Author

Timothy Snowball

Timothy Snowball has 6 articles published.

Timothy Snowball
Timothy Snowball is a third year Juris Doctor candidate at The George Washington University Law School who is interested in constitutional law, history, and government. Tim holds degrees in political science from the University of California Berkeley and Grossmont College in San Diego.

On Libertarian Arrogance

in Philosophy/Politics by

Recently, I was privy to an exchange on social media that highlighted the intellectual and moral arrogance observed in many libertarians. Certain members of the Liberty Movement seem to be so sure of their superiority that they miss the authoritarian allure of a Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Turning a blind eye (or turning up our noses) at those we disagree with will not help advance the ideas about individual rights, the rule of law, benefits of markets, or any of the other foundations upon which so many of us base our worldviews if not our careers. Rather than dismiss those arguments that we happen to disagree with by claiming some de facto intellectual, empirical, or moral superiority, we should instead be willing to engage with conservative and liberal arguments on their own terms. There is simply no better way to refute bad arguments, improve electoral opportunities, and gain adherents to ideas that have been indispensable in shaping the freedom and prosperity of the western world.

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Democracy Is Dangerous

in History/Politics by

Winston Churchill once said: “Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…” In line with this quote, for many in the United States democracy is held as the highest political ideal, Abraham Lincoln described a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Public history classes are replete with examples of the triumph of the progressives over the reactionary forces of the founding era. Checks and balances and other constitutional restrictions, carefully crafted, were (and are) seen as impediments to progress. Even today there are calls for the abolition of the Electoral College in favor of the direct democratic election of presidents. “Power to the people! Let the people decide! Rock the vote!” But the fact is that democracy can be very dangerous. The various myths surrounding democracy, that democratic elections legitimize political actions, that majority rule is desirable, and that politicians are selfless individuals, harm the…

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Ideology Trumps Reality

in Culture/Politics by

If you were to ask the average American what they think is the most pressing problem facing the United States, the answers will vary. “We live in a patriarchal society. Women still make 77 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts! These republicans hate women!” “The world is a very dangerous place. National security should be first and foremost amongst our priorities! These democrats want to make us less safe!” “The average voter just doesn’t understand politics and economics. If they would just gain some basic knowledge, they would vote for better candidates! Neither party gets it!” In the era of “fake news,” the stakes for what counts as reality have perhaps never been higher. But while the holders of these various opinions are no doubt sincere in their beliefs, they miss a fact that is applicable to all of them: For human beings, ideologically informed perception can be more important than actual facts.

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There Is No “Hate Speech” Exception To The First Amendment

in Law/Politics by

Anyone concerned with the future of free speech in the United States should be appalled by the recent events on the campus of U.C. Berkeley. A seemingly peaceful protest of controversial media personality Milo Yiannopoulos quickly turned violent as protesters broke barriers, threw rocks, and started fires in an attempt to prevent Yiannopoulos from speaking at a previously scheduled event. One 19-year-old protester was quoted as saying: “The whole reason we are here is for free speech. Milo’s hate speech is not allowed here. When it is hate speech, our free speech is to shut him down.” This protester, while passionate and undoubtedly sincere, is woefully wrong in her assessment of how free speech functions in a free society. There is no exception for “hate speech” under the First Amendment.

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The Privilege Of Protest

in History/Law/Politics by

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election in November, and even more so since the inauguration, certain individuals and groups have been in a state of panic. People have taken to the streets in protest.  Judging from the number and frequency of protests since President Trump’s inauguration, it would seem the very future of our republic, society, and most cherished rights are currently under constant threat. Yet, our lives and liberties have actually never been better. Material wealth, social progress, and peaceful conditions are necessary conditions of the privilege of protest. The privilege of protest requires material wealth. If you transported someone from the Middle Ages into the modern United States, they would probably think they had found a way to heaven itself. Gone are the days when a cut on your leg quickly resulted in disease and death. Gone are the days when traveling from one side of the continent to the other meant months or years of turmoil. Gone are the days when it was necessary to…

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The New American Royalty

in Politics by

President John Adams once said that the United States was “a government of laws, not men.” The Founders understood that the only justification for the unavoidable disparities in wealth, talent, and position in society was the equal application of the law. This July, many conservatives and libertarians lamented the supposed death of the rule of law with the decision of the FBI not to recommend charges against Hillary Clinton. The truth of the matter is that the rule of law has been under attack in this country for almost 50 years. The historical record is clear. When elites and their allies face legal consequences for malfeasance, their political or institutional associates protect them from punishment. If you are shocked by the FBI’s recent announcement, then you haven’t been paying attention. When Richard Nixon was impeached by the House of Representatives for his connection to the break-in of the Democratic National Committee office located in the Watergate complex, he quickly resigned from office. Was he guilty of high crimes and…

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