Politics & Power

How Equality Makes Us Better (and Stupid)

declaration of independence April 21, 2014

Hidden Springs Lane…. The concept of equality lies at the heart of the American system. School children learn by heart (or used to) those memorable lines from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truth self-evident that all men

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Dollarocracy: Money-Power, Media-Framed Elections and Inequality

dollarocracy April 17, 2014

When searching for semi-precious stones, one must at times loosen jewels from the mineral deposits in which they’re locked.  This consideration applies to books as well as nature’s treasures.  One reads certain political books not necessarily because of agreement with…

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The Crafting of the Fourteenth Amendment

Bingham March 21, 2014

Several years ago, after driving past the impressively proportioned Harrison County Courthouse in my hometown of Cadiz for the hundredth time, I thought I ought to stop and look and in general confirm the identity of the man whose likeness…

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A Genuinely Original Libertarian Argument?

March 5, 2014

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]
Yesterday evening, I participated in a symposium sponsored in part by Northfield School of the Liberal Arts, a private Christian academy, here in Wichita, KS. I’ve done a lot with Northfield over the years, as…

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American Political Praxis

Aerial_view_of_the_Capitol_Hill February 11, 2014

What words best describe present-day Washington politics?  The commonplace answer, endlessly repeated by politicians themselves and media observers alike, is this:  dysfunction, gridlock, partisanship, and incivility.  Yet here’s a far more accurate term:  tacit consensus.  Where Republicans and Democrats disagree,…

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Liberty and Circuits of the Sacred

IMG-20140118-00854 January 28, 2014

A few days ago was the first time I heard Chinese being spoken with a heavy Indian accent.  Given the tenor of our times, one might expect this to have been at some gathering of wheelers and dealers brandishing business…

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McClaughry Memoir: The Thousand Points of Light

George_H._W._Bush_inauguration January 3, 2014

The following is the final installment of John McClaughry’s memoir, Promoting Civil Society Among the Heathen.  See the previous chapter here.
8. George H.W. Bush and the Thousand Points of Light
Inheriting the Republican nomination in 1988, vice president  George H.W. Bush…

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McClaughry Memoir: The Reagan Years

mcclaughry-reagan December 20, 2013

The following is the fourth installment of John McClaughry’s memoir, Promoting Civil Society Among the Heathen.  See the previous chapter here.
7.  Ronald Reagan 
Now let’s backtrack to 1966 and follow the rising career of Ronald Reagan.
For years Reagan had…

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McClaughry Memoir: Ford and Carter

grandheyday December 7, 2013

The following is the third installment of John McClaughry’s memoir, Promoting Civil Society Among the Heathen.  See the previous chapters here and here.
5. Ford and the Ethnics 
Gerald Ford became vice president and then president after 25 years in Congress.…

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McClaughry Memoir: The Nixon Years

1803-10 November 29, 2013

The following is the second installment of John McClaughry’s memoir, Promoting Civil Society Among the Heathen.  See the previous chapters here.
3. The Community Self Determination Act 
During my year at the Institute of Politics at Harvard I fell in with…

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Gettysburg at 150: Some Essays

November 19, 2013

Holland, MI…
My wife will be the first to point out that I’m not much of one for marking anniversaries, but it seems – to use Lincoln’s language – fitting and right to take note of the fact that today

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The Triumph of the Liberal State

Roe_v._Wade_Headline_1973 November 12, 2013

First published in Dutch as De triomf van de liberale staat in the anthology Essays Over Het Midden (Groningen, The Netherlands: Uitgeverij de Blauwe Tijger, 2013)
It was sometime back in the Dark Ages—by which I mean the 1960’s—that I watched a television program in which…

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Politics on a Human Scale: Historiography

low-res Front Cover FPR 1 October 23, 2013

The language of “human scale” politics originated, at least in modern America, among the New Left and the Counterculture. More recently it has been adopted by traditional conservatives (appropriately enough).

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It’s the Scale, Stupid

Shut down October 21, 2013

Hidden Springs Lane…. The great shutdown charade (less than 50% of workers furloughed) is over for now. However, though our leaders are patting themselves on the back for ending the stalemate and avoiding the uncertainty of default, they have

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S.O.L.

Carter October 8, 2013

Madness may be measured among oncologists who desire unlimited growth.

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The Once and Future Boss: The Possibilities of Tammany Hall

Tammany_Hall,_N.Y,_from_Robert_N._Dennis_collection_of_stereoscopic_views October 3, 2013

We are, here in New York, just about ready to cast our votes for the next mayor: even Mike Bloomberg cannot, apparently, actually appoint himself Patrician after the model of Lord Vetinari from the Discworld novels, settling in for a…

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