Wednesday
Aug122015

Welcome, Yale Class of 2019!

The Federalist Party is a conservative debating society, and one of the seven parties in the Yale Political Union (YPU). We hold weekly debates—typically on Wednesday nights—and come together with the other parties at YPU debates on Tuesday nights. Our debates tend to address issues of particular interest to American conservatives, including economics, religion, family, culture, foreign policy, and—true to our name—federalism. We also debate deeper philosophical questions relevant to broader conservative thought in an effort to better understand what it means to live the good life. In addition to debates, Federalists spend time together over meals, toasting sessions, movie nights, basketball games, and other impromptu gatherings. We also host several guest speakers throughout the year.

Our inaugural debate of the year, on Resolved: It Is Evil to Negotiate with Evil, will be held on Wednesday, September 2nd, at 7:00 pm in the Mendenhall Room of Berkeley College’s North Court (immediately adjacent to the north entrance of Bass Library; see map). This resolution was inspired by the ongoing debate over the Iranian nuclear agreement, which many have labeled a futile attempt to appease evil. Our debates—and other events—are open to everyone, and this debate in particular should be of interest to students of all political creeds. We look forward to seeing you!

If you'd like to get in touch with us, please use this form to send an email, or contact any of our officers.

Wednesday
Dec032014

R: Disarm the Police

The nation is ablaze with the tragic fallout of Ferguson. No one needs a briefing of what happened there, but at the center of it all are serious questions regarding the use of overwhelming force and the common use of firearms—both light and heavy—in American policing. Honest mistakes or systematic institutional perversion—either becomes much deadlier when policemen draw their guns.

Would America be better off, then, with a drastically demilitarized and even disarmed police force? Has America become tyrannized by the weaponized mechanisms of state enforcement, or are we simply begging for the chaos of communal helplessness in the face of disorder?

We are no strangers to broken trust, injustice, riots of all stripes, and the darker elements of human nature. The police are there to protect and serve the people, and to combat nemeses to peaceful existence. We must determine whether such combat is best done well-armed, or if it is hampered by the wielding of such power as an instrument. We, of course, must keep in mind the fine men and women who protect us by risking their lives, citizens of every walk of life, and those who will inherit our legacy.

Join us this WednesdayDecember 3rd at 7:30 pm in the Calhoun Parlor to debate this sensitive and important issue. All are welcome!

Thursday
Nov132014

R: Unlock Your Doors

Living in a country that values property rights and home ownership, we often take it for granted that there is a clear divide between the public and the private, the outside community and the home. We value both of these spheres tremendously, but independently. We don't want the community at large to intrude upon our private property, and we want to keep family and other personal matters away from the public—for the public's good and ours.

But do Americans put too much stake in property rights? Does it lead to a harmful compartmentalization of our communal and private lives, partitioned at the doors to our homes? We don't have to give up all private property (history shows us this can have pretty terrible consequences), but perhaps we should treat it as an extension of the community—and of its public spaces—rather than as something distinctly our own. This would allow us to interact with our communities more fully, while also preserving some autonomy to develop our property as we see fit.

But is this vision too idealistic? Does it ignore the fact that not everyone in our communities is trustworthy? And if we treat private property as an extension of communal property, what bulwarks will we have against its seizure—say under the guise of eminent domain? Perhaps, then, we should be very explicit about where the public sphere ends and where the private one begins.

Join us this ThursdayNovember 13th at 8:00 pm in the Calhoun Parlor as we debate the value of land and locks. All are welcome!

Wednesday
Nov052014

R: It's Morning in America!

Where are we going? How do we get there? These are basic, vague, and terrifyingly important questions that everyone asks, and they are only more pressing when applied to the host of people bound together in a state.

With control of the Senate on the line, Tuesday's elections will mark yet another pivotal chapter in the history of American politics. Is a Republican victory a move in the right direction? Is conservatism reemerging from exile? But more importantly, are American culture, politics, and values going to experience a positive reversal—in the near future or in the long term—as a result of these elections?

It is undeniable that where we stand as Americans—and what we stand for—affects people the world over. It is time to reexamine where we are going, how we are getting there, and whether or not the path we are choosing through our leadership point toward an era where fewer tears are shed and lighter burdens are carried. It is time that we discuss frankly what prosperity and flourishing truly mean. Are we once again turning toward the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr., where men "talk about God's power and human power"? Indeed, where are we going?

Join us this WednesdayNovember 5th at 7:30 pm in the Calhoun Parlor as we discuss nothing less than the future of our nation. All are welcome!

Wednesday
Oct292014

R: Museums Are No Place for Art

The art museum has become a standard feature of cities worldwide. Never before have so many people been able to experience, in person, so many beautiful works of art, coming from all periods in history and all populated corners of the globe.

And yet, there seems to be something painfully lacking in museums. They seem, in many ways, artificial. Many, if not most, of the works on display at museums were not at all intended for them—they were painted for royal palaces, sculpted for city squares, and carved for sacred rituals. They fit neatly into their cultures of origin—single puzzle pieces in the complex assortments of customs, beliefs, and physical artifacts that have defined societies of the past. Museums—where dozens of unrelated works might be displayed side-by-side in a single room—largely fail to convey these origins.

There is another danger: as more and more art is relegated to museums, it disappears from the public sphere. Elaborate façades, grand temples, ornate fountains—even flower gardens—are endangered in many places, or have already disappeared. After all, if art belongs in museums, then why should cities be anything but purely functional?

But perhaps we've been uncharitable to museums. Many museums give new life to art, preserving antique artifacts that might otherwise remain buried and neglected, giving an audience to paintings that might otherwise be held in exclusive private collections, and providing new insights into works that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Join us this WednesdayOctober 29th at 7:30 pm in the Calhoun Parlor as we discuss the proper home (and role) of art in society. All are welcome!