The Patriot President: Virtue Politics in American Government


While the Framers sought to create a document that would promote civic virtue, the Constitution they gave us fails to do so and its misincentives explain why America scores poorly on cross-country measures of public integrity. Amongst voters, there is nevertheless a demand for virtue politics, which bids to transform our system of government into one of strong presidential rule. The extent to which it will do so will depend on how courts police the trade-off between virtue and liberty. In doing so, courts will be called on to grapple with the most fundamental questions of political philosophy, even as the Framers had done.