A Crisis of the Soul

American politics is anthropomorphized: we speak of the polity as “the body politic,” as one living and wholistic organism. Politicians appeal to “we,” inveigling themselves into constituencies and interest groups. Legislators view law as a type of nourishment for the body politic, using government power not as a check upon infringement of the rights of the citizenry—including those done by government itself—but as a force to improve the lots of their peoples’ lives. If the…

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Trump’s Border Wall Shutdown Is About Personality, Not Principle

Once the Freedom Caucus was a faction of principled intransigents;they fought tooth and nail against the initial healthcare overhaul bill proposed by newly-inaugurated President Trump because it did not deliver on the promise of full repeal GOP officials had long made to their voters. This resistance was the coup de grâce for a slipshod policy-making process: the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHCA) not only betrayed a Republican campaign rallying cry that was eight years in the…

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Ranked-Choice Voting Does Not Improve Representation

The more factions there are in a political contest, the more likely candidates with at least some positions in common are to band together to form a coalition. This is a principle of participatory democracy. Imagine there are 15 candidates competing for a seat on a town council. Seemingly, it should be easy to gain the roughly 6.8% needed to become the plurality winner; this is a tiny fraction of the voting public. However, voters…

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Trump’s Latest Attacks on GM Reveal Feudalism of a Government That Promotes Public Welfare

There is no federal official whose mandate it is to protect American workers. Business is a private endeavor. Individuals hone and apply their own talents to build a business which rises or falls on their judgment and the merit of their work. The act of production is an act of consummation: a part of a person’s soul is poured into that which is born of their mind and their muscle. The creator alone has sovereign…

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This Election Day, Don’t Let Anyone Tell You How to Act

Come November 6th, this political theorist is going Galt. I’m the only effective advocate for my interests. No voice but mine can adequately represent them. To make a conciliatory choice and vote for a political representative whose ideology departs from mine is an act of self-alienation. Coercion is generally perceived as a negative, especially any time government is concerned. Except, apparently, when it comes to the choosing of political representatives. Then, not only is at…

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Immigrants and Utilization: Why Social and Economic Value Shouldn’t Drive Immigration Policy

President Trump’s America First rhetoric is motivated by a stated desire to protect native-born citizens and advance their interests. But by doing so, he takes away from individuals the ability to define their interests for themselves. Immigration is often made palatable in terms of the value brought by new citizens to communities with established social and cultural traditions, as if immigration were an act of utility, benefitting primarily the community receiving an individual who, for…

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The Myth of the Political Center

A set of values always has a middle, but just how representative of a data set is that middle? Democracy imbues morality into numbers. The idea that the majority view should carry the day anytime policy is up for debate is axiomatic to the idea that fairness lies in siding with the greatest number. Politics therefore often favors centrism. If the citizenry as a whole is considered as one enormous data set, it is impossible…

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