In a perfect world our elected representatives would sit down with each other, craft laws that help society and, when they don't work, fix what is wrong with them.
Politics is theater. The more emotionally involved people become in the story the closer they pay attention and the more they care. If anything the shutdown and debt ceiling fight gained a lot of press and campaign donations for a score of politicians. Bill Clinton recently mentioned that politically speaking conflict is a good thing, maybe not for the nation, but for rallying people to the polls.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed to produce stable democracies. Both nations are less stable and the common people there arguably worse off now than before our interventions. Americans are rightfully angry about the monetary, physical and emotional costs of these wars especially considering the outcomes.
In an attempt to reform education, we are moving toward more intense scrutiny of teachers. This makes sense, as teachers are the largest factor behind a child's learning while in the classroom. Unfortunately, the way it is being done, with yet more testing, will only work to destroy teachers' morale while further replacing instruction days with testing days.
At CPAC, Rand Paul announced that the Facebook generation is ready for the message of freedom. He is absolutely right, but does the Republican Party really understand how most of the Facebook generation view Republican policies relating to freedom?
Birth control access can cut abortion rates
Research into a variety of issues has saved lived countless lives. Obviously medical research saves lives but research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saves lives too. This agency receives about $62 million per year researching ways to reduce traffic fatalities and has succeeded. Vehicle-related deaths are lower now than they were in 1979, when there were fewer drivers on the road.
Humans are inspired to act by emotion. Often we'll even emotionally decide an issue and then rationalize "logical" reasons for our decision. Emotions are powerful motivators; they help us feel alive, but they can blind us.
Every industrialized nation recognizes that to remain competitive, it must have an educated population and therefore invest heavily in higher education. Our system of supporting higher education has caused us to push students away from studying mathematics and science, left us facing a debt bubble and has become a drain on economic recovery.
The Pew Forum recently found that 1 in 5 people claim no religion. There is a growing diversity of worldviews in this nation. In our present political landscape there is much distrust between "values voters" and secularists. Open communication is going to be all the more important for our democracy to survive. I hope to explain why many secularists find "values voting" worrisome.
There has been some debate as to whether or not universal health care is Constitutional. The courts for their part upheld the key points of Obamacare.
Comparing the United States to the Roman Empire is quite fashionable. It's also warranted.
April is both Confederate History Month and the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. We are still dealing with racial and class inequalities that the legacy of slavery left us with. Since April marks both historic events, let us use this time to discuss that legacy.
America has a long history of persecuting non-Protestants. We all know of the Plymouth Colony founded by the Pilgrims in 1620. Few people are aware of the Merry Mount Colony established in 1624.
The political fight around climate change and carbon emissions is intense. Yet our economy is tied to oil. Though our economy slows when the price of oil goes up, our very economic stability relies on the world's dependence on oil.