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2024 President’s Welcome

It is a true honor to lead The Philadelphia Society as President for 2024–25. Our Society has a long and glorious history. For more than 60 years we have been a home away from home for some of the leading figures in the conservative and classical liberal intellectual worlds. Under the auspices of the Society, we have enjoyed each other’s fellowship and witnessed some of the great debates that have helped shape the direction of our country.

This fall, we return to the National Capital Region and the excellent Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia (September 27-28, 2024) to address the provocative question: “Should Conservatism Be Conservative?” Many on the American Right are now convinced that the hour is late for our republican institutions. Some even argue it’s too late to save them. For such critics, modern American conservatism – born in the 1950s as an intellectual movement – has been an abject failure. It has done too little to halt the Left’s relentless political and cultural advances. There is thus a new “New Right” seeking to be born. It is a Right that often abjures the label “conservative,” but for reasons different from others who have found the term constraining. Our gathering will be a major forum for the honest consideration of new approaches to understanding our politics and culture in these extraordinary times.

In the Spring of 2025, we will enjoy Texas hospitality at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, in Plano, Texas (March 21-23, 2025). We will convene there to consider “Our Revolutionary Founding: Lessons for Today.” By the spring of 2025, America will be in uncharted political and cultural waters, whatever the outcome of the previous fall’s election. Americans will be thinking about ways to reground themselves in the permanent things, and to recapture a common American idiom from our political Tower of Babel. And they will also be looking to the future as they consider what must be done next, consistent with the deepest character of our nation. Our spring meeting will have a forward-looking emphasis that will help us think through these pressing questions. It will also help prepare us intellectually to celebrate “America 250” the following year.

Best regards,

Bradley C. S. Watson
President, 2024-2025

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