Saturday, January 23, 2016

Perhaps the GOP Coalition Will Break Up Like the Democratic Party Did in 1860

The war between the regular Republicans and the angry populists shows no signs of ending.  Donald Trump is still the leading candidate for the party's nomination.  Behind him comes Ted Cruz, who is loathed by his party's leaders.

Now Michael Bloomberg, the moderate Republican former mayor of New York, is mulling an independent run.

And Jim Webb, the Republican cabinet official turned Democratic senator, is also contemplating an independent candidacy.

In 1860 the Democratic Party split.  If they had not, Centre College's own John C. Breckinridge, the sitting vice-president, would surely have won the presidency.  Instead, Stephen Douglas refused to concede the nomination.  The Democrats field two competing candidates.  A third party candidate, John Bell, ran on a status-quo platform.  This allowed Abraham Lincoln, of the new Republican Party, to win an election he is not likely to have won otherwise.

If the Republicans splinter in 2016, I expect the would recover in a few years.  Still, there is no guarantee that the conservatives will rally behind one banner this year.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Ideal Types of Human Flourishing vs. the Reality of Corporate Domination

I believe that burghers who build up the burgh, and love the polis, are the happiest and most developed humans.  

Jefferson believed that yeoman farmers developed an independence of character that was essential to a democratic nation. The burgher in the city and the yeoman on the farm are clearly different ideals of what the modal, and model, citizen is.

A modern nation consists mostly of urban people, but also draws from (and vitally depends on) the farm.

The small town, run by voluntary associations, has been the best compromise.  The new urbanists envision making the city livable through a conjunction of small town neighborhoods.

The real problem for all of these ideals, though, is that the economy is dominated by large corporations, which are not responsive to small town citizen associations, yeoman farmers, or even urban burghers.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Why Do We Need an Ark Park When We Have the Creation Museum?

Answers in Genesis, who gave us the Creation Museum, is building an Ark Park.  It was to have rides and food and other theme park stuff, centered on a 510 foot ark.  But they didn't raise enough money. In order to save the Ark Park, they have cut out nearly everything except the ark itself.

They project 2 million visitors a year. Almost no one outside the ministry and the mayor's office believe that the Ark Park will generate that amount of interest.

So why do we need an Ark Park when we already have the Creation Museum?  It would be sort of cool to see a 510 foot ark.  But not 2 million visitors cool.  The museum teaches the idea better, and it shows quite a bit of the Flood spectacle, too.  What more would a big ark add that would be so appealing?