America’s Two Regimes

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  • America today is an incoherent blend of two fundamentally incompatible regimes: conservatism and progressive liberalism.
  • To understand a regime you must ask yourself: what are the ideas that are shaping the American mind and molding the American character and who produces these ideas?
  • Our heated political debates point to core disagreements about the meaning of liberty, equality, and the promise of America. At stake in this battle is what it means to be an American.

David Azerrad devoted his time and research at The Heritage Foundation to increasing public understanding of America’s founding principles.

As the former director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, Azerrad taught the tenets of the American political tradition to policymakers, political leaders and the public, while connecting the nation’s first principles to the thorny questions of the day.

In November 2015, Azerrad also became Heritage’s first AWC Family Foundation fellow. The Nashville-based foundation has supported Heritage’s work to defend and promote founding principles since 2009.

A popular speaker, Azerrad gives talks around the country on topics related to the American Founding, constitutionalism, modern liberalism and conservatism, and the American Dream. He has spoken on many college campuses and addressed audiences in more than 25 states

From 2010 to 2013, Azerrad was assistant director and then associate director of the Center for Principles and Politics.

Before joining Heritage in 2010, he spent two years at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni promoting civic literacy and working to shake up higher education. In 2007, he held a Publius Fellowship at the Claremont Institute in California.

His writings have appeared in various publications and online outlets, including The Weekly Standard, National Affairs, First Things, The Times (of London), Real Clear Politics, National Review Online, The Washington Times, The Federalist, Public Discourse, The National Interest, and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy.

Azerrad received a doctoral degree in politics from the University of Dallas, where he wrote a dissertation on the foundations of John Locke’s political thought. He also taught a course, “Principles of American Politics,” to undergraduates.

A native of Montreal in Canada, Azerrad received his master of arts degree in political science from Carleton University in Ottawa. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Concordia University in Montreal.

The Progressive Movement and the Transformation of American Politics. Thomas G. West, Ph.D. and William A. Schambra

Progressivism was the reform movement that ran from the late 19th century through the first decades of the 20th century, during which leading intellectuals and social reformers in the United States sought to address the economic, political, and cultural questions that had arisen in the context of the rapid changes brought with the Industrial Revolution and the growth of modern capitalism in America. The Progressives believed that these changes marked the end of the old order and required the creation of a new order appropriate for the new industrial age.

Barack Obama’s Declaration of Interdependence. David Azerrad

Early Progressives did not conceal their hostility to the principles of the American Founding. Beginning with FDR, however, Progressives learned to cloak their statist social justice agenda in the language of the Constitution. What if, instead of doing so, they once again admitted the need to “update” the Founding. David Azerrad imagines what a Progressive Declaration of Independence would look like.