WGU Celebrates Constitution Day 2016 with Free Webinars

WGU Celebrates Constitution Day 2016 with Free Webinars  

Join us in celebrating the 229th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution! WGU will host a series of free 1-hour webinars and online discussions beginning Wednesday, September 7, through Friday, September 16, 2016 to commemorate the issues and importance of the U.S. Constitution, including forums spotlighting elections, and the institutional development of the U.S. Army. Topics and times are listed below.

Click here to join a webinar at the scheduled time and call toll free 1-844-286-0634 passcode 556-081-544# to listen to the event.

Wednesday, September 7
11:30 am Pacific/ 12:30 pm Mountain/ 1:30 pm Central/ 2:30 pm Eastern
Dr. Lizzie Redkey, Ph.D. and Dr. Robert Whiting, Ph.D.

"Strong Defense or Threat to Liberty? The Constitution and the Establishment of a Professional Army"

How do you write a constitution that ensures both the security and the liberty of its people when the only difference between a military that can protect the country and one that is a tool of tyrants is which direction its weapons are pointed? The people of the American colonies inherited from the British a fear and loathing of standing armies because those armies had a history of becoming the tools of tyrants against their own people. This discomfort undergirded much of the constitutional debate after the American Revolution, as they had to wrestle with the dilemma of how to create a system that allowed for a solid defense of the new nation, but one that could not oppress its people. Their attempts to solve this riddle shaped the entire constitutional process and ultimately resulted in a uniquely decentralized military with roughly equal odds of success or disaster for the young nation. Please join us for a discussion of the ideas that influenced the American concept of the “citizen soldier” and how the early United States tried to balance military force and political power.

Friday, September 9  
11:30 am Pacific/ 12:30 pm Mountain/ 1:30 pm Central/ 2:30 pm Eastern
Michael Dungar, M.A.; A.B.D.
“In America, anybody can be president; that’s one of the risks you take:” "What are the qualifications for President of the United States?”

Article II of the U.S. Constitution offers just a single clause defining the eligibility to be President of the United States: natural-born citizenship, and thirty-five years of age. Although it extends beyond the presidency, Article VI states that there will be “no religious test” for public office. Beyond those two restrictions, voters decide for themselves the qualifications that separate candidates for the country’s highest office. Almost all successful presidential candidates in the last two centuries have come from the halls of Congress, a statehouse, or the highest ranks of the military. Is prior public office a requisite for heading the Executive Branch? Are there examples of presidential candidates from other backgrounds? How did they fare? Join Mike Dungar as we examine backgrounds of past presidential candidates, and consider what characteristics make someone qualified for the presidency.

Monday, September 12

11:30 am Pacific/ 12:30 pm Mountain/ 1:30 pm Central/ 2:30 pm Eastern

Dr. Lee Jones, PH.D. (Moderator), with Martin Nader, Ph.D., Katie Francis, Ph.D., Norm Hurley, Ph.D., and Sean Byrnes, Ph.D.

“Election 2016 Roundtable”

A recent news story on the unprecedented aspects of the 2016 election surmised that this election cycle might someday “deserve its own chapter in our kids American History textbooks.” What does the election tell us about the current state of politics and of the major political parties in the United States? What might it be telling us about the future? Who’s going to win, and with what consequences for the parties and our country? Join Dr. Lee Jones and our four panelists for an engaging discussion of the truly fascinating election of 2016.                                                  

Wednesday, September 14
11:30 am Pacific/ 12:30 pm Mountain/ 1:30 pm Central/ 2:30 pm Eastern
Dr. Brandi Hudson, JD and Dawna Snipes, LLM, JD, MP
“A Fluid Document? The U.S. Constitution Meets the 2016 Presidential Election”

In this collaborative presentation between two attorneys, the impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on the U.S. Constitution will be demonstrated by highlighting four very different proposed amendments as hear from four of the presidential hopefuls. The discussion will encompass how the respective nominees intend to amend certain parts of the Constitution, how such amendments could impact the U.S., and if the proposed amendments are even Constitutional.  

Friday, September 16
11:30 am Pacific/ 12:30 pm Mountain/ 1:30 pm Central/ 2:30 pm Eastern
Dr. Barry Sharpe, JD, Ph.D.
“Madison’s “Failure””

James Madison is famously and, if anybody deserves the title, justly called the Father of the U.S. Constitution. What is less widely known is that Madison left the convention disappointed with the final text of the Constitution and pessimistic about its ability to serve the purposes for which it was drafted. Madison’s “failure,” I believe, serves as a useful focal point for reconsidering the ideas and experiences of a principal architect of the new constitutional structure as a way of encountering them anew, that is, to take seriously the interplay of ideas and experience as part of the evaluation of Madison’s work.  

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