Division Within Congress Is Necessary

By dint of that air of moral supremacy carried by the members of a majority in a nation that gives over ultimate power to the judgment of the people, the pinnacle of modern American political virtue is bipartisan collaboration. In uniting to serve “the common good” — an ill-defined term, the imprecision of which is compounded by questions of how the polity is constructed at a national level — politicians evoke that spirit of communitarian…

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Party Loyalty Is Destroying Politics

America’s political culture has become such that the charge of disloyalty is a far more indelible stain upon a person’s character than a charge of criminal behavior or personal misconduct. The 2016 election was a race between a career politician whose record of abusing the law for personal gain was as long as her record of public service and a businessman with an unsettling habit of personally denigrating any who criticized or disagreed with him.…

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What is the goal of government?

What is the proper end of government? It is a deceptively simple question. For most Americans, the answer probably resonates with the broad goals outlined in the preamble of the Constitution- establishing justice, promoting the general welfare, securing the blessings of liberty. Political theoreticians would largely agree, though in more formal language, perhaps citing Aristotle’s analogy that a city is simply a partnership, and all partnerships aim at some good. These, however, are abstractions of…

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What does an electoral mandate mean in a democratic government?

Whenever an election result heavily favors one party or candidate, the commentariat class—those members of the media and political elite who feel qualified to act as final arbiters in determining the meaning of political and cultural events—brand that victory a “mandate.” This term is used as if the degree of victory somehow gives the winner greater legitimacy to act, lending an air of unassailable moral authority to the policies and initiatives pursued and casting dissenters…

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