Trump and Roosevelt


No, not that Roosevelt. The first one, Teddy. Stephen Beale has an essay over at The American Conservative that asks Is Trump the New Teddy Roosevelt?

Roosevelt—a career politician who sought military service, an avid outdoorsman who hunted elephants and explored the Amazon, and an intellectually curious historian who dabbled in anthropology and zoology—might seem an unlikely model for Trump.

But in terms of policy, the parallels are legion.

Both TR and Trump can be categorized as unabashed nationalists willing to wield executive power in pursuit of their vision as the common good. Read the whole thing.

Don’t Know Much About History


If you don’t know where you came from and whether it was a good place to be, you could wind up choosing to go back there—whether it’s in your best interest or not. There’s a post up over at Acculturated that deals with the problem of historical illiteracy among college graduates and the effect that could have on civic discourse.

To make sense of contemporary policy debates, you need a certain amount of perspective. If you lack that perspective, you can be more susceptible to overreaction and partisan hysteria.

Take the issue of executive power and national security. If you don’t know what Lincoln did during the Civil War (suspend habeas corpus), what Woodrow Wilson did during World War I (severely restrict civil liberties), or what Franklin Roosevelt did during World War II (put Japanese Americans in internment camps), it’s hard to have any real perspective on the actions that George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump have taken in the war against Islamic terrorism.

Read the whole thing.

Was Obama a Better President Than Buchanan?


Da Tech Guy weighs them in the balances and finds that, yes, Barack Obama really wasn’t our worst president.

However while Obama’s failures might have lead to civil war Buchanan’s actually did.

Also,

In both cases Obama’s actions and Buchanan’s inaction were consistent with their worldviews.  Buchanan’s sympathy to both Slavery and the south and Obama’s dislike of America and embrace of our enemies made any other result unlikely. Obama suffers because in comparison because of the high expectations the people had of him but Buchanan suffers because unlike Obama he actually had years of experience in both the House and Senate as well as being Secretary of state to an ambassador to both Russia and England.

Read the whole thing.

Those of use who said that a Jimmy-Carter-like presidency was a best-case scenario for Barack Obama were right.