You've probably heard about the dangerous effects of fake news, and the spread of sensational and targeted falsities. But what about "legitimate" news, one might still ask?
Friends, Colleagues, and Philosophy Talk Listeners,
In the spirit of Plato, I am pleased to announce that I am throwing my hat in the ring for 2020! I can no longer sit back and watch as almost nothing gets accomplished in American politics. The default state of our system is inaction or reaction, because by design it rewards rather than punishes stasis and reaction. Ours is one of the few democratic—well, pseudo democratic—systems in the world in which it is false that failure is an orphan and victory has a thousand fathers. In American politics, stasis and defeat can have a thousand very happy fathers.
Consequently, our political problems mostly fester and grow, rather than get solved. Far too often, they are not even addressed until a widely unbearable tipping point is reached.
There are exceptions, but they help prove the rule. Reagan, for all his determination to undo the welfare state, could not pull it off. In the attempt to starve it, though, he did manage to give us mounting deficits as far as the eye could see, which severely constrained what could be done.
It took Bill Clinton and unified government to begin to undo the damage that Reagan had done but he only accomplished this many years later. Clinton desperately wanted to restore confidence in the possibility of government activism and thought that starting with healthcare and promising to reform rather than eliminate the welfare state would be easy and would help achieve the return of activist government and a more sane tax policy. However, this cost him and the Democrats the Congress, eventually led to his impeachment, and actually brought about the dismantling of much of the welfare state at the hands of him and the Republicans in Congress.
Politics in this country is not even close to wish-fulfillment. At its best, it's a really hard slog through a thicket of opponents that cannot be wished or charmed or argued or bludgeoned away. That’s why I say we need a new republic, a new constitution, and a new politics.
Just as Plato envisioned an ideal republic, I envision a new republic built on the ashes of the old. It is time for the philosopher-kings to take up their rightful place in this new republic. And that’s why I am running for president in 2020.
As part of my effort to radically transform American politics, I have committed not to take money from any big corporations or special interests, so I really need your help in this life-changing endeavor. Please consider supporting me by sharing my big announcement far and wide and donating to my campaign here.
With deepest gratitude,
Your Future President,