The Role of Political Primaries, Their History and Their Future

Primaries have been a significant factor in American politics for a good many years. They are in fact a uniquely American electoral institution, born in the Progressive Era. The role of primaries has changed to some degree in recent years as the public searches for ways to make politicians more responsive to their constituency. 

What’s Happening in ‘Journalism’ Today?

America’s news media has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. Local newspapers are disappearing rapidly, television has not fulfilled its promise and social media feeds extremist views. As a public and nonprofit administrator Olin Sansbury frequently had to deal with probing journalists, but in his earlier life that was his job as a newspaper reporter … Read more

American Politics in Fiction

Since even before America became an independent country, novelists have used their storytelling skills to help us understand our system of governance and our relationships with one another—sometimes with humor, sometimes with irony. Political novels have advocated causes or ideas, have recorded successes and issued warnings. They have revealed our flaws and trumpeted our strengths. … Read more

Covert Actions in US Foreign Policy

Covert Action is “an activity or activities of the US government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the US government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly.” Such actions have been taken frequently in modern American history and not always successfully. Olin Sansbury examines some … Read more

Gun Violence in America

The complexities of America’s attitude towards firearms is examined from the viewpoint of its impact on US politics and public safety. Olin Sansbury reviews the history of the Second Amendment and compares America’s approach to firearms to that of other nations in today’s world. Presentation of 30-45 minutes with Power Point aids. Group discussion invited.

Electoral College: Abolish or Reform

Olin Sansbury provides an analysis of Electoral College history and its impact on presidential elections. He weighs in on factors that make this unique American institution undemocratic and offers suggestions as to how it might be beneficially reformed. Presentation of 30-45 minutes with Power Point aids. Group discussion invited.

Baptists and Bootleggers: Prohibition in the South

Many years before the production and sale of alcohol was banned in the United States by the Eighteenth Amendment, the forces of temperance waged political warfare with the purveyors of alcohol. Most Southern states went dry long before the rest of the country did, and as a result, had a ready-made pipeline of moonshine-makers and … Read more

How FDR Vanquished Polio

Few Americans remember that FDR, besides leading our country through the Great Depression and World War II, was also the founder of the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis, better known as the March of Dimes. This charity fought the terrible scourge of polio with both assistance to the stricken and research to find a vaccine, … Read more