A Call to Mend, Not End the NEH

In its draft budget, the Trump administration has proposed the abolition of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of a dramatic reduction in non-essential discretionary spending. The NEH’s budget is so small (0.004 percent of the federal budget) that its elimination would serve as a mere gesture. In fact, Trump-inspired conservatives

By | 2017-04-24T17:49:52+00:00 April 24th, 2017|

Trump Can and Should Troll the Media on Sanctuary Cities

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a valiant speech this past week in Nogales, Arizona affirming that the U.S. border should actually be a border, the New York Times was up to its usual hectoring, again dwelling on the issue of sanctuary cities: Mr. Sessions and the homeland security secretary, John Kelly, have

By | 2017-04-22T01:17:03+00:00 April 19th, 2017|

Draining the Academic Swamp

Civil rights historian Abigail Thernstrom once spoke of the American campus as “an island of repression in a sea of freedom.” That was in 1989. At the high tide of freedom we who believed in unfettered inquiry and free speech believed these islands might “stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which

By | 2017-04-22T00:36:01+00:00 April 19th, 2017|

How to Actually Fix SCOTUS

Judge Gorsuch of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently been confirmed as Justice Gorsuch of the United States Supreme Court. Since then, there have been laments in the pages of The New York Times that the Supreme Court is “broken,” while others insist that the Court’s politicization and status as a

By | 2017-04-21T16:37:31+00:00 April 16th, 2017|

Trump’s Cultural Optics

Every movement president is soon accused of selling out to the establishment and drowning in Washington’s permanent and deep swamp. “Let Reagan be Reagan” was an early lamentation of conservatives, fearing their godhead was being watered down by Jim Baker and diluted by George H.W. Bush centrists. Bill Clinton used to trot Hillary Clinton

By | 2017-04-13T15:29:40+00:00 April 9th, 2017|

A Return to Government by Consent: A Response to James Rogers

At the Liberty Law Blog, Professor James R. Rogers makes a sweeping claim that Americans no longer believe in the principle of consent ensconced in the Declaration of Independence. While “Americans at the Founding took seriously the idea that their consent could be conferred by their representatives,” Americans today do not. On both left and

By | 2017-04-07T16:43:03+00:00 April 4th, 2017|

Looking Down on Trump’s Brain

According to Ross Douthat, in his April 1, 2017 New York Times article, “Trump Needs a Brain”: Trump himself doesn’t know what he wants to do on major issues and there’s nobody in his innermost circle who seems to have a compelling vision that might guide him. Douthat says in an “ideologically unstable age” Trump

By | 2017-04-07T15:49:32+00:00 April 4th, 2017|

What is the “Alt” Left?

Much has been written about the “Alt[alternative]-Right” It is attacked as a sort of updated paleo-conservatism—or anti-orthodox conservatism that promotes white identity, often dressed up with hip culture to appeal to younger right-wingers. Yet no one seriously believes that a supposed Alt-Right is a widespread phenomenon, much less that it drives the Republican Party or

By | 2017-04-11T18:45:49+00:00 April 2nd, 2017|

GOP Leaders, Remember Trump Ran Against Your Pieties … and Won

Politics is a team sport. It’s a basic truth of republican government—one that was even written into the nation’s founding document. The signers of the Declaration of Independence all agreed to “pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” In short, they would stand together or hang separately, to paraphrase Benjamin

By | 2017-04-04T13:36:09+00:00 April 1st, 2017|