A Short History of Presidential Second Terms


This column was published in the Laurel Leader Call (Laurel, MS) on May 15, 2012:

As Barack Obama seeks a second term in the White House, one must wonder why he would even want one.  Amazingly, almost every presidential second term has been wrought with severe problems, especially in our modern era.  And almost every chief executive seeks to go home long before the final curtain closes on his final administration.

The only exceptions to second term malaise are George Washington, who did face serious public opposition and outrage over the hated Jay Treaty in 1794, though most of the anger was directed towards John Jay, and James Monroe, whose first term was wrought with several crises – Missouri’s admission as a slave state and the Panic of 1819, but his second was relatively quiet.

We may also count Calvin Coolidge, as a second Harding-Coolidge term, where the Roaring Twenties was in full swing, and Silent Cal saw unemployment reach the unheard of level of just one percent in 1926.

As for the rest, there was no smooth sailing on the turbulent sea of statecraft. Continue reading

Jeffersonian Solutions for America’s Problems


The United States faces an abundance of problems, a weak economy, an abundance of public expenditures, out of control entitlements, and an over-expansive foreign policy, to name a few. These issues are getting worse, not better, with no end in sight. In recent decades, politicians of nearly every conceivable stripe have offered solutions, all to no avail. The only real solution to America’s woes is a return to Jeffersonian principles.

Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and D.R. Francis standing on a porch circa 1903. Courtesy of the POTUS Flickr archive.

Since the days of Grover Cleveland, who ended the harsh Panic of 1893 in less than a full term in office, the federal government has used Keynesian economic theory, or intervention, to fight every economic downturn. The results have been less than spectacular. What began as a severe recession in 1929 became the “Great Depression,” the worst economic calamity in American history. Many people will be surprised to learn that the Great Depression came after the government stepped in with its bag of tricks. It did not end until the latter half of the 1940s.

After the Panic of 2008, the government bailed out Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion. In 2009, the Obama administration kicked in another $800 billion in a stimulus designed to jump-start the sagging economy. A total of $1.5 trillion in stimulus money has been apportioned. The economy is still in a state of mild depression with a net job loss during the Obama presidency. Continue reading

We Are All Romney Men Now


The following blog post was published in the Laurel Leader Call newspaper (Laurel, MS) on April 24, 2012, a column that stresses the need for conservatives to get behind Romney as a means of replacing Obama:

With the recent withdrawal of Rick Santorum from the Republican presidential nomination race, opposition to Mitt Romney has all but evaporated.  It is inconceivable that anyone, neither Newt Gingrich nor Ron Paul, can mount the kind of resistance needed to stop the former Massachusetts governor.

So whether we like Romney or hate Romney, conservatives must rally around him in order to keep Obama out of the Oval Office for another four years.

With the nomination all but won, Mitt Romney must make take several key steps to ensure a Republican victory in November. Continue reading

Grover Cleveland: the Bedrock of Conservatism


Whenever friends and family find out the subject of my new book, one of the first questions I am usually asked is: “Why Grover Cleveland?” My answer: “Why not?” For Grover Cleveland, who served as both the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, was one of the greatest conservative statesmen in American history, a steadfast advocate of Jeffersonian political principles, the bedrock of conservatism. The Last Jeffersonian: Grover Cleveland and the Path to Restoring the Republic is an examination of the true nature of conservative thought, exemplified by the public life of Cleveland, and a pathway to a restoration of the republic crafted by our Founding Fathers.

During my first semester of graduate school, at the University of Southern Mississippi, I became seriously interested in Grover Cleveland and his political life after reading a less than stellar biography. As I delved deeper into his policies, I soon realized that the career of this forgotten statesman offers answers to modern America’s most pressing political issues, such as the public character and behavior of our politicians, direct governmental assistance to the people, actions during an economic depression, foreign intervention, and upholding political principles. It is only with the study of history, and the solutions Cleveland provided for us, that we can solve our problems and restore the constitutional republic. Continue reading