How to win against ‘political correctness’

May 1, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Those of you who know me know that I like to hang out in conservative forums. I do this for a couple of reasons. One, because I’m generally interested in talking with people of different backgrounds. And two, because it’s a fascinating anthropological experiment to explore the depths of corporate special interest group marketing. This post is more about the latter than the former.

I know I’m not going to convince the most extreme. So I just try to understand and expose them to an actual liberal—unlike the people they’re told are “liberals.” One of the things that comes up a lot is “political correctness.” They are really angry about political correctness. So I wanted to hear what they had to say about PC. Instead of arguing, I asked, “What is it that you want to say but don’t feel you can?”

[caption id="attachment_2044" align="aligncenter" width="550"]No PC (DeeMusil/Wikimedia). No PC (DeeMusil/Wikimedia).[/caption]

One million leaders

March 15, 2016 at 10:16 am

Tuesday was not my best day. I fumbled through a job interview in the afternoon, and my 14-year-old car’s transmission died.

One bright spot was seeing the following post online from Daily Kos’ own Paul Hogarth (with his permission):

I am not the same person I was 20 years ago—and after years of working on campaigns and building for progressive change have learned that politics is much, much harder than what the thrill of tonight’s victory may seem. I also have my doubts about a campaign like Bernie Sanders really making change in this country.

But tonight is a cautionary tale for people like me to not let your “wise skepticism” give way to cynical despair. Always keep the fire burning for young, idealistic causes—because progressive change requires people who demand the unreasonable.

We just need to remember that the impossible may take a while, and that—win or lose—a positive, idealistic campaign that brings new people into politics must figure out how to outlast an election.

Here’s a reality-check for Bernie supporters: Yes, he beat the odds tonight with Michigan. But Hillary’s landslide victory in Mississippi means that, on balance, the gap in delegates has likely widened.

So be happy tonight, celebrate. You deserve it. But figure out a way to make sure this victory lasts beyond the Michigan primary, and that even if Bernie fails to win the nomination you can channel that movement into a political infrastructure that will improve America.

Paul’s post is brilliant.

It bridges the gap between a couple of groups who may be currently aligned against each other. It doesn’t pit idealism vs. pragmatism. Instead, it says, “We need both.”

It brings people together rather than dividing them, and it immediately picked me up. I shared it with my small group of Bernie supporters to say, “Congratulations!” after the Michigan win—and also to remind us that even Bernie is saying this is bigger than him.

I think real change is going to take one million leaders. One million people like Paul who understand the game being played against us, and know how to bring people together from many tribes.

Here are a few thoughts on why this is so crucial, and what this might look like.

[caption id="attachment_2010" align="aligncenter" width="550"]A hose-team leader instructs the team to relieve the nozzleman during a general quarters (GQ) drill aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (U.S. Navy/Wikimedia). A hose-team leader instructs the team to relieve the nozzleman during a general quarters (GQ) drill aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (U.S. Navy/Wikimedia).[/caption]

Only fundamental change, not micromanagement, will prevent more lead poisoning after Flint

February 14, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Claire McClinton Speaking after the Water March on August, 10, 2014.

What do excessive testing in schools, the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, speed cameras, and the recent lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, all have in common?

They’re all symptoms of a new America. An America that is no longer a democracy. An America that is under the control of corporate special interest groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And an America that is being micromanaged by a mid-level tier of bought-and-paid for politicians who no longer work in the interests of the public.

The media keeps presenting these crises as one-off events, singularities.

If you take a step back though, there are clearly common threads. The first thread is that corporate special interests keep buying themselves out of responsibility (privatize the profit, socialize the risk). The second is that in order to keep people in check and execute on these plans, increasingly they’re relying on a tier of mid-level micromanagers. The poisoning of Flint is just the latest symptom of a country that seems to be more and more under corporate special interest micromanagement.

What does this look like?

43 U.S. presidents who would be considered ‘libtards’ today

January 20, 2016 at 12:29 pm

George Washington: Weak, government-loving socialist by Gilbert Stuart Williamson.

Recently, I got into a discussion with some conservatives about whether Paul Ryan was a Muslim-loving socialist RINO.

I love these types of discussions because it gives me the chance to ask questions like:

What does it take to be a real Republican these days?

Things then get weird because people haven’t really thought about it much. They just seem to know it when they see it. So I continue the conversation and then ask questions like, which of our presidents were libtards? You know, the term that some on the right love to throw around.

Here’s my (surprisingly long) list.

A Christmas story: Christians and atheists talk about values

December 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Over the summer, I had a great conversation with an evangelical pastor about values that led to an experiment in trust.

A couple weeks ago, a group of us that have been kicking around some interfaith ideas decided to try this experiment. One of the things we talked about as a group was getting past some of the stereotypes that are thrown around so often about atheists and Christians.

From the Christian side, an example often heard is that Christians are “stupid” for believing in a God. From the atheist side, an example is that atheists are “immoral” because they don’t believe in God. There’s others, but you get the idea.

Our goal with this experiment was simply to see if we could use this exercise to help break down and get past these stereotypes and walls.

xmas_trust_01

7 things it’s no longer possible to believe after Donald Trump

December 18, 2015 at 11:35 am

With the rise of Donald Trump, there’s certain things that have become almost laughable to believe. Here’s seven.

Donald Trump at CPAC. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore. Donald Trump at CPAC. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

How the Ohio legislature blocked marijuana decriminalization for the next 20 years

November 4, 2015 at 5:53 pm

All of the attention in yesterday’s Ohio election was on Issue 3, the proposal to legalize marijuana. However, Issue 2, a proposal to protect “the initiative process from being used for personal economic benefit,” a poison pill inserted by the Ohio legislature, also passed. The vote was much closer on Issue 2 than 3. I was advising people that if they wanted to vote against Issue 3, just vote against Issue 3. Here’s how Issue 2 is likely to prevent future decriminalization efforts and a few lessons learned for those of us interested in decriminalizing marijuana in other states.

How I’m voting on 2015 Cincinnati and Ohio Issues

November 2, 2015 at 6:56 pm

A couple people have asked me about the Cincinnati and Ohio issues on tomorrow’s ballot. Because it’s a bit confusing, I thought I’d post about each issue including how I’m voting and why.

If it helps you, great. If not, great. Either way kudos to you for voting and taking the time to learn about the issues.

Buddy, Responsible Ohio's marijuana mascot. Buddy, Responsible Ohio’s marijuana mascot.

No on 22: The proposal opens a giant Cranhole in our city charter

October 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm

I love parks and recognize we have one of the best urban parks systems in America. Just a couple months ago, CNN Money ranked Cincinnati as having the 7th best park system in the country.

The Parks Board has some great ideas for the future too. In particular, I’m a big fan of Wasson Way. This trail would make it easier to bike across town and then out to the Greater Miami Bike Trail. The city already reached a deal with Norfolk-Southern to buy the old train tracks and I want this to happen.

This said, I’m voting against Issue 22.

Why?

Issue 22 creates a permanent tax written into our charter that is essentially under the control of one person, the mayor.

Ohio Supreme Court rules White Hat Management owns property paid for with public funds

September 18, 2015 at 8:35 am

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled yesterday that charter school operator White Hat Management can take possession of publicly paid for assets of charter schools and charge the public to buy them back. This case arose when school boards in the Akron and Cleveland area fired White Hat Management, a company […]