If we can’t disagree with each other productively, we’ve already lost

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Most of us believe in the power of government of, by, and for the people.

We are actively undermining that power with the advice to “never talk politics or religion in polite company.” If we can’t discuss important issues like politics and religion among polite company, we avoid practicing the very skill that is required to create the kind of people that can manage a democracy.

When we ban politics and religion from polite company, we we are overtly relegating them to impolite company.

Avoiding disagreement ignores our responsibility to become the type of citizenry that is able to discuss and decide and debate. We will never be that people until we start trying to become that people: through deliberation we become better able to deliberate. …

Why the significant reforms proposed by Democratic presidential candidates are justified and necessary.

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American voters are in the process of deciding who will take on Donald Trump and his Republican Party in this November’s election. The Democrats running for this privilege are putting forth proposal after proposal, sparking concern among some: why change the system? Isn’t it working?

The economy is, in fact, booming. Using the metrics economists use to track economies, the US is experiencing significant success. This is an undeniable fact.

There’s another fact, though, that voters need to keep in mind: Americans die younger, live sicker, and get worse education than residents of comparatively wealthy countries.

This juxtaposition of healthy economic numbers and poor measurable outcomes is due in part to the way our system is organized. While stocks are persistently high, very few Americans actually benefit from the boom. A majority of Americans live with deep financial instability, living paycheck-to-paycheck and remaining unable to set aside money for unexpected emergencies. …

The GOP has controlled the United States House and Senate for most of 2017. During that time, they have tried to pass deeply unpopular pieces of legislation.

Their take on healthcare was “the most unpopular bill in three decades” (significantly more unpopular than the infamous 2009 TARP bank bailouts). Their tax reform bill is similarly unpopular as it is currently being hurried through the final stages of a secretive legislative process requiring handwritten edits before passage through the Senate:

Trumpcare was almost universally recognized as abjectly terrible legislation. The tax reform bill is also quite shoddy work, with conservative tax experts aghast at the content of the bill and the process by which it is being…


Jeff Swift

PhD in Communication, Rhetoric, & Digital Media. Democracy junkie. Father of three.

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