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Donald Devine Seminars

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Donald Devine Seminars

Dr. Donald Devine is a columnist, author and senior scholar for The Fund for American Studies. Devine served as President Ronald Reagan’s civil service director during the president’s first term in office. During that time, The Washington Post labeled him “Reagan’s Terrible Swift Sword of the Civil Service” for cutting bureaucrats and reducing billions in spending. Today, Devine travels the country teaching Constitutional Leadership Seminars to young people and speaking to groups about reviving the Constitution and saving the marriage between libertarianism and traditionalism.

Devine spells out the solution for the modern GOP – a fusion of the best of conservative ideas with those of the liberty movement, all rooted in the Constitution.

–  Senator Rand Paul

About Dr. Donald Devine

Before and after his government service, Devine was an academic, teaching 14 years as associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland and for a decade as a professor of Western civilization at Bellevue University. He is a columnist and author of eight books, including his most recent “America’s Way Back: Reclaiming Freedom, Tradition and Constitution.” Devine served as an advisor to Reagan from 1976 to 1985, to Sen. Bob Dole from 1988–1996 and to Steve Forbes between 1998–2000.

Book Dr. Devine

If you’re interested in scheduling Donald Devine to speak at your event, please contact Jane Mack at jmack@TFAS.org. For media inquiries, please contact Kerri DiNarda at info@TFAS.org or 202.986.0384.


Op-Eds by Dr. Donald Devine

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Donald Trump and the Future of Conservatism

Six months of the Trump Administration have turned conservatives into Alices peering through the Looking Glass into their own and America’s future. For most, it is an unsettling experience.

Fact Checking the Green, Faith-Based Fact-Checkers

President Donald Trump’s bold decision to cease implementation of the Paris Climate Accord has thrown the mainstream media into what Socrates would label religious enthusiasm. End of times enthusiasm has been the ancient spiritual response since humans lived in caves and witnessed their first eclipse. In fact, a group of modern mystical scientists has proposed to block the sun to save the environment, which the small-minded have noted would have the unfortunate result of destroying the earth in the process.

Impeachment Pandemic

As Sigmund Freud first warned, when virtually everything one person does leads another to the same compulsive conclusion, one may assume this is very important to those with the fixation and that if they get the chance they will likely do what they can to carry-out their obsession. The first warning was a New York Daily News editorial on March 20, 2016, titled “Impeach Donald Trump: It’s not too early to start,” well before he was even the Republican nominee! Now, President Trump has fired an FBI director virtually everyone in both parties recognized as unfit to continue in the job and then warned Russia about airplane terrorism — and the reaction is “impeach him.”

Drain the Swamp, Then Close It

For once I agree with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., "the Democrats cleaned our clock" on the budget — and as a defense hawk he received better than the rest getting two-thirds of what he wanted! The cave in on domestic spending was shameful. After sending a budget plan for 2018 promising cuts for every agency except Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans, just about every other agency received an increase for the rest of this year. Real critical stuff like former Vice-President Joe Biden’s "moonshot" 21st Century Cures Act, increased funds for an Energy bureau slated for abolishment, and more for Centers of Disease Control (CDC) labs they cannot keep clear of impurities.

EPA Attack on ‘Little Guy’ Gas Stations Does Nothing for Environment

I drove into my little rural Maryland gas station and Gracie told me the upsetting news. After all these years, when the tanks were emptied, she would have to shut down. My first thoughts were selfish. Where would we get the town news? Or meet the neighbors? Or have the gasoline pumped for you? Or be on the receiving end of all the other little helps from her and her little staff? Or just seeing feisty Gracie rejoicing at the weather or some good news — or railing at some injustice?

Hewitt’s Mostly Wrong Way

The latest venture to confront the new Donald Trump era is what Hugh Hewitt calls his “conservative playbook for a lasting GOP majority.” This is the subtitle of The Fourth Way, his new book. Hewitt, the Chapman University Law School professor, former Reagan administration official, and talk radio host, is everyone’s favorite nice guy—a charming media personality, fair-minded debate moderator, and the author, so far, of 17 books. This one is his most ambitious.

Is Capitalism the Enemy of the Family?

Independent Institute Research Fellow Allan C. Carlson is probably America’s top intellectually-serious social conservative thinker, as he has demonstrated over the years as former President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society and author of books such as The Family in America and The New Agrarian Mind. Dr. Carlson’s first essay in the post-Trump era is up to his usual standards and deserves serious consideration. In short, he explains the family in civilizational context and identifies capitalism as the cause of today’s moral crisis by undermining that family, whose revival requires social conservatives to break from its coalition with capitalist Wall Street and adopt political populism instead.

Ending Obamacare Is Easy: Just Ignore Congress

All Democrats and an odd coalition of very moderate and very conservative Republican Congressmen in effect voted that Obamacare was preferable to Trump-Ryan health reform. President Donald Trump was not pleased: “The best thing politically is to let Obamacare explode,” leaving it “totally the property of the Democrats.” When folks “get a 200 percent increase next year – or a 100 percent or 70 percent” surge that’s “their fault.”

Conservatives Trapped in the Healthcare Swamp

No one said draining the swamp would be easy. Once a bureaucratic monstrosity becomes law and distorts normal human choice and rationality, it is hard to break free from the quagmire. Speaker Paul Ryan and the House of Representatives leadership have offered a “replace Obamacare” plan that has been attacked from every side and is very complex. It is hard to love but bears a close look at what it actually does. The alternative is today’s disintegrating health insurance system.

Conservatives Should Learn from Trump, Decentralize Gov’t

Two recent actions by the Trump administration and the reaction to them suggest that big changes are coming in how American government will work. The U.S. Constitutional Founders rejected both full centralization — even under an elected parliament — and full autonomy for local units, creating instead a balance called federalism, with a few functions nationally and the great majority left to state, local and private governance.