On C-Span 3 Tonight …

… recorded giving a talk at the Kansas City Public Library back in April. C-Span 3 is a channel I don’t get, so I assume many others don’t get it either. The show can be streamed at 9PM here: http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN3/. Also tomorrow afternoon.

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3 thoughts on “On C-Span 3 Tonight …

  1. I just finished watching the your talk. I enjoyed it.

    I do have a question.

    Where does the insistence that we pay close attention to some of the Founders wanted when it comes to modern political discourse?

    I take it that you have great difficulty in following an “Originalist” line reasoning when it comes to the Constitution, so I curious about your take on it. Originialism isn’t a doctrine found in the Constitution, so why do we, as you put it, “use it as a bat to beat our political opponents with.”

    Personally, the views of the Founders have less credence with me because of their views of small “d” democracy. If Jefferson, Adams, et al., didn’t have an idea of equality that included Africans and women, what good are they to me?

    Why are we so obsessed with what these white, wealthy men thought? Frequently, I find their understandings quite…constraining.

    • “If Jefferson, Adams, et al., didn’t have an idea of equality that included Africans and women…”

      My point is they didn’t have an idea of equality that included less propertied white men!

      We’re obsessed with what they thought, though, because these are the wealthy white men who created the documents that gave our country independence from England and then established it as a nation state, with a government, which acts on all citizens within its national boundaries. It would be hard not to care about what they may have intended that government to do or be, or what those documents mean. The problem for me is that knowing what someone intends always, ineluctably, requires interpretation. And we all “interpret” the founders as intending whatever it is we happen to see as the good. Liberal originalists too. As I got into (at length!) here: http://www.bostonreview.net/us/founding-fathers-founding-villains-william-hogeland

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