Does America Need to Find Its First Principles? A conversation with Tom Ricks

November 23rd, 2020

Screen%2BShot%2B2020-11-23%2Bat%2B6.25.38%2BAM.pngThe past four years, really right up to this moment, have been a test for the American republic. Over and over we’ve heard it asked, “can our institutions hold, are the ideas and documents of the framers adequate for the modern age.” 


At the same time, we’ve heard over and over again since Nov. 8, 2016, how did we get here? What has driven us to such political and social division, to our appetite for authoritarianism, the disregard for norms, the rural-urban and the educational divide?

What ties all of these questions together is the idea that when faced with a complex sometimes unsolvable problem, it’s best to go back to foundational principles. 

To deconstruct the enterprise and strip it to its original foundation to see how all of the problems have been layered on and how we might find meaning and/or solutions. 

This is essentially what Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and another Tom Ricks does in his new work First Principles: What America's Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country

My conversation with Tom Ricks:

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