The story of the South is one for the ages. It is the story of elegance and tradition trampled upon by ‘progress.’ It is the story of an agricultural economy uprooted by northern industrialism. It is the story of a cultural and political rollercoaster. For our purposes, I will focus on the latter – the political evolution of the Southern electorate. Southern culture, at its core, has always been ruled by conservative instincts. Historian Russell Kirk documents the height of the conservative intellectual experience in one chapter of The Conservative Mind. Kirk demonstrates the vibrant conservative attitudes held by southern culture through the dynamic personalities of John Randolph and John C. Calhoun –“the Virginian orator and the Carolinian prophet” (pg. 159). It was John Randolph who famously declared, “I am an aristocrat: I love liberty, I hate equality” at the 1829 Virginia Constitutional Convention (130). For this statement, Randolph can be considered a visionary. He foresaw, even in the days of the early republic, that people were too easily swayed into socialist schemes of social leveling. He believed that government was quickly becoming an instrument of the Left to manufacture economic and social “equality” at the expense of others’ political liberty. For this reason, he was perhaps the fiercest opponent of positive law which he thought would lead to democratic despotism. Randolph opposed using government as a tool to create...Read More
As the election process marches on, Mitt Romney is emerging as the front-runner in the Republican presidential primaries. With a slim win in Iowa, a landslide victory in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney is projected to make a good showing in this week’s South Carolina primary. For better or for worse, everything seems to be going for the former Massachusetts governor. However, there remains a big elephant in the room regarding Mitt Romney that is sure to surface in coming months – his Mormon faith. All of the Republican candidates have refused to take part in unfair personal attacks on Gov. Romney’s Mormonism; thus, the media has made little noise on the subject. Any conservative will agree however, that if Governor Romney does indeed win the Republican nomination, liberal talking-heads across the nation will suddenly have spontaneous revelations about his “cult-like” and “extreme” religion, and (out of the goodness of their hearts) will be sure to bring it to the attention of the American people. Thus, conservatives need to analyze this issue not only to make an educated vote during the primaries, but also for the general election, where the establishment media will inevitably use Romney’s Mormonism against him if he wins the nomination. The myth of America’s anti-Mormon tendencies is not a fabrication. According to a Gallup Poll, Mormonism still has relatively high unfavorability rates. The same poll shows however,...Read More
As school choice continues to gain traction in our nation, more parents are getting the opportunity to send their children to schools that best fit their children’s needs. According to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, 19 states (including Colorado’s Douglas County and Washington D.C.) offer school choice programs that give parents hope for their child’s educational future. While all of this news brings us hope, we must not forget that the school choice movement first emerged in response to America’s broken public school system and the poor quality of education resulting from that system. The downfall of America’s public education system actually began in the early twentieth century with John Dewey, the “patron saint of schools.” As discussed by Henry T. Edmondson in John Dewey and the Decline of the American Education System, “Dewey [was] not most interested in the good of students but rather the successful promotion of a political program.” In fact, Edmondson goes on to say that Dewey thought that the “belief in objective truth and authoritative notions of good and evil [were] harmful to students” and were “obstacles to students’ intellectual and moral growth.” In his own work Democracy and Education, Dewey reasoned that education is “the process through which the needed [political] transformation may be accomplished” (332). To achieve such a goal, Dewey proclaimed that human nature itself must be changed through his...Read More
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” –The Crisis, Thomas Paine Those immortal words were composed in a moment of inspiration by the famous pamphleteer, Thomas Paine, two days before Christmas in the first year of the American Revolution. They were read to General Washington’s men on Christmas day as his troops prepared to cross the Delaware River to launch a surprise attack on Great Britain, the greatest military power on the face of the earth. Washington’s troops prepared to make the crossing to Trenton, New Jersey, in the dead of night. It was dark; it was freezing; and many of his troops were shoeless – leaving a track of blood that stained their journey. The Continental Army was also plagued with low morale. Though the war had been gone on for only a few months, the patriots suffered defeat after defeat. The dream of American independence was dying, and the idea was quickly becoming a silly fantasy. However, when those encouraging words were proclaimed to the troops in the...Read More
As Tuesday’s Caucus approach, I thought it appropriate to conduct a comparative analysis of the differences in agenda-driven poll results in Iowa. While the media downplays the importance of the Iowa caucus, it has been right in predicting the eventual nominee about 50% of the time over the past 30 years. For example, Rasmussen (considered right leaning) and PPP (considered left leaning), have maintained completely opposite numbers throughout the duration of the five months. Rasmussen August 4: Bachmann 23% August 31: Perry 29% October 19: Cain 28% November 15: Gingrich 32% December 13: Romney 23% December 19: Romney 25% PPP August 21: Perry 21% October 10: Cain 30% December 5: Gingrich 27% December 13: Gingrich 22% So, the question begs to be asked: who’s correct? And which poll, if either, will accurately predict the winner of this year’s caucus? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box. For the analytical minds out there, here are the complete poll results for Rasmussen, PPP, and CNN: August 4, 2011 Rasmussen took a survey of 627 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points. Michele Bachmann 23% Mitt Romney 21% Ron Paul 16% Rick Perry 12% Tim Pawlenty 11% Newt Gingrich 5% Herman Cain 4% Jon Huntsman 2% Some other candidate 7% August 31, 2011 Rasmussen took a survey of 862 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants. The margin...Read More
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