The title of this course comes from an op-ed by Charles Blow (March, 2021) referring to Congressional inaction after one week with two more mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, but Blow’s phrase might apply to almost all national politics in the USA. Are we still an exceptional “democratic republic”? If not, is it our “antisocialism,” or “apartheid,” or even “fascism” that makes us exceptional?
A rather pessimistic outlook? Possibly. But as the writer Ward Just quipped, “One of the joys of being a pessimist is that you’re rarely disappointed.”
We shall follow current politics in the USA with the help of a smorgasbord of daily news sources listed by Google News online. Special focus will also come from Boston College history professor Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter and from the National Review’s “Morning Jolt” column by conservative columnist Jim Geraghty.
Note: No specific books or other class materials will be required beyond the online sources mentioned above. This class will not be recorded.