John Murdock

John Murdock, a self-styled “Christian conservative tree-hugger” and “globe-trotting localist,” is an attorney who has worked in Washington, D.C., written from a family farmhouse deep in the heart of his native Texas, and taught law in South Korea. He now lives in Boise, Idaho.

Recent Essays

After Virtual: Health

The penultimate session from the FPR conference After Virtual:  The Art of Recovering Lost Goods addresses health.  Philosopher Adam Smith from the University of...

After Virtual: Chris Arnade

Chris Arnade, the keynote speaker at the After Virtual conference, has traded global finance for skid row photography.  Chris discusses his journey from Wall...

After Virtual: Education

The second episode from the FPR conference After Virtual:  The Art of Recovering Lost Goods looks at education.  Jeff Polet discusses walking away from...

After Virtual: The Church

For the first of our episodes from September’s FPR conference After Virtual:  The Art of Recovering Lost Goods, we go to church.  Carl Trueman,...

Mark Mitchell on Plutocratic Socialism 

Mark Mitchell, author of Plutocratic Socialism:  The Future of Private Property and the Fate of the Middle Class and President of Front Porch Republic,...

Two Yells for Football?

If beer and football are just the modern bread and circuses of a declining empire, then these are spectacles best avoided. However, if such gridiron microcosms of the human experience can unite us with our neighbors and point us to the bigger and more real story, then football, for all its flaws, deserves a yell, maybe two.

Matt Stewart on Wallace Stegner

Matthew Stewart, author of The Most Beautiful Place on Earth:  Wallace Stegner in California, sits down (literally) with host John Murdock to discuss Stegner’s...

Katharine Hayhoe Talks Climate Change

Katharine Hayhoe is a professor at Texas Tech and the Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy. Her most recent book is Saving Us: A Climate...

Is Joel Salatin the Problem? Reflecting on The Last Pig

My infrequent episodes of bringing death to animals have always taken an emotional toll on me. Making a weekly trip to the slaughterhouse for over a decade, as Comis did, seems bound to leave a mark. Can such a wound be redeemed or is the purpose of this pain to dissuade us from the actions that bring it about?

Chuck Marohn on the Human Errors of Traffic Engineering

Chuck Marohn, the founder of Strong Towns and author of Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, discusses streets, roads, “stroads,” and the perils of the...

Common Good and Bad Ideas

By reducing the value of words and, hence, constitutions, common good constitutionalism seems even more likely to veer into the dangerous realm of personal preference-based decision-making. Many figures could be clothed by the “loose fitting garment” that Vermeule has tailored. Before he removes the constraints of constitutionalism, perhaps he should rehear his own 2016 words of warning that as “culture sours and curdles, so will the law.”

Principles Over Power: Lessons from Bush and Nixon

If there is to be the equivalent of a Reagan following President Biden, he or she will face a more difficult task than the one leaders faced in 1980. Reagan only had to deal with the political ghost of Nixon, but a candidate in 2024 will have to deal with a flesh and blood Trump and a party with too few who are currently willing to place principle before a cult of personality.