Polk and Texas

James K. Polk made no secret during the campaign of 1844…  of his desire to annex Texas.  It was what the Texans wanted and expansionists demanded.  John Tyler bowed to political pressure from Whigs after they defeated the first treaty and failed to act on annexation.   Only the swell of support from Polk’s fiery rhetoric forced the lameContinue reading “Polk and Texas”

Eisenhower and Civil Rights

Eisenhower lacked the rhetorical flourishes of Jack Kennedy… but when it came to defending Civil Rights in America, Ike accomplished far more than his successor.  Popular history has embraced Kennedy as a Civil Rights champion and largely ignored the record of Eisenhower.  This is largely due to the martyrdom  bestowed on Kennedy and Ike’s measuredContinue reading “Eisenhower and Civil Rights”

On Impeachment

Should the current Chief Executive be worried? Supporters of corrupt Presidents, from Andrew Johnson to Bill Clinton… all use the same erroneous argument about the Impeachment provision of the Constitution.  “But he didn’t commit a high crime!”      If only our Framers had specific indictable crimes in mind when they included… the all important ImpeachmentContinue reading “On Impeachment”

The Great Dissent

Justice John Marshall Harlan, a former slave owner, issued the only dissent in the 1896 Supreme Court ruling, Plessy v. Ferguson. This case declared the doctrine of “Separate but equal” to be Constitutionally protected. Harlan’s scathing dissent exposed segregation laws for what they were- But in view of the Constitution, in the eye of theContinue reading “The Great Dissent”

Polk’s Rise

Great men with larger-than-life personalities … do not always make the best Presidents.  Too much of their focus is directed inward, and the needs of the electorate are overlooked (see Jackson.)  Consistency is required when dealing with momentous issues. A top ten President James Knox Polk was the right man… in the right place, at theContinue reading “Polk’s Rise”

Best Biographies of Jefferson

There is excellent Jefferson scholarship… available to interested readers.  Current scholars seem bound by political correctness to debase the Jeffersonian legacy with tales of slave concubines and youthful indiscretions.  Look to the work of the established Jefferson scholars to find the elusive inroads to one of America’s greatest, but most enigmatic minds. Jefferson and the NewContinue reading “Best Biographies of Jefferson”

Jefferson and Religious Restraint

How strange it is to hear evangelicals… claim Thomas Jefferson as one of their own, when in his day, he was accused of being an infidel by the Christian clergy.  Jefferson left little doubt about his religious beliefs in his voluminous personal papers.  It is his place in our history and especially our founding that drives advocatesContinue reading “Jefferson and Religious Restraint”

Jefferson and a New Historical Focus

Revisionists perpetuating the allegation that Thomas Jefferson… fathered all of Sally Hemings’ children now believe history is on their side.  The pressures of political correctness have relegated reasonable discourse on the issue to the fringe.  A scholar who questions the findings of writers like Annette Gordon-Reed, must be prepared to be labeled a racist.  TheContinue reading “Jefferson and a New Historical Focus”

Religious Freedom Within Reason

Thomas Jefferson was the author of religious freedom in America… as the First Amendment borrows its language from his Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.  Like all men of the Enlightenment, Jefferson believed it was built upon the individual.  The individual was born free to worship, or not, in anyway he saw fit. “…nor shall otherwiseContinue reading “Religious Freedom Within Reason”

Hiss was the Wrong Martyr

This is an older post, as previously published, it was quite controversial. Students frequently ask me of this during our discussions of the Second Red Scare. Alger Hiss was not a victim of McCarthyism and he was definitely not a martyr. The American Communist Party of the 1930’s was not simply a social club ourContinue reading “Hiss was the Wrong Martyr”