a contemplative approach to politics



Politics has been a passion of mine for some time. While I was growing up, politics and American history crisscrossed my families dinner table and “Clinton” was always word of the day.  My youth was a time of exposure to the passion of my parents–for mom and dad, both: politics.  My mom had grown up outside of New York City. She had become a Jewish tigress of Manhattan before long, a ruler of SOHO and Broadway, running around with other little democrats and the old people who would later go on to mistakenly elect Mayor Bloomberg–and yet, the one thing I think most influenced her political views:

The Mets: the team for the underdogs, the latent poets, and the lovers of batting pitchers.

The Yankees: the team for the cool kids, the people in NY who had seen Rambo, and the lovers of that other                                          thing pitchers do.

Not to say my mother wasn’t “cool” as kid, but she was a Mets fan. Although she might not tell people in her corporation this, she’s a liberal. Sure, on fiscal issues she’s quasi-conservative, but on the social issues! Don’t ever get into a fight with her about healthcare or equality. She’ll win.

My Dad was even more of a political fanatic. While I was younger, he would have me read speeches of Aberham Lincoln to him in the shitty little kitchen that remains the place where I attempt to cook eggs during winter break. A political scientist, my father didn’t just follow the news or hold opinions; he was involved. Even while he helped liberal mayors and city council members win seats in Irvine, testified before the supreme court, and became the expert on term limits of the last decade of the 20th century, politics never exited the dinner table. From when I learned how to hear until I left for college, the realm of politics, political theory, and Americana never drift too far from our plates or our hearts. Despite the fact that he was an ardent leftist, a supporter of Bernie Sander’s friends, I was never really indoctrinated into an ideology. Instead, I was taught to critique, analyze, and laugh at politics. Larry King was a continual guest at my high school dinners.

And so, although I worked for Obama in 2008, I am not an Obamanite. I believe that there are good people on the left and the right, and that moderation and compromise should define contemporary American politics.

I don’t have a political party, I don’t have a dogma, nor a platform–all I got is ideas. And yes, these ideas transform, and evolve; And yes, I flip-flop, and change my mind, and realize I supported a silly argument; But I’m okay with that. I think, many times in life, it’s more important to show that you can see both sides of an issue than to stare blindly at your opponents and wonder, “how in the heck does he believe in that?!” It’s all relative. Subjectivity can never finish running it’s course on mankind.

I doubt. Right now, that’s pretty much my occupation. And as a doubter, I feel some obligation toward Petrarch and Descartes and whomever, to let others know what I am thinking about, and what I am discovering. So here she is:

My blog.

She ain’t much but she’ll do.

I hope that when you read one of my entries you are intrigued. I know sometimes my writing might be shit or my ideas might be crap but please stop, slow down, allow to see behind the veil that is my struggle with the English language. Give yourself a minute or two to ruminate.

– Jonas


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