Author Archive for Dr. Marvin Folkertsma

Dr. Marvin Folkertsma is a professor of political science and fellow for American studies with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. The author of several books, his latest release is a high-energy novel titled "The Thirteenth Commandment."

The Great War at 100
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The Great War at 100

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The lamps are lit again and Europe is at peace; but it is the peace of senescence.

Confidence Game Wordle
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American Politics as a Confidence Game

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Reading post-2012-election news reports can be hazardous to one’s mental health, particularly for the sanity-challenged among us. But perhaps the singularly most prescient comments come from long ago—from the pen of America’s most profound novelist, Herman Melville, whose words in his powerful novel of deception and intrigue, “The Confidence Man: His Masquerade,” echo across the […]

Remembering the Significance of D-Day
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Remembering the Significance of D-Day

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At 0227 hours on the morning of June 6, 1944, Lieutenant Robert Mathias saw the red light flash above the door of his C47 “Dakota” aircraft, signaling his men to get ready to parachute into a terrifying blackness that was streaked with machine-gun tracers and punctuated by exploding rounds from four-barrel 20-millimeter Flakvierling-38 anti-aircraft guns. […]

Sick Chickens and Sick Laws
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Sick Chickens and Sick Laws

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When President Obama made his famous declaration about how he was confident that “that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” many observers figured the chief executive missed April Fools’ Day by a […]

God and Man at CPAC: Facing the 2012 Election
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God and Man at CPAC: Facing the 2012 Election

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Amidst the hoopla, cheers, and ear-piercing whistles of enthusiastic approval for Republican presidential nominees at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, several themes emerged. The most important of these centered on the conflict between what may be titled American foundationalism versus contemporary progressivism. Foundationalism embodies a family of concepts ordered hierarchically from God, the Declaration […]

Wall Street, the Mob, and the French Connection
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Wall Street, the Mob, and the French Connection

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In “The Wild One,” Marlin Brando plays Johnny, a leather-jacketed vagabond sporting a black-brim hat perched on his head at a rakish angle, below which lurk piercing dark eyes and a sneer of contempt in answer to the question, “What are you rebelling against?” Brando states simply, “Whaddaya got?” An answer like this was provided […]

America's Orwellian Liberalism
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America’s Orwellian Liberalism

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The ink was barely dry on the asterisk in Jimmy Hoffa Jr.’s rant about taking out those “sons-of-b*tches”—referring to Tea Party members—when the vice president made his own contribution at a Labor Day rally. “This is a fight for the existence of organized labor,” the veep shouted. “You are the only ones who can stop […]

Obama: From Truman’s Whistle-Stop to Wilsonian Folly
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Obama: From Truman’s Whistle-Stop to Wilsonian Folly

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President Obama’s tour through the Midwest in a coal-black Darth Vader-mobile begs comparison with past presidential excursions. I’m thinking of those made by presidents Harry Truman and Woodrow Wilson. First, the president repeated his Trumanesque mantra about his version of a “do-nothing Congress,” dominated by a minority who put the good of the party above […]

The Significance of Congressman Allen West
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The Significance of Congressman Allen West

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Amidst the rhetorical pyrotechnics surrounding July’s debt-ceiling debates, another controversy streaked across the sky like a comet, flared for an instant, then receded into the maelstrom of ongoing partisan attacks. The shooting star in question involved an exchange between two of Congress’ most controversial members, Allen West (R-Fla.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), whose regard […]

May the Farce Be With You:Lessons for 2012 from Lincoln and Louis
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May the Farce Be With You:Lessons for 2012 from Lincoln and Louis

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Karl Marx famously quipped that great historical events and personages appear twice, first as tragedy and second as farce. The tragedy he had in mind was the French Revolution and the farce was its pale successor that took place in France in 1848. To the contrary, events leading up to the revolution turn Marx’s formulation […]

Spring Contrasts: Madison, Wisconsin vs. Tuscaloosa, Joplin, and the Mighty Mississippi
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Spring Contrasts: Madison, Wisconsin vs. Tuscaloosa, Joplin, and the Mighty Mississippi

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Madison, Wisconsin’s winter follies relinquished their national attention to Tuscaloosa’s tornado in April, events along the Mississippi in May, and finally to the most recent twister in Joplin, Missouri, where genuine suffering puts into perspective tenured teachers who are learning that they must actually pay a fraction of their healthcare costs. Fitting substitutions, these last […]

America's March of Folly
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America’s March of Folly

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The budget deficits from the first two years of the Obama administration are of sufficient magnitude to spring Dr. “Billions and Billions” Carl Sagan from his grave. Sagan could sue for copyright infringement for misuse of astronomical numbers. On second thought, the figures now being bandied about are in the trillions, which no doubt would […]

Murders and Moral Bankruptcy: Where Have You Gone, Eyre Crowe?
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Murders and Moral Bankruptcy: Where Have You Gone, Eyre Crowe?

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In January 1907, a German-born official in the British Foreign Office wrote a memorandum that since has been indelibly linked to his name for its incisive analysis and uncanny prescience. Eyre Crowe had good reason to scrutinize Germany’s foreign-policy initiatives. The Kaiser’s imperialist impulses had managed to alienate Russia, terrify France, antagonize Great Britain, and […]

Of Morlocks and Black Swans
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Of Morlocks and Black Swans

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Two books that should top any reading list for progressives who believe in “winning the future” by waging war against its current inhabitants are H. G. Wells’ classic The Time Machine and Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan. The former’s narrative has entered the culture, especially through a film version that appeared in 1960, starring […]