Category Archives: Politics

The Budget Blueprint is A Populist Nightmare, Not a Conservative Dream

If the 2018 budget blueprint recently released by President Trump through the Office of Management and Budget is, as right-wing commentators are claiming, the new apogee of conservative fiscal policy, then the movement is well and truly dead. Yes, the proposed budget—which only contains proposed reforms for discretionary funding and then gives no substantive detail…

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…

How “America First” Rhetoric Reconfigures Classic Political Theory

It is one of the great ironies of modern politics that vague, colloquial conceptions of democracy understood simply as the moral authority of the people’s will promulgate the view that partisan ideological labels have meanings which fluctuate with different forms of self-identification in the polity. In other words, the semantics of modern ideology is rooted…

The conservative case against term limits

Insulating individuals from the consequences of bad choices does nothing to promote democratic governance or protect civil liberties. It does not teach voters to make sober, reasoned choices at the voting booths. Only by making poor electoral choices then removing dishonest political actors once their perfidy is revealed and being vigilant against similar situations in…

Trump’s Executive Actions Cannot Undo the Wrong of Obama’s

Whether executive orders are constitutional is something of a thorn in the side of political theorists. There is nothing in the Constitution that strictly forbids the use of unilateral executive action; in fact, the Constitution explicitly grants the president a limited degree of such power in order to clarify and direct the internal operations of…

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…

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…

Lack of Understanding of Economic Sanctions at Tillerson Hearing

The viability of sanctions as a major part of U.S. foreign policy played a prominent role in the back and forth between members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s during today’s confirmation hearing. As the former CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil, Tillerson’s recalcitrance to testify to the positives…

The Power of Digital Politics: The Economic Impact of Trump’s Tweets

To paraphrase a famous cliché, “As Trump tweets, so goes the stock market.” Last Thursday, Japanese car maker Toyota’s stock plummeted following a Donald Trump tweet critical of the company’s announcement it was opening a plant in Mexico which would produce Corollas to be sold in the U.S. This was only the latest incidence of…

It’s time to embrace division in American politics

Modern political ideology has devolved into a form of sectarianism. Party identification now serves as nothing short of an intellectual brand. If an individual claims to be a Democrat or a Republican, or to have a deep ideological connection to a sect of either party, all sorts of assumptions are encouraged. To some degrees this…

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