The Emptiness of the Coming Presidential Primaries

By |2019-04-21T22:16:39-05:00April 21st, 2019|Categories: Liberalism, Politics, Presidency, Senior Contributors|

Emptiness is defined negatively as the absence of something. It can involve structures which are not occupied or filled, as in empty bottles. Emptiness can refer to situations lacking reality, substance or meaning, as in empty pleasures. Actions can be empty when they have no consequences, as in empty gestures or threats. […]

The Wall: Echoes of a Distant Empire

By |2019-03-03T22:19:09-05:00March 3rd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civilization, Donald Trump, Government, History, Immigration, Joseph Mussomeli, Politics, Presidency, Senior Contributors|

How often have we not seen, even in our own lives, that actions we take to preserve something we cherish end up destroying that which we seek to protect? Patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the desire for security and the yearning for justice are forever the final refuge of [...]

What President Trump Has in Common With President Polk

By |2019-02-15T11:41:08-05:00February 15th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Donald Trump, History, Politics, Presidency|

If James K. Polk can be credited with adding a huge swath of territory to the American empire, might Donald Trump one day be credited with preserving that long ago victory by reversing the gradual makeover of the southwestern United States? The game of presidential parallels can be endlessly fascinating. Sometimes it can also [...]

Our Enemy: The (Imperial) Presidency

By |2019-05-30T10:29:57-05:00November 5th, 2018|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Democracy, Featured, Federalism, Government, Libertarianism, New Deal, Paul Krause, Presidency, Senior Contributors|

Many Americans fear the dysfunction in Congress and the rise of an “activist” Supreme Court. Both worries are misplaced, at least in relationship to the larger problem at hand: the growth of presidential imperialism… Albert Jay Nock was an important literary and social critic of the first-half of the twentieth century. Part scholar, part pundit, [...]

Putting Old Hickory in Context: Bradley Birzer’s “In Defense of Andrew Jackson”

By |2018-10-18T09:55:24-05:00October 17th, 2018|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, History, Politics, Presidency|

Rather than justify Jackson’s deeds, In Defense of Jackson instead depicts its subject in the context of his own world. In doing so, author Bradley Birzer makes a remarkable contribution to the Jackson historiography that effectively tackles Old Hickory’s political disposition in a concise single volume. Whether one enters into its pages admiring or loathing Jackson, Dr. [...]

Donald Trump and the Path to a New Conservatism

By |2019-04-25T15:16:45-05:00October 16th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Democracy, Donald Trump, Politics, Populism, Presidency|

It was Donald Trump’s sense of fraternity that most incensed his opponents. For the liberals, it was his solidarity with people they thought deplorable. For the libertarians, it was the safety net he’d offer Americans. For both he was toxic, but his fraternity brought him to the sweet spot in American presidential politics, the place [...]

What Andrew Jackson’s Critics Get Wrong

By |2018-09-24T23:31:52-05:00September 24th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, American West, Bradley J. Birzer, In Defense of Andrew Jackson Series by Bradley Birzer, Presidency|

Like all human beings, Andrew Jackson certainly had his faults—sometimes spectacular, brutal, and violent ones—but is it just to label him, as one recent critic has, simply as "a slaver, ethnic cleanser, and tyrant"? Sometime in the last several years, it has become the cultural norm to see President Andrew Jackson as the sum of [...]

In Defense of Andrew Jackson

By |2018-09-10T13:12:16-05:00September 10th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Presidency|

The vast majority of Americans think of Andrew Jackson as a despicable man: a scoundrel, an uncouth violent redneck, hell-bent on the imperial expansion of the United States with the American Indians his burnt offerings to whatever god he worshipped. But my research has revealed Jackson as a true American republican, a virtuous man of the [...]

“Foundations of the Republic”: The Declaration of Independence

By |2019-06-05T17:08:40-05:00July 4th, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Freedom, History, Presidency|

The Declaration of Independence is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for [...]

Can the President Pardon Himself?

By |2019-04-25T15:39:35-05:00July 1st, 2018|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Constitution, Government, Presidency, Sean Busick|

  It used to be a fundamental article of faith among American conservatives that the Constitution can only be understood in the context of the Founders’ original intentions. So, is it reasonable to believe that the Founders intended a president to have the power to pardon himself? The Constitution gives the president “Power to [...]

Andrew Jackson and Republican Virtue

By |2018-06-25T22:16:42-05:00June 25th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, History, In Defense of Andrew Jackson Series by Bradley Birzer, Presidency, Virtue|

One of the greatest causes of concern in American society by the 1820s was the perceived loss of virtue necessary to undergird a republic. All republicans knew that America would not last forever. They did, however, hope that by example, norms, education, and sacrifice, the American people would keep their republic alive as long [...]

The 1820s: The Decade of Andrew Jackson

By |2019-03-07T10:45:21-05:00June 18th, 2018|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, History, In Defense of Andrew Jackson Series by Bradley Birzer, Presidency|

Nothing dominated the American conversation of the decade of the 1820s more than the idea of Andrew Jackson as president. The back-and-forth between the pro-Jackson and anti-Jackson forces is bewildering and dizzying even to the biographer who has the grand advantage of hindsight... The Great Depression of 1819 and the Missouri slavery question of the [...]

Andrew Jackson as Territorial Governor of Florida

By |2018-06-15T22:36:31-05:00June 12th, 2018|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Government, In Defense of Andrew Jackson Series by Bradley Birzer, Politics, Presidency|

Andrew Jackson revealed his most republican self in his governorship. He not only continued Spanish civil and property law, thus ensuring that Spanish citizens would not be harmed, but he also extended English common law to Florida, especially in criminal matters… Though Andrew Jackson only served a very short term as governor of Florida, [...]

Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, & the Future of the Republican Party

By |2018-06-07T10:46:18-05:00June 6th, 2018|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Donald Trump, Politics, Presidency, Ronald Reagan|

Reagan Rising: The Decisive Years, 1976–1980 by Craig Shirley (432 pages, Broadside Books, 2017) The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism by Henry Olsen (368 pages, Broadside Books, 2017) Of all the questions that divide conservatives in 2018, the most basic might be this: Are we living in wilderness years under [...]