Entries by Tracy McKenzie

President Trump and the Cause of the Civil War

As critics scoff at President Trump’s recent remarks suggesting an Andrew Jackson presidency might have prevented the Civil War, Dr. Tracy McKenzie points out the fairness of suggesting that the Civil War may not have been inevitable. But he also argues that the current president’s stirring of the people’s passions against the government would have been more likely to fuel than abate civil war.

Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson

Last summer, Dr. Tracy McKenzie wrote, “In [Andrew Jackson’s] elevation to the presidency almost two hundred years ago, we see a foreshadowing of the emotional, frequently irrational politics of 2016. And in Jackson, we see the combination of reckless, anti-intellectual, populist bravado that the current “presumptive nominee” of the Republican Party has so wonderfully perfected.” Now as president, Donald Trump has honored his populist predecessor on the occasion of his 250th birthday.

A Civil War Christmas Carol

Editor’s Note: Each weekday of Christmas, the Raven is delivering a favorite holiday article.  On the third day of Christmas, the Raven gave to me… A Civil War Christmas Carol (Originally Published…

“America Is Great Because She Is Good” — Again

“America is great because she is good,” may be smart politics, but it is poor history and can lead to dangerous theology and “badly muddle[d] thinking about democracy,” Dr. Robert Tracy McKenzie warns… yet again. While it is clear Hillary Clinton did not hear Dr. McKenzie’s wisdom between her acceptance speech and the second presidential debate, we may glean insights from it.

On Academic Freedom and “Safe Spaces”

Reflecting on Brown University President Christina Paxson’s Labor Day editorial suggesting that academic freedom can exist unfettered within “safe spaces,” Dr. Tracy McKenzie presents a dissenting point of view. He offers the concept of “Christian hospitality” as a better metaphor for the interconnection of affirmation and challenge that are the hallmarks of an ideal classroom.

Charity and Civility in a Political Speech?! An Example from Abraham Lincoln

“Each party portrays the other as a combination of evil leaders and stupid followers. What is destroyed in these characterizations is the possibility of what political scientists call ‘persuasive engagement…'” Lamenting the bullying and attacks of this year’s electoral rhetoric on all sides, Dr. McKenzie uses Lincoln as a model for respecting others through serious disagreement.

The Danger of Religous Alliances With Secular Power — A Timely Warning From A Long Time Ago

Dr. Tracy McKenzie finds timely advice in the words of Alexis de Tocqueville, “When religion seeks the support of worldly interests, it becomes almost as fragile as any temporal power,” as he considers the deterioration of the church’s witness as prominent evangelical leaders align themselves with Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.