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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Politicians Have No Solutions

The well of the American political imagination has run dry. There is not a single novel proposal being seriously pushed by any elected official in regards to any of the exigent crises which face the nation. Old, tired ideas that obviously had no merit the first time they were proposed and implemented, elsewise the issues they were designed to settle would not continue to crop up like a perennial weed choking the public discourse. In…

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2016: An Election of Political Death and Realignment

Nothing is so over-prognosticated as the death of political parties. Under the microscope of public, and perhaps more importantly, media scrutiny, insignificant quibbles are overly magnified into catastrophic divisions, which, catalyzed by the constant pressures of the biannual election cycle, threaten to rent the party asunder. But reports of the demise of political parties are greatly exaggerated. Political tumult is the sign of a robust body politic. Engagement inevitably breeds discord, both inside and outside…

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On regime change

With very little regard for partisan loyalties that play into the frenetic turnover between old and new presidential administrations, American citizens seem to inherently recognize the nation’s roughly two centuries of peaceful and regular transitions of power as something to be lauded. And rightly so. The ability of former rivals, in the electorate and the polity, to shrug off the pernicious attacks which created hard-line divisions month before and rally around the noble ideal 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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Defining equality in the American political system

The aftermath of the 2016 election is a tale of two separate and competing definitions of equality. To those lobbying for the abolition of the electoral college, egalitarianism is expressed directly through the popular vote, which embodies the will of the simple majority—the only gauge necessary for determining what is “fair.” To those who remain staunchly behind the electoral college, egalitarianism is slightly more nuanced. There is no moral mandate behind a majority by numbers.…

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How the death of federalism has affected understanding of the Bill of Rights

Debate over the Constitution has devolved over the past couple of centuries from an eloquent discourse, sometimes sophistic, to petty academic quibbling over whether emphasis on the Bill of Rights belongs to the powers denied the federal government or to those unenumerated and left in the hands of the states and people. The context of this latter position has been further obliterated since New Deal days as a shift in Constitutional interpretation has emphasized the…

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