R. R. Reno

R. R. Reno

R. R. Reno is the editor of First Things. He is the author of Return of the Strong Gods.

Family and Freedom Share This

Feb 11, 2021

In his introduction to the “Home Building” forum on American Compass, Oren Cass opens by drawing upon Ronald Reagan’s warning that the American culture of freedom must be renewed in every generation. Shoring up the family is a crucial element in this process. It’s worth meditating on why this is the case. How, exactly, do […]

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L’Affaire GameStop Share This

Jan 29, 2021

The stampede into GameStop and other stocks was a political event. Like antifa assaults on government building and the mob assault on the White House, the investment strategy hatched on reddit subchannels expresses anger at the “system.” It’s not surprising that disaffected Americans organized around a buying strategy. We live in a consumption-based economy, not […]

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Unity in Dread Share This

Jan 27, 2021

“Unity is the path forward.” That was the leitmotif of Joe Biden inaugural address. It’s easy to be skeptical about such appeals, given how divided our country has become. And easier still to be cynical, given the flurry of executive orders immediately after his inauguration, many of which intensified rather than moderated battles over morality […]

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Corporate Sponsored Censorship Share This

Jan 11, 2021

Parler, the alternative to Twitter, is being strangled by the tech giants. Apple and Google removed the app from their app stores. Amazon removed the company from its web-hosting service. These companies claim these actions serve the public interest. Whatever one thinks of last week’s events, this action in concert marks a milestone. In recent […]

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The Trump Apocalypse Share This

Dec 30, 2020

In popular parlance an “apocalypse” means an epic disaster. As a simple transliteration of Greek (apocalypsis) the literal meaning is more pedestrian: “uncovering,” or to use a fancier word, “revelation.” But one understands the popular sense, for it is often unsettling (or worse) when the true nature of things is revealed. This is the case […]

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Media After Trump Share This

Dec 21, 2020

There can be no doubt that Trump gave the press the back of his hand. His refusal to kowtow to upscale media brands offended the vanity of high-level reporters, editors, and talking heads on TV. That need not have disrupted the political-ideological ecosystem. But Trump has had structural implications. He exploded the established relations of […]

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The Revolution™ Share This

Nov 30, 2020

On June 1, early in the BLM uproar, I went to Union Square to view a protest march. The empty concrete canyons echoed with chants as two or three thousand people walked past. Clench-jawed Deputy Commissioner Terrance Monahan brought up the rear, flanked by ranks of police officers. Helicopters monitored progress from above. The throng […]

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A Self-Isolating Elite Share This

Nov 05, 2020

As counting continues and lawyers gear up for courtroom battles, Election Day now looks to become Election Week, and maybe even Election Month. But while we do not yet know who will be president, November 3 allows us to see certain political realities more clearly. One notable reality: the ongoing ignorance of our leadership class. […]

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Notes Toward a Supreme Oligarchy Share This

Oct 28, 2020

Most of us are fixed on November 3. This is understandable. Elections are important, and this one seems more important than most. But I live in New York City. As I walk to work each day, my mind does not dwell on Trump or Biden. I go past closed hotels and empty office buildings. At […]

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Seven Deadly Political Sins Share This

Oct 18, 2020

Self-examination is a useful exercise. I’m grateful to Henry Olsen, Micah Meadowcroft, Josh Hammer, and Michael Lind (in a cognate posting) for their reflection on the sins of the American right. I’d like to add my voice to this collective mea culpa. As a sometime theology professor, I’ll key my observations to the classical list […]

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From Freedom to Solidarity on the American Right Share This

Sep 29, 2020

Campaign books are not written for the ages. But they can be telltales. A New Catholic Moment: Donald Trump and the Politics of the Common Good is a good example. It indicates a shift away from freedom as the leading motif on the American right and toward solidarity. The book was put together by CatholicVote.org, […]

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The Limits of Principle Share This

Sep 23, 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s death roiled an already unsettled the political scene. A pitched battle is underway over who will succeed her and when. David French urges Republicans to stand on principle. He sketches a way forward that has Trump nominating a replacement before the election. The Senate will then hold hearing but refrain from […]

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