As we approach both a national election and the Fourth of July, I am thinking about the competing visions of national identity offered by both the Democratic and Republican parties. So far, both the presumptive candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have openly attacked one another, have presented opposite views on national defense, the Affordable Care Act, educational reform, and how to bring jobs from overseas back to the nation. The American voter has been courted with changes to the tax code, free college tuition, and promises to make the nation great again without any real definition of what that would mean. But among all the political discussion and debate, and untouched by either candidate is an issue that predates the Constitution of the United States: will we be a nation under state governance or will all political power be exercised by the national government?
The Constitution of the United States is a product of Enlightenment ideas that define the relationship between the national government, the states, and the average citizen. This is a very important key to understanding what makes it a truly unique document and why it has thus far endured the tests of time. Over the past few weeks, through Facebook, emails, telephone conversations, and even a few “real” world conversations, I have been asked by many why the current generation of Americans, those who are graduating from high school and college, seem not to be interested in politics or in defending or standing up for the Constitution. As a college instructor and as a freedom-loving American, I honestly believe that the major problem is the way we teach the history of the founding of our nation and the Enlightenment ideas that would define its nature.
Posted in A nation in distress, Constitutional Issues, National Politics
Tagged American Citizenry, American Left, Cesare Beccaria, Civil Rights, Classical Liberal, Enlightenment, François-Marie Arouet, John Locke, U.S. Constitution, Voltaire
It seems that the Republican Party leadership is determined to lose as many seats as possible in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The American voter is looking for any party that will stand up and give a sound vision for an optimistic future for the nation and present a plan on how to achieve that vision. In an election year that should begin the process of winning a larger majority in the House, regaining control of the Senate by even a slim margin, and setting its sights on winning the White House, the Republican Party leadership has instead declared war on its conservative base of constituents, demands that true conservatives forsake the traditional Republican platform and reach a consensus with both rhinos and moderate Democrats, while only making lip service to actually opposing out of control government spending and overreach of executive power. For all practical purposes, many American voters do not see any real difference between the Republican and Democratic parties national leadership.