Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Sal Paradise Was Right — But He Doesn't Have To Be

Written by Steve Pierce on . Posted in Uncategorized

“There are nights when I think that Sal Paradise was right / Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together.”  — Craig Finn, The Hold Steady

This blog is about important things — or at least I hope it will be.

I am one of those deluded souls who still think politics and public policy matter. I’m not naive. I understand that Washington is broken. I understand that our political conversation has been bankrupted by extremism on the left and right, powered largely by hyper-partisan blowhards on agenda-driven cable “news” networks. I realize why people have so much reason to despair — things are bad, and there’s not always much reason to believe they’ll get better any time soon.

I get all that, but I guess I just disagree. Call me crazy, but I believe that ultimately, even in our darkest hour, cooler heads can and will prevail. We have the ability to come together and solve hard problems — that’s what America has always been about. And sure, the problems we face today are certainly some of the toughest we’ve seen, but they’re also no more difficult than facing down a genocidal maniac hellbent on conquering the world.

We’ve seen worse. We’ve overcome worse.

Maybe the difference this time is that the problems come from within. This time we’ve got to vanquish our own demons and overcome ourselves. Again, this isn’t the first time this has happened — the civil rights movement comes readily to mind — but that doesn’t mean it’s not discouraging.

Over the next few years, we’ll have to grapple with a rash of difficult policy decisions that will define the future of our nation, and a toxic political climate to boot. To be certain, there will be plenty who will spend that time screaming rather than providing productive ideas. I refuse to be one of them.

And I guess, at it’s core, that’s what this blog is about — adding another sane, reasonable voice to the conversation, regardless of partisanship or ideology.

I am, admittedly, to the slight left of center on the political spectrum. I believe in capitalism, but I also believe that markets can be flawed. I believe there is a proper place for government in contemporary American society, but I also believe that role should be performed in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

But, most of all, I believe in America — who we are and who we can be. Sure, we may have our moments. We may yell at each other a lot. We may pay the Glenn Becks and Keith Olbermanns of the world entirely too handsomely for their unique brand of poison. But at the end of the day, regardless of all the hoopla that so often permeates our political climate, I believe the moderate majority of Americans (and, by extension, our elected representatives) will rise above the distractions and make the tough decisions necessary to move this country forward.

I have to believe that — because our history of doing so is far too long to be ignored and the alternative is far too grim.

Indeed, there are times when I think that Jack Kerouac’s Sal Paradise was right. Here in America, we do share some sad times — and this may well be one of them. But it hasn’t always been and it won’t always be that way. Together, we will figure it out. Things will get better, and this will continue to be the greatest and more prosperous country in the world.

That process starts with more than 300 million voices — including your voice and my voice. It starts with our decision to be reasonable and productive, to generate real ideas and share them in a respectful manner that can produce compromise and progress. It’s my prayer that this little blog can play some infinitesimally small part in that. I hope it can serve as a catalyst for stimulating thought and discussion amongst those who read it — and that you keep coming back for more.

After all, Sal Paradise may be right — but he doesn’t have to be.

POLITICS: Our Boy Brown Won Boston Town!

Written by Jess Jones on . Posted in Politics

Scott Brown

Call everyone! Teddy gave his seat up to a Republican! It’s sad to see there will actually have to be discussion again on the senate floor about issues like health care. I wonder how such a thing could happen. After all, the Democratic nominee, Martha Coakley, was ahead by large margins only a few weeks ago. Now she’s going back home with nothing but a “better-luck-next-time” and the reputation of being the first Democratic nominee to lose a senate seat for Massachusetts in the past three decades.

Now you might blame bad campaigning or whatever else, but in the end, is there a hidden message in this little turn of events? I don’t think it’ll be quite as challenging for the Senate to understand the hint, but hopefully they’ll get it: We don’t like the changes that are happening. The White House claims that the misdoings of their agenda has been merely “bad communication” to the American people. You’re right, Obama, because we would have never voted for you if we knew you were going to try and fundamentally alter American society within a year’s time.

Obama and his crony gang that is running both the Senate and House are sitting in office as the embodiment of an attitude of entitlement and welfare that has developed in America. I’m all for helping others out, but the attitude that government should provide all is nothing more than a virus that will corrode the bedrock of our founding. So perhaps the guilty party includes you and me. Thankfully, we seem to be waking up slowly and realizing we want change, but not at the price Obama is quoting us.

Whatever implications this has on party reactions and preparations for the 2010 election year is still hard to say. Democrats may take measures to reach out more to the people and work to address the job crisis in their states instead of pushing solely on the health care issue. Or perhaps they’ll just remain out of touch with their constituencies long enough for a changing of the guard. Who knows? For now, it’s just nice to see that in even the heartiest camps of liberal delusion, common sense still holds sway. Welcome to Washington, Senator Brown!

Jess Jones is a conservative political columnist for Rhombus. We welcome him back from his eight-year vacation.

COLUMN: The Collage Of Thought

Written by Jess Jones on . Posted in Politics

We here at Rhombus would like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest contributor, Jess Jones. Serving as our resident conservative political columnist, I believe Jess will bring the same fair, thoughtful tone to his columns that he does to his life. Though he and I may not agree on everything, I respect his ability to state what he believes and why he believes it. That quality is rare in our political discussion, and I hope you will appreciate and enjoy his candor and sincerity as I have.  — Steve Pierce, Editor

For those of you who have been frequenting this website and reading the posts of many of my colleagues, this will hopefully be the first of many articles that I contribute to Rhombus Magazine. I, like many people, am not an expert at writing, nor am I completely omniscient and logical. My articles will be written from my point of view with an effort to provoke thoughts and ideas for the reader to consider.

As I interact more and more with those around me and discuss the current issues in our society, it’s apparent that there are a wide variety of opinions and ideas for solving the distresses in which we currently find ourselves. My hope is not to plague my column with indoctrination of a conservative with the illusion of converting you to “The Right Wing Conspiracy”; rather, my hope is that you, as I have, begin to consider the issues for yourself and make educated opinions which you can defend and share with others. (I would be delighted if your ideas were posted to my articles.)

I myself, despite my current affiliation with the Republican Party, feel that America’s greatness resides outside of it’s dual-party system. If you take a closer look there is a myriad of differing factions within both parties: Flaming liberals, right-wing nut jobs, and more moderates than you could count. The important matter isn’t which side of the aisle you stand on, it’s how you make your decisions (be they right or wrong); but it’s that you make them for yourselves.

You may think of me as a moderate. Just know that I believe in a strong national defense, powerful states, and personal accountability and responsibility. I love America because it represents a nation where men and women have forged their greatness by their own devices. Our Legacy has been one of united discord, allowing free thought to achieve a common purpose, “A more perfect union.”

I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you and hope that we can consider these topics rationally and create a better awareness of the times in which we live.

Jess Jones is a conservative political columnist for Rhombus. This is his first post.