The prominent conservative thinker Angelo Codevilla died in a car accident this past week. In the last few years of his life I developed if not a friendship, certainly an acquaintanceship, with this remarkable, unique man.
Angelo, an unashamed Christian who loved his native Italian homeland and his grape vineyards, was a blend of old-school conservatism and Founding-era liberalism. He was what we call a libertarian conservative. (So am I.) He was committed to a strong conservative Christian social vision that most certainly did not include a muscular politics. He was a sworn enemy of statism and sworn champion of the family and church. He believed in liberty within the bounds of godly morality: political liberty, religious liberty, and economic liberty. He was a U. S. naval officer who later earned his Ph.D. and worked for a number of years in the defense and intelligence community in Washington D.C. The last 40 years or so he has worked in think tanks and academia. He was an expert in international relations and warfare, but among the broad conservative (and non-conservative) public he was known best for his two books The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It and The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family, and Civility.