States’ rights is often perceived as a single and unchanging doctrine, but American political thought reveals three version of states’ rights with distinct purposes. This essay examines these competing thoughts and ultimately argues that Alexis de Tocqueville’s localism, with its emphasis on the substantive social benefits of local government over institutional or constitutional forms, offers a version of states’ rights best suited to the modern American regime.
Precise individual microtargeting threatens to remake the political landscape as thoroughly as it has remade marketing. This paper explores the observed uses to date of political microtargeting as well as the many difficulties, some inherent to politics, of measuring its effects. Considering the philosophical difficulties of predictively removing human choice, it then assesses the observed risks of and some potential remedies to the current trajectory and finds that free electoral choice is not doomed to be written out of the system.
Federal jurisdiction is virtually unlimited today and the strength and survivability of liberalism, our nation’s animating political philosophy, is hotly debated. These issues are connected and James Madison’s thinking provides some insight into exactly how that might be.
How did a poor farmer’s son who spent his youth publicly mocking religious preachers and never joined a church earn the description “Christ in Miniature” by Leo Tolstoy (White, “Divine Providence”)? While President Abraham Lincoln’s religious life evades easy explanation, his love for the Bible and its teachings cannot be denied. He frequently laced his…
While Americans generally condemn the use of political violence, the topic has been put into the spotlight in recent years. What can Thomas Jefferson and Karl Marx’s juxtaposing ideas teach us about the proper use of political violence?
This essay is about postmodern thought’s view of chance as compared to ancient and modern thought, and how this view turns judicial interpretation into a game of force.