Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'Politics of the United States'

Thomas Sowell’s escape from socialism

Earlier today I mentioned that economist Thomas Sowell was retiring from writing his syndicated column. For decades Sowell, age 86, has been one of the leading thinkers in the libertarian and conservative circles. Continue Reading...

Calvin Coolidge on the spiritual power of Christmas

In his many addresses to the nation, President Calvin Coolidge made a point of routinely redirecting the country’s attention to the “things of the spirit.” In his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, he encouraged the country to reorient its vision of abundance, progressing not only in material prosperity, but also “in moral and spiritual things.” In his reflections on the Declaration of Independence, he reminded us that ours is a liberty not meant for “pagan materialism,” which would surely turn our prosperity into “a barren sceptre in our grasp.” Years earlier, as President of the Massachusetts Senate, he urged legislators to remember that “statutes must appeal to more than material welfare.” “Man has a spiritual nature,” he continued. Continue Reading...

How 2016 election turnout data encourages humility

The following graph, in various forms, is making the rounds: [Image removed.] The suggestion of the graph (and usually of commentary by those who share it) is that Sec. Hillary Clinton lost to President-elect Donald Trump because Democrats didn’t turn out to vote for her like they did for President Obama. Continue Reading...

Beware the post-election narratives

In his best-selling book The Black Swan, probabilist Nassim Nicholas Taleb warns against the need for easy narratives to explain the unexpected. Given how unexpected the result of this Tuesday’s election was, it is worth taking some time to review what Taleb calls “the narrative fallacy.” According to Taleb, The narrative fallacy addresses our limited ability to look at sequences of facts without weaving an explanation into them, or, equivalently, forcing a logical link, an arrow of relationship, upon them. Continue Reading...

Video: Rev. Robert A. Sirico At Acton’s 26th Anniversary Dinner

On October 27, 2016, Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico addressed the audience at the Acton Institute’s 26th Anniversary Dinner in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In his remarks, he reflected on the state of American politics and culture, the societal crisis we find ourselves in, and proposed a way forward based on a vision of a free and virtuous society. Continue Reading...

The First Amendment Defense Act

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to make same-sex marriage a constitutional right under the Fourteenth Amendment,” says Zack Pruitt in today’s Acton Commentary, “will generate huge conflicts—in some cases unforeseen—with the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.” Fortunately, some legislators are already attempting to do something to prevent such conflicts. Continue Reading...