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Donald Devine

TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar


Dr. Donald Devine is the Grewcock Senior Scholar at 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 traditionalismHe is also a regular columnist for Newsmax Insiders, The American Spectator, The Imaginative Conservative and the Library for Law & Liberty.

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 nine 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.

To learn more about Devine’s lectures and seminars, please visit the links below:

Op-Eds by Dr. Donald Devine



Justice Thomas’ Solution for Fake News and Other Libels

Conservatives have just about had it with fake news and especially social media bias, which Fox News’ Tucker Carlson called more dangerous to liberty and free speech than big government. The result is Republican Senator Josh Hawley’s bill to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that currently protects tech platforms like Google from liability. The bill would not allow such media to “promote some political views while suppressing others” and requires reporting to the Federal Trade Commission every two years to demonstrate by “clear and convincing evidence” that they do not do so.

Barr’s Courageous Challenge to the FBI Praetorian Guard

Attorney General William Barr has just shown himself the most courageous and wise justice official in many years. He not only knows his history but is willing to challenge the most powerful force in Washington: the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Big Data and Big Security Problems

The Department of Defense has finally succumbed to modernizing pressure and sent Congress a report announcing it will end its policy of storing data in different DOD agencies and consolidate all its important data on one giant cloud repository. Congress’ concern is the inability of different subdivisions to be managed by or to communicate with and mix agency data. They want fewer entry points for potential security attacks. But the more severe reverse problem is that one external or internal penetration can reveal everything.

Critiquing Robert Kagan’s Enlightenment Liberalism

An essay is meant to be very, very important when it consumes four giant pages in the A section of The Washington Post, the official Bible of the nation’s establishment. Robert Kagan’s “The Strongmen Strike Back” is a defense of Enlightenment liberalism against the threats from modern authoritarian nationalism. The bad guys are: Hungary’s Orban, Poland’s Duda, Russia’s Putin, the Brexiteers, France’s Le Pen, Netherland’s Wilders, Israel’s Hazony, Turkey’s Erdogan and, the “most significant,” U.S. conservatives—headed by Donald Trump. The good guys (didn’t notice any women) seem mainly limited to Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton. Mr. Kagan’s Enlightenment rises from the darkness of the earlier traditional societies that were dominated “by powerful and pervasive beliefs about the cosmos, about God and gods, about natural hierarchies and divine authorities, about life and afterlife that determined every aspect of people’s existence.”

The Nationalist Delusion

Whatever his faults, I love President Donald Trump. He’s forced conservative and libertarian intellectuals to rethink their long-held assumptions, something mere reasoning could not accomplish.

Mainstream Media’s Mueller Reckoning

We now have two major polls carefully measuring public reaction to the close of the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation that concluded there was insufficient evidence to charge Donald Trump of conspiracy with the Russians or of obstructing justice in a cover-up.

‘Alienated America’ and Trump’s Community Challenge

Journalist Timothy P. Carney’s perceptive book "Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse" is actually more about places than alienation. He repeats the usual economic reasons for today’s alienation — economic inequality, technological obsolescence, and drug dependency. But Carney’s meticulous poll research and relentless interviewing reveal something most others dismiss. This alienation was not primarily about economics but about a loss of community belonging.

Roger Stone Raid Shows FBI Out of Control

Hooray for Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Doug Collins — as the top two Republicans on their respective judiciary committees — for demanding that FBI Director Christopher Wray explain why non-violent, white collar suspect Roger Stone was arrested in a predawn break-in by more agents than were involved in the raid on Osama bin Laden.

Science Lost in Math

Sabine Hossenfelder’s little book Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray asks the most important questions about scientific knowledge and deserves serious attention from anyone who wants to understand what we know, and what we do not, about science basics. Dr. Hossenfelder is a resident particle physics scholar at Germany’s prestigious Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, and begins her little masterpiece with a basic lesson in physics. Physics is the master science that starts with matter assumed to be composed of fundamental elements—meaning matter that cannot be derived from anything simpler. At the atomic level, particle physicists have advanced a Standard Model comprised of twenty-five sub-atomic particle elements that interact in ways described by mathematical equations from quantum mechanics. In the vast reaches of the cosmos, however, astronomic physicists postulate a Concordance Model where matter interacts according to General Relativity equation basics of space, gravity, and time.

Mitt Romney, Tucker Carlson Challenge the Right

Who could imagine that the dour Bain Capital leverage-buyout king Mitt Romney could inspire a stimulating philosophical debate? The main thrust of his recent column in The Washington Post was to challenge Donald Trump’s character, but as Tucker Carlson correctly responded it was Romney’s character as a moralist with few set positions (remember the model for Obamacare was Romney’s) which perfectly illustrated why the Republican moderate establishment is intellectually bankrupt.