John Trumbull’s depiction of the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Congress.

“Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.” — John Adams

What our national narrative is and what it should be is currently the subject of profound and explicit debate in America. I feel compelled to articulate my version and offer my reasons for rejecting a competing narrative. …


Emperor Honorius feeds his chickens as his empire is torn apart by revolts and barbarian invasions.

Partisanship is the defining characteristic of the American media landscape. Historically, the media seemed less partisan and more reliable because it did not have any competition. The structure of 20th-century communications technology facilitated the rise of a national, cultural elite. This elite class has an inordinate influence on American culture because it makes American culture. Journalists, professors, entertainers — they produce the information we consume.

Media professions generally attract people predisposed to an interest in aesthetics and ideas, traits strongly correlated with politically liberal views. Youths with these traits pursue careers in media and participate in a positive feedback loop…


On Independence Day, I like to reflect on the historical improbability of my circumstance. I could have been born in a different place, at a different time. If I had been, I almost certainly would have lived a life of relative suffering. I might have been born in pre-history and been prey to giant birds, snakes, and cats. Or, I might have been lucky enough to be born in a stable civilization, like Ancient Rome, where I would have been drafted into a legion and sent away from home to fight fearsome warriors in hand-to-hand combat at the edge of…


Signaling outpost of the fort du Salbert in Belfort, France, dusted with snow in the moonlight. (Photo: Thomas Bresson)

The current cultural climate imposes self-censorship on reasonable individuals by threatening personal relationships and career prospects for breaking with the perceived consensus. This dynamic will only grow more extreme as our civic culture continues to fray and we view each other as enemies rather than neighbors. I have refrained from contributing to the public conversation because it is thankless. Under normal circumstances, the risk is high and the reward is low. But these are not normal circumstances. Everyone intuitively feels that we have entered a period of profound change. Whether you think that change is for better or worse, the…


I stood beneath a statue of Christopher Columbus, in one of many cities bearing his name, and read the following inscription:

THE SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY

HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE

THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY

AS DEMONSTRATED BY

THE VOYAGES OF

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

WHOSE IMAGINATION

SHATTERED THE BOUNDARIES

OF THE WESTERN WORLD

MODERN HISTORY HAS BEEN SHAPED BY

ONE MAN’S COURAGE TO PURSUE A DREAM

It seemed improbable that the statue had been built recently; praising men like Columbus was not in vogue. Every year on Columbus Day the usual suspects preen themselves, hoping that their self-flagellation will go viral…

Adam Beckler

Occasional writer, Ohio politico, JD.

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