"The Declaration and the Constitution: Liberty, Democracy, and the Founders." The Public Interest 41 (Fall 1975): 39-55. Also included in The American Commonwealth—1976. Eds. Nathan Glazer and Irving Kristol. New York: Basic, 1976. 39-55.
To understand the relationship between the Constitution’s commitment to democratic government and the Declaration of Independence’s affirmation of equal individual rights is in fact to understand the nature of the American regime, according to this essay’s argument. When this essay first appeared in the bicentennial edition of The Public Interest in 1975, Irving Kristol notes, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called him to say that it was “the most important article that the magazine had ever published.”
Portions of this essay appear in The Revolution of Sober Expectations.