Thomas A. Koenig

Thomas Koenig

Writer, soon-to-be law student. Grappling with the big questions of American politics and culture.

Recently Published Articles, by Outlet


“I’m voting for Joe Biden. I also think the Senate should confirm Judge Barrett,” CNN. 13 October 2020.

American Purpose

“Another Age of Acrimony,” American Purpose. Book Review. 16 June 2021.

“Putting the Responsible ‘Self’ Back in Self-Government,” American Purpose. Essay. 19 April 2021.

“Finally, a Nation,” American Purpose. Essay. 15 March 2021.

“Put the Kids to Bed Already,” American Purpose. Essay. 6 January 2021.  

The Dispatch

“It’s Time to Make the House Bigger,” The Dispatch. Essay. 2 July 2021.

“How We Can Renew and Improve Our Civil Discourse,” The Dispatch. Book Review. 28 May 2021.

“We Should All Be Madisonians,” The Dispatch. Book Review. 13 April 2021.

“How Lincoln Can Guide Us in Restoring Our Political Institutions,” The Dispatch. 9 February 2021.

The Bulwark

“Shaping Reasonable People,” The Bulwark. Book Review. 9 April 2021.

National Review Online

“A Republic, Not a Democracy,” National Review. 16 January 2021.

“The Administrative State: Who Makes the Rules?” National Review. 29 September 2020.

Merion West

“Liberal Democracy Lives on the Page, Not the Screen,” Merion West. Essay. 8 July 2021.

“Patriotism: The Supreme Political Virtue,” Merion West. Book Review. 17 June 2021.

“Review: Chris Bail’s ‘Breaking the Social Media Prism,’” Merion West. Book Review. 4 June 2021.

“To Prevent Politics and Reality from Breaking Up, Keep It Local,” Merion West. 13 May 2021.

“George W. Bush’s ‘Out of Many, One’: A Message of Gratitude,” Merion West. Book Review. 3 May 2021.

“Review: John Boehner’s ‘On the House,’” Merion West. Book Review. 19 April 2021.

“Review: Jamal Greene’s ‘How Rights Went Wrong,’” Merion West. Book Review. 10 April 2021.

“Everybody’s Getting the Filibuster—and the Senate—Wrong,” Merion West. 31 March 2021.

“Age Quod Agis,” Merion West. 28 March 2021.

“Is Joe Biden the Future of Liberalism? Let’s Hope So,” Merion West. Book Review. 24 March 2021.

“Let’s Make the Founders Less Unique,” Merion West. Book Review. 15 March 2021.

“Nicholas Kristof Discusses ‘Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope,’” Merion West. Interview Transcript. 28 February 2021.

“One-on-One Interview with Nicholas Kristof – February 27, 2021,” Merion West. YouTube Interview Video. 28 February 2021.

“James Madison, Greg Weiner, and What to Do about the Filibuster,” Merion West. Book Review. 24 February 2021.

“David French Talks ‘Divided We Fall,’” Merion West. Interview Transcript. 17 February 2021.

“One-on-One Interview with David French,” Merion West. YouTube Interview Video. 17 February 2021.

“When Reading about Abraham Lincoln, in 2021,” Merion West. Book Review. 18 February 2021.

“One-on-One Interview with David French,” Merion West. YouTube Interview Video. 17 February 2021.

“David French Talks ‘Divided We Fall,’” Merion West. Interview Transcript. 17 February 2021.

“The Foe We Need Is the Foe We Have,” Merion West. 6 February 2021.

“What Is the Intellectual’s Duty to Society?” Merion West. Book Review. 30 January 2021.

“Francis Fukuyama: Making Identity Politics Work,” Merion West. Book Review. 25 January 2021.

“In Response to a Worthy Critic,” Merion West. 22 January 2021.

“After Trump,” Merion West. Book Review. 19 January 2021.

“What Ails Us?” Merion West. Book Review. 12 January 2021.

“Kevin Williamson: How to Improve the Lot of Those Left Behind,” Merion West. Interview Transcript. 9 January 2021.

“Kevin Williamson: How to Improve the Lot of Those Left Behind,” Merion West. YouTube Interview. 9 January 2021.

“Thomas Ricks: Politics, as Seen from Aristotle to Trump,” Merion West. Interview Transcript. 7 January 2021.

“Thomas Ricks: Politics, as Seen from Aristotle to Trump,” Merion West. YouTube Interview Video. 7 January 2021.

“The Historic Unifying Potential of the U.S. Constitution,” Merion West. Book Review. 6 January 2021.

“H. R. McMaster: How He Sees China, and the World,” Merion West. YouTube Interview Video. 30 December 2020.

“H. R. McMaster: How He Sees China, and the World,” Merion West. Interview Transcript. 30 December 2020.

“Walter Lippmann and the Dilemma of Democracy,” Merion West. Book Review. 29 December 2020.

“Kristof and WuDunn’s ‘Tightrope’: an Essential Book,” Merion West. Book Review. 19 December 2020.

“Blowing Up ‘The Big White Ghetto’,” Merion West. Book Review. 15 December 2020.

“Can a Constitution of Genius Work for a Nation of Imbeciles?” Merion West. Book Review. 10 December 2020.

“Review: H.R. McMaster’s ‘Battlegrounds’,” Merion West. Book Review. 7 December 2020.

“The Center Must Hold,” Merion West. Book Review. 1 December 2020.

“Review: Carlos Lozada’s ‘What Were We Thinking’,” Merion West. Book Review. 20 November 2020.

“Review: Ted Cruz’s ‘One Vote Away’,” Merion West. Book Review. 17 November 2020.

“Meritocratic Tyranny: Big, If True,” Merion West. Book Review. 13 November 2020.

“We’re Divided. But Will We Fall?” Merion West. Book Review. 9 November 2020.

“America: Strained But Strong,” Merion West. 4 November 2020.

“‘A Cry from the Far Middle’: Lots of Laughs, And a Few Important Insights,” Merion West. Book Review. 2 November 2020.

“To My Fellow Catholics, Just Before Election Day,” Merion West. Essay. 1 November 2020.

“What Struck Me Watching the Final Presidential Debate,” Merion West. 23 October 2020.

“Paging Mr. Moynihan,” Merion West. Book Review. 21 October 2020.

“What Ever Happened to Answering the Question?” Merion West. 8 October 2020.

“Assuaging Conservatives’ Fears about a Biden Presidency,” Merion West. 7 October 2020.

“Power Over Principles: The Dual Dangers of Trumpism and Anti-Racism,” Merion West. 24 September 2020.


“Defining Democracy Down,” RealClear Policy. 1 December 2020.

“Calling Princeton’s ‘Anti-Racist’ Bluff,” RealClear Politics. Co-authored with Shanon FitzGerald. 23 September 2020.

“The Crisis of Mutual Contempt in Pennsylvania’s Legislature,” RealClear Public Affairs: Pennsylvania. Study Summary Feature. 10 July 2020.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Philly Should Preempt Harrisburg on Gun Laws,” Philadelphia Inquirer. 13 August 2019.


“Forget Filibuster Reform, Let’s Force Debate in the Senate,” Smerconish. 10 May 2021.

“The Party That Weeds Out Its Radicals Will Win,” Smerconish. 9 March 2021.

“Impeach and Remove the President. Now.” Smerconish. 11 January 2021.

“On Bullshit, Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz,” Smerconish. 5 January 2021.

“Denigrating the Election Results Invites Violence,” Smerconish. 12 November 2020.

“After Election Day, We Start the Work of Tolerance,” Smerconish. Co-authored with Benjamin Pontz. 2 November 2020.–eVArdYaSzpGt5VEzAZgDN1wg-YL0QLLvaiqFh0B2Qqs.

“Vote. Then Pray.” Smerconish. 26 October 2020.

“The Democratic Party Can’t Lose Itself,” Smerconish. 8 October 2020.

“Why Do We Reward Our Politicians for Indecency and Idiocy?” 21 July 2020.

“The Commonsense Case for Joe Biden,” 26 June 2020.

“Voted for Trump in 2016? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t in 2020.” 9 June 2020.

“When It Comes to COVID, We’re All Responsible,” 26 May 2020.

Adam Smith Works

“July 4th: One Piece of Our Founding Trilogy,” Adam Smith Works. Essay. 2 July 2021.

“Adam Smith, Francis Fukuyama, and the Indignity of UBI,” Adam Smith Works. 28 January 2021.

Law & Liberty

“Calling Princeton’s ‘Anti-Racist’ Bluff,” Law & Liberty. Co-authored with Shanon FitzGerald. 22 September 2020.

The Philadelphia Citizen

“‘The Narrow Path That We’re Walking,’” The Philadelphia Citizen. Interview Transcript. 7 July 2021.

“How Hard Is It to Open a Business in Philly?” The Philadelphia Citizen. Investigative Article. 3 June 2021.

“Separating Fact from Fiction,” The Philadelphia Citizen. Fact Check Article. 11 May 2021.

“Let Philly Be Our Guide Out of Our Divisions,” The Philadelphia Citizen. 24 November 2020.

“What Do We Hold in Common?” The Philadelphia Citizen. 1 October 2020.

“On Rizzo, Columbus, and the Confederacy,” The Philadelphia Citizen. 1 July 2020.

“Test. Open. Recover.” The Philadelphia Citizen. 20 May 2020.

The Pennsylvania Capital-Star

“In Pa. Politics, Polarization Isn’t New. But the Contempt Is,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star. 9 July 2020.

The Imaginative Conservative

“Madison’s ‘Extended Republic’ and the Culture Wars,” The Imaginative Conservative. 16 September 2020.


“The Work-From-Home Economy Is the Next Threat Philadelphia Faces,” WHYY. 13 July 2020.

The Fulcrum

“Our democracy is a boxing match. It will take more than one election to make it a foot race again.” The Fulcrum. 14 October 2020.

The Daily Princetonian

“When It Comes to Shutdown Orders, Let the Counties Confront COVID-19,” The Daily Princetonian. 29 May 2020.


“Speak the Truths,” Medium. Op-Ed Article. 3 June 2020.

The Times Herald

“Joe Gale’s Comments Are a Wakeup Call to Get Involved in Local Politics,” The Times Herald. 8 June 2020.


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