A “preposterous claim?”
Compare Romney’s “roll-out” of Ryan in 2012 with Trump’s “roll-out” of Pence yesterday. Courtesy of NBC News:
|Will Trump win the GOP nomination?|
Who will win the Republican primary? If recent history is any indication, it is far too early to tell. And with the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary not taking place until February 2016, anything can happen
Let’s look at the past few election cycles:
In December 2012, Newt Gingrich was leading in the polls. Mitt Romney eventually got the GOP nomination.
In December 2008, Rudy Giuliani was leading in the polls. Mike Huckabee was in second place. John McCain eventually got the GOP nomination.
It looks like he was right.
You can now watch the entire 90 minute film here. I was riveted by it.
Posted at Backstreets:
What would be George Washington’s thoughts about the 2012 elections?
If by some magic we were able to transport George Washington to the twenty-first century, he would think he had landed on another planet. As for the presidential election, he would regard it as an unseemly disgrace, believing as he did – as did most of the other prominent founders – that campaigning for office was akin to an act of prostitution that automatically disqualified the candidate for the office of president.
Are elections/politics nastier or tamer than they were in Washington’s time?
Believe it or not, the press during Washington’s presidency was just as partisan and scatological as today’s blogosphere. Much as he preferred to levitate above the fray, during his second term the editors of the chief opposition newspaper, the Aurora, published forged documents purporting to reveal that he had been a British agent throughout the revolutionary war. When he announced his retirement in 1796, the editors at the Aurora urged their readers “to devoutly pray for his immanent death.”
Stephen Hahn is a Pulitzer-Prize winning historian of race in the post-bellum South. In Sunday’s New York Times, he reflects historically on race and Barack Obama’s re-election last week, particularly in the wake of the racial slurs cast on Obama by students at the University of Mississippi. Here is a taste:
Michael New of the The National Review reports that “life” fared pretty well in the 2012 election. A taste:
…ballot measures dealing with sanctity-of-life issues fared well on election day. First Montana voters approved LR 120 by a nearly 2 to 1 margin. LR 120 would require parental notification for a physician to perform an abortion on a minor 16 or younger. Past efforts to enact parental involvement laws in Montana have been stymied by the courts. However, hopefully this referendum will survive the inevitable court challenges.
In Massachusetts, Question 2 which would legalize physician-assisted suicide was trailing 51 to 49 with 93 percent of the votes counted. Physician-assisted suicide was approved by voters in Oregon, but has thankfully spread to few other states since then. It was approved by Washington State voters in 2008, and the Montana supreme court effectively decriminalized physician-assisted suicide in 2009. However, efforts to enact physician-assisted suicide at the ballot box failed in Michigan in 1998 and in Maine in 2000. Massachusetts pro-lifers received some help from some unexpected sources. The Boston Globe editorialized against Question 2 as did Ted Kennedy’s widow. The fact that an ideologically diverse coalition came together in Massachusetts should give pro-lifers hope.
“As an American historian, what do you think about the 2012 presidential election?”
I am asked this question often and I am never sure how to answer it. Ask me in another ten or twenty years and maybe I might have an answer. Or maybe ask another historian one-hundred years from now. Sure, historians can place the re-election of Obama in a historical context and compare this election to others that have occurred in the past, but historians, in order to do their work effectively, need to have some perspective.
With that in mind, I am not going to use my post this week to offer some historical or religious “insights” into Barack Obama’s victory last night. Instead, I am going publish a list of why I am glad that this election is over:
Read the rest here.
My Messiah College colleague Robin Lauermann has an op-ed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer reflecting on the problems with political partisanship. I think it is an important read this Election Day morning. Here is a taste:
The problems our society faces are complex, and they require nuanced solutions. For example, policies that assume poverty is solely the result of circumstances beyond a person’s control – or, conversely, solely the fault of the poor – will miss the root causes. Like a physician who misdiagnoses an illness and prescribes the wrong treatment, voters and officials who are blinded by ideology will not effectively address our social and economic infirmities.
The skills of appropriate citizenship can help us deal with this. One constructive skill is critical thinking, which resists our strong natural tendency to reject whatever doesn’t suit our current sensibilities. Critical thinking, as defined by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, is “a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.”
Voters who practice such thinking can listen to multiple perspectives, identify valid evidence, and make considered decisions that produce better results. That’s a far cry from the conflict that arises from emotional partisanship and selective perception.
Nice job, Robin!
Riess was interviewed as part of a CNN article, “What Would a Mormon White House Look Like?” Here is a taste:
Should Mitt Romney win the presidency next Tuesday, it will mark an historic first: a Mormon couple moving into the White House.
What would this mean and look like?
Would there be “dry” state dinners, since faithful Mormons don’t do alcohol? Would Secret Service tag along to sacred ceremonies only open to worthy church members? What book would a President Mitt Romney use to take his oath of office?
We can’t be absolutely sure about all the answers. But if the practices and homes of devout Mormons like the Romneys – not to mention his history as governor of Massachusetts – are any indication, we can begin to paint a picture of what a Romney-inhabited White House might look like.
Read the rest here.
According to Brian Domitrovic, the chair of the history department at Sam Houston State University, Barack Obama needs a lesson in economic history. Here is a taste of his piece at Forbes with some of my thoughts interspersed.
“Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.” So said President Obama to his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, in the debate last week.
How odd all of this is. The foreign policy of the 1980s was stellar. It ended the Cold War, one of the singular accomplishments in the history of American leadership.
As for the social policies of the 1950s, lest we forget, these were precisely the ones so progressive and overbearing that they convinced Ronald Reagan to launch a career in politics. Federal spending on “Human Resources,” as the government calls it, on health, education, “income security,” and the like went up 95% in real terms from 1949 to 1960.
Reagan watched the march of federal do-goodism in the 1950s and felt compelled to push on from his job at General Electric and look for a foothold in politics. Reagan explained as much in his political debut, his noted speech at the 1964 Republican convention, “A Time for Choosing.”
Then there are “the economic policies of the 1920s.” Which would be the economic policies that accompanied the single most celebrated decade of American prosperity of them all.
Just a couple of thoughts/questions:
1. I largely agree with Domitrovic when he says “the foreign policy of the 1980s was stellar. It ended the Cold War, one of the singular accomplishments in the history of American leadership.” But we are not fighting the Cold War anymore. I think that was Obama’s point.
2. On the 1920s: Didn’t some of these economic policies lead to the Great Depression?
I recently read Ron Sider’s excellent The Scandal of Evangelical Politics: Why Are Christians Missing the Chance to Really Change the World. If you have not read it yet, you should. If you have the time, I would strongly encourage you to read it before voting next week. Sider’s book is not meant to be a voting guide, but as I read it I could not help but think about the things that I should consider when I choose a candidate. They are:
The state is a gift from God. It is meant to promote justice and the common good. It should be limited to the extent that it does not interfere with institutions such as the family and the church.
Read the rest here.