History is Back!

Not since Teddy Roosevelt occupied the Oval Office have students of history featured so prominently in the U.S. government as they do today. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster holds a Ph.D. in history and is the author of the highly acclaimed Vietnam War history, Dereliction of Duty. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has

By | 2017-07-26T14:54:18+00:00 July 26th, 2017|

Make Rhetoric Great Again

At the university where I teach rhetoric, an organization called the Center for Public Deliberation promotes events where students, faculty and other citizens can discuss issues that are relevant to American democratic life. Among the goals listed on the Center’s website are decreasing political polarization, creating safe spaces for dialogue between “co-creating agents

By | 2017-07-25T13:50:57+00:00 July 20th, 2017|

James Mattis the Teacher

I guess that in this day and age, we shouldn’t be surprised that a high school student was able to obtain Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’s cell phone number and call him up for an interview. But should we be surprised that Mattis accepted the call and then answered a series of questions?

By | 2017-07-15T14:50:58+00:00 July 12th, 2017|

Raise Tariffs, Secure the Nation

The Financial Times accuses President Trump of suffering from an odious, if tongue-in-cheek malady called trade deficit disorder (TDD). The symptoms? A bizarre and unjustified desire to impose tariffs, thereby ensuring America sells as much as it buys on the international markets. Of course, Trump is not suffering alone with this malady: many

By | 2017-07-14T14:25:32+00:00 July 11th, 2017|

The Way Forward is Up

In 1983, Ronald Reagan gave a monumental speech declaring his administration’s intention to build and place space-based missile defense systems in low Earth orbit. The United States and the Soviet Union, at that time, were locked in a seeming eternal struggle for global ideological supremacy. When the Soviets successfully tested their first nuclear

By | 2017-07-24T21:49:55+00:00 July 9th, 2017|

How Do We Rediscover Our American Heritage? Start With the Declaration

It’s sobering to consider the degree to which we have lost our knowledge of and connection to our American heritage. As a result, William B. Allen notes that we have been transitioning increasingly from a society of “independent yeomen” to a society of “wards of the state.” The challenge before us is to

By | 2017-07-11T14:15:09+00:00 July 8th, 2017|

What Happened to America’s Elite?

It happened on campus. Once upon a time, the foundation of an American college education was common sense. Common sense realism was the philosophy young Americans learned in U.S. colleges. In the words of the great American historian, Arthur Herman, “Common Sense Realism was virtually the official creed of the American Republic.” Another

By | 2017-07-09T16:23:27+00:00 July 7th, 2017|

Coolidge on the Declaration: “If All Men are Created Equal, That is Final”

The following is an excerpt from Calvin Coolidge's (lengthy) speech in Philadelphia on July 5, 1926, marking the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  We meet to celebrate the birthday of America. The coming of a new life always excites our interest. Although we know in the case of the individual that

By | 2017-07-05T13:18:51+00:00 July 4th, 2017|

Jefferson’s Elements

When Euclid wrote Elements circa 300 B.C. he set down five axioms. A straight line can be made from any two points. A finite straight line can be extended continuously. A circle can be described by a line segment with a fixed point and the opposite point rotated continuously to its original position.

By | 2017-07-07T09:35:20+00:00 July 3rd, 2017|