Lincoln and Majority Rule

Abraham Lincoln succinctly explained the insanity of secession in his First Inaugural Address. The majority rules in our democratic-republic. Failure to accept this is not patriotism, it is anarchy. “From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, theContinue reading “Lincoln and Majority Rule”

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”

Finest Two Minutes

Lincoln thought he failed November 19, 1863…  obligatory applause from a damp crowd in Gettysburg offered him little consolation.  Lincoln had just followed a masterful two-hour speech from America’s greatest orator, Edward Everett.  The President sat down in his seat and commented to his friend, Ward Lamon, that the speech wouldn’t “scour” (would fail to clearContinue reading “Finest Two Minutes”

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”

Carry a Big Stick

Theodore Roosevelt spelled out a clear foreign policy… built on strength, defending interests, and standing with allies.  People rarely look past Roosevelt’s quoting  an old African proverb to describe his foreign policy approach.  However, TR not only carried a big stick, but altered American foreign policy forever.  Later Presidents would use the example set in 1904Continue reading “Carry a Big Stick”

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”

Madison on Separation of Powers

Events of recent weeks necessitate a reminder from Madison on the appropriate division of power in Washington. In Federalist 47, he emphasizes: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definitionContinue reading “Madison on Separation of Powers”