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Robert Slayton
Robert A. Slayton is a professor of history at Chapman University.

Entries by Robert Slayton

Bernie's Problem

(1) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 1:00 AM

Back when I was in grad school, a standard intellectual exercise was to debate whether the foremost cleavage in American society was race or class. Of course the two are linked and reality is complex, but endless hours were spent on these discussions, all across the country. It was a...

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All the Chickens

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 8:30 AM

Donald Trump keeps making headlines, and thoughtful Republicans beware the possible impact he may have on their party. George Will, who in 2012 referred to Trump as a "bloviating ignoramus," this year accurately compared his target to Todd Akin, the congressman who did so much harm with his...

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Religion Matters

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 2:15 PM

There has been a lot of strong, hostile reaction from conservatives to the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage. Some preached non-compliance before the law, or as the Washington Times described Mike Huckabee's position, citizens should just "ignore it." The former Arkansas governor declared, "I will not acquiesce...

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(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 5:55 PM

South Carolinians, like many residents of formerly Confederate states, claim that the Stars and Bars represents "heritage not hate," a defense frequently cited. But what, in fact, is that heritage?

Reaching back to the Eighteenth Century, South Carolina carried the distinction of being the first of the thirteen colonies to...

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The Game Changer

(3) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 12:37 PM

The field of Republicans contending for their presidential nomination does not present grandeur.; in truth, it's a pretty weak roster. Take a look at the top names:

--Jeb Bush (actually John Ellis, btw): lots of money, lots of friends, fading fast. His death knell was the inability to answer the...

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Endless Elections

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 5:59 PM

It's our own damn fault. Everybody hates the interminable election season, which seems to last as long as the First World War, and is roughly as noisy. Bad enough that we get harangued and barraged during the election itself, now we have it extended into... forever by the primary season....

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Protect Our Troops

(6) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 4:03 PM

Simply put, the A-10 is the best plane ever designed to support troops in combat. By any nation, anytime. The U.S. Air Force is trying for the second year in a row to get rid of it; there are holes in their arguments.

The A-10 was uniquely designed to assist...

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Rick Santorum and Your Grandparents

(3) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 4:21 PM

Rick Santorum, a potential Republican presidential candidate, recently commented on immigration policy, providing examples from our history. "I'm not saying shut [unskilled immigration] down, but I will tell you, the last time we had this kind of surge in immigration was the Great Wave between 1880 and 1920, and after...

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Religious Freedom and Values

(4) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 3:36 PM

Religious freedom has been a hot topic in the news. Last week the mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed, let go his Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran, for distributing copies of a Christian book that attacked homosexuality. Cochran defended his behavior in a statement released by the Alliance Defending Freedom, asking "What...

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Mario Cuomo's Legacy

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 2:31 PM

Mario Cuomo's 1984 speech to the Democratic Convention is often interpreted as a rebuttal to Reaganism. By the fourth paragraph he argued, "A shining city is perhaps all the president sees from the portico of the White House....But there's another city...the part where some people can't pay their mortgages, and...

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Hollywood Stays the Course

(3) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 9:52 PM

Even before recent debacles the movie industry has been criticized quite a bit. It seems like the old days are gone: there is much less creativity now, as Hollywood turns out profitable but hardly stirring comic books and Transformer movies, and continues its love affair with safety and with sequels.

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Into the Kuklos

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 3:59 PM

American politics has seemed to hit an historic low spot. We are more polarized than at any time, with little interaction between persons of different parties, and few compromises required from elected officials. Just prior to the midterm elections, twenty-three state legislatures were controlled by Republicans, thirteen by Democrats. That...

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Charismatic Politics

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 4:07 PM

At one time in American history, political parties were strong forces, a fundamental part of one's identity. The story goes about a man shaking William Jennings Bryan's hand after one of the Great Commoner's speeches. "When you ran for president in 1896 I rode ten miles on the back of...

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They're Blowing It Again

(1) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 2:43 PM

A little known fact is that back in the early days of the New Deal, many liberals opposed what the Roosevelt administration was doing to deal with the Depression. It was not that they embraced greater capitalism; rather, they feared the expansion of the federal government. Their frame of reference...

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The New Scourge

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 3:00 PM

One of the problems with confronting and dealing with racism (and sexism) in this country is that we're locked into old stereotypes. This prevents us from recognizing new forms of prejudice, and blocks efforts to confront these practices and change them. If they don't exist, no one will ever do...

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Washington at War

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 5:06 PM

The wartime years are depicted as a time of grand national unity, in volumes such as The Greatest Generation. In reality, however, there was great turmoil in this country, in some ways paralleling modern conflicts, in others that foreshadowed current debates.

Thus, within a month of Pearl Harbor,...

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The LAPD and Modern Policing

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 3:44 PM

There has been a lot of concern recently over the militarization of police forces. It started with the LAPD.

The founder of the modern Los Angeles police force was William Parker. Taking over after a series of scandals, Parker made the force a national model. Unlike many big city...

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Gentlemen at War

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 6:25 AM

I just finished reading a terrific book on the Kim Philby case, Ben Macintyre's A Spy Among Friends. A wonderful page-turner, better than most novels, it reveals a great deal about history as well.

Kim Philby was at the core of the biggest spy scandal of the twentieth century. A...

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We Were Warned

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 10:16 AM

The Senate is all aglow over the CIA's hacking their computers. But 42 years ago, Hollywood warned about an overarching national security state, and nobody listened. In 1972 a movie issued alerts with striking prescience but minimal public response, and remains little known. What makes the Groundstar Conspiracy notable is...

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Gun Safes and Politics

(5) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 11:08 PM

The August 2014 issue of Guns and Ammo has an interesting article on a new generation of gun safes. While this probably is not of interest to many of my readers, it tells a bit about politics as well.

To put this into context, gun safes are an important, yet...

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