Fighting Unreason With Reason
Welcome back to Fighting Unreason with Reason. In this issue, I explore the political hypocrisy of overturning Roe v. Wade, as well as sharing some lessons our founders taught us that we’d do well to remember.
FINDING REASON IN UNREASONABLE TIMES: The Hypocritical Politics of Abortion
The recently leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade and effectively restrict abortion access to roughly half of the country’s women has left many Americans reeling. A Pew Research poll shows nearly 60% of adults believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, yet the court our founders designed to protect our liberties seems poised to take them away.
Aside from the fact that the justices’ reported majority opinion reflects a minority of citizens’ beliefs, this rollback of privacy rights is a dangerous recipe for inviting the state back into our lives in a very intrusive way. This seems all the more ironic given a major theme of the alt-right these past years has been breaking free from state intervention.
THE ROAD TO REASON
I’m very excited to share that my book, American Schism, has been reviewed by the prestigious Times Literary Supplement.
A brief excerpt from the review:
“Radwell has spent his career in management, and he writes perceptively…from the perspective of an intelligent and deeply concerned witness to his country’s disequilibrium. [H]e turns back to America’s origins for clues to the current crises, [and] he comes up with … answers as he explores the original schism in the American polity, between a Protestant belief system and Enlightenment principles.
“Radwell convincingly argues that the answer to the American schism is to expand opportunity for all. [He] believes that civic education is the key to addressing America’s ills, and that tutelage in analytical tools in the soft sciences and a rejuvenation of language arts might help students to identify disinformation.… As Radwell points out, the answer must always be to widen the lens and honor the facts.”
NOTES FROM THE EXHAUSTED MAJORITY
Given the Supreme Court’s impending decision that would overturn Roe, it’s natural to turn back to history to find answers. How did we get here?
That’s exactly what I did when I wrote American Schism. Overall, I discovered that the founders were quite brilliant in recognizing that, in forming the blueprint of our nation, they could never anticipate the changes that would likely occur over the years. That’s why they included a process to amend the Constitution.
The idea was that leaders would update the Constitution as needed every generation. But somehow, we’ve come to believe that it’s a document that should be set in stone. Instead of amending the document, politicians devise workarounds and loopholes in the other branches to enact change—which results in a dangerous imbalance of power.
While imperfect, the Constitution is a beautiful example of democracy that’s become the model for countries around the world. But by not using it as the founders intended, we risk tarnishing it to the point of it becoming useless.
Last month, Erin Glynn of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a fantastic piece about the struggles that President Ulysses S. Grant faced when he entered office in 1869. The conflict and chaos of that era is eerily similar to what we’re seeing today. Can we learn something from Grant’s trials and tribulations?
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