Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Posts Tagged ‘self-restraint

“A Republic, Madam…If You Can Keep It”

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As it usually does, David Brooks’ column caught my attention this week.  Examining the nature of democracy, Brooks concludes that the most recent battles over the debt and deficit in Washington will not yield fruitful outcomes absent a reversion to republican (small-r) politics. Brooks expounds upon this by labeling our current democracy the “politics of solipsism.” “The [current] political culture encourages politicians and activists to imagine that the country’s problems would be solved if other people’s interests and values magically disappeared.” Instead, he says, we need a true leadership class, of the kind that existed “as late as the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations,” to balance interests and passions. Read the rest of this entry »


Self-Governance and the Expansive View of Politics

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Normally I do not put much stock in political polling, especially on deep policy issues after politicians on both sides of the aisle demagogue political talking points with the American people.  However, this recent poll on the front page of The New York Times certainly caught my attention.  Although the poll includes policy-oriented questions, it also includes emotive questions and shows that nearly 70% of Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track; meanwhile, disapproval of President Obama’s handling of the economy has never been higher—57% of Americans.  The poll concludes: “Americans are more pessimistic about the nation’s economic outlook and overall direction than they have been at any time since President Obama’s first two months in office, when the country was still officially ensnared in the Great Recession.”  Read the rest of this entry »