It might be useful to address something that I think has been in the background of this conference. We seem to face a dilemma in that we want limits on government but not on national defense. In many ways, that’s one of the major tensions in the Republican Party people talk about with the Tea Party movement or other contexts in which they claim that conservatives are divided between people who put the priority on small government and people who put the priority on national defense. Of course, in 1939, after almost eight years of President Roosevelt’s spending spree, we had the seventeenth largest army in the world. It was smaller than the armies of Portugal and Romania—so it’s not just small government conservatives that sometimes stint on defense. In fact, it’s wrong to think of these things as really sharp alternatives.

To start with, the Founders didn’t present it that way; if anything, it was rather...


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