Some mornings, when the light grows and I set myself to grow still, I imagine that I am debating George Bush. I’ve fallen into this daydream for years now: it digs at something, I believe. So the moderator asks Bush to name the political philosopher or thinker he most identifies with. Bush answers, “Christ, because […]
Lists of books read are misleading. For instance, I spent the first half of this year reading Karl Popper every night, and I spent the second half of the year reading James Baldwin every night. This slow going through two authors presents a better idea of my reading this year than the more comprehensive list […]
1. This comment specifically pertains to the text “Now we are engaged” at the beginning of the Gettysburg Address’s second paragraph, and it generally pertains to the text of the first paragraph as well as to the text in the second paragraph’s first sentence. 2. My comment addresses Lincoln’s rhetorical strategy of invoking history in […]
And that’s the logical flaw in American exceptionalism. We can’t be both an example and an exception. How can we say, with Hamilton and Lincoln, “You can be like us,” while we also say, “We are exceptional – we are an exception”? Do we believe with Stephen Douglas that certain nations or certain regions of the world need our political oversight and even the exercise of our military power to establish liberal institutions and republican government? Do we see some other nations as, in Hamilton’s words, “forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force” – destined to depend, perhaps, on our own force?