To Remain Viable, Political Parties Require Internal Debate

Post-2016 tribalism has put defensiveness at the forefront of politics. Particularly on the right, Reagan’s 11th Commandment—don’t insult members of your own party—has always held sway, but the Trump cult of personality has put such thinking into overdrive. One cannot criticize the president on any grounds without being harangued, dragged over the coals and called any number of rude names you’d be loathe to repeat in front of your mother. The 11th Commandment has long…

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The Anatomy of Individualist Belief

A declaration of absolutist belief often opens one up to the smart-aleck retorts of petty pedants who use narrow-minded sophistic jibes to try and warp the ground on which absolutists have built said beliefs. One such contention involves censorship. “I am in no case for censorship.” says the absolutist. “Well, are you for pornography being broadcast by network television on Saturday mornings?” replies the sophist, with a wicked twinkle in his eye. “No.” replies the…

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Trump’s $12 Billion Solution to a Protectionist Problem of His Making

American citizens have been impressed into a conflict which is not of their choosing. Unilateral power was used to levy tariffs on the imported goods the president has targeted under the guise of some vague national security threat and unilateral power will now be used to mitigate the damage done to domestic producers who inevitably pay the price for economic protectionism. The $12 billion the USDA will offer to farmers affected by the trade war…

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Idealism Has a Place in a Pragmatic World

The idealist is often perceived as something akin to a knight of Arthurian legend: a man of exceptional virtue, who sidesteps the pitfalls of temptation by strength of will alone, whose fallible mortality is made adamant by his steadfast belief in certain eternal truths. He not only espouses virtue; he personifies it. But there is a fine line between Galahad and Don Quixote, and more often the idealist turns out to be not a chaste…

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Taxation: An Attack on an Individual’s Productive Capacity

Property rights are the fountainhead of liberty in a democratic society: the very concept of rights presupposes a concept of ownership. It is by nature of their sovereign beings that individuals possess rights; no other entity, especially those of political or social construction, enjoys such an advantage. Their rights are conditional upon law codes and the contexts of the civilizational landscape, and thus, not truly inalienable rights. But ownership also presupposes a system of value.…

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Trump’s Tariffs Are Economically and Politically Disastrous

In an apparent bid to make mercantilism great again, the Trump administration has amped-up its pursuit of protectionist trade measures in recent months, even as others within the president’s own party descry the adverse effects these policies will likely have on the domestic economy. For his part, the president—always a fan of a good superlative—has touted tariffs on the grounds that they facilitate not simply free trade but a more refined type of trade, one…

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Congress Is Inept Because It Was Never Meant to Be the Primary Political Problem Solver

There is a strain of modern political thought that equates specialized knowledge and topical expertise with elitism, itself rooted in anti-populism. Such thinking contributes to high levels of political inefficacy as the operational premise of representational government is that legislators, who dedicate their time to informing themselves on issues that affect their constituents, will use their knowledge of both the issues and their constituencies to make political choices calculated to promote the interests of residents…

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