In democracy, freedom reigns and citizens pursue the desires of their hearts without fear. Everything that you want, you may pursue. Although you might fall short, pursue you still may. This freedom is not, however, complete. Pursuits of citizens must at some basic level be compatible with each other. Pursuits are not as acceptable that … Continue reading You Say You Want a Revolution?
A common reason people will give for not voting is that they don't feel that their vote matters. And, as individuals, it really doesn't matter that much. It only matters when groups of people collectively decide whether or not to vote that really changes an election outcome. So your vote matters to the extent that … Continue reading Voting Efficacy and a Personal Connection to God
The so-called "paradox of voting" is that since there is (just about) no way that any of us will ever, ever, ever be the deciding vote in an election, that it is a little bit weird that we vote at all. Voting produces government office-holders, but our own personal, individual vote could be subtracted out … Continue reading Why Vote?
Last time, I argued that human beings are equal in an ethical sort of way: they are equal in terms of the dignity that all humans deserve to be treated with. Next I would like to add a few words on what it is about human beings that gives them this special dignity. A couple common answers … Continue reading Human Equality, Part 2
Well, I have a new (my first) article out in the latest issue of Political Research Quarterly. The subject of the article is John Locke's understanding of human equality. I plan on writing at least a couple of blog posts on the major ideas from the article, which I would like to make as accessible … Continue reading Human Equality, Part 1
This week I will be presenting a chapter from my dissertation on John Dewey at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. I will be summarizing the problem Dewey sees with Christianity, why it should be abandoned, and what can potentially happen in terms of democratic progress once it is abandoned. I conclude … Continue reading Dewey on how Religion Corrupts Our Democracy
The Western cannon offers many arguments that reason and free will in particular set human beings apart from other species and make politics possible. These powers help explain why other species are not political (save the interesting exception of bees). A perennial political difficulty, however, is that powers need not be exercised. Powers, or faculties, … Continue reading Why Reasonableness Matters for Political Freedom
What is religion? I have to deal with this question because my dissertation is about the desire for immortality in the liberal tradition. Basically, when you're talking about a desire to live on after the unavoidable death of your body (immortality), you're getting into religion. There is not physical proof that anyone lives on after … Continue reading Religion and the Desire for Immortality
Graham is the senior senator from South Carolina, < 1% in national polls, and I'm finishing a Ph.D. in political science applying for academic jobs. So why am I doing this?
About a month ago I posted 5 Reasons to Get Political. I've been really pleased with the response to that post. It turns out a suspicion of mine was correct -- that many people want to get political, but feel like it isn't their thing -- that they wouldn't be good at it, or might embarrass themselves. … Continue reading Should We Be Citizens or Radicals?