In recent years, the state of Idaho has been seen by many people as a haven of hate, as extremist groups and individuals have tried to establish in Idaho a base of operations from which to espouse their extremist political and racial ideologies. In spite of their efforts and the attention they have received, these extremists have not been successful in creating their homeland of hate in Idaho. Yet, these groups and individuals should not be dismissed as merely lunatic or delusional; their message does strike a responsive chord in many people. Arguing that, for purposes of both political theory and practice, these extremists and their message deserve critical scrutiny, Shaw places their activity and message in their proper political, theoretical, historical, and cultural context.
Lincoln's Second Inaugural "The address sounded more like a sermon than a state paper." Frederick Douglass offered this comment on March 4, 1865, in response to President Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. In a speech of only 703 words, the speech he considered his greatest speech, Abraham Lincoln issued not a call to arms but a call to a higher national purpose. In pondering the meaning of our bloodiest war rather than pontificating about conquest, Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address is a testament to presidential reflection at its finest. Dr. Shaw's talk focuses on Lincoln seeking reunification rather than revenge, and examines Lincoln's belief in the special destiny of America amid all its ambiguities.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered in Memphis on April 4, 1968. King was in Memphis fighting for economic justice on behalf of striking sanitation workers while also planning the Poor People's Campaign to occupy the Mall in Washington, D.C., against racism and poverty. Dr. King has been dead for almost 50 years, yet his legacy lives on, and his message matters more than ever at this point in the 21st century. Professor Shaw's lecture examines the life and legacy of our most famous civil rights and human rights activist, and focuses on the significance of his life and message today.
Frank Church, Democrat member of the United States Senate from Idaho from 1957-1981, took words and ideas seriously, and what he expressed consistently throughout his distinguished career was his commitment to democracy and his unshakeable belief in a democratic faith. Especially through his speeches but also in other public and private documents, Senator Church demonstrated a Jeffersonian belief in the people along with a Madisonian dedication to fundamental democratic principles, ideals, and institutions. This lecture will focus primarily on Church's work in the U.S. Senate, especially with respect to the role of the Senate in American foreign policy. What will be shown is Church's firm commitment to and advocacy for deliberative democracy in a dialogic political society.