politics

U.S. politics and politics in general

Divisive leaders

President Donald Trump is considered a very divisive leader. His election generated much anxiety and opposition before he even took office. His inaugural address showed his intention of implementing his agenda in opposition to the Washington, DC, establishment. With a divisive leader, people are either with them or against them; there is no middle way. …

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Trust and America

President-elect Donald Trump is about to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Many people feel an anxiety and fear not felt since the election of Abraham Lincoln, whose election led to the secession of the southern states. Why is there such apprehension? The simple answer is a lack of trust. There …

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Separation of society and state

On the face of it, the separation of society and state makes no sense. Society provides the framework for the state, whether a hierarchical society leading to a kingdom or an egalitarian society leading to a democracy. And there would be no state without a society, whether it is the people who assemble to establish …

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Countering false assertions

From the day-long Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858 to the proliferation of newspapers in late 19th century long public arguments took place. That gradually declined as radio came in, then television, and public attention became increasingly divided. Sound bites replaced extended speech in the public mind. The power of images replaced the power of words. Public …

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The new right

The new left arose in the 1960s-1970s as a movement to broaden the labor union, civil rights, and socialism of the old left. In the U.S. it was more and more successful, culminating in the administration of President Obama, the institution of same-sex marriage, and the normalization of the sexual revolution. Meanwhile, the working class …

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What is broken?

On the eve of the U.S. national election that is considered by many to be symptomatic of a broken political system, I want to reflect on what it is that is broken. A consistent majority say they are unhappy with either major Presidential candidate. How could this happen? Why were they nominated? The one-liner “Washington …

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This political moment

It’s difficult not to say something about the political moment of the U.S. Presidential election. Earlier this year I wrote briefly about its symmetry. The media coverage has been mostly fantasies about what a king or queen would do rather than an actual president with enumerated powers. The low-information voter has almost nothing but fantasy …

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Les D├ęplorables

2016 presidential candidate Clinton’s remark that half of her opponent’s supporters are “a basket of deplorables”, which means they are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic”, triggered strong negative reactions. Calling millions of ordinary citizens such names shows more about the speaker than it does about the apparent referents. There must be a new acronym here; …

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Constitutional authority undermined

I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but those who are have been sounding the alarm over the actions of a Supreme Court and President that are extra-constitutional. I write to point out that an official under a constitution who officially acts outside that constitution has undermined their legitimacy. The constitution remains but the official who sets …

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American Republic to American Empire

The Roman Republic lasted almost five centuries (509 to 27 BC) before becoming the Roman Empire. The American Republic (aka USA) has taken a little over two centuries before becoming the American Empire. In what ways has this already happened? (1) The “judicial usurpation of politics” — i.e., the overruling of the legislative process by …

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