Tag: Reagan

Supreme Court Nominations & the Constitution

I sat in this chamber twice. The first occasion was listening to the Supreme Court hear arguments. I don’t remember the case. My presence there, in 1981, was while I was interning at the Court’s history office as I worked on my doctorate at The American University. The second time was in early 1999 at a conference on constitutional history. Attendees were then served dinner at the Court. Of all the institutions set up by the Constitution, the Court is… Read more »

Stability in Times of Crisis

The year 2020 has many detractors lately. With a major pandemic, economic distress threatening to equal the depths of the Great Depression, and the mass protests over police brutality, some are comparing this year with the worst ones in the past: the 1918 Spanish Flu; the Great Depression mentioned above; the 1968 unrest and political chaos that included two assassinations of public figures—Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. For some, this might be the image that dominates: Our society is… Read more »

The Great Confrontation

Seventy-one years ago yesterday, one of the most intense political confrontations in American history occurred in the US House of Representatives. August 25, 1948, was the day that the man on the right in this photo, Alger Hiss, was asked publicly whether he had ever known the man standing on the left side of the photo. His name was Whittaker Chambers. What was the controversy all about and why did it captivate the public for the next two years? Chambers,… Read more »

Is This the Reagan Approach?

I’m all for presidents trying to reach out and talk with leaders of other countries, even when they’re not our friends. After all, that was a real factor in the fall of the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan tried to communicate with, in order—Brehznev, Andropov, and Chernenko—but they all rebuffed him. Then they died. He finally found someone he could talk to and arranged a time when they could sit down together. Reagan developed a genuine relationship with Gorbachev, but it… Read more »

D-Day, Rangers, & Reagan

June 6–the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day–the beginning of the liberation of Europe from the Nazis. I do my best in my American history survey course to impress on the students the sacrifices made that day. The current generation has so little sense of history and the impact it still makes on us now. My duty as a professor is to help them see that connection. They have freedom, but it has been bought at a… Read more »

American Wars: A Retrospective

I could have just relaxed today, put up a photo of Memorial Day, and said nothing more. But I thought instead this might be a good opportunity to provide some ponderings on the various wars in which America got involved. Perhaps this is the best way to remember those who sacrificed the most for us all. From the American Revolution to the various manifestations of the War on Terror, here is an abbreviated attempt to offer some thoughts on the… Read more »

My Political Wilderness (Part 2)

In my last post, I made it clear that I don’t have a home in the Democrat party. The extremism that dominates that party makes it an unwelcome place for those, like me, who believe abortion is wrong, that same-sex marriage is unacceptable, and that big-government socialism is not the proper path to follow for policy. All of those positions are anathema to me because of my basic Christian presuppositions. So my obvious political home should be the Republican party,… Read more »