The Conservative Intellectual Tradition in America

Session 12: The Bush Doctrine, Compassionate Conservatism, and the War on Terror

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Guest Lecturer: Secretary Donald Henry RumsfeldView a short interview regarding this theme

Themes: The central tenets of the Bush administration; the doctrine of compassionate conservatism; the principles and justifications for the “War on Terror;” the relationship of the policies of the Bush administration to the principles of traditional conservatism, libertarianism, and neo-conservatism.


Recorded: 4/11/2012

Required Reading:

Bush, George W. “Our Mission and Our Moment”

Second Inaugural Address of President George W. Bush, January 2005.

Bacevich, Andrew. “War without Exits,” The Limits of Power

Buchanan, Patrick. “Democratic Imperialism and the War President,” Where the Right Went Wrong

Mahoney, Daniel. “Conservatism, Democracy, and Foreign Policy,” Intercollegiate Review, Fall 2006.

Krauthammer, Charles. “The Unipolar Moment,” Foreign Affairs

Sharansky, Natan. “Is Freedom for Everyone?,” The Case for Democracy

Recommended Reading:

Andrews, Edmund, and David Sanger. “Former Fed Chief Attacks Bush on Fiscal Role”

Buchanan, Patrick. “Conservative Impersonators,” Where the Right Went Wrong

Huntington, Samuel. Selections, The Clash of Civilizations in David Hollinger and Charles Capper, The American Intellectual Tradition: A Sourcebook Volume II, 1865 – Present

Kaufman, Robert. “Moral Democratic Realism,” In the Defense of the Bush Doctrine

Olasky, Marvin. “Putting Compassion into Practice,” The Tragedy of American Compassion

Olasky, Marvin. “A Brief History of Compassionate Conservatism,” Compassionate Conservatism: What it is, What it does, and How it Can Transform America

Podhoretz, Norman. World War IV: The Long Struggle against Islamofascism

Walzer, Michael. “What Does It Mean to Be an American?”

Course Overview

Section One: Introduction
Section Two: The Foundations of American Conservatism
Section Three: The 20th Century and the Recovery of a Conservative Tradition
Section Four: Conservative Triumph, Consensus, and Crisis