Tag American politics

Ep. 28 – The Life and Politics of William F. Buckley

Alvin Felzenberg shares stories about William F. Buckley, from his early family life to the formation of the modern conservative movement. http://traffic.libsyn.com/yaleuniversitypresspodcast/2017-5-25-William-F-Buckley.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Eclipses and the Lessons of History

Anthony Aveni— “Celestial source of life and light on earth! What envious rival intercepts thy rays? Dares thy own satellite intercepts thy blaze, Or stay thy stream of empyrean birth?…”   The first four lines of a sonnet “tweeted out” by the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy

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What Can “Deep Minority” Democrats Do Now?

Matthew N. Green— Things look bleak for congressional Democrats. Though they gained seats in the U.S. House of Representatives last November, and have enough Senators in their ranks to filibuster legislation, they remain a minority party in both chambers. Even worse for them, the incoming president is a Republican, which

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What Washington Gets Wrong

Benjamin Ginsberg— At a Washington dinner party, I happened to mention to the woman seated to my right, an executive of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency responsible for Americans’ health care, that a colleague and I had undertaken a survey of Washington officials to find out what the

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Does Donald Trump Believe in American Civil Religion?

Walter McDougall— Americans are saying good riddance to the ugly 2016 campaign. Many believe that Donald Trump, having won, will cease the shock-jock talk and govern as the pragmatic businessman he purports to be. Most experts predict that Trump, like every president before him, he will be constrained by the Congress,

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A Post-Election Reading List

The 2016 presidential campaign was one fraught with anger and mistrust across the political spectrum. In the days and weeks following the election, many may seek to open a dialogue in the spirit of continuing the conversation on the tough issues facing both the United States and the international community.

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The Flawed Foundations of the Electoral College

George C. Edwards III— Political equality lies at the core of democratic theory. It is difficult to imagine a definition of democracy that does not include equality in voting as a central standard. Who would support an election rule in which we add up all the votes and declare the

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Why the Trump Brand Worked

Steven B. Smith— In Woody Allen’s film Hannah and her Sisters, a dyspeptic artist played by Max von Sydow remembers watching a boring television show about Auschwitz with “puzzled intellectuals,” all of whom were asking how could the Holocaust could have happened. That’s the wrong question, the artist says. “Given

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Theories of Liberation

Michael Walzer— National liberation is an ambitious and also, from the beginning, an ambiguous project. The nation has to be liberated not only from external oppressors—in a way, that’s the easy part—but also from the internal effects of external oppression. Albert Memmi, the Tunisian Jew who wrote perceptively about the

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Debunking the Myth of the American Enlightenment

Caroline Winterer— In the dark years of World War II and the Cold War, Americans invented a national mythology that we hold dear to this day: the myth of the “American Enlightenment.” Like a bomb shelter made of ideas rather than concrete, the American Enlightenment (capital A, capital E) spun

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