American politics has devolved into emotivism. “I feel” has replaced “I think,” particularly for the ideologues on the Left, the fascists, communists, and socialists. They thrive on emotion, which is why they pick issues that will elicit an emotional response. But that is not who we are. The people I know who support monuments and symbols–across the United States–do so because they have a tangible …more
Several people have asked me to respond to an Atlantic article about Robert E. Lee. I already did, over two years ago. Episode 102 republishes a talk I gave on Lee and the terrible book, Reading the Man by Elizabeth Brown Pryor, in January 2015, fully six months before the current pogrom on all things Southern began. Enjoy!
Neo-conservatives can’t decide why they hate Calhoun or the Southern tradition. Is it unwanted decentralization (secession) or unwanted centralization? In reality, the Southern tradition is just unwanted. The latest neo-conservative stooge to make a stupid claim about Calhoun drips from the pen of John Daniel Davidson at TheFederalist.com. Davidson contends that Calhoun’s political philosophy is at the heart of the modern progressive, bureaucratic state and …more
People are always asking me what they can do to help correct the biases of the mainstream academy and media. This podcast is for you, and it’s two words: popular history. Most Americans get their history from documentaries, popular histories (meaning non-academic), and the Internet. You can do all three without working for a university. All it takes is a little marketing, initiative, good writing …more
You’ve probably heard this before from a half-witted modern academic: “The only difference between the CSA Constitution and the USA Constitution was slavery.” Right. No one thought about anything else, except they did. I discuss the Confederate Constitution and the difference between the two documents as part of the American constitutional tradition in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.
Trump has his back against the wall. Leaks, obstruction, and disorder have been the norm for the last six months. This could have been predicted. When Trump decided to bring in several establishment Republicans to the White House, he opened the door to this type of abuse. They are not his friends and should be purged from the administration. The same thing happened to John …more
I would be surprised if many of my listeners have heard of the Richmond Junto, but after hearing this podcast I hope you’ll 1) agree that they are an important part of American constitutional thought, and 2) purchase How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America so you can read more about them. If you want slashing attacks on Hamiltonian nationalism, they are your guys. All were …more
What is American populism? Donald Trump has been called a populist. Is he? Journalist Daniel Levy thinks almost anything in American history could be classified as “populist.” This is wrong on so many levels I had to do a show on the topic. Perhaps if we had a better understanding of American populism we would stop running around calling anything that sounds “democratic” or that …more
You’ve probably heard this before: “You Jefferson lovers conveniently forget that Jefferson disregarded the Constitution when it worked for him. Just look at the Louisiana Purchase!” I tackle this supposed inconsistency and how to give it back to these “gotcha” nincompoops in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.
The Whig Party is perhaps the most misunderstood political party in American history. Most people simply equate it with Henry Clay and the American System–a repackaged version of Hamilton’s economic proposals from the 1790s. But the earliest “Whigs” were in fact Southern state’s rights advocates who bristled at the actions taken by “King Andrew” during the nullification crisis beginning in 1828. I discuss these men, …more