A Different Reading of Populism

To possess an ideology requires a strong sense of morality and a commitment to an analytical process that is indefatigable, both in the regard that it questions values and assumptions universally, without regard for personal prejudice, and in the regard that its questioning is all-encompassing; it does not waver to account for fatigue or a lack of interest in a particular subject. In other words, to be an ideologue is a laborious and time-consuming process.…

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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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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 is logical; the point of political parties, after all, is to provide structure and organization to a complicated electoral system…

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The evolving debate over personality versus structure in government failure

Anyone who’s ever taken a basic civics class is familiar with the idea that the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution in response to the systemic weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. The lies vaunted leaders such as George Washington and James Madison told the public at the time about the Philadelphia Committee simply reforming, rather than replacing, the Articles are justified by the supposed exigency which existed in the federal government’s ability to respond to…

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