Required Reading: Public Discourse’s Symposium on the 2012 Election

Public Discourse is a flagship of conservative thought which features some of the top Catholic intellectuals of our day. So I’m happy to see its editor Ryan Anderson announce their symposium to prepare for the 2012 election — “Liberty, Justice, and the Common Good: Political Principles for 2012 and Beyond:

Today, Public Discourse launches a ten-day symposium on “Liberty, Justice, and the Common Good: Political Principles for 2012 and Beyond.” With a view to the next election, we’ve commissioned ten essays, each covering one of the major policy areas that scores of Public Discourse pieces have examined, to give us a survey of the landscape as we scrutinize the candidates who inhabit it. We also hope these articles will prompt the candidates themselves to think through these issues more thoroughly, as they look to enact good policy and not just curry favor with various factions.

These essays make arguments. They appeal to no authority other than the authority of reason itself to suggest a coherent political philosophy and how it applies to many policy particulars. In a way, these essays will be exemplars ofPublic Discourse’s mission: to put intellectual polish on our political lens, to sharpen our insights into the common good.

Appropriately, the first essay by Carter Snead focused on the primacy of the life issue:

Today on Public Discourse, Carter Snead launches our 2012 Election Symposium by arguing for the primacy of the life issue. He argues for the importance of the prolife position, explains why the presidency matters so much on this issue, contrasts the actions of our current and former president, and concludes by highlighting what the next president needs to do.

Tomorrow’s essay by National Organization for Marriage chairman Maggie Gallagher focuses on the importance of marriage:

If a central task of good government is to recognize the equal dignity of every human life and protect those lives in law, our leaders must also recognize that new life is best nurtured in the context of the marital bond of mother and father as husband and wife. In tomorrow’s essay. Maggie Gallagher argues for the importance of the institution of marriage, both for the health of our society and for principles of limited self-government. The state cannot be allowed to redefine natural, pre-political institutions such as marriage. It must recognize real marriage, and seek to protect and promote it. The breakdown of the family has been one of the chief causes of poverty in our nation, and anyone concerned with the wellbeing of children and the economic health of our nation should see the family as the original—and best—department of health, education, and welfare.

I would urge you to check in daily to begin preparing yourself for debates which will continue to occupy our time and attention in 2012 and beyond.

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  • Daniel Marcum

    I’m so happy that they’re doing this. I was thinking of starting my own website for just this purpose, but my political/moral thinking is just so muddled that I wouldn’t be confident my thoughts were Catholic/just/equitable enough. I’m happy to know someone(s) will be promoting Catholic principles of just society with the brain for thinking it and the mouth for articulating it. God bless them!

  • MichaelL

    Michele Bachmann said the “life of the unborn is not a sidebar issue … It is the issue that impacts more than any other how you view other issues.” You can hear her talk at this year’s March for Life here:

  • Lawrence

    Is 2102 an election year?

    • Thomas Peters

      whoops. i shouldnt blog while fighting off a cold, I guess. :)

      • Michael B.

        I hope you feel better soon!



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