I recently watched the miniseries 1883, a prequel to Paramount's hit, Yellowstone. The series had what might be my favorite performance of this young decade: the great Sam Elliott as grizzled Civil War veteran and wagon train leader Captain Shea Brennan. He'd been hired by a group of European immigrants -- the subtitles insisted they… Continue reading On Freedom and Traffic Lights
Raise Your Hand If You Want Trump-Biden II (I’ll Wait)
Our political system is broken. To be clear, I don't write that sentence as a Marxist who wants to shred a Constitution written by the landed aristocracy. In truth, most of our broken political system is the result of post-Constitutional practices. The Senate is fine, but the post-Constitution filibuster has made it a dead end.… Continue reading Raise Your Hand If You Want Trump-Biden II (I’ll Wait)
Historical Disputes Between Opponents in the 2022 World Cup’s Round of 16 (Part II)
Part I here One of the great things about sports is that it allows countries to compete against each other without resorting to annoying things like killing and maiming. (Well, usually.) The quadrennial World Cup is the highest profile example of the soccer pitch becoming a proxy battlefield to help exercise old demons. Today, the 2022 World… Continue reading Historical Disputes Between Opponents in the 2022 World Cup’s Round of 16 (Part II)
Historical Disputes Between Opponents in the 2022 World Cup’s Round of 16 (Part I)
(Author's note: today is PPFA's 500th post! Thanks for reading a few along the way. Among them was a World Cup "Round of 16" post four years ago. Here's another.) One of the great things about sports is that it allows countries to compete against each other without resorting to annoying things like killing and… Continue reading Historical Disputes Between Opponents in the 2022 World Cup’s Round of 16 (Part I)
Who Will Be the Next Senate Pro Tem? (And Other Fun Senate Pro Tem Questions)
It took me two posts last week to make a Four Weeks Out prediction for who wins the Senate at next month's midterm elections. One may ask, "Who cares? Why does it matter who controls the Senate?" Well, with control of the Senate comes so much more -- the party of the Senate Majority Leader,… Continue reading Who Will Be the Next Senate Pro Tem? (And Other Fun Senate Pro Tem Questions)
PPFA Does CRT, Part I: What IS Critical Race Theory?
I'm an amateur writer, a mediocre historian, a bothersome pundit, a lousy podcaster, and a tenured, periodically effective high school history teacher who works neither in Florida nor Texas. Does anyone else like this exist? If not, there might not be anyone who's as barely qualified, considerably eager, and hopefully free to tackle the reputationally… Continue reading PPFA Does CRT, Part I: What IS Critical Race Theory?
How Our Parties Switched, Parts IV-VI
Parts I through III of "How Our Parties Switched" was all about context. I unpacked the historical meanings of "liberal" and "conservative." We took a look at the political tendencies of the British-American colonists up through the American Revolution and Articles of Confederation period, each a victory for liberals who wanted to change traditional systems… Continue reading How Our Parties Switched, Parts IV-VI
How Our Parties Switched, Parts I-III
(It's a long one today. Perhaps you're prefer podcast form? Available at Apple and Spotify) I'd like to describe you the geographic base and general ideology of an American political party, and see if you can guess which one I'm talking about. This party is stronger in the north than in the south. It's more… Continue reading How Our Parties Switched, Parts I-III
New PPFA Podcast Episode: An April Fools Challenge!
Happy Friday, Happy April, and Happy April Fools' Day! I just dropped the latest episode of the Presidential Politics for America's podcast. In it, I dust off an old gimmick and convert it into a podcast episode. I summarize five absurd historical events... but only four of them are true. Your challenge is to pick… Continue reading New PPFA Podcast Episode: An April Fools Challenge!
Peter the Great, Hitler the Mad, & Putin the Terrible
The most common explanation of Vladimir Putin's motivations is that he's aiming to revive the Soviet Union. True enough, he peeled off some of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia in 2008 and then pieces of Ukraine in 2014 (Crimea) and 2021 (ongoing). He can lay claim to essentially bringing the governments of Belarus and… Continue reading Peter the Great, Hitler the Mad, & Putin the Terrible