Posts in Politics
Happy Birthday, General Washington

In 1879, Congress established in the later part of February the holiday that we celebrate today. It was named “George Washington’s Birthday” to honor our first president. That remains the official name of the holiday, though popular usage has changed. To call this holiday “President’s Day” is a pernicious misnomer that we should abandon for the sake of our civic education and the health of our political system.

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“We may go out with a whimper instead of a bang”— A Conversation With Dr. Scott Yenor

Late last month Nicholas Bartulovic and Josh Frey of The New Lyceum editorial staff sat down to have a conversation with Dr. Scott Yenor, professor of political science at Boise State University, to talk about the state of conservatism on college campuses (particularly in regards to the controversy which happened to him last semester), his involvement in classical education, and his recent scholarship and publication on David Hume.

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Can Skyscrapers Predict a Recession?

However, notwithstanding these objections, the Skyscraper Index still yields valuable information on the business cycle, both in predicting its effects, and in illustrating the patterns inherent in fluctuations in economies. If someone wants to understand the business cycle, the answer lies not just in charts and spreadsheets, but right outside their window.

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Why Conservatives Should Consider Restraint

If conservatism is the preservation of the founders’ principles, then it is time to re-evaluate the modern approach to foreign policy. There is a place for American interventionism, but its use should be limited. The place is certainly not any of the examples listed above, nor in any conflict fought to prevent Russia and China from gaining strategic advantage. These advantages are temporary. However, principles of freedom can last if they are safeguarded by our maintaining our image.

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Right Problems, Wrong Solution: Margaret Sanger’s Misguided Policy

We now have the ability to control pregnancy with 99% effectiveness with most forms of birth control, and there is no longer a stigma against wives abstaining from sex with their husbands. Sanger’s problems have been solved. Times have changed, and now women are educated and powerful. Sanger’s extreme methods are no longer needed. It is time for Sanger’s revolution to end by ending the practice of abortion.

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Trump, King, and the American Dream

Two score and fifteen years ago, the great American we celebrate today proclaimed a hope for a new birth of freedom in this nation. He had a dream that his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” These words moved the heart of a nation and reawakened a love for our founding principle that men are created equal by God. America has been saved from the scourge of racial segregation. But are we owning up to the fullness of Martin Luther King’s dream? Does this nation live up to its own ideals and judge people by their character, not how or where they are born?

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PoliticsIvan LarsonComment
The Celebrity Presidency

Trump and Oprah are but examples of the threat of what I call the “Celebrity Presidency”—where fame overshadows policy and capacity to govern. The American people voted for Trump because he represented something different than those more experienced politicians who have disappointed us for decades.

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The Statesman is the True Visionary

Progress sounds good in a sound bite, but the modern political discourse avoids deeper discussion of what the purpose of government is. Government must either expand its power or we must “drain the swamp.” A better future is what leaders aim for, but our experiences with many different leaders should show that leadership can be unsuccessful. We need a statesman again who understands the principles of natural law on which the nation was founded rather than another leader who overly focuses on progress without adherence to principle.

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How Tact Can Make "Safe Spaces" Unncessary

The best way to fight political correctness is by showing that it is unnecessary. This means that we cannot retreat from political debate for fear of being offensive, but we also must remember that it is equally important not to be needlessly belligerent. We must show that courtesy and tact are not dead in America and reveal safe spaces for the absurdity they are.

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PoliticsJosh FreyComment
How Ebeneezer Scrooge Proves Ayn Rand Wrong

One of the most shameful aspects of intellectual conservatism is the movement’s affinity for Ayn Rand. The Russian philosopher has been cited by several prominent Republicans, including Paul Ryan,  as a strong influence on their thinking. Ryan and others admire Rand for her rejection of communism but this alone should not earn her the influence she currently has on conservative and libertarian politics. Her philosophy is a dangerous exaggeration of individualism that makes people self-centered egoists instead of happy human beings.

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PoliticsJosh FreyComment
Aborting a Red Herring

I am unabashedly and (almost) uncompromisingly opposed to abortion. I believe that to abort a pregnancy is to murder an individual human being who is guilty of nothing more than mere existence. The one exception to absolute opposition to abortion is that I believe in a situation where a mother’s life is threatened by continued pregnancy or childbirth, she should be able to choose whether to save the child’s life or her own.

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Charles Manson: Rot in Hell?

The infamous Charles Manson passed away recently while serving a life sentence in prison. His name is synonymous with evil and is known by nearly all Americans. We know him to have been a cult leader who convinced his followers to commit nine gruesome murders. Our initial response is to say good riddance and go to Hell. This is the most common reaction I have seen online and this response is simply wrong. I am more concerned that Manson may not have repented for his sins and may be lost soul who will go to Hell. That is no good thing.

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Brexit Negotiations: A Deadlock

On June 23, 2016, the British public voted in favor of the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the European Union (EU). The United Kingdom has had an antagonistic relationship with the EU since joining in 1973, with London opting out of certain key components of European integration, like the Schengen Area and the eurozone. In an effort to silence British concerns with an already strained relationship, former Prime Minister David Cameron opted to hold a referendum to allow British citizens to decide the United Kingdom’s future with the EU.

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Conservatism in the Modern World

One of the many characteristics modern society associates with conservatism is an unwillingness to change. Liberals and non-partisans alike will often attempt to compel you to change your morals by claiming that you shouldn’t be clinging to antiquated philosophies. They say things like, “you’re just stuck in the past,” “you just need to be more open-minded,” and “but it’s 2017.”

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My Body, My Choice?: A Response to the Personal Autonomy Argument

“My body, my choice.” We have all come across this argument in one variation or another. It has become the most common retort offered by the average person arguing in favor of the legality of abortion. This appeal to bodily autonomy is rhetorically powerful. While it is true that philosophically sophisticated arguments exist in favor of abortion, the standard “my body, my choice” argument is little more than a rhetorical tool.

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PoliticsJohn SweeneyComment