The Constitution “is not living, but dead.” With these words Associate Justice Scalia sums up how he believes we should think about the Constitution – a way of thinking that underpins the theory of “originalism” which guides his approach to cases that come before the Supreme Court. In expounding on originalism, Scalia takes the Court to task on past decisions, including Roe v. Wade, and measures just how far the Court can and should go in reversing these mistakes. (37:24 ) Video transcript
Amity Shlaes challenges the received wisdom that the Great Depression occurred because capitalism broke and that it ended because FDR, and government in general, came to the rescue. According to Shlaes, it was the government that made the Great Depression worse. And was FDR’s progressivism, as evident in the New Deal, really all that new, or was it a step along a progressive continuum that already had been established? (34:39) Video transcript
“It is crucial to grasp … [the] Islamic notion of freedom, for it is the inverse of the Western conception.” From this central idea, McCarthy discusses the “chasm between the Islam of Western fantasy and the Islam that actually exists,” underscoring the fact that “jihadists are very adept at exploiting the freedoms that are available to them in Western democracies.”
Confronting Islamic extremism, how do we make our strategic behavior -- the rules of war – conform to the rule of law that is essential in maintaining a free society? (33:27) Video transcript
Should we care what the founders would say about modern-day America? Richard Brookhiser says yes. If so, how should we consider some of our thornier contemporary issues in light of what the founders thought, such as “originalism” in constitutional matters, America as a “religious” nation if not a Christian nation, or even the fundamental principles of U.S. foreign policy? Even the bruising political battles currently being waged in Washington may be better understood in the context of the political wars our founders fought when the Republic was born. (32:55) Video transcript
Sowell describes the critical differences between interests and visions. Interests, he says, are articulated by people who know what their interests are and what they want to do about them. Visions, however, are the implicit assumptions by which people operate. In politics, visions are either “constrained” or “unconstrained.” A closer look at the statements of both McCain and Obama reveals which “vision” motivates their policy positions, particularly as they pertain to the war, the law, and economics. (37:38) Video transcript
Where should we draw the line between civil liberties and national security in the “war on terror”? Are we even at war, and if so, what are the constitutional limits to presidential war powers? Has the Bush administration gone too far in the electronic surveillance of citizens and the coercive interrogation of suspected terrorists and enemy combatants? Richard Epstein and John Yoo, both widely regarded as strict constitutional constructionists, take decidedly different positions on these questions. (41:26) Video transcript
Shelby Steele asserts that Barack Obama won the presidential election by successfully basing his candidacy on race, “Obama’s special charisma … always came … from the racial idealism he embodied. … This was his only true political originality.” Steele holds that whites voted less for real “change” than for documentation of a change that has already occurred in race relations in America. But will four or eight years of Barack Obama free whites from the taint of racism or make them still more complicit in it? (37:40) Video transcript
From his vantage point inside Hollywood and the arts and from the perspective of a writer whose work is imbued with religious themes, Klavan deconstructs the Left’s argument that Western civilization — from its embrace of capitalism to its foundations in Judeo-Christian doctrine to its traditions of personal liberty — is in error and needs to go. Klavan says “that argument has failed spectacularly, in every way” and that, when you do not relinquish a failed argument, all you have left is insult and ridicule. (39:22) Video transcript
Relic: How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government--and Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency
How the Trump administration can shield and spur American innovation.
What does the Constitution allow in terms of executive power and impeachment proceedings?
Has increased immigration to EU member nations created distrust and delusion, contributing to a continent in the grip of a culture in the midst of its own suicide?
The balance of virtue and rules flaunting in modern society.
A special one-on-one interview with Vice President Mike Pence.
Abortion, affirmative action, and same-sex marriage
Prime Minister Howard offers insights into Australia’s own “special relationship” with the United States beginning with why Australia’s participation in the Iraq war was in his nation’s best interest. Echoing parallels with the United States, he offers his views on multiculturalism—which he calls “a very confused credo”—and Australia’s role in the “Anglosphere,” particularly as it relates to China, its largest and most powerful Asian neighbor. He speaks of the current financial crisis and the need to remain confident in the market and the dangers of overregulation. Finally, he answers “What should Americans know about Australia that we don’t?” (39:35 ) Video transcript
According to the New York Times “A struggle within the church over just how Catholic voters should think about abortion is once again flaring up just as political partisans prepare an all-out battle for the votes of Mass-going Catholics.” Archbishop Chaput weighs into this battle, taking on the thorny issue of where to draw the line between church and state, particularly for Catholics. The archbishop also answers critics who speak of misbegotten forays by the church into other political battles as well as the challenges the Catholic Church faces as its influence declines in American life. (41:28) Video transcript
In 1995 Connerly campaigned for Proposition 209, which would make it illegal for the state of California to discriminate on the basis of race, intending to end the state’s affirmative action programs. The proposition passed. Since then, Connerly, having won passage of such measures in Washington State and Michigan, has continued the fight. In discussing the battle to end racial preferences, Connerly notes that “the establishment is always at odds with the people on issues involving race.” Martin Luther King, says Connerly, would likely have supported affirmative action back in the 1960s, but were he alive today, he’d say, “We’re beyond that now.” Would a President Obama agree? Connerly weighs in. (33:19) Video transcript
Victor Davis Hanson and Christopher Hitchens take on the World War II revisionists, focusing first on Patrick J. Buchanan, the author, most recently, of Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. They counter the essential claims in Buchanan’s book that Britain’s guarantee to protect Poland in the event of a German invasion made the war inevitable; that the Holocaust was a consequence of the war and that, without it, the Holocaust may not have occurred; and that Germany invaded Russia only because Britain under Churchill was determined to partner with Russia against Germany. Finally they address two claims made by author Niall Ferguson that “[the Allies] adopted the most brutal tactics of those they were fighting” and that the principal beneficiary of the Second World War was Stalin’s Soviet Union. (39:55) Video transcript
Professor Philip Bobbitt describes the “wars for the 21st century” as wars against terror — against modern market-state terrorism, against the distribution and assimilation of weapons of mass destruction, and against the forces that create human catastrophes, such as genocide and ethnic cleansing. During the 20th century it was important that the law and the allied war strategy were separate. According to Bobbitt, “We won the war and then the law followed.” In the current century, however, Bobbitt says, our challenge is to unite the two: law and war strategy must meet because we are now fighting to protect what free people have the lawful right to do. But how do we strengthen the power of government to protect us and at the same time protect civil and human rights? (32:00) Video transcript