Ronald L. Feinman

Here are 6 facts about the history of presidents running for reelection: historian

As the presidential election year of 2020 begins, many news outlets will discuss the history of past presidential elections and attempt to find parallels between the past and present. Here are six interesting facts about past elections.

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Historian explains why the Republican Party is dead

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 to oppose the expansion of slavery. It has survived in philosophy and leadership over the past 165 years but now it has reached its demise under Donald Trump. While the Republican Party might still exist in name, it has lost all principle, all purpose, and all reason to exist under its present name.

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Historian explains why Jeff Sessions ‘was arguably the most abusive and disgraceful attorney general in history’

Donald Trump’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have gained some sympathy from the constant attacks he suffered from the president after he recused himself from Robert Mueller’s special investigation. But that should not excuse Sessions from the judgment of historians as they evaluate his leadership of the Justice Department from January 2017 to November 2018. Sessions was  arguably the most abusive and disgraceful Attorney General in history.

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The constant threat of mass shootings requires increased protection for presidential contenders

After the two latest mass shootings last  weekend (August 3-4, 2019) in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Americans once again mourned the lives lost and worried for the future. The weekend’s shootings were just two of 250 such massacres in 216 days in 2019. As many of these tragedies were connected to an explicit political philosophy, Americans must face the threat of assassination attempts against the Democratic Presidential contenders.

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The long history of unjust and lawless attorneys general

As Robert Mueller testifies this week before Congress, the United States Department of Justice is once again in the spotlight. Earlier this summer, the House of Representatives held Attorney General William Barr in contempt for his refusal to comply with a subpoena on the 2020 census. Barr is hardly the first AG who has used his appointment as Attorney General to promote lawlessness and injustice.

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How to elect a new generation of leadership

The 2020 election presents a unique opportunity to elect a “new generation of leadership” to the presidency. The American public has done so before, as represented by John F. Kennedy in 1960; Jimmy Carter in 1976; Bill Clinton in 1992; and Barack Obama in 2008.

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A historian explains why 2019 marks the beginning of the next 74-year cycle of American history

A century ago, historian Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. argued that history occurs in cycles. His son, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., furthered this theory in his own scholarship. As I reflect on Schlesinger’s work and the history of the United States, it seems clear to me that American history has three 74-year-long cycles. America has had four major crisis turning points, each 74 years apart, from the time of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to today.

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A brief history of the expansion of presidential power

Nearly a half century ago, famed historian and scholar Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. published The Imperial Presidency. This path breaking work described the growing centralization of the executive branch of the American government since the 1930s. The Imperial Presidency was published at the height of the Senate Watergate hearings in 1973, and brought essential attention to the need to prevent further abuses in the office of the Presidency.

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The Red Scare: From the Palmer raids to Joseph McCarthy to Donald Trump

In the immediate post World War I era, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer was considering a bid to become the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1920 to succeed President Woodrow Wilson.  To raise his profile, he claimed there was a massive wave of Socialists and Communists in America working to undermine the nation in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917.  Palmer arrested and detained thousands of suspected radicals as part of the Red Scare. Many people were detained for months without trial or protection of their basic constitutional rights, until some were deported and others were released without charges.

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These 3 unexpected deaths shaped presidential history

As I’ve written before, random circumstances often shape history. Unexpected tragedy in the lives of three political leaders—John F. Kennedy, Jr., Paul Wellstone, and Joe Biden—further demonstrate the profound impact of chance on political history.

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