The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) will offer a free course titled: “Background to the 2016 Election, Part I: Roots of the Red/Blue Divide” from January 25 to May 2.

The combined lecture-discussion is open to the public and will meet on Monday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the AHI building, 21 W. Park Row in Clinton. The readings will be provided free of charge. Professional credit for teachers is available. Space is limited, so advance signup is required. To register or for more information, please contact the instructor, Dr. David Frisk (  or 315-381-3335), or Professor Robert Paquette (

The course will begin by considering the nature of political polarization, then spend three weeks each examining the development of the deep divisions between Americans on: economic policy and the role of government, social issues, and foreign policy and security. This material will cover much of the 20th century as well as the present. The final weeks will focus on the role of parties, movements, and the media in the “red/blue” divide—plus the possibilities of conciliation and compromise.

A course in the fall, also related to this year’s presidential election, is likely to cover several major elections in U.S. history plus the current one.

Instructor David Frisk, a Resident Fellow at the AHI since 2013, has previously taught its popular continuing education classes on the Constitution in the 20th century and today, the media and politics, modern statesmanship, conservative political philosophy, and recent socioeconomic trends. A former award-winning journalist, he holds a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University and is the author of the widely acclaimed biography If Not Us, Who? William Rusher, National Review, and the Conservative Movement (ISI Books, 2012).

“The division between our country’s political-cultural Right and Left is perhaps more profoundly obvious than ever today,” Dr. Frisk noted. “A careful consideration of it, including how it came about, is essential to fully understanding what promises to be an especially impassioned and unpredictable election year. In addition, the ‘red/blue’ divide raises fascinating questions—of a longer-lasting nature—about how modern democratic politics work and how they should work.”