What Makes an American?: A 4th of July Retrospective

Was it the beautiful works of political philosophy written by Jefferson, Adams, and Hamilton that I read throughout my time majoring in political science? Could it be listening to Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton soundtrack on repeat for four days in a row leaving me with a perfect knowledge of every word to every song in the show? Both are excellent possibilities. Continue reading What Makes an American?: A 4th of July Retrospective

MORE THAN DISINTERESTED WORDS FROM A PARTING FRIEND: HOW THE ADVICE FROM WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS APPLIES TO THE U.S. TODAY

Washington published his Farewell Address on September 19th, not as a review and celebration of his achievements as president, but rather as “the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel.” When George Washington bid farewell to his public life, he left with a speech that still applies to the United States today. At the heart of his parting words is a goal: that in order to remain free and independent citizens of our own nation we must be politically united, a problem: a warning against too closely binding ourselves together politically with other nations, and a solution: we may only preserve our nation through religion and morality. Continue reading MORE THAN DISINTERESTED WORDS FROM A PARTING FRIEND: HOW THE ADVICE FROM WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS APPLIES TO THE U.S. TODAY

Why It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Elected President

The 2016 election cycle was like a personal tornado for me. It started out fast-paced and exciting. Everything was upside down. The Republican party had nearly twenty strong candidates that could have easily defeated Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton looked mortal against the onslaught of Bernie Sanders supporters, and Donald Trump possibly changed the political process … Continue reading Why It Doesn’t Matter Who’s Elected President

Will Nice Guys Always Finish Last in Politics?

There is a reason why the presidents who are elected during times of prosperity, and have prosperity throughout their tenure, are forgotten by history. There can be no great stories if there is no great conflict. In times of conflict, philosophic ideas and debates that center completely around the issues are not exciting enough and do not offer quick enough relief to the ills of the American people as concrete proposals. The Great Wall of Trump is so appealing because it offers a quick answer to a problem that Americans are worried about in a way that they understand. Continue reading Will Nice Guys Always Finish Last in Politics?

Whether it is Better to be Loved or Feared: Through the Eyes of Slim Shady Part Two:The Monster

In order to understand the Machiavellian nature of Mathers’ alter-ego, one must understand the development of the Slim Shady character. This development can be broken down into four stages which we shall refer to as: The Introduction of Slim Shady to the Public, The Defense of Slim Shady, The Death of Shady and Conquering Shady.

The first of these stages is the introduction of Slim Shady to the world. Eminem’s brutal alter-ego first appeared in the Slim Shady EP in 1997. Shady was the final ingredient needed to catch the eye of a major music producer, NWA’s own Dr. Dre, and would prove to be necessary to the success of Mathers’ career. Slim Shady needed to be fearsome enough to win the public’s love, even if the terrible things that he claimed to have done were fabricated. Thus, Mathers’ decided to make Slim Shady the absolute most outlandishly despicable fictional character the world had ever known. Continue reading Whether it is Better to be Loved or Feared: Through the Eyes of Slim Shady Part Two:The Monster

Whether it is Better to be Loved or Feared: Through the Eyes of Slim Shady Part One: The Prince

Is it better to be loved than feared or to be feared instead of loved? In The Prince, political philosopher Niccolo Macchiavelli says that it is better to be feared. If the fear is used correctly, you will have power. But can you gain love through fear and is this love the more powerful resource? By charting out the career and influences of the rapper Eminem, we find evidence that one may be able to gain love through fear and any amount of love gained will be far more beneficial than fear. Continue reading Whether it is Better to be Loved or Feared: Through the Eyes of Slim Shady Part One: The Prince

WHY AMERICANS ARE DISSATISFIED WITH OUR PROSPERITY

Americans can pursue whatever dreams we want to because we live in a country where all people can pursue their fantasies equally. This belief gives birth to our ambitions and gives us hope that anything is possible if we work hard enough for it. This is not surprising because the American Dream is a fundamental aspect of the American experience that we have been taught our entire lives. But is it a realistic doctrine to adhere to? As The 19th century French nobleman and political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his groundbreaking book Democracy in America, “The same equality that permits each citizen to conceive vast hopes renders all citizens individually weak.” (Tocqueville, 513) The ambition that is caused by equality in America is the catalyst for Americans to be dissatisfied materially, spiritually and during periods of well-being. Continue reading WHY AMERICANS ARE DISSATISFIED WITH OUR PROSPERITY

John Dickinson: Forgotten Founder (Part 2)

In the year 1786, many of the leading men of the country recognized that the Articles of Confederation were not working. A Constitutional Convention was organized in Annapolis, Maryland with John Dickinson serving as chairman.2 Dickinson’s time at the head of national politics was cut short because only five states sent representatives. The Annapolis Convention did, however, foster support for a later convention to amend the Articles of Confederation that would be held in Philadelphia. John Dickinson arrived at the Philadelphia convention on May 29, 1787 as a delegate from Delaware. At fifty-five years old, Dickinson was still a young man, though a lifetime of stress, debate, and illness added years to his appearance. (Flower, 240) Above all else, it was Dickinson’s wisdom that stood out most. In the waning days of the Constitutional Convention, Dickinson advised his fellow delegates that Continue reading John Dickinson: Forgotten Founder (Part 2)

John Dickinson: Forgotten Founder

Although he was a moderate conservative at the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, Dickinson played a vital role in the pre-revolution activities of the seventeen sixties and early seventeen seventies. His pamphlet, Letters of a Pennsylvania Farmer denounced the heavily reviled Stamp Act and called for the colonists to demand their rights as British citizens. These early conflicts with Britain would demand much of Dickinson during his time in the Pennsylvania and Delaware Assemblies. Continue reading John Dickinson: Forgotten Founder

The Top Five Most Philosophic Charlie Brown Holiday Specials

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown! The beloved holiday special turns fifty today, so it’s a pretty special day in my house due to my love of all things Peanuts. I also love philosophy and tend to notice little lessons in films and television. (See the film section of my site’s homepage if you don’t believe me.) I do this with just about any high minded piece of media that I watch so it’s only natural that I would try to find messages in my favorite Peanuts holiday specials. Thus, I have ranked the top five Charlie Brown holiday specials by philosophic content…because why not? Continue reading The Top Five Most Philosophic Charlie Brown Holiday Specials