If you know me personally, or even if you know which city I live in, my left-leaning political views should shock no one.
I live in Takoma Park, Maryland. My precinct eviscerated Trump in the general election, 855-41. Congressman Jamie Raskin posted election results that would make a Central Asian dictator envious. I might live in the bluest ward of the bluest city of the bluest county of the bluest state in the nation. Or something like that. (That being said, I do wonder. Who are these 41 Trump voters? Do I know them? Have I seen one of them on the street?)
I’m no exception to the rule of those who surround me. In fact, I may be considerably to the left of my neighbors based on how emphatically many of them are still proclaiming #ImWithHer. (I did offer my tepid support for Hillary in the general election over the disaster we have in the White House now.)
I say this all to offer full disclosure that this is a left-leaning blog. Even so, my views on some issues differ from some of the progressives around me as well. (It would be impossible not to, given that basically everyone feels they can call themselves progressive.)
I lean left on economic issues, especially on the corporate tax rate, money in politics, and single payer healthcare. While acknowledging that a market economy has worked better than other systems attempted, I like to refer to the remark from Councilmember Marc Elrich in my interview, that capitalism is an 18th century idea and Marxism is a 19th century idea. In the 21st century, are we still debating 200-year old ideas as if we have learned nothing? It’s time to synthesize aspects of both for a more sustainable economic system that keeps pace with population growth, technological innovations, and environmental implications.
But that’s a discussion for another time.
Where I’ll differ from some progressives is on such things as identity politics, political correctness, and in many cases, free speech in general. I am above all a civil libertarian in the fundamental sense, and I am strongly against imposing trigger warnings, safe spaces, or institutionalized restrictions against “cultural appropriation” or “microaggressions.” Those sensitivities, in my opinion, are best handled on an interpersonal level.
I also may have some detractors in response to my critique of the implications of “rape culture” in the Aziz Ansari case.
All in all, this blog will be my take on (mostly) Montgomery County and Maryland-specific issues from the following perspective:
A) That a mixed, social-democratic type market economy best addresses the problems of income inequality, healthcare justice, and housing affordability.
B) Government has no role in what you do with your body, who you marry, who you consent to having sex with, who you publicly criticize, or what you smoke.
C) Civic engagement is overall a net positive.
So, there’s my spiel to lead off. The blog entries that follow will discuss local issues among other things, and here’s my full disclosure that I’m not going to pretend to be neutral. Peace.