How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
— William Shakespeare, The Tempest
I’ve just finished reading Brave New World (when I say “reading’, I really mean listening to on Audible). Written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley, Brave New World was one of the first dystopian novels, a genre that has gain much popularity in the 21st century, and for good reason.
Independence Day offers us reason to celebrate and to reflect what it means to be free. Looking to the revolutionary times of the late 18th century, we see a society where, for the first time in human history, the “common man” came to seize power from his aristocratic oppressors. Today though, we should be looking beyond the “common man”. We should all be uncommon.
“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.”
Winston S. Churchill
A few years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that said something that stuck in my mind firmer than the sticker was attached to the bumper. It said ‘Don’t Always Believe What You Think’. Philosophers call this concept “Intellectual Humility”. This type of humility acknowledges the limitations of our knowledge. It calls on us to challenge our own beliefs and, in doing so, places the surviving beliefs on firmer ground.
Last month marked the 8 year anniversary of the Tea Party movement (TPM). One of the remarkable characteristics about the movement that has been largely overlooked is the role of women. From its beginning, the Tea Party was largely a women-led movement.
“American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.”
This month, we are witnessing one of the most important rituals of American democracy: the confirmation hearing of a United States Supreme Court nominee. This process has evolved over the past few decades, particularly since the failed nomination of Judge Bork. The contentiousness has reached embarrassing levels. Like most modern political practices, we continue to battle over nominees much as our forefathers did, but we do it in a way that shows little regard for the character and qualifications of the nominee.
Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “Drain the swamp” has successfully placed him in the Oval Office. But what exactly is the swamp, and how does one go about draining it?
The commonly accepted definition of the “swamp”, and the one Trump alludes to, is the career, political elite of Washington, D.C., who are in essence tenured legislators. This career, political class is seen as an entrenched, corrupt, blackguard of the status quo, a semi-permanent legislative body that stands between the people, their rights, and a just government. I contend that these entrenched politicians are not in fact, “THE swamp”; rather they merely reflect the dominant ideas of our culture. I would argue that these career politicians are merely a surface layer, and the real depth of the swamp lies somewhere else.
The Democrats and Republicans are virtually united in their moral base, that is, the pinnacle of virtue for both parties is altruism, the morality which preaches the sacrifice of the individual self for “others”. They sometimes differ on which individuals should be sacrificed, and quibble over the level of sacrifice, but they both fundamentally believe in the moral duty of being “thy brother’s keeper”.
After the election, I spoke with a person from the other side of the aisle who asked what I would be doing now that the Tea Party’s mission was over. He was under the impression, probably gathered from fake news stories, that the Tea Party’s mission was just to oppose Barack Obama. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Tea Party Movement is a grass roots response to the corruption, and incompetence, we have seen at every level of government. The Worcester Tea Party is an incorporated non-profit dedicated to education focusing on economics and politics. As an educational organization, those that accepted a leadership roles are given the title of Deans. The treasurer of our organization is our Bursar. Previous leaders of our organization that have retired from most active duties are Senior Fellows. The guidance and counsel of our Senior Fellows is very important to our organization. I have the honor of being the President of the Worcester Tea Party. The President is the spokes person and evangelist for the group and I help out in any other way I can.