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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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 of sanctions was perhaps understandable. In an exchange with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), he stated that these often impacted the…

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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 various companies’ stocks rising or falling following Trump’s Twitter commentary on their businesses decisions. While it is tempting to interpret…

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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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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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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 solely dependent on Trump; he simply spearheaded the movement. An observation of Congressional Republican opposition to Obamacare—which slowly morphed from…

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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 reaction to the presidential election. Anti-Trump protestors, justifying their histrionics by babbling about “democracy!”, claim the election was stolen by…

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