I’m looking for a political party to represent my interests in the coming decade. The successful candidate will be moderately conservative, but with a demonstrated commitment to the working and middle class electorate. That party will exhibit fiscal responsibility, but recognize education and healthcare are American rights, climate change is an existential threat to humanity, extreme economic inequality is bad national tax policy, and political compromise is a cornerstone of any healthy democracy.
The Trump Party meets none of my criteria; its stock-in-trade is exploiting hatred and division; it demonstrates a thoroughly authoritarian character in its contempt for truth, the rule of law, and democratic institutions as sacred as the right to vote. At the same time as best I can tell the traditional Republican Party, of which I was a proud and loyal member for most of my adult life, has ceased to exist except as a historical brand name. Regardless, neither entity offers consistent, coherent, or even fact-based policy proposals.
Only the Democratic Party under President Biden’s leadership currently comes close to meeting my views of rational US governance in the 21st century. But we need a healthy political counterbalance to challenge any governing majority and help keep extreme ideology in check. Our democracy cannot survive with only one fully functional political party; we must have another, or better yet, two other viable parties actively participating in the political process offering well considered alternative visions and ideas; otherwise political excesses and chaos are inevitable.
If someone is considering starting a new political party that generally endorses my criteria, but can add some counterbalance to and compromise with the Democrats, count me in.
With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg the most divisive element of this already divisive presidential election is likely to be the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to replace RBG on the Supreme Court.
During President Trump’s press conference earlier today, I heard him badly mispronounce vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ name. I am wondering if any of his supporters can tell me whether he is suffering some cognitive impairment or if he was just being hateful and misogynistic.
Factfulness – Hans Rosling
The entire focus of this book is on demonstrating through publicly available statistical data that the condition of the world is much better than people think; further, that it is continuing to improve.
Surviving Autocracy – Masha Gessen
Masha Gessen, is a Russian-American journalist, author, and activist who is an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin as well as President Donald Trump. He holds dual citizenship and has lived the political reality in both countries under both presidents. He currently lives in New York.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men – Caroline Criado Perez
This book should be required reading for every male before he can get a drivers license or register to vote.
The author is a British writer, broadcaster, and feminist activist. In this volume she documents gender inequality and its root causes worldwide. She makes the case that a massive data gap exists between the assumed “default human” (an average male) on which the whole world has been built since the beginning of human history and the reality that the “atypical” (or female) half of the population’s uniqueness is generally ignored.
A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me to comment on an article in Time titled “How Jay Powell’s Coronavirus Response Is Changing the Fed Forever”. It is a discussion of the expansion of the Fed activities as they relate to our current economic crisis. You can read the original article at the following link:
The past couple of weeks seem to have awakened white Americans to the reality of systemic racism in our law enforcement community. Nationwide protests have erupted after four police officers literally murdered a handcuffed black man while bystanders were pleading for officers to stop their assault on him. With clear video of the murder, there is new hope and growing consensus that this time may be different. I desperately hope that is true. But there is a substantial difference between hope and expectation.
I am sure some Americans, especially younger ones, are wondering how to interpret what is happening in our country with all the rioting, looting, and burning of our cities. We have been here before in the 1960s and sporadically on smaller scales since. So as a person who lived through the worst of those earlier times I offer my perspective, especially for my younger readers.
Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn – Chris Hughes
Chris Hughes is one of the founders of Facebook. Through his own experience he came to conclude that hard work mixed with a very large measure of pure luck can produce a few ultra-wealthy individuals nearly overnight. He believes that the same forces that made Facebook possible, however, make it harder for everyone else in America to make ends meet. I read this book when it was first published a couple of years ago; I decided to re-visit and reconsider his perspective in light of the our current economic reality.