politics

U.S. politics and politics in general

Conservatives and liberals

The terms “conservative” and “liberal” are used in a variety of contexts but what is the distinction? They have come down to us through 19th century politics, but that turns out not to help much since many conservatives today would consider themselves as “classical liberals”. One can use alternate terms such as traditionalist and progressive, …

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Centrism and extremism

I’ve written on my understanding of centrism here and here. The essence of centrism is an acceptance of a limit for everything. This means there are limits in all directions. The image of this is a closed convex curve with a center in the middle of the region enclosed. Without limits, there is no center. …

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Marriage and semi-marriage

In abstract algebra, a semiring is an algebraic structure similar to a ring, but without the requirement that each element must have an additive inverse. Analogously, what could be called a semi-marriage is like a marriage, but without the requirement that the persons be of opposite sex. (Compare here.) How would this work? First, a …

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Discrete democracy

Direct democracy is an idealized concept in which the people vote on all political matters. Besides being impractical, it assumes the people have sufficient time and information to consider every matter. Such a continuous democracy would be like the weekly polls published by the news media, except they would result in real decisions – and …

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News and opinion

The low end of the news business makes little or no attempt to separate news and opinion. The better news outlets attempt to separate news and opinion, but are failing. What are the reasons for this? Let’s take it that news reports ought to consist of factual information about the world, rather than opinion. Granted …

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Reverse political polarity

Now that the U.S. is politically polarized, it is reversing polarity. The liberals are the new conservatives. The conservatives are the new liberals. The Democrats are the new Republicans. The Republicans are the new Democrats. Let me explain. In the past, the liberals were pushing for change, promoting equality, and seeking a better future. The …

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Is Trump sly?

Good soldier Schweik was a character invented by Czech author Jaroslav HaĊĦek in the 1920s: Through (possibly feigned) idiocy or incompetence [Schweik] repeatedly manages to frustrate military authority and expose its stupidity in a form of passive resistance: the reader is left unclear, however, as to whether [he] is genuinely incompetent, or acting quite deliberately …

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Cherchez les hommes

Cherchez la femme is a French expression from the 1854 novel The Mohicans of Paris by Alexandre Dumas, which means “no matter what the problem may be, a woman is often the cause. Look for the mistress, the jealous wife, the angry lover… there is a woman at the root of each problem.” The alternative …

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Religious freedom in two senses

I last wrote about religious freedom here. The post concerns how to define religion for purposes of religious freedom. Basically, there are two ways to define religion: (1) a narrow, traditional sense in which religion means one of the world religions, which are concerned with worship of God or gods and/or following a certain way …

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Judging politicians

From what most media outlets say and the way most people talk, it would seem that the most important thing politicians do is make speeches. Talk, talk, talk, day after day. Some words bring headlines, perhaps unwanted. Other words bring praise or condemnation. In the end, what is most remembered about politicians is their words, …

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