Tag: Thomas Jefferson

Socialism in No Country

In her illuminating essay “The Revolutionary Tradition and its Lost Treasure”—itself a lost treasure, as so few people who consider themselves within the Western revolutionary tradition ever read or even know about it—Hannah Arendt explains a political concept Thomas Jefferson advanced toward the end of his life, involving the creation of what he called “wards” […]

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Slavery, But Make It a Bodice-Ripper: Ancestry.com to Pull Offensive, Ahistorical Ad

Screenshot: Twitter (Ancestry.com) The DNA testing company Ancestry.com says it’s pulling an ad depicting a mixed-race couple during antebellum slavery after a furious—and well-deserved—backlash accusing the company of romanticizing and whitewashing the reality of interracial sexual relationships during that period. The ad, called “Inseparable” (Funny how hard it is to be separated when the circumstances […]

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Court-Packing Is Not a Threat to American Democracy. It’s Constitutional.

America’s founders probably would not have been surprised by former Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement last week that if he were president—though he’s not running—and the Democrats controlled Congress, he would “seriously consider adding two seats to the Supreme Court” to counteract Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “power-grabbing antics.” The same goes for a competing […]

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Off the Map

In February 2003, Al Jazeera broadcast an interview with Donald Rumsfeld, then George W. Bush’s secretary of defense. “Would it worry you,” the interviewer asked him, “if you go by force into Iraq that this might create the impression that the United States is becoming an imperial, colonial power?” Rumsfeld swatted away the question. “I’m […]

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A Commons Problem

In his 2015 book The Republic of Conscience, former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart identifies what may be the central dynamic of American political and economic history: the struggle to accommodate the interests of a commonwealth with a capitalist economic system. “There has never been a serious effort to convert the United States […]

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The Operative

Imagine a pivotal moment in the history of the Supreme Court. A longtime partisan political operative is nominated and confirmed to the court. The party putting him forward is in the peculiar position of controlling all three branches of government, and yet is acutely concerned about future shifts in the political winds. The selection of […]

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A Dutiful Citizen

Gary Hart, the Democratic presidential candidate I worked for in 1984 and would have supported again in 1988, has been back in the news. The Front Runner, a film that presumes to explain the murky sex scandal that forced him from his presidential run in 1987, came out in late November. Prior to that, James […]

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