Category: American Character

Individuals who have exhibited Biblical character qualities and have had a positive impact on American history.

Integrity in Politics

Whenever I can highlight integrity in politics, I want to do so. Those who uphold integrity are often accused of disloyalty and suffer from threats that stray from the political to the personal. It costs a person to maintain integrity and do whatever job he/she is called to do honestly and with a clear conscience. Brad Raffensperger is the Republican secretary of state in Georgia, the man responsible for overseeing elections. He has come under fire from fellow Republicans who… Read more »

Washington & Arnold: The Role of Character in History

One of my upper-level history courses is on the American Revolution. I’m teaching it again this semester and am using a book I’ve not used before—Nathaniel Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition—with a subtitle that provides the precise goal of the work: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. History is not about “forces” that make things happen; rather, history is the story of individuals whose decisions push the narrative one way or the other. In this book, Philbrick… Read more »

Historical Nuance & America’s Founding

It’s always important to define one’s terms before delving into an explanation of anything. I would like to begin with a definition of the following word: Nuance: A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone. Expression or appreciation of subtle shades of meaning, feeling, or tone. Nuance needs to be applied to history, especially in the current atmosphere where many are angry over injustices that have occurred in American history. There are three attitudes one… Read more »

When Loss of Liberty Was Real

I love liberty, properly understood as something that also entails personal responsibility. I’m also alert to attempts to undermine genuine liberty and have been so most of my adult life. Yet I want to clearly differentiate what is a real threat to liberty and what is not. One conservative commentator recently posted this on Twitter: Dropped by a department store to buy a toaster oven. Mandatory hand sanitizer squirt and mask. One way aisles and if you deviate from the… Read more »

Lessons from the Clinton Impeachment

It was February 8, 2000, one year after the conclusion of the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, and I was in the office of Congressman Henry Hyde, the man who had led the House Managers over to the Senate to argue for Clinton’s removal from office. From one perspective, the attempt had been an exercise in futility, but I was there to interview Hyde about the experience and why he had chosen to participate. This was the first of thirteen… Read more »

Yes on Impeachment & Removal

Some may ask, “Why would you, a Christian constitutionalist conservative, support the impeachment of Donald Trump and his removal from office?” The answer to that question is found in the question itself. It’s precisely because I’m a Christian, a follower of constitutionalism/rule of law, and a conservative that I support his removal. Let me explain why. But first, I would like to set aside one phony objection to the House of Representatives’ impeachment proceedings: it is not a “coup.” Article… Read more »

On Bad Times: A Historian’s Perspective

As I survey the current state of America—the spiritual/moral, political, and cultural aspects [what does that leave?]—I have grave concerns. But I’d like to offer a historian’s perspective on bad times. Since I teach American history, I have a more in-depth knowledge of what has transpired previously. I can imagine myself transported back into earlier eras and think about how I might have felt about current events at those times. Bad moral climates, disunity, and devastating government policies have cropped… Read more »