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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 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 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.

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


Op-Eds by Dr. Donald Devine

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Illuminating the Intricacies of Swamp Management

It all seemed to begin innocently enough at the most recent Cabinet meeting when President Donald Trump turned to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget for what he called a “little report” about his agency’s ideas on how to fulfill the president’s promise to drain the Washington swamp by restructuring the national government bureaucracy

Making Government Unions More Responsible

For the first time in years, teachers’ unions are winning popular support. West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Colorado have held strikes resulting in higher compensation, and the rest of the states’ unions have vowed to follow.

Finding Meaning in a Purposeless Universe

Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker has been labeled one of the world’s most important intellectuals, winning awards from the National Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, the Royal Institution, and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society — and he’s the planet’s leading self-proclaimed atheist. Pinker was so intrigued by BuzzFeed science writer Tom Chivers’ question to those who did not believe in God or an afterlife — how do atheists “find meaning in a purposeless universe”? — that he copied it on his own Twitter site soliciting further comment.

Ugly Idea of Death Panels Revived

One of the few prodigious accomplishments of the Republican Congress was the 2017 budget act elimination of the Obamacare Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Return FBI to Law Enforcement Basics, Roots

"Can Anyone Control the FBI?" Was that asked by President Donald Trump? No, it was a 2016 Washington Post editorial. More recently, it was Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Today it is the FBI seizing materials covered by attorney-client privilege from the president’s own lawyer.

Mass Media Outrage Explained

So Donald Trump labeled the Washington Post just “another lobbyist” in the Washington swamp and charged that its owner Jeff Bezos’ other business Amazon had an unfair advantage against other interests because the Post has an influence on policy beyond any lobbyist’s dream.

Book Review: “Why Liberalism Failed”

Patrick J. Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed is just what the philosophical doctor ordered to address the present disarray within the conservative intellectual movement: It is a prescription that requires going back to the very basics.

René Girard’s Challenge to Fusionism

Modern American conservatism rose in the 1950s under the leadership of William F. Buckley Jr. and Frank S. Meyer at the old National Review magazine, culminated in 1980 with the election of an admirer named Ronald Reagan, and is now widely seen as moribund—deservedly so, in some eyes.

Trump’s Trade Intentions Could Prove Costly

One prominent conservative columnist was brazen enough to call President Donald Trump’s proposal to substantially increase steel and aluminum tariffs "stupid." The Wall Street Journal editors called this the "biggest policy blunder of his presidency."

Understanding Trump and the Fear for U.S. Democracy

Americans are constantly being warned that Donald Trump’s presidency means the end of American democracy — this from not simply obvious partisans but Hollywood and TV, the nation’s top journalists and commentators, the academy, mainstream think tanks, Republican and Democratic politicians and even former presidents of both political parties.