Friday, March 25, 2005

Conscience Whig

In Moral Man and Immoral Society, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr argued that individuals can be moral, but nations cannot. At their best, the American Whigs believed that the nation-state constituted the most important agent for righteousness and moral, political and material progress. They felt that the individual bore a responsibility for the actions of his nation. They believed as well that the American state carried a special historical role to demonstrate to the world the potential of peoples to govern themselves with morality and justice.

Sadly, the Whigs had little success in bringing their principles to a national stage. The convolutions of electoral politics denied their most talented leaders the presidency, and their two who did achieve the White House died too early in their administrations to implement their party's agendas. However, the third "Whig" to become president, Abraham Lincoln--in name a Republican, but an exemplary Whig in politics throughout his adult life--reshaped the nation along Whig principles and provided a standard in domestic and international affairs for Americans to look to throughout history.

This website will examine affairs of politics and society through a Whiggish perspective--one that puts principles above party, favors measures, not men, and seeks to persuade the American nation to assume its Providential role as a force for good in the world. Please note, however, that the opinions expressed herein are those of cwhig, and should not be taken as representing the official viewpoint of the Whig Party.