Federalist

2009 National Academy: Taking it Home

The scholars of the 2009 National Academy

The scholars of the 2009 National Academy

The “dance party” finally pulled the plug at nearly 1:00 the next morning. Others had already said their goodbyes in order to pack the last of their things or to sleep before an early morning departure. The National Academy had reach its final destination.

The last day’s presentations included two Creedal Affirmations, Constitutional Currency, Light and Dark and a Colorized Constitution. What would Cicero think of his words providing the backdrop for a new U.S. currency? Texts like the Declaration of the U.S. and the Constitution once seemed complete in black and white but now resonate with the theories of Hobbes, Locke, the Federalists and Antifederalists. I hope each presentation team will consider sharing some piece of their work here so I can come back and add links to this post.

Will’s final remarks Friday began with “What Can Brown Do For You?,” a reference to last year’s conversation seeking to discover six words for the National Academy.  Several of this year’s participants used that mode for the re-writing project too! When assessing what the boxes might look like in 3D, Will pointed to Hobbes21’s posts about his “Serial of Boxes” where students lent their talents to the model presented at the National Academy. While it is a relief to have finished the three weeks at Occidental, the secret to the Academy’s success lurks in stories like these and the community that continues to work together to make those stories possible.

“Trending topics” at the conclusion of this year’s Academy included concerns about what to do next, the difficulties of deliberation, the essential nature of constitutional thinking and vows to continue the conversation. Politicolor is here to help!

This is a place to…

Share your favorite stories….

Contemplate what it all means

Consider a new approach to education

Celebrate success in the classroom

Or simply chat about world events.

Adding your voice to the conversation can be as easy as leaving a comment. Federal Teacher, a participant this year, has vowed to give at least 20 minutes to reading and responding to posts each month. This is a forum that begs you to write too. KFox, a National Academy Preceptor, has pledged to write one new post each quarter and I’m going to try to match him. We posted his work about Constitutional Teaching last year and Melani posted her thoughts on nomos after her presentation last week. We all have a start. We just need to work together to keep the momentum.

If we each make a pledge to meet in this virtual space on a schedule that fits our life in the real world, we can continue the conversations and work together to teach constitutional citizenship.

Campaign 2008 in the Box

Sparking curiosity and provoking puzzled stares, Professor Harris proposed his model of Federalist and Antifederalist thinking provides a useful lens for understanding this year’s presidential candidates. Those of us who want to draw a straight line to match today’s political parties to the Federalist and Antifederalist perspectives were baffled. How in the world did Hillary end up in the same set of boxes as McCain and Bush?

The categories proposed for each candidate include…

Barack Obama is a red box Federalist driven by his understanding of us as a people committed to particular principles and one another.

Hillary Clinton is a blue box Antifederalist driven by a commitment to government and the solutions it should provide the people.

John McCain is a red box Antifederalist driven by a belief in who we are as one people of a particular nation.

And, another note of interest, George W. Bush is a green box Antifederalist driven by a firm faith in natural order, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil.

Each of these explanations could benefit from additional elaboration. What I’ve provided is simple and most definitely incomplete.

For example, it isn’t that Hillary only sees government or the blue box but that her campaign was largely a matter of policy proposals. When she needed support for her proposals, she appealed to an understanding of who we are as a people or what we should understand about natural rights. The American people are fighters who believe health care is a universal right. The category distinction a matter of where each candidate is most likely to stake out their first position and then where they look for support.

When I saw this video of John McCain’s new ad, I thought it spoke directly to the assertion that he is a red box Antifderealist. The conclusion and his purported slogan for the general election is the best: John McCain, putting country first.

If McCain is putting country first, he has red written all over him! Watch the video and consider what it says about who we are as a people and what we will do through government as a result.

If you find similar links to support or challenge the categories proposed for Clinton, Bush, and Obama, please post them in the comments!

Music!

I’ve been exploring the boxes through music, and it’s been pretty darn sweet. Minus the Norm-like bar tab, the search has offered continuous insight into the layers.

As last summer, I’ll think that I have it figured out, then realize that I’m deconstructing or simplifying. It interests me to juxtapose anti-fed v. fed with political parties with human behaviors with fate/ free will!

The tracks list represents some of my leisure. I wish I could play music on this site. Alas..! I can and will mail a copy of the disks to interested parties. My first version has been revised and shall continue to be. (Nature of the beast. Pun.)

Like Forrest Gump (one of only many traits we share. Run, Hobbesie, Run!), I’m seeing how “maybe we’re both” or all of the boxes at once. That there’s a pull every bit as real as that between the three branches. Music seems to represent this polynomial, and factoring it presents me with a challenge I’ve enjoyed.

A word on the selections. I’m finding that a few of the songs could fit on any of the disks. One could argue that each of them is federalist, in that they are creative, for instance. “Jump Around” is a high-energy, aggressive song which I placed on the “States of Nature” disk. However, much can be said for the fact that rap handles aggression in a positive way. Phrases which some interpret as violent are most often simply a way to blow off steam. In other words, as sports, music allows a release. I could’ve just as easily placed the piece on disk three.

Anti/ Federalist Vol. I: States of Nature

“Me and a Gun” Tori Amos

“April 29, 1992 (Miami)” Sublime

“Bulls on Parade” Rage Against the Machine

“Pain” 2Pac

“Sabotage” Beastie Boys

“Jump Around” House of Pain

“Wrong Way” Sublime

“Animal I Have Become” Three Days Grace

“Come Out and Play” The Offspring

“Teenagers” My Chemical Romance

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana

“Santeria” Sublime

“Been Caught Stealing” Jane’s Addiction

“This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arm Race” Fall Out Boy

“U.S. History” Flipsyde

“Testify” Rage Against the Machine

Anti/ Federalist Vol. II: Meltdown

“All in the Family” TV Theme from All in the Family

“Enter Sandman” Metallica

“Faint” Linkin Park

“Intro” Matthew Sweet

“Ugly Truth Rock” Matthew Sweet

“Enth Nd” Linkin Park

“Army of Me” Bjork

“Duel of the Fates” John Williams

“The New World” X

“You Better Be Doubtful” The Housemartins

“The Shadow Government” They Might Be Giants

“Political Science” Randy Newman

“Holiday” Green Day

“I Fought the Law” Green Day

“Gunslinger” John Fogerty

“Beer for My Horses” Toby Keith and Willie Nelson

“The Government Totally Sucks” Tenacious D

“Wake Me Up When September Ends” Green Day

“Wonderful” Everclear

“Pride (in the Name of Love)” U2

“Pacing the Cage” Bruce Cockburn

“The Way It Is” Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Anti/ Federalist Vol. III: Energy Renewed

“Vertigo” U2

“Icky Thump” White Stripes

“Fight for Your Right” Beastie Boys

“Minority” Green Day

“Float On” Modest Mouse

“Signs” Tesla

“Warning” Green Day

“Everything I Am” Kanye West

“Unwritten” Natasha Bedingfield

“In a Big Country” Big Country

“Closer to Free” BoDeans

“The Middle” Jimmy Eat World

“The Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough” Cindi Lauper

“New Song” Howard Jones

“Centerfield” John Fogerty
“I Take My Chances” Mary Chapin Carpenter

“Upside Down” Jack Johnson

“Closer to Fine” Indigo Girls

“This Moment” Matthew Sweet

“Lights and Virtues” Jackson Browne

“Imagine” John Lennon

“This Land Is Your Land” Woodie Guthrie

A look will reveal certain biases: Green Day, my exposure, my age and sublurban upbringing… Also, I realize that the voices of women are under-represented. Perhaps, with your input, that’ll change! Thanks again to Shellee, Larry, and Laura for their evolving input.

Hope you leave some comments on the songs if you know them or share in the dialogue by requesting the disks! 🙂