Friday, August 23, 2019

52 Weeks | 52 Posts

Greetings kind reader, and welcome to the election year. With just a little more than 52 weeks until the 2020 presidential election, the media will be endeavoring with full vigor to sway the casting of votes in favor of one candidate or another. They will try to tantalize us with high drama videos and titillate us with sensational headlines and provocative soundbites. Nowhere in their reporting will they strive to educate their audiences on the issues at hand. Nor in most of the classrooms across our nation will the principles underpinning the social and political topics of the day be thoroughly explored.

Our sociopolitical discourse is reduced to assertions like those that follow: If you're not for universal healthcare, you want grandma to die. If you're not for border controls, you want cartel members to wreak the havoc of drugs and violence on our communities.

Politicians of both parties and the media have created an endless number of zero-sum propositions, based not on philosophy and fact but on fear and ignorance. To maintain and grow their control over the lives of the citizens, they count on the short attention spans of We the People. They know that most of us haven't picked up a book after completing formal education, be it high school or some form of higher education. That observation is not meant to be an indictment on the citizenry, but rather an unfortunate reality that keeps the People under the ever-increasing control of the government.

Recall the old joke. Q: Which is worse: ignorance or apathy? A: I don't know, and I don't care.

It is no longer a joke. It is a tragic fact of life.

In his book, "Democracy in America," Alexis de Tocqueville observed that Americans, across the social strata, were remarkably well informed and well educated. The Founders knew this to be the key factor to the success of the republic. I firmly believe that such well informed self-governance is still possible. Now, more than ever, it is the essential requirement for the health of our republic and the reclamation of our Liberty.

Because we all have busy lives and because I am a realist, I know that most people cannot devote the time to reading de Tocqueville or Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations," Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics," Kant's "Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals," Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws," or any number of other works from antiquity and the Enlightenment that formed our social contract. Because I have no life (hahaha), I have read them.

In the weeks to come, I hope you will join me in not-too-time-consuming analyses of issues that hang in the balance of the upcoming election. I will look at one topic per week, and I will offer for your intellectual stimulation and your learned consideration my perspective on each topic. I will do my best to build a philosophical framework for each issue and to paint a picture of the practical implications thereof. I will enthusiastically welcome your comments, which will enrich the learning experience for all of us.

I invite you to share my blog with others, especially if you enjoy (what seems, in these times, to be a dangerous pursuit) engagement in political discourse with others. So, let us let go of the notions of left and right. Let us open our minds to the desires we share for our common humanity.

-Publius

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