F.H. Buckley on *The Republic of Virtue*

When Frank H. Buckley last joined the show, he surprised Bob with a cogent, intellectual case for the election of Donald Trump. Buckley, a Foundation Professor at George Mason University’s Scalia School of Law, advised Team Trump on campaign speeches, and geared his last book, The Way Back, towards a set of practical solutions to “restore the promise of America.” His latest book, The Republic of Virtue: How We Tried to Ban Corruption, Failed, and What we Can Do About It, completes the triptych that began with The Once and Future King, about the return of “crown governance” under the Obama administration. It should come as no surprise to listeners to this show we have drifted from the Founders’ vision of a balance of powers — balance between states and Federal government, and among branches of Federal government. Bob and Frank delve deeper into his arguments in all three books, focusing on the age-old problem of corruption — the quid-pro-quo of money for political influence that plagues every system of government. While everyone agrees that corruption is a problem, Buckley argues that platitudes about campaign finance reform and eliminating “dark money” miss the mark, and often worsen the problem by making the political system less competitive. Instead, he offers a set of solutions that limit the influence of lobbyists, reign in the executive branch’s authority, and break up corrupt judicial rings in the states. They also discuss the recent tax bill, and why Buckley thinks its passage is reason enough to vindicate his support for Trump.