Electoral Protections

The Electoral College was designed by…. Madison and Hamilton to help guarantee that Federal cooperation was protected in the election of the President.  Fearing that plurality would bring nationalized power to the executive branch, Madison argued that the mixed authority of Federalism was the best protector of republican virtue: The executive power will be derived fromContinue reading “Electoral Protections”

Jefferson on our Resilience

Jefferson offered an optimistic assessment of our republic’s fortitude. Words that we should turn to today; “I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government whichContinue reading “Jefferson on our Resilience”

Truman’s Wit and Wisdom

Truman on firing General Douglass MacArthur – “I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail.”Continue reading “Truman’s Wit and Wisdom”

Strange Bedfellows

The election of 1800 definitively shows that politics… do indeed make strange bedfellows.  Because of vagaries in the original constitutional language, Aaron Burr tied Thomas Jefferson with 73 electoral votes.  Burr had reneged on his word to stand as Jefferson’s running mate as many states divided their electoral votes between the two candidates.  The matterContinue reading “Strange Bedfellows”

History Wishes for the New Year

For History’s sake, I’d like to see… The Thomas Jefferson Foundation focus on Jefferson scholarship and curatorial work, rather than Hemings family research A national movement to protect historical monuments and memorials from vandals who would erase our past to suit their present The New Eisenhower memorial generate an appreciation of his governing and militaryContinue reading “History Wishes for the New Year”

Presidential Campaign Scandals in History

John Quincy Adams was in trouble… in his reelection bid in 1828.  Andrew Jackson built a nationwide network of support during Adams’ term in office.  Jackson’s campaign structure was the first of its kind and by 1828 there were pro-Jackson committees in every state.  All property requirements for voting had been removed, drastically increasing the electorate. Continue reading “Presidential Campaign Scandals in History”

Presidential Election Upsets Ranked

Many Presidential elections are decided… long before the votes are cast.  Technology makes predicting election results an acceptable part of the modern campaign cycle.  Historical analysis provides election scorecards on races prior to modern media technology.  Despite all the prognostication, there are several key elections which defied expectations. 5.  1892–  Grover Cleveland became the firstContinue reading “Presidential Election Upsets Ranked”

Not a Real Debate

Real debates are history On August 27, 1858- Abraham Lincoln stood before nearly… 12,000 spectators in Freeport, Illinois.  For just under 60 minutes he lambasted the most powerful man in Congress- pushing the mighty Stephen Douglas nearly to his breaking point.  The Freeport debate is considered the finest of the seven Lincoln/Douglas debates.  Lincoln wrylyContinue reading “Not a Real Debate”

Selective Historical Outrage, Part 2

Academic historians like Kevin Kruse and Manisha Sihna take to social media to criticize the current President.  There is merit in using history to critically analyze current events. Their analysis begins to fall apart when they bemoan the manner in which Donald Trump was elected. Like many “progressive” intellectuals they despise the electoral system andContinue reading “Selective Historical Outrage, Part 2”

Echoes of Zachary Taylor

General Zachary Taylor was playing it cool… during the campaign of 1848.  Both political parties of the day were seeking his candidacy, but he was not willing to commit; “It is to me a matter of perfect indifference whether I am even elected [as president] or not. I do not intend any party shall useContinue reading “Echoes of Zachary Taylor”