Believe in Something. Even if it Means Making a Lot of Money.

Believe in Something. Even if it Means Making a Lot of Money.

Next time you see a successful company or politician doing something controversial, just consider: who is being targeted? If you're getting angry, it's probably not you. If you're getting excited, you're the one being manipulated by the advertising.

Read More
Comment



Dispatch from Ireland: Gay Marriage and Adoption

Dispatch from Ireland: Gay Marriage and Adoption

I was recently in Ireland! In fact I was around for the Pope’s visit, along with the World Meeting of Families. The Catholic Church a very long and controversial legacy in Ireland, so all of this was a big deal. I am just wise enough about Ireland to know that I know nothing, and the point of this post is not to weigh in on Irish politics. So I will refrain.

However the Pope’s visit did indeed lead to a whole lot of conversation about the Church’s legacy and some of the big political/religious/moral issues on the Irish table, as well as the American table. One was about gay couples and adoption.

Read More
Comment



A US Cultural Power Transition?

A US Cultural Power Transition?

A reader and good friend reminded me recently that I wrote my thesis on the idea of Power Transitions in geopolitics. If you are a super-nerd of geopolitics or international relations it is just the thing for you right after you finish the latest Harry Potter spin-off.

They reminded me of it because he believes it's precisely what we're seeing in the United States that is leading to such strife. Let's expand on that idea.

Read More
2 Comments



Mike Pence as a Litmus Test for Your Feelings on Trump

Mike Pence as a Litmus Test for Your Feelings on Trump

I live in Boston, so I get to hear a lot of concerns about Trump as president.

Every president gets flak, often unfair or hyperbolic, from people in the political opposition. 

But there's something unique about opposition to Trump that I haven't heard said about Bush, McCain, Romney, or Rubio/Kasich/Cruz: there is a strong strain of opinion that Trump is fundamentally unfit to be president.

When Mike Pence gets brought up as an alternative, a very important litmus test occurs.

Read More

The Supreme Court's Cake Ruling Was Neither Partisan Nor Bombshell

The Supreme Court's Cake Ruling Was Neither Partisan Nor Bombshell

think it was ABC World News Tonight that, last night (June 4) called the Supreme Court's cake-maker decision a "bombshell" ruling. That is false, it is not.

CNN claims--I roll my eyes--that the ruling somehow "fuels the debate on gay rights." Please. 

In a hyperpartsian era full of 5-4, "partisan line" Supreme Court decisions, it's incredibly important to recognize how different this was. It was not partisan, it was not narrow, it was not a "bombshell," and it doesn't fuel anything.

Read More
5 Comments



The Cycles of Government and Civic Virtue

The Cycles of Government and Civic Virtue

Plato wrote about it in Republic; Machiavelli wrote about it in The Prince and Discourses on Livy.

What they saw through the history of governments, and what they predicted in the future, was a cycle. Perhaps an endless one. Fukuyama said history ended. He may be wrong.

Read More
Comment



Sneaky Hidden Trouble in Bipartisan Bills (FOSTA/SESTA)

Sneaky Hidden Trouble in Bipartisan Bills (FOSTA/SESTA)

Imagine with me a happy, hand-shakey, bipartisan Congress. We're working across party lines, we're passin' bills, and everything's good.

Right now we're so far from that vision that I am almost afraid to malign it, but malign it I shall. 

Read More
Comment



There Has Always Been Fake News--And We Can Learn From That

There Has Always Been Fake News--And We Can Learn From That

What better way to discredit something than to call it "fake news?" What better way to subtly deride your political opposition by bemoaning the "post-truth world" that we now live in?

It seems difficult to argue against the idea that fake news plays a larger role in our society today than it did 10 or 20 years ago. But there's a risk to thinking that we are in some unique moment in history, or having false nostalgia for some time back in the day when everything was trustworthy and you didn't have to be a discerning reader.

The good news: fake news may come in historical cycles that ebb and flow. That’s also the bad news.

Read More
Comment



How Committed Are You to Facts?

How Committed Are You to Facts?

I think a fairly reasonable way of describing the ideal way to come up with political positions is this:

  1. Use empirics, reason, and philosophy/theology to determine your core values
  2. Search out for facts to help you understand what courses of action best help you maximize those values, make the best trade-offs, etc.

I'd like to believe all of us are pretty committed to being based in fact. Especially with respect to the opposite commitment, which is not caring at all about facts. 

But how committed are you, really?

Read More
6 Comments



The Hidden Agreement Within America's Political Chasm

The Hidden Agreement Within America's Political Chasm

Here at ReConsider we like to harp on the idea that behind the mass of negativity and hyperpartisanship that dominates American politics, there are mostly shared values.

In Wedged we demonstrated this agreement in case studies. We showed that on even divisive issues such as guns, abortion, and taxes, most people will agree on core values most of the time. We posited that this agreement on values probably extended to other issues.

We eagerly awaited a broader study.

And then we got one!

Read More
Comment