14, 2019, Bronx, N.Y. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Republic and Baseball

I am writing in regards to Michael Brendan Dougherty’s “Why We Love the Game” (April 8). While pursuing a philosophy degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, I was fortunate enough to take classes in just-war theory from Professor Abigail Aguilar. What I will remember for the rest of my life is not her ability to cite page and paragraph of Locke’s Two Treatises or her devout Aristotelianism. Rather I will never forget her unflagging devotion to being in her season-ticket-holder seat at Cashman Field to watch every game played by the Las Vegas 51s — now defunct; then the AAA affiliate of the New York Mets.

I’ve been a fortunate, lifelong devotee of the game of baseball. I’m further fortunate that my three-year-old son would rather watch every inning of a Chicago Cubs game than any cartoon in the e-streaming Rolodex (and that one of my closest friends was playing his way up through that Mets farm system). But those academic souls at UNLV during my years there who did not begin their tenure as fans of the game were nevertheless beneficiaries of an open invite from Professor Aguilar to go and sit with her and learn about the game, about philosophy, and — most crucially — about how to be an upstanding citizen of the republic. Not just a citizen in the republic. This crucial difference was underscored on the day that I took another close friend to her first baseball game after she become an American citizen and she put mayonnaise on her hot dog.

It may have been lost on the others, but much appreciated by me, that those lessons came in the form of discussions of Plato against the backdrop of sinkers, dollar beers, and scoring games the old-fashioned way. Mr. Dougherty closed his article brilliantly, explaining that the Republic of Baseball lives on when our cheers become indistinguishable. I only wish to add that those indistinguishable cheers sound all the better when the voices behind them belong to the sort of individuals who, when the buzz dies down, resume the philosophical dialectic that made this republic great enough to invent a game like baseball in the first place.

Thank you, Mr. Dougherty. Thank you, Professor Aguilar. And thank you everyone who contributes to making baseball the greatest game in the world.

Breyen Canfield
Henderson, Nev.

Tyrants Left and Right

Thank you very much for the review “Our Diderot,” by Algis Valiunas (April 22). Diderot lived when hereditary monarchies and the Holy Roman Empire were still vibrant. Another quote of his, taken in the context of the times, that especially shows his philosophical view of regal governments and religion: “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

I think that sums up his understanding completely.

Albert P. Pacione Jr.
New York City



“Why Charles Krauthammer Matters” (by Matthew Continetti, April 4) spelled the maiden name of Krauthammer’s wife as “Tretheway”; the correct spelling is “Trethewey.” His mentor’s correct name was “Hermann Lisco,” not “Hemann Lesco.” And his father fled the Nazis after they invaded France, not the Soviet Union.

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue

Against Socialism

Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

Don’t tear up your tickets just yet: We hear the Kentucky Derby loser is appealing to the Ninth Circuit.

Going Postal

Bernie Sanders tweeted a hot new idea: ‘Did you know that from 1911-1967, Americans could bank at their local post office?’

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Manly Appeal of Ford v Ferrari

There used to be a lot of overlap between what we think of as a Hollywood studio picture (designed to earn money) and an awards movie (designed to fill the trophy case, usually with an accompanying loss of money). Ford v Ferrari is a glorious throwback to the era when big stars did quality movies about actual ... Read More
Politics & Policy

ABC Chief Political Analyst: GOP Rep. Stefanik a ‘Perfect Example’ of the Failures of Electing Someone ‘Because They Are a Woman’

Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst for ABC News, suggested that Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) was elected due to her gender after taking issue with Stefanik's line of questioning during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday. “Elise Stefanik is a perfect example of why just electing ... Read More
White House

Trump vs. the ‘Policy Community’

When it comes to Russia, I am with what Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman calls the American “policy community.” Vindman, of course, is one of the House Democrats’ star impeachment witnesses. His haughtiness in proclaiming the policy community and his membership in it grates, throughout his 340-page ... Read More
Law & the Courts

DACA’s Day in Court

When President Obama unilaterally changed immigration policy after repeatedly and correctly insisting that he lacked the constitutional power to do it, he said that congressional inaction had forced his hand. In the case of his first major unilateral move — “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” which ... Read More
White House

Impeachment and the Broken Truce

The contradiction at the center of American politics in Anno Domini 2019 is this: The ruling class does not rule. The impeachment dog-and-pony show in Washington this week is not about how Donald Trump has comported himself as president (grotesquely) any more than early convulsions were about refreshed ... Read More

A Preposterous Review

A   Georgetown University professor named Charles King has reviewed my new book The Case for Nationalism for Foreign Affairs, and his review is a train wreck. It is worth dwelling on, not only because the review contains most of the lines of attack against my book, but because it is extraordinarily shoddy and ... Read More