If 2016 is a choice between the worst options, the people bear some responsibility

A mere four years ago, pundits were bemoaning the death of the Lincoln-Douglas style debate. In an election cycle defined by quips about “binders full of women” and where the most serious dismantling of ideology involved repeatedly calling it “malarkey,” the staid deliberation of 19th century campaigning seemed the height of rhetorical finesse. If the clamoring for such gravitas seems absent from this election, and it is, it’s because decorum is no longer a consideration…

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The difference between voting on rationale and for party

The most pervasive interpretation of the electoral system which pervades social discourse paints politics as a binary choice in a zero-sum system. A vote for one candidate is not just a philosophical act of repudiation of their opponent’s ideas, but simultaneously an act which substantively detracts from their ability to win. Such an interpretation is only possible in some abstract world of quantum politics, where the voter exists in a dual state of simultaneous support…

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Compromise is a myth

There seems to be a consensus in modern America that the culture of government is so bifurcated, so antagonistic that partisan bickering stymies any action. Or so the bloviating media commentators incessantly claim, often citing the paltry number of bills that successfully navigate the journey from bill to law. There is nothing wrong with qualification, but it must be coupled with quantification. He Government organs could pass 15 bills in a week. But, these could…

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The perverse morality of statism

Civilization, with its promises of equal and impartial justice, creates a balance between men. Long-term self-interest mandates that the pursuance of individual betterment not alienate one’s neighbors. One day they may prove imperative to survival. Each person is held in check by fear of righteous vengeance sought by the party they wronged with the help of the state. This fear is aided by the reflexivity of rights, for each man can imagine that the anger…

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On being a cynic in 2016

I’ve already griped about the deleterious effect rushes to consensus have on the meritocracy which is supposed to underlie American politics. But at the risk of being branded (not entirely inaccurately) a misanthropic pedant, I feel the increasing pressure for voters to fall in line with their party makes the point worth belaboring. Partisanship should not be a pejorative, so long as it is a reflection of ideological agreement between the individual and a party…

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