The Baby and the Bathwater: Toward a Recovery of the American Idea


Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center and Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions partnered to host an event featuring a discussion of Robert P. George and Ryan T. Anderson’s seminal National Affairs essay “The Baby and the Bathwater: Toward a Recovery of the American Idea.” 

At the event, Robert P. George, Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University, and EPPC President Ryan T. Anderson delivered remarks based on their 2019 essay, and sat for a conversation with EPPC Visiting Fellow Alexandra DeSanctis and James Madison Program Communications Coordinator Antonin Scalia

About the Participants

Robert P. George holds Princeton University’s McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has served as chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and before that on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he holds M.T.S. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., D.C.L., and D.Litt. from Oxford University.

Ryan T. Anderson is the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and the Founding Editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment and Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom. He is the co-author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense and Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination, and the co-editor of A Liberalism Safe for Catholicism? Perspectives from “The Review of Politics.” He received his bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, and he received his doctoral degree in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. He is the John Paul II Teaching Fellow in Social Thought at the University of Dallas, a member of the James Madison Society at Princeton University, and a Fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America.

Alexandra DeSanctis is a Visiting Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a Staff Writer for National Review. She hosts the National Review podcast “For Life” and speaks on college campuses and for conservative events across the country. Prior to becoming a staff writer, Alexandra spent two years as a William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow in Political Journalism with the National Review Institute. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science and minors in constitutional studies and theology. Her work has been published in the Wall Street JournalThe Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Washington ExaminerAmerica magazine, and the Human Life Review.

Antonin Scalia is the Communications Coordinator of Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and host of the Program’s podcast, Madison’s Notes. Previously, he served as an advisor to the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control and the acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and as a Speechwriter to the U.S. Secretary of Education. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Maria Grazia Panaro Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of mentally disabled men and women. He is a graduate of Rhodes College and a former Fellow of the Claremont Institute.