A listener sent me a long email with three very good questions about the founding generation. Rather than respond in written form to one person, I thought it would be beneficial to respond in a way that everyone could enjoy. If one student has a question, chances are several have the same questions. This was a fun episode, so keep those questions coming.
Yoram Hazony argues in a piece for First Things that the solution to our political problems is the adoption of what he calls “conservative democracy.” This is a thought provoking piece, but one that falls apart in its core insistence on “nationalism.” We don’t need “conservative democracy.” We need a return to federalism. I discuss in detail in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.
A leftist professor wants to limit executive power. This should not be news in the Age of Trump. Every leftist wants to do that, but this leftist might be slightly different. Professor Julia Azari wrote a piece for Vox arguing that the Constitution doesn’t do enough to limit executive power and suggests amending it to do so. This is interesting. I suggested the same thing …more
Thomas Jefferson is under attack. Who didn’t see this coming? There are, however, people who try to defend the man, but they do so very poorly. One such case is a recent opinion piece in the Richmond Dispatch that gave an offhanded nod of approval to a bunch of Hofstra students who want to take down a Jefferson statue on their campus. How stupid but …more
Facebook is now “Fact Checking” posts. This is bad news for a variety of reasons, but maybe most embarrassingly because they are using a former CNN reporter to do the fact checking. What could go wrong with that, particularly when they are “fact checking” the civil war [sic]. I hit this issue head on in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.
Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker has written one of the most stupid (but typical) pieces on Reconstruction. The presentism, the historical revisionism, and the downright laughable assertions are so cringe worthy, I had to podcast about it. It also makes for a great introduction to my newest course at https://mcclanahanacademy.com Reconstruction and Recreation. This episode was too fun to put together.
Conservative scholar Daniel Mallock blames identity politics, in particular Southerners, for the sectional conflict and “civil war.” Is he correct? In short, no, at least in regard to the South. He also supports a type of neoconservative nationalism that would find favor with leftists like Jill Lepore. I discuss in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.
Harvard professor Jill Lepore thinks we need to write more nationalist histories of the United States, but they have to be a certain type of nationalist histories. She gets so many things wrong in a recent article for foreignaffairs.com that I had to take her positions apart.
We witnessed an example of good, bad, and ugly in state politics this week. Missouri did something good, no great, Mississippi the bad with good intent, and Colorado and Delaware the ugly. I explain all three in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.
The Federalist Society has decided to give an award named after the “originalist” Joseph Story. This is a bad idea for so many reasons. I explain why in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.