Tag: 2016 election

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…

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…

Intraparty GOP Opposition Should Be Touted in New Administration

The 2016 election represented a fundamental shift in American politics. Donald Trump’s ability to successfully position himself as a Republican who publicly repudiated traditional right-wing ideas such as free trade and limited government reconfigured the traditional two-party divide. America now has two parties that embrace a strong, managerial federal government. This is not a phenomenon…

The Electoral College Is Not Democratic. And That’s Just Fine.

America is not a democracy. To be precise, it is a nationally-federated constitutional republic. This distinction, however, has sadly been largely erased from the national lexicons, pointed out only by those who are immediately dismissed and scornfully labelled a pedant. Yet, that this is not an issue of semantics is all too evident in the…

2016 and the New Populism

Election night confirmed a long-held suspicion. This whole electoral cycle has been a lesson in humility for pundits overconfident in the reliability of data forecasting, broadcast from the Twilight Zone. That said, the profundity of it is staggering, even for skeptics like myself. This was not a runaway victory for Trump. Yet, because the forecasts…

Can Truth Be Defamatory? 2016 Will Decide

The 2016 election is a referendum, but not on any single issue. It encompasses something far larger; it is nothing less than a modern day relitigation of the Zenger trial. Can facts be defamatory? That was the question colonial New York when newspaperman John Peter Zenger printed an editorial critical of the royal governor. Though…

The problem with vote-shaming elected officials

Anytime an office-holding politician expresses doubt in some other member of their party or an individual seeking to become a member of the party, the floodgates of rationalism instantly crumble and a deluge of outrage pours forth. In some regards, this is understandable. Party officials do cede some of their individual autonomy when they gain…

The Clinton-Comey Email Scandal and Rule of Law in America

If there’s one thing the left and right can agree on in terms of what the evolving kerfuffle surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State means, it’s that America is no longer a nation governed by blind justice. In the narrative construction in which both political…

How Rush Limbaugh Disenfranchised the Right

If, like myself, you’re a self-identifying conservative ideologue, then Rush Limbaugh has in past been a figure of influence. The man who has long given himself the self-aggrandizing label of “the big voice on the right” has been exactly that to many a conservative struggling to balance their own epistemology with broader public opinion. This…

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