Modern Age Panel and Reception: The “Right” Way to Understand the American Founding

September 16, 2021
Historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C.
2–4 p.m. ET

Was America right from the beginning—or was our Founding itself fatally flawed? 


How can we return to the original principles of our nation if we don’t know what those principles were—or what they mean today? 

Such questions are at the heart of one of conservatism’s most intense debates. 

Some say America was founded on the proposition that all men are created equal. Others insist that we are heirs to a tradition of liberty and virtue that cannot be summed up in a few philosophical words. 

And while some find liberty at the very core of the American project—and say liberty is what we must conserve—others argue that virtue must come first. Some even say that the “revolutionary” parts of our Founding corrupted America from the start.

All sides seem to agree on one thing, however: in order to save our nation now, we have to start from a correct understanding of its foundational principles.

You’re invited to join Modern Age editor in chief Daniel McCarthy on Thursday, September 16, 2–4 p.m., at Washington D.C.’s historic Mayflower Hotel as he moderates a discussion with leading conservatives from all sides of this debate. 

You’ll hear from:

  • Acclaimed podcast host and national best selling author, Michael Knowles
  • Hillsdale research fellow Michael Anton, who served on the National Security Council under President Donald J. Trump and is the author of The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return

  • Reason magazine managing editor Stephanie Slade

  • New York Times bestselling author Kevin Gutzman, who has written the only Jeffersonian account of American constitutional history

If you’re a conservative or libertarian who struggles with the Left’s demonization of the Founding and the seemingly simplistic view put forward by many on the Right—you need to attend this panel discussion.

Register now to be part of the conversation shaping the conservative movement.


Daniel McCarthy

Daniel McCarthy is the editor of Modern Age and and the vice president of ISI’s Collegiate Network. Previously, he served as the director of the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program at the Fund for American Studies and as editor of the American Conservative. McCarthy is a columnist for Spectator USA and has written for the New York TimesFirst ThingsUSA TodayReason, and the National Interest, among other publications. He has been interviewed on the BBC, NPR, the Fox Business Channel, and many other media outlets. An ISI alumnus, he edited an ISI Collegiate Network student newspaper as an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis.

Michael Knowles is the celebrated host of “The Michael Knowles Show” at the Daily Wire, “The Book Club” at PragerU, and “Verdict with Ted Cruz.” He is also the best selling author of Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds. In late 2020, after an appearance guest-hosting “The Rush Limbaugh Program,” it was announced that Michael’s daily podcast would be syndicated to terrestrial radio.

Michael has appeared regularly on Fox News Channel and other major networks, and his writing has been featured on the Daily Wire, the American Mind, Fox News, and the Daily Caller. Michael is a graduate of Yale University and has lectured at colleges and universities around the country.

Michael Anton is lecturer in politics and a research fellow at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center in Washington, D.C. He previously served in national security positions for both Donald Trump and George W. Bush, as well as in the administrations of California governor Pete Wilson and New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. He has extensive experience in the private sector and was educated at the Claremont Graduate University, St. John’s College, and the University of California. He is also the author of the newly released book The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return.

Stephanie Slade is managing editor at Reason, the libertarian magazine of “free minds and free markets.” Prior to joining Reason, Slade worked as a speechwriter, a pollster, and a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report. In 2013 she was named a finalist for the Bastiat Prize for Journalism. In 2016–17 she was selected as a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow by the Fund for American Studies. She has a BA in economics and political science from the University of Florida and an MA from American University.

Kevin R. C. Gutzman is author of the New York Times bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, the only Jeffersonian account of American constitutional history. He is also professor and former chairman in the Department of History at Western Connecticut State University, and a faculty member at He has appeared on hundreds of radio programs, such as NPR’s Backstory with the American History Guys, as well as on CNN, Fox News, and NewsMax.

Register Now

Email Allyssa Schulz-Fricker at with any questions about this event.

You’re invited to a special Modern Age panel discussion on September 16 on the “right” way to understand the American Founding.