The Rationalist Papers (4): Is Joe Biden a socialist?

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Donald Trump has called Joe Biden a “Trojan horse for socialism” and constantly denigrates “Democrats and their socialist agenda.” Socialism, as a political term, is toxic in America — many moderates and conservatives would rather die than vote for a socialist. So let’s examine what socialism actually is, and whether Joe Biden and Kamala Harris … Continued

The Rationalist Papers (3): Is democracy really in danger?

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This is the most consequential election of our lifetimes. But we hear that before every election. Is this really the election that could end democracy in America, or is that just hyperbole? In this post I’ll show in what ways this election could threaten democracy, why it matters, and what you should do about it. … Continued

The Rationalist Papers (2): three ways to look at the election

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How do you decide who to vote for? I see three ways people are deciding: policy, team loyalty, and trust. Just a reminder: these posts are for the group I call the deciders: conservatives, moderates, undecided, and third-party voters considering their choices in the 2020 US Presidential election. Choosing based on policy In a traditional … Continued

On the Supreme Court, Mitch McConnell’s pretzel logic

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there’s a reason why it’s okay to push through confirming a Supreme Court Justice now, just before the election, and it wasn’t when Barack Obama nominated a Justice in his last year as president. Let’s examine his justification and see if there’s any way it makes logical sense. The … Continued

Could ranked choice voting save us from the “least objectionable candidate?”

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In Maine, you’re now allowed to indicate your second choice on your ballot — and with “ranked choice voting,” your second choice might make the difference in who is elected. We’re considering it in Massachusetts, too. Let’s take a look at how ranked choice voting works, and how it might save us from elections with … Continued

Separation, division, and unity — reflecting on 9-11

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This is the story of my experience before, during, and after 9-11 — and how it still affects me 19 years later in this once again fraught moment. My story starts on September 1, 2001. I had hired a construction company to replace 120 feet of water, sewer, and gas pipes leading to my house … Continued

On “losers” — and whether John McCain was one

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Of course John McCain was a loser. He ran for president and he lost. Ergo, he was a loser. But that’s not what Trump means when he talks about McCain being a loser. He’s talking about military service in which you were captured or otherwise failed. And that’s another story. Trump is lying about calling … Continued

President Trump attempts to define anarchy

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Did you know there is anarchy taking place in American cities? President Trump issued a memo in which he instructs the federal government to identify which cities are “anarchist jurisdictions” and to withhold federal funds from such cities. Candidates include Seattle, Portland, New York, and Washington, D.C. Let’s take a close look at the presidential … Continued