Chuck Chalberg

Chuck Chalberg

About Chuck Chalberg

John C. “Chuck” Chalberg teaches American History at Normandale Community College, writes from Minnesota, and brings history to life in the persons of G.K. Chesterton, George Orwell, H.L. Mencken, Branch Rickey, and Teddy Roosevelt at History on Stage.

Should College Be Free?

By |2019-05-21T14:19:57-06:00September 19th, 2018|Categories: Education, Europe, Liberal Learning|

Why doesn’t the United States do what Europe does when it comes to students and college? Why isn’t a college education free? Fall is here. That means many things are on their way down, including bank accounts as parents write tuition checks.  Is anything going up? Maybe interest in “free” college. How often are we [...]

G.K. Chesterton’s “What’s Wrong With the World”

By |2019-04-18T11:17:36-06:00August 8th, 2018|Categories: Civilization, Culture, England, G.K. Chesterton, Politics|

The next time someone tells you that reactionaries and other assorted defenders of the family and private property do not care about the poor, invite them to read G.K. Chesterton’s final words in What’s Wrong with the World… A man of great good cheer, G. K. Chesterton was well known for his sunny disposition [...]

Populism & Progressivism: Then & Now

By |2018-06-12T07:34:02-06:00June 11th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Donald Trump, Government, Politics, Progressivism|

With the Trump presidency now well underway, an inescapable historical irony deserves to be noted. If there was a time in our history—and there was—when progressivism bested populism, this is a moment when populism has returned the favor. To be sure, the populism of today is not exactly the same version of populism that [...]

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

By |2018-05-11T00:31:03-06:00May 7th, 2018|Categories: Barack Obama, Books, Politics, Presidency|

Just who and what is Barack Obama? If he “willed himself into being,” what did he will himself to be?… Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama by David Garrow (1472 pages, HarperCollins, 2017) Having read the entirety of this unnecessarily, even ridiculously, lengthy biography of Barack Obama, I trust that I am well-qualified [...]

Single-Issue Liberals

By |2019-02-07T12:56:20-06:00April 18th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Economics, Ideology, Liberalism, Politics|

Much has been written in recent years about the increasing polarization in American politics. Republicans have moved further to the right, while Democrats have moved further to the left. And seldom do they even attempt to meet anywhere in the middle. The phenomenon is undeniable. It’s observable on a daily basis and confirmed by [...]

The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics

By |2019-05-21T14:17:30-06:00April 3rd, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Culture, Ideology, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism|

This “once and future liberal,” Mark Lilla, is actually a progressive in disguise. To be sure, he is also a progressive who doesn’t like some of what progressivism has wrought and some of what progressivism has become; hence, his hope that he has sufficiently camouflaged himself as a liberal… The Once and Future Liberal: [...]

How Reform Laws Backfire

By |2019-03-11T14:25:38-06:00February 20th, 2018|Categories: Barack Obama, Economics, Education, Justice, Liberal Learning, Politics, Rule of Law|

If a reform produces unintended consequences of a troubling sort, succeeding generations of reformers will make use of those consequences not to undo the original reform, but rather to call for new action that requires an ever-larger federal government… All reforms are notorious for their unintended consequences; liberal reforms are noteworthy for something that [...]

Ronald Reagan & the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism

By |2018-10-08T13:10:49-06:00February 5th, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Donald Trump, Economics, Featured, Politics, Ronald Reagan|

Ronald Reagan’s version of conservatism was far more pro-government than was Barry Goldwater’s. Compassion, not liberty, was Reagan’s guide. This raises the question: To what extent is the success of modern political conservatism dependent upon the conservation of liberal, even progressive, reforms?… The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue Collar [...]

Robert Nisbet, “Conservatism: Dream and Reality”

By |2017-06-19T12:43:35-06:00October 22nd, 2010|Categories: Books, Community, Robert Nisbet|

Originally published in 1986, Robert Nisbet’s recently reissued study of the history and prospects of both conservative thought and political conservatism from Edmund Burke to Ronald Reagan is as relevant today as it would have been over the course of many yesterdays and as it will be for many tomorrows. No doubt intended to shore [...]

I Had a Dream

By |2017-06-20T12:24:37-06:00September 16th, 2010|Categories: Politics|

I had a dream the other night, a dream that American had elected a black president. The year was sometime in the not-too-distant past, maybe even as recently as 2008. I don’t know about you, but my dreams can be amazingly vivid and curiously vague all at the same time. This one surely was. [...]

A Review of Sam Tanenhaus, “The Death of Conservatism”

By |2017-06-15T14:53:43-06:00August 3rd, 2010|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Edmund Burke|

The Death of Conservatism, by Sam Tanenhaus. As far as obituaries go, this is a fairly lengthy entry, not to mention premature. And as far as histories go, it’s more than slightly incomplete, not to mention wrong-headed, tendentious and unfair. Beyond these quibbles, there’s a lot more cause for complaint about this recent and [...]