Clarence Manion

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The featured “Freedom Biography” of FFF this last weekend was on Clarence Manion, father of our own Christopher Manion. The biography includes an excerpt from Rick Perlstein’s book on Goldwater with a partial bio of Mr. Manion as well as three brief pieces by him. Here’s a passage that struck me from his Legalized Immorality:

Here is one example of centralized governmental operation: Paul wants some of Peter’s property. For moral as well as legal reasons, Paul is unable personally to accomplish this desire. Paul therefore persuades the government to tax Peter in order to provide funds with which the government pays Paul a “subsidy.” Paul now has what he wanted. His conscience is clear and he has proceeded “according to law.” Who could ask for more? — why Paul, of course, and at the very next opportunity. There is nothing to stop him now except the eventual exhaustion of Peter’s resources.

11:24 am on March 22, 2004

Clarence Manion

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How great to see Richard Ebeling post a 1956 classic from Clarence Manion on Social Security this morning. Manion was dean of the Notre Dame Law School, author of the Key to Peace and much else, and a unheralded founder of the conservative movement (in its best, original sense). For example, he commissioned Brent Bozell to write Conscience of a Conservative for Barry Goldwater. A Jeffersonian, Dean Manion got his start in what would later be called Old Right politics when Wilson lied us into war. He later turned down a Supreme Court appointment from Eisenhower rather than repudiate the Bricker amendment. Dean Manion was also a founder of conservative talk radio (the decline of the species!), and I had the honor to be on his show twice. Son Chris, not to give you an assignment, but we need a worthy biography.

9:37 am on June 23, 2005