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Donald Devine

TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar

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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 ten books, including his most recent “The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order.” 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

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The Bloated Bureaucratic Failure of Afghanistan

My first real experience with government bureaucracy was 60 years ago when I joined the U.S. Army Reserve. We were hustled into a room at old Fort Dix to be given our uniforms. Half of the troops were handed decade-old Korean War combat boots.

Working-From-Home Bureaucracy

How the mighty expert civil service has fallen. Today, branded bureaucrats hardly come to the office, and when they do, they are masked and isolated within the great corridors of their cavernous Soviet-inspired concrete mausoleums.

A Conservative Plan to Replace the Progressive Welfare State in 2024

President Joe Biden’s reckless trillions of dollars in spending and woke-socialist policies are preparing the way for a great conservative revival in the 2022 and 2024 elections. The problem is that conservatives are not thinking boldly enough to take advantage of the opportunity.

Biden Stagflation Presents Historic Opportunity for Conservative Restoration

Journalist David Marcus presents an insightful picture of today’s divided conservative movement that cannot be ignored by serious thinkers on the right, especially those who identify with Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley Jr., and the modern conservatism they proclaimed.

The Problem With Biden’s Spending Extravaganzas: They Just Won’t Work

Many on the political right have sworn off mainstream media, even avoiding the more centrist practitioners of the genre. But cancel culture is self-destructive for the Right as well as the Left and should be confronted, even if only to keep one’s own perspective fresh. So it’s worth addressing Washington Post columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson’s recent writing expressing support of President Biden and criticism of former President Trump and his supporters.

Is American Religiosity Really Falling?

Bracketing Easter and Passover, the Washington Post headline was meant to shock: “Religious membership in U.S. falls below 50%, poll finds,” the lowest since 1937, citing a just-published Gallup poll and media release with a similar title. But Gallup also published that same day a release with the title “Religiosity Largely Unaffected by Events of 2020 in U.S.”

Biden Will Prove Reagan Right About Big-Government Incompetence

Respected Washington Post journalist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria has thrown down the gauntlet by betting that President Joe Biden “can show us that Reagan was wrong” when the Gipper said that “government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”

Biden Will Prove Reagan Right About Big-Government Incompetence

Respected Washington Post journalist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria has thrown down the gauntlet by betting that President Joe Biden “can show us that Reagan was wrong” when the Gipper said that “government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.” The headline in the Washington Post was “Biden is showing government can work,” and this assertion was supported by a commitment from a Biden White House official that “For people like us who believe in government, task number one is to make government work.” As President Ronald Reagan’s first civil service director at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, I will take the bet.

We Must Stand Up to Leftist Lies

Why did a decisive block of people who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 not vote for him in 2020? Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio surveyed voters in 10 swing states and found the answer was simple. Trump lost “largely” because of the coronavirus, apparently mainly because he was not aggressive in mandating masks, restricting gatherings, and enforcing ever-changing rules from experts.

Biden’s ‘Debt Doesn’t Matter’ Theory Guarantees Economic Crisis

So Joe Biden is now president. With the stock markets hitting new highs and mortgage rates new lows every other day, what could possibly go wrong? Multiple trillions in additional government spending to “stimulate” the economy should eliminate any remaining doubts about a vigorous economy for the future, right? A new COVID-19 pandemic policy will now be based on sound, expert-devised, “comprehensive” scientific rules for all Americans rather than decentralizing to states and localities, with government welfare for the many who will lose their jobs and businesses from the shutdowns.