This post was originally published at Public Seminar on January 17, 2018. In the coming weeks, I want to write more about the meaning of free speech, how we understand free speech differently depending on how and where we are positioned, and whether our difficulty in listening to–and understanding–each other is a crucial context for … More The Campus Speech Wars
This post was originally published at Public Seminar on December 27, 2017 What happens in the aftermath of a crushing political defeat? In October, almost a year after the election that brought us Donald Trump, I was at the Library of Congress immersed in the archive of a man named Paul Weyrich, and thinking about … More Rebuilding Democracy in 2018
I can only imagine what my father, a lapsed Methodist, would have said about charges from multiple women that Judge Roy Moore, candidate for Senate in Alabama, and famous for having illegally planted the Ten Commandments in front of his courthouse, had groped them as teenagers. “Jesus!” my dad would have yelled. To which my … More Can Roy Moore’s Candidacy Survive?
Several years ago, I inaugurated this class in recent United States political history under the title “The Age of Reagan.” Like many historians, I presumed that the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 had been the culmination of a fundamental reorientation of American conservatism. I also presumed that it would have as lasting an impact … More From Goldwater to Trump, A Syllabus
Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains: the Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America (New York: Viking Press, 2017.) Democracy in Chains, historian Nancy MacLean’s account of James McGill Buchanan andpublic choice economics, has caused an unusual stir in the few months since its publication. You may have followed the lengthy and determined attacks on MacLean, … More What Are the Costs of Libertarianism?
How many parents do we know who refer to their adult sons as “boys” and “kids?” Lots. Yet there has been an explosive response to President Trump characterizing his son Donald Jr., who will testify next week before a Senate committee investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, as a “good boy” and a “good … More Is it okay to call Donald Trump Jr. a boy?
One of my students pointed me to Caleb Howe at Red State as the conservative blogger to follow if I were inclined to follow a conservative blogger. He was right. And frankly, my fellow libtards and feminazis? I would find some conservative bloggers to follow too if I were you, because things are unraveling in Paul Ryan’s Boys … More Conservative Bloggers, Healthcare Funsies and Emails from Trump
Conservatives have been complaining for years that liberals don’t care about their ideas: if this is true, it becomes a problem for liberals and the left too. Why? Because by simply ignoring or mocking conservative proposals, by not following them through to their logical conclusion, we fail to understand the implications these ideas have for … More If You Get Sick in Utah, Don’t Call Jason Chaffetz