introduction

DC skyline

“Politics is not an end, but a means. It is not a product, but a process. It is the art of government. Like other values it has its counterfeits. So much emphasis has been placed upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service.”

-Calvin Coolidge

 

The political landscape of the United States today is one of bitterly divided partisan conflict.  More than just a struggle for the next election, this division represents a divergence of ideologies, two very different visions for what the future of our country might look like.  These platforms are not arbitrary designations; they take their form from the beliefs, values, and priorities of the constituencies they represent.  It would seem surprising, then, that at a time of such fierce debate over our national direction, the interest of the average individual continues to wane.  With the notable exception of the 2008 presidential election, voter turnout in the United States has been on a steady decline over the past 50 years.  As our government takes a hard look at its role in the 21st century, more than half of the nation seems content to abstain from the conversation.

The reasons for such a low opinion of politics in this country are myriad and not always ill-founded, and they would make for an interesting discussion in and of themselves.  The aim of this blog, though, is to examine the cultural attitudes and agendas behind our public policy.  As individuals, we all have beliefs regarding the importance of ideals like freedom and economic prosperity, social justice and human worth.  As social creatures, we must recognize that very few vehicles can further or hamper these ideas to the same extent as the guidelines we set as a society.  Rules and regulations do not exist in a vacuum; they have the potential to enact very real harm or benefit on real people.  This is why no person, if they are at all concerned for the welfare of themselves or others around them, can truly say that they are apolitical.  Policy sets the framework within which our lives unfold, and it follows, then, that individuals of conscience should seek to understand and influence it to the fullest extent possible.

There will be a component to this blog that is deeply personal.  I hope that it will serve as a tool to help me refine and focus my thoughts and concerns on our national discourse.  But more than that, I hope that it will enhance in some small way awareness of what is transpiring in our nation today.  My desire is that people would better understand the complexities of problems that we face, the implications of attitudes we espouse, and the impact of actions that we take.  I believe that this will lead to more informed contributions not only every other November, but in the conversations we participate in and social attitudes we enforce as we go about our daily lives.

 

 

 

As a bit of an aside, I intend to write both about persistent problems we face as a society or culture and about specific legislative agendas as they emerge.  If, however, you have a specific subject that you would be particularly interested in seeing, by all means drop me a line.

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Comments
3 Responses to “introduction”
  1. Rachel says:

    Great thoughts! I am now a subscriber.

    I have a book for you, if you are interested. “Myth of a Christian Nation.” (Gregory Boyd)
    I think you would like it.

    Oh, and I wish that we still went to school together so that we could have discussions like we used to!

    Tell your beautiful wife I say, “hello.”

    • N. Asher says:

      Thanks Rachel, I’m glad to hear you approve.

      I read through the Amazon blurb about that book, and it looks pretty interesting. I think I’ll check it out during one of our few lulls in schooling.

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