by John D. Guandolo
Over the weekend of August 20, 2021, Angelo Codevilla died of injuries sustained after he was his by a car driven by a drunk 25 year old woman.
Angelo Codevilla was arguably one of the greatest minds in America on what it takes to maintain America’s Constitutional Republic, the role of government, and why America’s leaders should follow the example of the Founding Fathers on governance and foreign policy.
I was blessed and honored to learn at the feet of Dr. Angelo Codevilla as a Claremont Lincoln Fellow during the summer of 2011, hosted in California by the Claremont Institute.
From my perspective, what made Angelo great was his ability to teach and share ideas and concepts that were simple and effective because they were proven over the centuries.
Charles Kesler introduces Dr. Angelo Codevilla as follows:
“Angelo Codevilla is a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Boston University, and an inveterate contributor to the Claremont review a books. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Codevilla served as a senior staff member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee for almost a decade, and was the principal author of the 1980 Presidential Transition Report on Intelligence prepared for president-elect Reagan. Codevilla has been a trenchant critic of American foreign policy from the Cold War through the “War on Terror” arguing vigorously from the standpoint of the axioms of the older and more successful American foreign policy of the 18th and 19th centuries. One might go further and say he argues from the timeless understanding of statecraft that goes back to Machiavelli and more capaciously, Aristotle. His books include several classics, like The Character of Nations: How Politics Makes and Breaks Prosperity, Family, and Civility, and, with Paul Seabury, War: Ends and Means. His latest volumes are Advice to War Presidents: A Remedial Course in Statecraft, and The Ruling Class: How They Corrupt America and What We Can Do About It.“
If you believe America’s founding principles and Constitutional Republic can and must be restored, Angelo Codevilla’s books and lectures must be included in your journey as a Patriot.
The following comes from the inset of Angelo’s book, Advice to War Presidents:
“Of Woodrow Wilson’s successors, only the first three escaped the role of war president. While these leaders have committed America to the pursuit of peace, they have involved us in seemingly endless wars. The American foreign policy establishment’s several “schools” have jointly misguided our presidents with myths that have worsened these conflicts: that foreign peoples always share American ideals; that peace is simple the absence of conflict rather than the tenuous result of victories; that diplomacy is a substitute for force; and that wealth is everyone’s overriding goal. Our establishment’s very language obscures reality. The result is that even as American forces win battle after battle, we leave ourselves and the world less secure.”
Angelo was a strong proponent of following the foreign policy examples of America’s Founding Fathers. During a lecture series with Charles Kesler on The American Mind, Dr. Codevilla stated:
“The founders foreign policy was a model of realism…very well tied to reality. It was based on the seeking of a proper end, namely peace, and on the basic distinction between our business and other’s business, and a determination to guard our business by all possible means, including war. War was taken seriously, and that is really that. If you have these fundamentals, you can go on to other things…what is really important to us is to remain Americans, to remain as blessedly distinct from the rest of the world as we always were.”
One of Angelo’s best articles was written in 2019 entitled “Who in the Hell Do They Think They Are?” and dealt with the ruling class’ Admiral McRaven and military elites in general. Read that article here.
The death of Angelo Codevilla leaves a vacuum in America. It is a vacuum that can only be filled by Patriots who deeply understand America’s Founding Principles, the example of our Founding Fathers, and the willingness to do whatever is necessary to re-establish our foundation in law and government.
Understanding the Threat offers our condolences to everyone who knew and loved Angelo Codevilla, and we pray Americans will honor him, by carrying on his great and noble work.
Deus autem omnipotens benedicat hoc magnum est homo.