Does America Need a Renaissance of Civic Virtue? – Thursday, February 16

Professor Emeritus Doran Hunter, a member of our board, has proposed that the Republic of the United States of America needs a renaissance – a rebirth – of civic virtue.

I agree.

Please join me and Doran for lunch at noon on Thursday, February 16, at the Landmark Center in St. Paul (this event was originally scheduled for January 19, but was cancelled due to weather).

Doran’s thesis is that in the beginning – ad fontes as leaders of the Italian Renaissance directed – private virtue was proposed as the foundation of a just society, economy and polity.  But, as Doran has written, the founders of our republic intuited that private virtue was a public good, as it, willy-nilly, gave rise to public virtues in the minds and hearts of citizens.

The issue, of course, is what is virtue and what are the virtues we should enfold into our character?  Doran proposes a list, with some assistance from Benjamin Franklin.

As thinkers of the Italian Renaissance and then the European renaissance, which triggered the Reformation and then the Enlightenment, which has given us modern civilization, looked back to Aristotle and Cicero, let us look back to Franklin, Madison, Hamilton, Locke, Smith, Blackstone and others who set forth the design of constitutional democracy and a just capitalism.

Cost to attend is $10, which you can pay at the door.

Box lunches from Afro Deli will be provided.

To register, please email

The event will last about an hour and a half.