Twilight of the American Republic

with Justin B. Litke

This next Liberty Law Talk is a conversation with Justin Litke on his new book, Twilight of the Republic. Our conversation focuses on the book’s attempt to situate twentieth century claims of American Exceptionalism within the context of the political symbols and public meanings that are revealed in significant political documents stretching back to the Mayflower Compact and forward to Albert Beveridge’s 1900 Senate speech “In Support of American Empire.” Along the way, we discuss the Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and the presidency of Abraham Lincoln in order to better understand Litke’s powerfully argued claim that the constitutional consensus of our Founding has broken into competing meanings. We are no longer even aware of the prior political tradition of our Founding, Litke contends. As a result, America now authorizes its political actions under various ideologies in both the domestic and international spheres with such policies frequently resulting in deleterious consequences.