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William Watkins Archive

William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute and author of the Independent books, Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution, Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy, and Patent Trolls: Predatory Litigation and the Smothering of Innovation.
Full Biography and Recent Publications

Calexit 2018? The Movement Is Beginning



The Sacramento Bee reports that “[b]ackers of a proposed constitutional amendment seeking California’s secession from the U.S. can begin collecting voter signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot, the [California] secretary of state’s office said Thursday.” Support for this initiative is strong, with one in three Californians saying they are ready to leave the...
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Is Donald Trump a Fascist?



There was much vitriol surrounding the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. One thing that struck me was the frequency with which commentators threw around the words fascism and fascist. For example, The Huffington Post warned that Trump’s Emerging Fascism Threatens the Nation; Salon chastised the country with the...
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Communists March with Democrats in Atlanta, but the Media Doesn’t Care



Today, social justice warriors took to the streets of Atlanta to protest the election of Donald Trump. (The Atlanta Journal Constitution has this report on the activities of the marchers.) Former President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Representative John Lewis, and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin were the Democratic headliners of the event. Sponsors of the rally include the ACLU,...
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What Trump Can Learn from the Treaty that Created America



In January, the winds of political change often blow with ferocity. The District of Columbia is now bracing itself for a gale-force disruption as Donald Trump prepares to become the 45th President of the United States. An upheaval in foreign affairs, trade, and immigration policy is in the offing. It’s tempting to focus solely...
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Geert Wilders Convicted of Hate Speech: Will It Happen Here?



Last week, Dutch politician Geert Wilders was convicted of inciting discrimination and of insulting a group. The offending remarks came at a political rally when Wilders suggested that his country would be better off without any more Moroccan immigration. The New York Times has this news story here. Many folks who read this website are likely...
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The Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party and the Importance of Precedent



December 16 is the 243rd Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. The British taxed tea, the colonists got mad, dressed up like Indians, and tossed the tea into the ocean—that’s a fair summary of what most Americans know about the Boston Tea Party. It was, we are told, a mere tax protest that shows...
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Bill of Rights Day: Opportunities Missed



Thursday, December 15, is Bill of Rights Day, a time when citizens are told to celebrate the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Scholars such as Yale’s Akhil Amar describe the Bill of Rights as “the high temple of our constitutional order—America’s Parthenon.” Most of the public buys into this and believes that the...
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In Politics, Innovation Isn’t Always Progress



Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton called for innovative solutions for what ails America. For the former it was a new fence on our southern border that will supposedly be funded by Mexico; for the latter it was free (i.e., taxpayer subsidized) college tuition. Fresh ideas, they told us, could “make America great again”...
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Can Christian Adherents of the Freedom Philosophy Support Trump?



There has been much chatter recently about whether Christians with libertarian or conservative convictions can, in good conscience, support Trump. At the American Conservative, Rod Dreher says no. Over at Chronicles Tom Piatak challenges Dreher’s reasoning. Walter Block, who is behind the Libertarians for Trump movement, says that “The Donald is the most congruent with...
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SCOTUS, the Presidential Debate, and The Formula



The Supreme Court will be a major issue in tonight’s presidential debate. Justice Scalia’s seat is just part of the story. At 83 years old, rumors have long been swirling about the health of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a solid vote for the liberals. Moreover, Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee who often votes with the...
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