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Philosophy: We Need It

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A wise man once said that “a house divided against itself cannot stand”.

Considering that he was on the verge of assuming the chief executive slot of a nation essentially split in two at the time, it is safe to say that nobody could possibly know this to be true with a greater certainty than he himself did. As time wore on and a war broke out over, principally, the question of whether or not one individual could hold another as personal property, he became increasingly determined to reunite the states which had seceded to form a country of their own. Doing so through a series of gruesome conflicts which resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides of the firing line, though not without a deep sense of purpose and determination for all parties involved, his perseverance eventually paid off. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to harvest the fruits of his labor as he was assassinated in short order after an armistice was reached by a loyalist to the former rebellion.  As you probably very well know, this man’s name was Abraham Lincoln and the conflicts what have come to be colloquially referred to as the Civil War.

History teaches us the most valuable of any lessons possible to learn. As an avid student of it, I have no difficulty in noticing the obvious parallels between the condition of affairs in the United States during the years leading up to, consumed with, and following the most tragic war in which a drop of American blood has ever been shed to what has been simmering for quite awhile in the sociopolitical realm of our nation. On both sides, left and right, the notion of frank, but sensible and genial, discussion has become the stuff of eras past, or, to some, nothing more than the last refuge of cowardly centrists who commit the unforgivable atrocity of placing dogmatism above objective reality. In environments where mindsets of this nature are predominant, malaise is sure to be the name of the endgame, though not before a path littered with broken dreams and false promises must be trudged down. Indeed, this is exactly the sort of nightmare which a great number of our ancestors fought to escape for an opportunity to have but a single shot at the American Dream.

What would they think when observing the current state of their adopted homeland’s political landscape? Would they be proud to see what has taken and is now taking place? Most certainly not; they would more than likely hang their heads in shame at what their descendants have done. While every single one of us is almost definitely, in one way or another, partially to blame for this disgrace, that does not mean we cannot strive to fix it.  Hence, the purpose of the new direction which my column is taking.

In my recent book, I focused expressly on public policy measures which I deemed as being beneficial for the long-term socioeconomic stability of our nation. Since its publication, however, I have decided to expand on my decidedly specific points there by outlining my overall philosophy in politics; one which is easily applicable to those on either end of the political spectrum, so long as he or she is interested in placing substance over rhetoric and tending to the business of the United States, which I am sure that we can all agree requires urgent attention. Dubbing defined philosophy quite simply as “Realism,”  I will detail its axioms, such as trans-partisanship, and finer points, like promoting the residual benefits of free enterprise, over the next several months in a timely and relevant manner. While some might see such a thing as being a bit, well, peculiar, I have always believed that if one has a constructive, worthwhile contribution to the popular dialogue, it should be made by any rational means necessary.  Here is mine. Stay tuned over the next few days for more. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed, regardless of your political leanings.

If nothing else, this is more than can be said about 99 percent of what comes out of the American punditocracy as of late.

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About Joseph F. Cotto