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”

Criticism from Former Presidents

Barack Obama is being hailed as the first former President to bluntly criticize a sitting Executive publicly. While his words at the Democratic National Convention were frank, they are far from the most biting commentary ever recorded. During Wilson’s bid for reelection in 1916, none other than Theodore Roosevelt shared a rather harsh opinion ofContinue reading “Criticism from Former Presidents”

Defense of the Electoral College

Madison and Hamilton created the Electoral College for specific reasons… and suppressing minority voters was not one of them.  Plurality is part of the Federal electoral process, but integrated to meet the needs of federalism.  States matter in our compound republic.  Madison wanted them involved in the process of choosing the executive. Madison said,  “TheContinue reading “Defense of the Electoral College”

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”

Forever Tricky

The Nixon renaissance is over before it could really take hold…recent renovations at the Nixon library were designed to renew interest in the 37th President’s foreign policy achievements – and to potentially redeem his reputation.  The new scrutiny has allowed researchers to bring forward evidence that Nixon’s 1968 Presidential campaign actively disrupted Lyndon Johnson’s attemptsContinue reading “Forever Tricky”