The Crisis in American Constitutionalism with Dr. Larry Arnn (PODCAST)

 Larry Arnn crisis of american constitutionalism

Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, joined me today for the better part of an hour to discuss the crisis unfolding in American politics.  The importance of our constitutional order is too little understood and the sovereignty of the people acting in their constitutional majority too little appreciated.  Few people are as well equipped to explain the origins of the crisis and what action we may take to forestall its terrible consequences than Dr. Arnn.

The entire discussion is worth listening to at least once – probably more than once.  And not because of me.   Dr. Arnn’s knowledge and practical wisdom are in short supply.  I’ve already listened to the interview again.  A few takeaways:

  1. The sovereignty of the people is under assault from a meritocratic elite that believes – sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly – that they have a right to rule or overrule the people.
  2. The signal importance of constitutional government is too little understood.  This is a failure of our education system, but it is also a project of the Left which has believed at least since the Progressive era that a large, powerful state run by “experts” is unreasonably constrained by the Constitution from “doing good.”  Much of the Right has drunk from this well and it has tainted our politics.
  3. Against the administrative state run by “experts” stands the idea of a sovereign people governing themselves through their elected representatives with each legitimate task of government being done by the level of government closest to the people and the problem.  This is the principle of subsidiarity and it has been either ignored or repudiated in the campaign to immanentize the eschaton through the administrative state.
  4. The entire West, not just the United States faces this crisis.  The Brexit vote in the UK was not about trade – it was about sovereignty.
  5. The crisis reorders the post-World War II Right/Left divide in ways that are still developing.

And, yes, we talked Trump a little bit.  How could we not?  Dr. Arnn did an excellent job setting the candidacy of Donald Trump in its proper historical context, offering compelling reasons to support Trump for President and some measure of understanding if no succor for the opposition.

Let us know in the comments below what you think or if there issues or considerations you’d like us to address in subsequent episodes.

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About Chris Buskirk

Chris is publisher and editor of American Greatness and the host of The Chris Buskirk Show. He was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute and received a fellowship from the Earhart Foundation. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses in financial services and digital marketing. He is a frequent guest on NPR's "Morning Edition." His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Hill, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @TheChrisBuskirk

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4 responses to “The Crisis in American Constitutionalism with Dr. Larry Arnn (PODCAST)”

  1. Chris, you asked in the podcast whether there was a “Hillsdale of the South.” There is: a Catholic college called Christendom in Virginia.

  2. Trump continues to fall in the polls due to his own incompetence. Don’t you think it’s time to just stop attacking #nevertrumpers and instead focus on the future of the Republican party instead?

  3. I have had conservative and even libertarian lawyers tell me about “the General Welfare Clause”. They get very upset when I explain the Power to Tax Clause to them. With the 3 limitations on taxation included. I explained this to one lawyer at “coffee hour” and he stood up, almost throwing the table over, said a bunch of expletives and stormed out.

  4. I wish Larry Arne were a part of Trump’s cabinet. Secretary of Education would have been wonderful (even though I acknowledge that our government has no constitutional warrant to be involved education).