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FREE SPEECH 64: Two Faces of American Freedom, with Aziz Rana

 America embodies the bold promise of assuring everyone's liberty to the greatest extent possible - and it also has a history of exercising its power both internally and around the globe with great force. How can we make sense of this dual promise, of personal liberation and rights for all, and of an expansionist idea the imposes the will and power of America on populations it seeks to dominate? I spoke with Professor Aziz Rana, of Cornell University's Law school, about this tension at the heart of the American promise. With a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard and a J.D. from Yale, Professor Rana is uniquely equipped to untangle the legal and political dynamics that shape the American experiment, and to test how it plays out for people both here in the US and around the world. We also talked about his more recent project about Americans' veneration for the Constitution - and whether this reverential attitude toward our foundational legal document is truly in the interest of the Founders and of ourselves.