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"They speak very fast and very loud, and nobody listens to anybody else, with the result that nothing ever gets done."
-(Fictionalized) Capt James Morison (1776)

I started this blog because politics in America sucks.

The problems go beyond who is elected, or which laws are enacted. If it were, then I’d be content continuing watching cable news, arguing on Facebook, and stuffing envelopes for local candidates. But that's no longer the issue. The problem is more systemic. No matter who is elected, the laws passed are rarely supported by even a simple majority of Americans. How long can a government do that and still claim to be of, for, and by the people? How long can our democracy last when there are people attacking the very idea of democracy?

Unfortunately, the extremes appear to be feeding off of each other. Every act of name calling, browbeating, and actual violence convinces more people on the other side that they're justified in doing the same thing. It has reached a vicious cycle of perpetual outrage-retaliate-outrage. FakeNews sites feed into the problem by inserting outrageous claims that only further dehumanize each other.

The Left, which is usually the vehicle for solving social issues, is currently vacillating between short-sightedness and sudden urgency for extremist solutions for relatively minor issues. And not to mention, the over-the-top antics that end up alienating allies while failing to accomplish anything. I will write more about those soon.

That wouldn't be so bad if a moderate right was in the ascendency. Instead, the right-wing in this country has lost its F’ing mind. Supremacist and nationalist ideologies are crawling out of the dark corners of the right and into the mainstream at an alarming rate. They've disengaged from traditional norms and support a corrupt extremist simply because “he fights”. Instead of finding prudent solutions they're falling into xenophobia and demagoguery. Even the mainstream right frequently falls for half-truths and conspiracy theories. The right-wing has embraced a strange ideology that is economically populist, socially divisive in rhetoric(it has been something completely different in implementation). It can't solve even the most basic problems that require political solutions and instead solve problems that are relatively minor or don't even exist.

In this milieu of never-ending outrage, moderates and those willing to compromise are looked upon with scorn as sellouts and enablers. The political parties are no longer disciplined by voters or its activist base. It’s all about who can generate the most outrage. Even the mainstream politicos try to make everyone else seem like an extremist. After all, its easier to seem reasonable by portraying everyone else as extremists, than to actually be a reasonable Person.

It is no wonder that in this atmosphere that we are as divided as ever in politics. Everyone is occupying their own FakeNews fueled bubble, and not bothering to listen to the evil people on the “other” side. The arguments are basically “they’re extremists”. “Nuh uh. You’re extremist”. I started this blog based on the uncomfortable realization that they might both be correct.

In spite of all that, there is a real and effective liberal left that is managing to make progress on issues. There are liberal(center left) institutions that are having success resisting the illiberal and regressive Trump agenda. There also still exists a principled conservative right in this country that I can disagree with, but still, find common ground with or strike a compromise.

The problem I find is that there isn’t a whole lot of people defending moderate or centrist philosophy. Most are busy defending “their side” but do not bother to differentiate between moderate and extreme positions. Popular political philosophy seems to lean in favor of extremism. So a goal of mine is to read, write, and discuss what a reasonable construction of a politically moderate left philosophy is.

Another major issue that I’m concerned about is countering the alt-right. The rise of this new group is alarming. It is a new rightwing movement, and the same old talking points are falling flat. Instead, the inability of the left to properly counter alt-right arguments is emboldening the movement. No longer can it be ignored and written off as a bunch of bigots with racist arguments. Even if they are, it’s past time to quit calling them names, dust off the 30 or 40-year-old arguments explaining why racism and supremacy are neither true, nor American, and beat back this movement before something crazy happens(like they get a narcissistic demagogue with possible links to Russia elected President!)

One thing that's going to happen is I'm going to be hitting the left as well as the right. Not only would I like to see it moderate, but to think long-term and strategically. The rightwing has boatloads of cash coming in from billionaires so they can afford to pay people to do that kind of long-term and strategic thinking. The Left does not have that kind of money being strategically spent. Some issues seem to just crop out of nowhere and puts liberals in awkward positions. Changing the world is easy, changing it for the better is hard.

So, I’ve started this blog to see if there are others out there like me: Who are politically active to some degree or another. Who lean left, but want reform, not a revolution. Who want to use the tried and true methods of reform and progress that have served so many leftwing movements of the past. Who is willing to contribute to the arguments that will beat back the ascendent extremists on the right. And finally, those who desire the wisdom and discipline to change the system.


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