Presidential Deal-Brokering Threatens Rule of Law

The president has no legislative power. This is confirmed not only by the lack of language in Article II of the Constitution granting the president authority to issue laws, even in times when they may be exigently needed, but also in the rather explicit clause of Article I, Section 1, which states that “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and…

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No, Federal Funding for Disaster Relief Is Not Antithetical to Conservatism

For the vast majority of the country, Hurricane Harvey, though a tragedy, also served as a reminder that political divisiveness is superficial. The outpouring of support from Americans even in areas far from the path of the storm demonstrated that rugged individualism is still a central animating tenet of civic life.  Love of one’s own life and liberty demands respect of the same capacity in another. This attitude promotes a sense of duty, to help…

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Undercutting the Separation of Powers Will Not Fix GOP’s Healthcare Nightmare

The astounding impotency of Republicans, who cannot even garner the votes necessary for a clean repeal of the Affordable Care Act, goes far beyond poor leadership. Opposition to ObamaCare, once pejoratively branded “socialized medicine”, is conceivably the core of the party’s identity. Not only have Republicans made repealing former president Obama’s signature legislation an issue in almost every campaign for the past eight years, it is very prominently featured in the party platform, updated most…

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The Media As Modern Day Philosopher-Kings

The modern media is, in many ways, not unlike Plato’s utopian dream city of Kallipolis. Eschewing democratic ideas and the concept of a meritocracy, Plato’s famous Socratic dialogue, The Republic, embraces a natural aristocracy of minds and argues that, for justice to be a reality, those of ability—the philosophers—should rule and those lacking the requisite mental acumen—the followers—should simply accept their lot in life and allow those who know better to order their affairs. Plato’s…

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The Hollowing Out of the Conservative Mind

The 2016 election was something of an existential crisis for many across the partisan spectrum, but perhaps not quite as literally for any group as conservatives. Donald Trump’s ascendancy ripped the veil off right-wing ideology and revealed that many of the principles to which conservatives had clung so staunchly in their political advocacy—limited government, free markets—were apparently adopted by many of their brethren simply because they stood in opposition to progressive ideas. Those who balked…

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America’s Torquemada Complex

For Trump loyalists, the fallout surrounding CNN’s publication of an inaccurate report documenting supposed ties between Russia and Trump associates was vindication of the White House’s assertions that the administration is dogged by unfair media criticism. For Trump detractors, CNN’s acknowledgment of wrongdoing, was evidence that the network does hold itself to some sort of ethical standard, thus undermining charges that it is nothing but “fake news”.  To be a member of either group and…

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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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