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Ep. 118 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Utopian Thought show art Ep. 118 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Utopian Thought

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Have you ever thought about our Constitution as a practical exercise in governance rather than an academic exercise?  What that means is the Constitution addresses real problems accounting for human nature rather than viewing men through a utopian lens as virtuous “angels.”  In Federalist 51, Madison tells us “if men were angels, no government would be necessary.”  Join our panel and Professor Joerg Knipprath as we explore how the Founders were realists who dealt with real people and real problems. Thank you to this week's sponsor: Bob DeMartino of

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Ep. 117 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Roman Republic show art Ep. 117 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Roman Republic

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

The Roman Empire, at its peak, spread from the Persian Gulf to England and encompassed all of the land adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea.  How could an empire so large and powerful ultimately fall?  What lessons from the Empire’s fall did our Framers recognize to influence the structure of our own country?  According to our guest, Professor Joerg Knipprath of Southwestern Law School, one of the reasons for Rome’s fall was that it simply got too big to govern itself. For a deeper explanation, join Professor Knipprath and our panel as he dives into the governmental structures...

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Ep. 116 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Dictators show art Ep. 116 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Dictators

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

How did two 17th century European philosophers shape the various systems of government we see worldwide? Thomas Hobbes believed stability relied on a “Leviathan” government, an all powerful state to maintain order.  John Locke wrote about unalienable rights and the role of government in protecting those rights.  Authoritative countries like Russia, China and North Korea follow the “Leviathan” model while democracies and republics follow Locke.  While the United States is not the world’s first republic, our Founders studied the Greeks, the Romans and Italian city-states...

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Ep. 115 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Monarchy show art Ep. 115 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Monarchy

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

When you think of a monarch, what comes to mind? Castles, moats and leading an entire country? Perhaps pomp and circumstance and a fancy throne? Have you ever thought about monarchies as perhaps the original form of government? In this chat with Professor Joerg Knipprath, our panel discusses the pros and cons of monarchies, how they can devolve into tyranny and how our Framers studied past civilizations in creating our country to avoid the pitfalls of monarchies. 

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Ep. 114 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Greece’s Democracy show art Ep. 114 — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Greece’s Democracy

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Did you know the ancient Athenian Democracy was a pure democracy in that citizens directly voted rather than through representatives?  However, only a few people, around 10,000, earned the title of “citizen.”  The Founders of our country studied this and recognized the perils of the Athenian Democracy and other past regimes and democracies.  By studying history, they navigated these pitfalls in establishing our country as a republic.  Join our student panel and special guest, Dr. Christoper Burkett with Ashland University as we explore the three major problems in the...

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Ep. 113 – Treaties & The Constitution show art Ep. 113 – Treaties & The Constitution

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

We all know of famous treaties that ended wars such as the Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolution or the Treaty of Versailles which brought peace between Allied Powers and Germany at the end of World War I.  You’ve also heard of international agreements between sovereign countries like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal.  Besides knowing that treaties and international agreements both exist between nations, what are the other commonalities and differences between the two?  One has senate approval and carries the full...

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Ep. 112 — War & the Constitution show art Ep. 112 — War & the Constitution

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

War.  We’ve all seen footage from war zones on the nightly news and most recently the tragic images from Ukraine.  Did you know Congress has not actually declared war since World War II? How has the use of military force been authorized since then? What is the War Powers Act and how has it been applied?  What does the Constitution say about this?  What were the differing views from the Founders on war, specifically the differences between Hamilton on one side and Jefferson and Washington on the other?  And how is all of this highly relevant...

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Ep. 112 — War & the Constitution show art Ep. 112 — War & the Constitution

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

War.  We’ve all seen footage from war zones on the nightly news and most recently the tragic images from Ukraine.  Did you know Congress has not actually declared war since World War II? How has the use of military force been authorized since then? What is the War Powers Act and how has it been applied?  What does the Constitution say about this?  What were the differing views from the Founders on war, specifically the differences between Hamilton on one side and Jefferson and Washington on the other?  And how is all of this highly relevant...

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Ep. 111 — The Founders on Foreign Policy show art Ep. 111 — The Founders on Foreign Policy

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

Have you thought about the Declaration of Independence as a foreign policy document?  Or have you thought the same about Washington’s Farewell Address?  Well they certainly are!  The Declaration outlined our case for independence from another country and in itself is a statement on universal principles that were the cornerstone for our new country.  Washington’s Farewell Address cautioned against “international friendships of dubious value.”  The Founders put an emphasis on prudence as a classical virtue, echoing Aristotle.  According to our special guest,...

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Ep. 110 – Bitcoin: History & Future of Currency 101 show art Ep. 110 – Bitcoin: History & Future of Currency 101

Constitutional Chats Presented By Constituting America

How much do you actually know about bitcoin?  You’ve undoubtedly heard about it and people becoming wealthy because of it.  But what do you actually know about what it is and what gives it value?  Bitcoin is described as the world’s first decentralized digital currency but it is neither the first digital currency nor the first decentralized currency.  Join our special guest, Brandon Vanderford, Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Arlington and our panel as we dive into bitcoin, what it has in common with the ancient Rai stones...

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Did you know 17 US states have an international border?  The intersection of empathy and rule of law has been front and center in the news over the last few months as the debate over our immigration laws was reignited.  While we feel both sympathy from those traveling thousands of miles against dangerous odds to get here, we also have to respect our rule of law.  The U.S. Constitution delegates border enforcement issues to the executive branch of the national government, but what are states to do if those federal laws are not being adequately enforced?  Join our panel, moderated by Constituting America founder and co-chair Actress Janine Turner, with students, and our expert guest: former Justice Department Senior Advisor to the US Attorney General Gene Hamilton for this insightful discussion.