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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.