Values

Truth, Justice, Reality.

It's time to change the way we think and talk about politics in America. It’s time to turn away from rigid ideologies and toward the principles of truth, justice, and reality.

 

The problem being addressed here is the increasing polarization of American politics. The “party line,” once an innocuous observation of trends, has morphed into a paralyzing dogma that is not to be questioned under any circumstances. Those who tow the line are in constant competition to adhere more strictly than their peers, while those who cross it are branded traitorous enemies of freedom, prosperity, et cetera.

 

That dogma is turning American politics into an us-versus-them affair, rather than a team sport. It causes us to look for ways to defeat the opposite party, rather than looking for ways to cooperate with them. It’s a zero-sum game approach to governing that is simply not compatible with democracy, and it’s an insult to our nation’s collective dignity. We play a paramount role as the world’s foremost example of a great democracy, and there’s no reason we need to stand for a system that doesn’t live up to that title.

 

As a nation, we have settled into this system without fully realizing its perils. Rather than evaluating a problem and analyzing its possible solutions in a reasonable and unbiased way, the party line pushes us to react in the extreme. This is not a viable way to solve problems, as the appropriate response to a situation rarely lies in the extremes. When faced with a choice, it’s easy to snap to a predetermined answer without stopping to ask: does this make sense?

 

It's time to bring this important question back to the fore of political discourse. When looking at issues through this lens, one will rarely hear such trite buzzwords as “patriotic,” “opportunity,” or “American dream.” The reason is simple: these concepts, while fundamentally important to our national identity, have become cliché. They are overused in today’s discussions to the point that they risk losing their meaning, and worse still, they are often used to distract from the real issues at hand.

 

Instead, this approach focuses on the reality of the issues, and advocates putting the facts on display for all to judge. It aims to create well-informed people, and well-informed people solve problems well. Knowledge really is power, and when we arm ourselves with the facts, we have the power to make smart choices in difficult situations.

 

Unfortunately, straight facts can be hard to come by. Our country’s strong political poles have a tendency of bending facts to fit their purpose, and these distorted facts can easily be mistaken for the real thing. When this happens, a new question arises: how can we address a challenge without knowing the reality of what we’re up against? The simple answer is that we can’t; while we have the capacity to make correct choices, we can’t do it without the right tools.

 

That is why, perhaps more than anything else, this approach is dedicated to the truth. The beauty of this guiding principle is that it applies to every situation and every issue. The truth is a real thing that exists, and even when it can’t be readily found, the path that leads us towards it will always be the path that leads us toward the right course of action. It will be the path that leads America toward a glorious future as a global beacon of liberty, equality, and democracy.

__________

 

This approach appreciates democracy for what it is: not a mere competition, but an opportunity to get the best of both worlds in any situation. It prescribes a healthy dose of critical thinking as the solution to most of life’s woes, and holds knowledge as the fuel that will propel us towards a prosperous future. That future is within our reach because we prize the values of pragmatism over stubbornness, reality over convenience, and truthfulness over all.

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©2018 Eli Beckman. All rights reserved.

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