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CONSTITUTIONALIST

Let’s Not Culture War the Classics

Randal Hendrickson is a political theorist and host of PODOPTICON, a politics, history, and culture podcast. Cornel West and Jeremy Tate made a splash with an op-ed on Howard University’s decision to shutter its classics department. The headline reads “Howard University’s removal of classics is a spiritual catastrophe.” There are any number of problems with … Continue reading Let’s Not Culture War the Classics

Repeal the First 100 Days

I have a piece in The New York Times this morning arguing that the first-100-days standard for presidents is an arbitrary benchmark that encourages change for its own sake while punishing prudence. Presidents who simply want to govern never stand a chance by that measure, because we tend to assess presidents by the scale and … Continue reading Repeal the First 100 Days

“Lost in the Marketplace of Ideas: Conspiracy Theory and our Outdated First Amendment?”

This is the third in a series of several essays by different authors on the issue of conspiracies.  This series is sponsored by Claremont McKenna’s Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom Stephen Macedo is the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University One need not … Continue reading “Lost in the Marketplace of Ideas: Conspiracy Theory and our Outdated First Amendment?”

What’s the Question to which Patriotism is supposed to be the Answer?

This is the seventh in a series of several essays by different authors on the issue of patriotism. This series is sponsored by Claremont McKenna’s Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom. Jan-Werner Müller is Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Science at Princeton. Democracy Rules is forthcoming in July.    As a defender of constitutional … Continue reading What’s the Question to which Patriotism is supposed to be the Answer?

The Messianic Presidency in Conservative Constitutional Thought

Ken I. Kersch is professor of political science at Boston College. When the Trumpist Lincoln historian Allen Guelzo published a new foreword to a 2018 re-issue of the conservative political philosopher Harry V. Jaffa’s A New Birth of Freedom:  Abraham Lincoln and the Coming of the Civil War (1980) — the long-awaited follow-up to Jaffa’s … Continue reading The Messianic Presidency in Conservative Constitutional Thought

The GOP and Constitutional Democracy

The late political scientist E.E. Schattschneider famously said that “modern democracy is unthinkable save in terms of the parties.” Two healthy political parties committed to the constitutional order, even while disagreeing in powerful ways, are essential to maintaining constitutional democracy. While it is true that both parties on occasion have factions that are less committed … Continue reading The GOP and Constitutional Democracy

The Writer’s Vocation

Carl Eric Scott has done Shep Melnick and, less directly, your correspondent the honor of an extended critique in a recent essay for the “Postmodern Conservative” newsletter. There is a great deal about it with which I disagree, but one point bears particular analysis. Melnick and I, Scott suggests, are being “anything but strategic” in criticizing Trumpism … Continue reading The Writer’s Vocation

On Patriotism, Social Criticism, and the Quest for a Just American Democracy

This is the sixth in a series of several essays by different authors on the issue of patriotism. This series is sponsored by Claremont McKenna’s Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom. Elizabeth Beaumont is Associate Professor and Director of Legal Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz. Beaumont is the author of The … Continue reading On Patriotism, Social Criticism, and the Quest for a Just American Democracy

Canceling the Classics

“The Western canon is, more than anything, a conversation among great thinkers over generations that grows richer the more we add our own voices and the excellence of voices from Africa, Asia, Latin America and everywhere else in the world. We should never cancel voices in this conversation, whether that voice is Homer or students … Continue reading Canceling the Classics

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About The Constitutionalist

The Constitutionalist is dedicated to the intellectual and political work of constitutional democracy. Our authors are open to a range of political perspectives, but we are unified by a capacious understanding of the constitutional endeavor–namely, we believe that constitutions are sustained not only by law, but also by civil society and civic norms. Using our expertise in political philosophy, American political development, public law, and political culture and literature, we aim to foster conversation across disciplinary lines and beyond the confines of academia. We believe this kind of conversation is vital to the creation and maintenance of good constitutions. Though we are interested in what happens elsewhere, our primary focus is on the American experience.

The Jack Miller Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to reinvigorating education in America’s founding principles and history, an education vital to thoughtful and engaged citizenship. They support professors and educators who share our mission, offering programs, resources, fellowships, and more to help them teach our nation’s students—from high school through college.