Tagged: Democracy

Public Advocacy and Hypocrisy

I saw a headline from Fox News (where else?) declaring that Mark Levin — former “conservative radio firebrand,” now Republican establishment populist for cash — has said that Joe Biden is the closest thing to a dictator that America has ever had. That’s rich, coming from a man who, just five years ago, publicly sold his soul and his former Tea Party audience...

On the Politicians

Can one be a successful politician without actively giving up the higher spiritual pursuits? That is, can one pursue a political career — in which effectiveness is built on the appearance of certainty, the rejection of doubts, and the reduction of all matters to action, agreement, and funding — without forsaking the love of the beautiful, the longing for truth, and the quest...

The Meaning of Life

Meaning is definition. The meaning of life is therefore essentially the definition of life. Hence, the search for the meaning of life is a search for a definition that will tell us what we are really doing when we live, or (if we believe in freedom of the will) what we ought to be doing. I emphasize the point that meaning is definition...

Thoughts On Populist Politics

Modern politicians smile for the cameras because they want to look normal and like “one of the people.” When they smile — at nothing, as a pose, to present themselves as smilers — they look like idiots who do not take life or politics seriously. Hence, they achieve their end perfectly: They look eminently normal. They look exactly like “the people.” Today’s political...

Two Things to Wonder At

What was the democratic world fifteen months ago? Clearly, it was not what it appeared to be, even to the most hardened skeptics and cynics. It is one thing to believe, as the skeptics and cynics did at that time, that most men, if push came to shove, would choose comfort over freedom, and would succumb to promises of security at the expense...

Democracy and Community

A society in which the great mass of the population has no shared idea of what human life is supposed to be is not a community. If that social division includes fundamental disagreements about the proper relationship between citizen and government, then the society is in faction. If, in turn, this political divide consists of one or more large parties seeking to use...

What I Vote For

Every election season, anywhere in the global arena of election-based politics, we are invited to reconsider our basic democratic principles, by which I mean the premises and purposes according to which we determine our own voting preferences. Thus, as the two or three hundred American voters who have not already cast their ballots prepare to head to their polling stations on November 3rd,...

Joke of the Day (Courtesy of Senator Lee)

Utah senator Mike Lee, one of those Republicans who for a few minutes looked like a relatively serious man of principle in a political environment utterly dismissive of both seriousness and principle, has yet again displayed his essential triviality, as is all too typical among those “principled conservatives” who have allowed themselves to get sucked down the Trump drain over the past four...

Government By Lawyers

Reading Senator Ted Cruz’s latest mealy-mouthed lies on behalf of his owners, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, this time regarding the supposed “historical precedent” of McConnell’s hypocrisy in rushing to confirm Trump’s supreme court nominee weeks before an election, I found myself returning to the question we have all asked ourselves at one time or another: Why are so many politicians in the...

On Comfort and Freedom

In my “Impolitic Reflections,” I noted Plato’s antagonism toward democracy, rooted in his presumption that the majority of men will always have appetitive natures, and therefore be unfit to direct a city that wishes to be just and wise. For this reason, I explained, he has his Socrates argue that in founding a good city, “you would never place any of its decision-making...