• Max Stearns

Dear Readers

It has been quite a while since my last post. I never intended a six-week hiatus, but in the aftermath of the 2018 midterm election, I became somewhat introspective about this blogging project. I remained as committed as ever to the blog, but I worried that, as with the constant news cycle, Trump-related coverage risked consuming my posts. In March 2017, when I subtitled this “A Blog About Law, Politics, and Culture,” I anticipated that Law and Politics might dominate. Even so, I did not wish to have those aspects overtaken by a single personality, no matter how influential or controversial.

As time passed, I got caught up with teaching, writing a final exam, and then grading. By the time I completed those tasks, I felt compelled to issue more than a single post, and I also hoped for a thematic connection. To be sure, three of the four posts linked below are influenced by recent political events, including those since the November election. And yes, they mention Donald Trump. Even so, my intent with these posts is to be forward looking, knowing that, one way or another, the Trump era will inevitably come to a close. I'm increasingly convinced that it is important, now more than ever, to begin imagining that world. If the United States is to remain a polity—and that is not entirely rhetorical—we need to seriously consider how to behave like one. That includes serious consideration of the institutional changes we are willing to make to allow this to happen. That overriding concern motivates three of the following four posts.

The first, titled “The ‘M’ Word,” seeks to reinvigorate “Moderate” as a coherent, and beyond that, compelling, political world view. It happens to be the one I hold, and so, for me, this one is personal, even though commentators on this blog and elsewhere sometimes find that perspective problematic.

The next two, titled “Fixing the Senate” and “Fixing the Electoral College,” offer my reflections, and suggestions, on how to make much needed repairs to these problematic institutions. I regard these as serious proposals. I also believe we have been, and remain, in constitutional crisis. Although each proposal can work alone, I view them as mutually reinforcing.

Part of my motivation is to devise moderate solutions that blunt the growing push, only seven states shy, toward the first ever Constitutional Convention. My proposals deliberately work within the existing constitutional structures, and I have no doubt that in each instance, both sides of our political spectrum will find something to complain about. From my vantage point—hence "The 'M' Word"—that is as it should be. Genuine accommodation demands mutual sacrifice.

Those three posts are linked here:

The “M” Word

Fixing the Senate

Fixing the Electoral College

As mentioned above, there is also a fourth, and it is self-explanatory:

"Eating Vegetarian"

Finally, for those who do not receive my emails, I am also posting this letter, under "Dear Readers." (If you had this email forwarded to you or are reading it otherwise, please feel free to subscribe on the home page by entering your email address, and you will get email updates for new posts.

Thank you all for your patience since my last post. It is an honor to know that you are spending part of your day or evening reading my blog. I hope you enjoy these posts, and, as always, I look forward to hearing your comments, including critical ones, should you wish to share your reflections.

I also hope that those of you who celebrate Christmas have a Merry one, that those who celebrated Chanukah enjoyed the Festival of Lights, and that those who celebrate other holidays this time of year, enjoy your own rich traditions. And may you all have a Happy New Year.

Max Stearns


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