Tony Woodlief | Author

Politics, Culture, and General Curmudgeonry

Listed below are publications curated for especially cultured and thoughtful readers. Foremost among these is I, Citizen, a pathbreaking book that all the cool kids are reading. Don’t be that one loser at the cocktail party who hasn’t read it; click the button and order yours today. Below that are links to essays, reviews, manifestos, and assorted miscellany. If you find that any of the content infuriates you, we invite you to fax a letter to our Editorial Department, which reviews complaints on alternate Leap-Year Tuesdays.

I, Citizen

This is a story of hope, but also of peril. It began when our nation’s polarized political class started conscripting everyday citizens into its culture war. From their commanding heights in political parties, media, academia, and government, these partisans have attacked one another for years, but increasingly they’ve convinced everyday Americans to join the fray.

Why should we feel such animosity toward our fellow citizens, our neighbors, even our own kin? Because we’ve fallen for the false narrative, eagerly promoted by pundits on the Left and the Right, that citizens who happen to vote Democrat or Republican are enthusiastic supporters of Team Blue or Team Red. Aside from a minority of party activists and partisans, however, most voters are simply trying to choose the lesser of two evils.

The real threat to our union isn’t Red vs. Blue America, it’s the quiet collusion within our nation’s political class to take away that most American of freedoms: our right to self-governance. Even as partisans work overtime to divide Americans against one another, they’ve erected a system under which we ordinary citizens don’t have a voice in the decisions that affect our lives. From foreign wars to how local libraries are run, authority no longer resides with We the People, but amongst unaccountable officials. The political class has stolen our birthright and set us at one another’s throats.

This is the story of how that happened and what we can do about it. America stands at a precipice, but there’s still time to reclaim authority over our lives and communities.

“Politicians’ Backstabbing Family Members are the Worst” Spectator World, October 30, 2022

“The Right’s New Divide: Frodo vs Boromir” Spectator World, October 4, 2022

“Beware, party bosses, the rise of the unaffiliateds is coming for you” Washington Post, April 14, 2022

“The Myth of Our Looming National Divorce” Spectator World, March 22, 2022

“The Rise of the Interloping Radicals” Spectator World, January 19, 2022

“Independent Voters are Alive and Well—and Angrier Than Ever” NY Post, December 12, 2021

“The Great American Con”  excerpted from I, Citizen at American Greatness, December 11, 2021

“Is America in ‘a Cold Civil War?’ Not at All” Governing, October 8, 2021

Lincoln-Douglas boxing match cartoon
Statue of Liberty as seen from above


“State Bans on Critical Race Theory Won’t Work” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2021

“Our Rebel Thanksgiving” American Conservative, November 26, 2020

“Against the Libertarian-Pajama-Boy Consensus” American Mind, November 17, 2020

When Violence is Justified to Defend Civil SocietyAmerican Conservative, September 1, 2020

Free Speech Absolutism Killed Free SpeechWall Street Journal, August 30, 2020

In Praise of Commoners’ SenseAmerican Spectator, August 21, 2020


 Setting the Wheel of History Alight: A Review of Solzhenitsyn’s The Red Wheel American Conservative, July-August 2020

God Save the Supreme CourtWashington Examiner, July 30, 2020

A Masked ConsensusAmerican Conservative, July 27, 2020

The Shirking Pandemic: Everyone is Passing the BuckAmerican Conservative, July 14, 2020

Why Conservative Fusionism Was Destined to DisintegrateAmerican Conservative, June 23, 2020


Constitution Preamble: By Printed by Dunlap & Claypoole
Lincoln-Douglas boxing match cartoon

 The Overlooked Potential of State AGs for Police Reform Governing, June 15, 2020

The Fires Foretold: Willmoore Kendall and the Burning of AmericaAmerican Conservative, June 8, 2020

Bring Me My Bow of Burning Gold: Micturition and Its DiscontentsFront Porch Republic, May 7, 2020

Charity for All? Not in Today’s Debates Over Civil War MemorialsWall Street Journal, May 19, 2017

I Come Not to Praise the MegachurchGood Letters, September 3, 2015

Back off, Man, I’m a ScientistGood Letters, November 18, 2014


The Casserole Dish Manifesto”  Good Letters, January 31, 2014

The Collapse of Western Civilization Begins in Your Dentist’s Chair” Good Letters, September 5, 2012

Our Love Affair With the Fairs”  Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2010

Curse of the Greedy Copyright HoldersWall Street Journal, July 9, 2010

Boy, the Scout Handbook Keeps ChangingWall Street Journal, February 26, 2010

Twilight ChicNational Review, March 27, 2009

Norman Rockwell Freedom of Speech: By Norman Rockwell