Category Archives: Politics

American Party Culture, Part 3: Purging Substance

A party which does not stand on substance, which does not appeal to voters on the merits of ideals but instead panders to vaguely defined social needs, cannot govern. Consensus, which is ultimately defined by the ever-shifting goalposts of public opinions, is worth more than demonstrably workable ideas. Modern politics defines morality by the numbers:…

America’s Party Culture, Part 2: Destructive Behavior

Discrimination is an operative force in politics; a functioning government must calculate what courses of action are likely to benefit the citizenry and the nation as a whole. To do so, politicians must have a vision of an end towards which they are working, meaning ideological belief is the driving force behind an efficacious politics.…

America’s Party Culture, Part 1: An Exclusive Club

An efficacious politics requires some degree of exclusivity, even in a democratic society. A functional government is built on choice; politicians must sort through vast troves of information, not all of it reliable, in order to identify and pursue the one course of action most likely to lead to a desired outcome. But it is…

Undercutting the Separation of Powers Will Not Fix GOP’s Healthcare Nightmare

The astounding impotency of Republicans, who cannot even garner the votes necessary for a clean repeal of the Affordable Care Act, goes far beyond poor leadership. Opposition to ObamaCare, once pejoratively branded “socialized medicine”, is conceivably the core of the party’s identity. Not only have Republicans made repealing former president Obama’s signature legislation an issue…

The Media As Modern Day Philosopher-Kings

The modern media is, in many ways, not unlike Plato’s utopian dream city of Kallipolis. Eschewing democratic ideas and the concept of a meritocracy, Plato’s famous Socratic dialogue, The Republic, embraces a natural aristocracy of minds and argues that, for justice to be a reality, those of ability—the philosophers—should rule and those lacking the requisite…

The Hollowing Out of the Conservative Mind

The 2016 election was something of an existential crisis for many across the partisan spectrum, but perhaps not quite as literally for any group as conservatives. Donald Trump’s ascendancy ripped the veil off right-wing ideology and revealed that many of the principles to which conservatives had clung so staunchly in their political advocacy—limited government, free…

When Governing Becomes An Aesthetic Act

Often these days it seems legislators put more effort into the naming of bills than into analyzing the details of new laws and their likely impact upon the citizenry. In April, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order Act, or “El Chapo” Act, proposing to channel the…

America’s Torquemada Complex

For Trump loyalists, the fallout surrounding CNN’s publication of an inaccurate report documenting supposed ties between Russia and Trump associates was vindication of the White House’s assertions that the administration is dogged by unfair media criticism. For Trump detractors, CNN’s acknowledgment of wrongdoing, was evidence that the network does hold itself to some sort of…

Party Loyalty Is Destroying Politics

America’s political culture has become such that the charge of disloyalty is a far more indelible stain upon a person’s character than a charge of criminal behavior or personal misconduct. The 2016 election was a race between a career politician whose record of abusing the law for personal gain was as long as her record…

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