Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Ashbrook Center

Philanthropy note

I am back home. The family is fine, and the kids didn't burn it down or eat the dogs, although one of the dogs bit the leg of a young man, a friend of Becky's who happens to be a professional dancer. He can still dance, so it will be OK. Just a quick note on Joe's note below on conservative philanthropy. I agree that Piereson and Olin did great work. More on that later. Joe's right, I knew Henry Salvatori. He was a very fine man, one of Reagan's original "kitchen cabinet" guys. He was a very smart patriot who loved his country not only because it was his, but because it was good. He gave much money to CMC, Heritage, even the University of Pennsylvania. He was essentially responsible for getting The Claremont Institute started: We asked him for a million dollars, and he gave us $50,000 back in the late 70's. After all, we were just students. The organization now has a budget of about 3 million, and does great work, including the publishing of The Claremont Review of Books, the best journal in the country. I agree that the Olin Foundation did great work. My only criticism of the Olin (and some other foundations) is that they are too drawn to name brand institutions. They should pay more attention to those organizations who produce serious students, and have a very sound effect on the body politic even though they may not be located in Cambridge or Chicago. Of course, I count the Ashbrook Center among those (although there are other worthies). Note that we have established (with the Department of History and Political Science at Ashland) an extraordinary Summer Masters program in American History and Government. Take a look at the curriculum and the professors teaching it and tell me if you know of any better. And no foundation has given us big bucks to do it with. It starts in a few weeks. More on these matters later. I have to go home to mow the lawn and take out the trash and feed the dogs....I never said my children were perfect!
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Discussions - 1 Comment

Peter, You’re right about the somewhat disappointing, if not surprising, deference given (too often) to students at prestige institutions, rather than humbler but equally, or more, solid places. There is a real need for greater discernment and greater courage of one’s convictions among (some) conservative foundations and donors.

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