All in Politics

Cincinnatus Weeps

With such lofty ideals of duty in our background as Americans the burden of our duty to vote as citizens seems trifling. Regardless, it is a vital function of our Social Contract that we must take full advantage of. Because just as there were those who wanted a return to monarchy in the Roman Republic, there are those who would like to have such a system in the United States of America. The threat of narcissistic conspiracies to centralize power is a constant threat for any republic and made all the more easier to achieve with voter apathy.

Inland Elites

A supporter of the status quo might then say that the President should not be determined by the “coastal elites” of New York, California, and Florida. Why not? What makes the citizens of New York inherently less capable of choosing the President than the citizens of Idaho? What makes Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio a better setting for a political showdown? What is the basis for making political minorities in states feel powerless at the voting booth? We decided that having Senators chosen by the people was preferable to having them chosen by intermediaries; why would it be unreasonable to do the same with the President?

Abuse of Liberty

The right to free speech, the right of worship, the right to bear arms, the right to a fair and timely trial - all of these and more are considered to be intrinsic rights that a person is born with. These rights are not given by the Constitution, they are recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution, which the government is obliged to follow. But not everybody uses their freedom responsibly. Much as somebody can decide to drive recklessly, somebody can use their freedoms recklessly.

Gravity of Wealth

Money is power, and power must not be concentrated in a democracy if it is to remain a democracy. Ergo, money must not be concentrated; this is a problem, because wealth is calcifying at a terrifying rate in America. Measures must be taken to reduce the effect money can have in politics…

The Brexit Mulligan

…If the arguments for Leave were not made in good faith; if the results of the election were altered by a foreign power; if the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union has been made more apparent, wouldn’t a Brexit do-over be appropriate? There is the very reasonable concern for democratic tradition and integrity if the result of an election were reversed before its effects went into place. On the other hand…

The State Shuffle

…There are some plausible reforms we may undertake to make a more perfect Union. We could eliminate the Electoral College and have every American have the same weight in selecting the most powerful person on Earth. Prior to the 17th Amendment Senators were selected by state legislatures instead of directly by the people; just as we altered the Constitution to expand the democratic selection in the Legislative branch, we can alter the Constitution to expand the democratic selection in the Executive branch…

Revanchism

…Revanchism - the desire to reclaim lost territory - has a long and storied history. In the earliest days of humanity we wandered across a borderless world, pursuing our prey or escaping inclement weather. Over a period of tens of thousands of years, humanity began the process of permanent settlements. And while tribal or national identity changed over the subsequent thousands of years through natural genesis, assimilation, or depopulation and repopulation, these settlements - and the lands that surround them - became a matter of identity for the people that lived there. 

Creeping Corruption

Keeping a government functional enough to preserve legitimacy requires investment, monetary or otherwise, by powerful figures inside its demesne. Thus, while the public good is of at least nominal interest for all governments, every government requires keeping necessary private investors loyal to the structure made by the government…

Cult 45

While not all humans are equally susceptible to joining a cult, every human has the capacity to be drawn into one. With that in mind, what warning signs are there that can serve as a warning for the susceptible person in particular and society in general? For the purpose of pertinence, let us use somebody with widespread support in the public realm. Let us use the support base for President Donald Trump…

Rhymes with Gracchus

In some eras the gap between the wealthy and the destitute was wider than normal; the United States has three distinct eras where the wealth gap was particularly striking. The first is known as the Gilded Age - born out of the fruits of the industrial revolution, the Gilded Age generated wealth that was unimaginable to the common man of his time. It was unimaginable because this wealth was generally kept out of his hands - those that had money to begin with were the primary receivers of the wealth generated in the factories…

Russian Tango

It is important to keep in mind what Russia's likely objective was for the 2016 election - it wanted to destabilize the United States so Russia could pursue its own interests unimpeded by American resistance. This is why the Facebook advertisements they took out were on all sides of the political spectrum - while the lion's share was in support of Republicans and Trump, there was also many for Black Lives Matter, Bernie Sanders, and other anti-Trump factions…

Storm in a Vacuum

…with no domineering power in the world, regional powers will aspire to become superpowers. And as regional powers clash in this aspiration, the apocalypse that was suspended in the Cold War risks a return to relevance. If America does withdraw back into a shell, the world will likely have China be the most important country in the world, Russia the most aggressive country in the world, and Europe either shattered into pro- and anti-Russian alliances or united vigorously against Russia…

Droning out the MADness

The development of drone vehicles for military purposes has been met with relative success - the usage of drones by the American military has widely expanded since the Predator's introduction in 1995. And it is not only America that utilizes drones - ISIS included footage of drones dropping grenades in their propaganda, showing that drones are not limited to sophisticated militaries. Drones in warfare will become more widespread, and this will have gargantuan effects on the geopolitical stage…

Executive Execution

…the state exists first and foremost to maintain order in its domain, and though the methodology of maintaining this order has changed over time, the need to maintain order in the domestic and foreign spheres is of paramount necessity for a state. The person does not need to make order a priority; most often, survival was the first priority. And occasionally, survival is separate from order. Similar to how a prisoner might try to burn down a prison to escape, an individual may try to burn down a government to avoid prosecution.

Sacre Red, White and Bleu

…the initial instigators of the French Revolution were not the poor, huddled urban masses. They were wealthy owners of property and capital that wanted to expand free trade for their own gain, which would in turn benefit France. But the proles in the urban masses did not care about free trade - they cared about not starving. They wanted a paternalistic guarantee of bread and safety, not free trade. The initial phase of the French revolution did not reverse the calcification of wealth, all it did was redistribute where the wealth flowed.

Divine Divorce

Jerusalem is at the heart of the three major religions in the area. It was the capital of the ancient Jewish kingdom of Israel; it was the location of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and subsequently became a magnet for Christian pilgrims; and as Muslims consider Christ a prophet – not as important as Muhammad, but still vital to the Islamic faith – Jerusalem became the second most sacred location for Muslims after Mecca. In addition to being the bastion of faith for two major religions and the religion that served as their theological progenitor, it is also at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

A Better Choice

Giving each voter one vote is a very simple concept. After all, in a theoretical republic composed of equals, one man’s choice should not be given greater weight than another man’s choice. This concept was in glaring conflict with the institution of slavery, the squelching of women and the initial requirement of land ownership to vote; but as time paced along these restrictions were lifted. First past the post is another simple concept – the candidate with the most voters supporting wins the election. But this system has a side effect – voters become more concerned about stopping the candidate they like the least from entering office rather than voting for the candidate they truly support.

Greenlight the Red Light

Many ill effects stem from prostitution. Sexually transmitted disease can spread without oversight, pimps maintain their control over their stable with emotional and physical violence, and customers can be robbed or have their family lives ruined by a vindictive drug-addict. But a recent Dutch study asserted that cities that legalize prostitution experience a steep decline in sexual abuse and rape, which begs the question - what purpose does keeping prostitution illegal serve?

Weed Whacked

The rollback of cannabis legalization exacerbates all of this. By making cannabis profits a monopoly for the black market, we are not only getting less funding for schools, roads, medicaid and other social services - we are ensuring that the funding is instead going to the vicious tattooed bogeyman that serve as the raison d'etre for the War on Drugs. It's senseless, it's self-destructive, and it does not serve America's best interest...

Work Out The Knots

The Democrat and Republican parties have drawn their lines in the sand on these subjects and have their own base support, while Independents tend to consistently vote for either Democrats or Republicans, despite not being a member of either party. Which way a person votes is going to be tied to what they consider the biggest threats to America are - so what is really the biggest threat to America?