All posts in Politics

You are who your record says you are

“You are who your record says you are,” is a famous quote from football coach Bill Parcells. It should be applied to all aspects of your life. This is not to say that people cannot change and they are bound by or should be judged by past behavior. It is to say that you should judge someone on their deeds not their words or what they want you to think about them. If you want to change your behavior from your past behavior then your current deeds will reflect that. We can apply it to relationships for example and it

Faith and Epistemology

Out of the blue my friend asked me “What do you think of faith and epistemology?” He was an old friend who I hadn’t seen in a few years and we were having a pleasant lunch together. In his youth he had earned a master’s degree in philosophy before turning to a 35 year career as a middle and high school teacher. We were both seeking to exercise our intellectual chops as we hadn’t done so for a while. By faith he meant belief system and by epistemology he meant an investigation of our knowledge of what is true or false.

Thoughts in the Time of Trump

Before the presidential election a few months ago I mused about whether it is more upsetting to live in a country where Donald Trump was president or in a country where people would elect a Donald Trump to office. I have decided that it is the latter. The election of Donald Trump reveals that my fellow citizens are not only desperate, racist, and selfish, but they are incredibly ignorant of how things work in America. I am not talking about the 1% who have a rational interest in Trump because he will protect and advance their interests. The ideological conservatives

Health Care: Private or Public Good?

The narrow approval of the House of Representatives to repeal the ACA and replace it with a new health care act that will ultimately leave millions without health insurance, is an act so callous and cruel that I struggle to understand why the congresspeople did it. A New York Times editorial savages it: (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/opinion/obamacare-house-vote.html?smid=tw-share ) Yes there is a large money saving element to it and it will probably pay for a tax cut that will benefit the wealthy most. However that is not all there is to it. The conservative argument is based on the idea that health care is

Why Trump’s Ignorance Matters and Why it Doesn’t

Every day it seems that Donald J. Trump reveals some new level of ignorance that boggles the mind. Each day it may be ignorance or misunderstanding of history, the Constitution, diplomacy, the workings of government, non-whites, grammar, the presidency, or the majority of the American people. Liberals gloat and point out his shortcomings while his supporters stoutly defend him from those elitists who rely on so-called facts or science. They say his critics get too hung up on of the literal meaning of his words or that he gets a date or fact wrong, while it is his policies that

“Nobody’s Blues Are Like Mine”

All around us we see people playing the game of “Comparative Deprivation.” Its signature meme is “Those people don’t have it as bad as (fill in the blank here.)” Some conservatives for example like to point out that poverty in the United States is not “real” poverty such as in underdeveloped countries.  American “poor” have refrigerators and televisions unlike say all those Syrian refugees. On Facebook recently I entered a conversation when someone mentioned an old quote from sociologist Orlando Patterson that he made in a New York Times op-ed piece defending Clarence Thomas in 1991. He said, “[America] is

Trump’s Obamacare “Victory”

The survival of Obamacare rather than a loss for Trump may be the best thing that has happened to him so far. The pundits (the same ones that have been wrong about Trump before) are spinning this as a political failure, the inability of the “master of the the art of the deal” to be able to get his own party in line,  or a civil war within the Republican party. If we look at this from the perspective of a Trump supporter it changes the narrative that most liberals and progressives have of his presidency. For Trump supporters Trump

Message to Trump Supporters

I know it is early but here are some questions Trump supporters should ask regularly. “How will this improve my life?” He cannot get rid of corrupt politicians because you have re-elected them. His bans on immigrants do not keep you safer because few immigrants commit crimes against Americans. Immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. Immigrants didn’t take your job automation did and will continue to do so. The few jobs he prevented going abroad (and there is great controversy over how many that is and whether he had anything to do with it) do not mean

Where do we go from here?

The marches and demonstrations against Trump have been successful and they should continue, but what else should we do. If the outpouring of concern stops with the marches we will not have effectively resisted Trump. Remember the Occupy movement. We must take continued action to either rebuild the Democratic Party to get back to its FDR concerns for the common man, or we need to build a new party that will. As our guiding vision I think we need to go back to Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. preached concern for others and standing up for what you

Could MLK’s Methods Work in the Time of Trump

Martin Luther King would have been 88 years old this year. Next year will mark 50 years since he left us. We should ask are his methods and strategies still the right ones? King was a man of great optimism and faith in human beings. His strategy reveals that. King’s method had two components. The first was an appeal to white moderates. His tactic was to bring the violence inherent in systems of oppression down upon himself and fellow demonstrators, to make it visible. Such examples of undeserved suffering and dramatization of the problem, would convince people to make a change. Those