• Left or Liberal?
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    Left or Liberal?

    What’s the difference between a liberal and a leftist? This question stumps most people because they think liberal and left are essentially the same. But they’re not. In fact, liberalism and leftism have almost nothing in common. But the left has appropriated the word “liberal” so effectively almost everyone—liberals, leftists and conservatives—thinks they are synonymous. But they’re not. Let me offer you six examples: 1. Race: This is probably the most obvious difference between liberal and left. The liberal position on race has always been a) the color of a person’s skin is insignificant and b) those who believe race is significant are racists. Meanwhile, the left believes the very…

  • Does Free Speech Offend You?
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    Does Free Speech Offend You?

    Freedom of speech. The ability to express yourself. It’s a cherished idea — as well it should be. Most of us who live in liberal Western democracies think of it as a basic human right. People have fought and died for it. But now we may be in danger of losing it. The threat is not coming from without — from external enemies — but from within. A generation is being raised not to believe in freedom OF speech, but rather that they should have freedom FROM speech — from speech they dislike. This is a threat to both pluralism and democracy itself. We see this in Europe where “sensitivity-based”…

  • What Was the Enlightenment?
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    What Was the Enlightenment?

    Modern science, medicine, political freedom, the market economy—all of them, we’re told, are the result of a sort of miracle that took place 250 years ago. That miracle is called the Enlightenment, a moment in history when philosophers suddenly overthrew religious dogma and tradition and replaced it with human reason. Harvard professor Steven Pinker puts it this way: “Progress is a gift of the ideals of the Enlightenment.” There’s just one problem with this claim. It isn’t really true. Consider the U.S. Constitution, which is frequently said to be a product of Enlightenment thought. But you only need to read about English common law—which Alexander Hamilton and James Madison certainly…

  • Articles

    Is Gun Ownership a Right?

    Does an American citizen have a Constitutional right to own a gun? Here’s what the Second Amendment says: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Now, it once seemed to me like that language only protected state militias and not individuals. Indeed, this is the view held by the four dissenting Supreme Court justices in the 2008 case of District of Columbia versus Heller, a landmark case dealing with gun ownership. But the more research I did, the more I came to realize that my initial view was mistaken and that…

  • The Inconvenient Truth About the Republican Party
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    The Inconvenient Truth About the Republican Party

    Racist. Sexist. Republican. These words are virtually interchangeable—at least, according to most professors, journalists, and celebrities. So, are they right? Let’s take a look at history. The Republican Party was created in 1854. The first Republican Party platform, adopted at the party’s first national convention in 1856, promised to defeat, quote, “those twin relics of barbarism: polygamy and slavery.” Those “twin relics” were spreading into the western territories. Republicans feared that as those territories became states, polygamy and slavery might become permanent parts of American life. Polygamy—the marriage of one man to multiple women—devalued women and made them a kind of property. Slavery, of course, did the same to blacks.…

  • Reconstruction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
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    Reconstruction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The American Civil War ended in 1865. And a new conflict immediately began. The North won the first war. The South won the second. To truly understand American history, one needs to understand how this happened, and why. The years immediately following the end of the Civil War—1865 to 1877—are known in American history as “Reconstruction.” What should have been a glorious chapter in America’s story—the full integration of 3.9 million freed slaves—instead became a shameful one. It began with the assassination of Republican president Abraham Lincoln. One week after the Civil War effectively ended, the one man with the political savvy and shrewdness to have guided Reconstruction was gone.…

  • Articles

    Hamilton: The Man Who Invented America

    It would be only a slight exaggeration to say that Alexander Hamilton invented the United States of America. George Washington was the guiding star; Thomas Jefferson, the visionary; and Benjamin Franklin, the sage. But Hamilton was the pragmatist, the man who got it done. This most self-made of self-made men took a country with no past and planned its future. He was born on January 11, 1755 on the island of Nevis. This was not the Caribbean of your cruise fantasy—quite the contrary. As Ron Chernow writes in his biography of Hamilton, “While other founding fathers were reared in tidy New England villages or cosseted on baronial Virginia estates, [Hamilton]…

  • Do You Understand the First Amendment? Presented By Will Witt.
    Articles,  Blog

    Do You Understand the First Amendment? Presented By Will Witt.

    Do you like being able to speak your mind freely or practice whatever religion you want? People in America take these rights for granted, but these rights only exist because of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully [sic] to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. America is the most free and most prosperous country in the world. But why is America different and why should we…

  • Why We’re Losing Liberty
    Articles,  Blog

    Why We’re Losing Liberty

    How did the framers of the Constitution of the United States seek to preserve liberty and prevent tyranny? Pretty basic question. Here’s the answer I usually get from my students. “Well, Professor, to protect the individual and minorities against the tyranny of the majority, they added the Bill of Rights; and they gave the power to enforce those rights to the Supreme Court.” Are my students correct? The editorial boards of the New York Times or the Washington Post and many members of the U.S. Congress would say yes. Unfortunately, the answer is wrong. I say “unfortunately” because it reflects a common misunderstanding of the Constitution. And that misunderstanding has…