April 24, 2017
- It is best to think of having a national identity as sharing a sense of accountability for the actions of one’s country. To identify as an American means to take some sort of ownership in the collective actions of its people, to understand those actions as in some way one’s own.
April 17, 2017
- If the national community needs people to behave selflessly by giving to charities, paying taxes willingly, and supporting government programs to help those less fortunate, then it is those who strongly identify as Americans and who have an inclusive view of who counts as an American who are the main contributors to the nation’s well-being.
April 13, 2017
- Donald Trump’s rhetoric and proposed policies are a reminder that America has always had as much ethnic as civic foundations for its nationalist imagination.
April 10, 2017
- Until the work of racial reconciliation in the U.S. is done, questions will remain and the Star Spangled Banner will fall short of fitting snugly and comfortably on the proud shoulders of those who expect more from their country.
April 6, 2017
- A pervading theme of Madison’s and Lincoln’s reflections on American identity is the moral and psychological realism that informs both men’s reflections. The second installment of a two-part essay.
April 5, 2017
- Disputes touching the question of national identity have arisen throughout our history. Overarching all such disputes is the fundamental question: What does it mean to be an American? The first installment of a two-part essay.
April 3, 2017
- DeVos and Trump trumpet school choice in the spirit of deregulation and in the service of equal citizenship. The same opportunities for a variety of kinds of quality education should be available to everyone—and not just folks in their bubbles. The focus should be on sustaining through deregulation the diversity in our whole system of higher education.
March 27, 2017
- When Donald Trump states that our nation’s interests come first, he is indeed following in the Founders’ footsteps. Putting American self-interest first does not, though, imply a crassly selfish or imperialistic disregard for the interests and rights of other nations.
March 20, 2017
- The idea of humility as virtue and hubris as vice in the exercise of judicial power has been an enduring theme in American political and legal discourse. It knows no partisan, ideological, or historical boundaries. For that reason, it behooves us to pierce through its rhetorical uses and search for a more theoretical, more principled understanding of the concept.
March 13, 2017
- The ultimate lesson Burke drew from the American crisis was starkly opposed to the one suggested by the Declaration: That equality as a guiding principle actually distorts our perception of political justice by blinding us to meaningful and essential differences within a body politic.
March 9, 2017
- There is a parallel between the American decision to leave the British Empire in 1776 and the British vote to leave the EU in 2016: both movements emphasized their localist credentials through a confrontational narrative that was anti-establishment, anti-corporate and anti-globalist.
March 6, 2017
- In the United States Constitution, the Founding Fathers safeguarded the rights of the accused by limiting the power of the state. The Terry Williams case illustrates all too clearly what happens when prosecutors disregard Constitutional rules and principles.
February 27, 2017
- Bringing Aristocracy in America into dialogue with Tocqueville’s Democracy in America can help historians to better understand the nature of the conflict between “aristocracy” and “democracy”—an issue that may be more relevant even in our own time than many had thought.
February 20, 2017
- Whatever one may think of President Trump, perhaps the greatest hope for Making America Great Again is not found in a particular president but in the American people’s own charter of government: The Constitution of the United States.
February 16, 2017
- Recognizing, and acting, on the reality of student life as it is currently lived means imagining a world without books—broadly construed—as a means toward preventing their disappearance.
February 12, 2017
- On February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin County, Kentucky; and Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England. The coincidence of their being born on the same day might lead us to think about the points of similarity in their lives.
February 9, 2017
- Starting Points Podcast: An Interview with Carson Holloway
February 6, 2017
- Scientists and physicians can figure out whether a new drug actually extends lives, and mathematicians can calculate the costs, but science alone cannot provide a considered judgment about who should have those benefits and at what price.
February 1, 2017
- A Starting Points Conversation featuring Lucas Morel and Melvin Rogers
January 30, 2017
- Defining the specifically American tradition of religious freedom inevitably brings us back to Thomas Jefferson. In the final analysis, religious freedom meant nothing less than freedom of conscience to Jefferson.
January 26, 2017
- Each American knows he or she is a citizen, but also more than a citizen. Solidarity with all human beings—through a universal conception of rights and of citizenship in the City of God—means that our world isn’t irredeemably divided into bands of friends out to rob their enemies blind.
January 26, 2017
- A Starting Points Conversation featuring Jeremy Bailey and Justin Dyer
January 23, 2017
- Since World War II, U.S. foreign policy has been operating under the assumption that the world needs U.S. leadership not just because of American military might, or because of the dollar, but also because of American ideals. This foreign policy tradition and its justification in American exceptionalism is opposed by the new American president.
January 23, 2017
- What does the U.S. founding of 1787 look like from an international perspective? When and why did U.S. constitutional democracy matter to the wider world? These questions speak to our current global age. More than that, they offer a starting point for the coming generation of scholarship that has already begun to change our understanding of the U.S. founding.
January 23, 2017
- A Starting Points Conversation featuring Carson Holloway and George Hawley