Reintroduction

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Like many on my side of the political spectrum, I've done some soul searching in the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election. The inescapable conclusion I've reached is that the country is hurtling down a self-destructive road and there's not much we can do to stop it (please see steps 4 and 5 of this). Others are busy doubling down on their ideology or abandoning their principles in the hopes of steering a course correction. I belong in neither camp since I don't believe a course correction is possible. We live in historic times, so I'm retooling this blog to be a witness to history and analyst of it instead of something that tries to affect it. (If they can reboot Spiderman, James Bond, Star Trek, and Batman, I can reboot this blog, can't I?)

Since this a reintroduction of this blog, allow me to reintroduce its author. I'm a married father of two and work in the IT profession. I have a great interest in history, politics, warfare, philosophy, and economics.

Those may all be different terms for the same thing. History is philosophy teaching by examples, Thucydides is supposed to have said. According to Karl Marx, economics is history in action. And another "Karl", Carl von Clausewitz, tells us that warfare is the continuation of politics by other means.

They seem to be saying that history, politics, warfare, and economics are all related because each is a practical manifestation of philosophy. So, if I'm interested in philosophy and all its various applications, which of the thousands of creeds do I subscribe to?

Unfortunately for me, the two types of readers are those that like to read opinions that reinforce their own, and those that like to be driven nuts by reading opinions that differ from theirs. My particular brand of philosophy (I allege) is a balanced one--which means there will be too much to disagree with for the former type of reader and not enough to disagree with for the latter type.

I place a high value on truth, logic, awareness, principles, reason, fact, intellectual honesty, realism and consistency, the final of which sounds funny coming from someone who is rebranding his blog.

That means I don't feel much at home in any political party and group--I find progressive Democrats to be lacking in logic and intellectual honesty. I find non-progressive Democrats lacking in awareness (particularly about what their progressive cohorts are up to). I find establishment Republicans too willing to abandon principles, and Tea Party Republicans and Libertarians to hold too many unrealistic ideals.

But what does an IT guy know about politics? I do have some knowledge of experience, apart from casual observations collected over the years. I have a master's in Public Policy, for what that's worth. My practical experience in the field began in February 2009 when I volunteered for the Republican Party. I started blogging about politics three months later for the now defunct Red County, and six months later for the Ventura County Star. Around then I read somewhere that I was an "activist" even though the totality of my activism was licking a few envelopes. I did later serve one term as a board member of the Ventura County Young Republicans but these things are more of a social club than an activist group. As a blogger, I broke a couple of national-level news stories and got my 15 minutes, but mostly covered local politics. By 2010, I had a baby and needed to phase back the political life, which was fine by me. Politics is dysfunctional and you don't want to be immersed in it for too long. I didn't like much of what I saw, and covering it as a reporter is thankless and pretty brutal, especially when you are essentially doing it for "fun". I did not seek reelection as a young Republican board member so I could spend more time with my family. Now that I have two kids, I hope to interrupt my political work even more. For the 2012 political season I resolved not to cover individual local campaigns. The one time I did, I earned an open letter from the head of the California chapter of the National Organization for Women. Everyone's a critic.

I learned how politics, parties, and people work up close on the local, state, and national levels. I got to view it from a voter standpoint, an organizational leadership role, as a low-level volunteer, and as a member of the media. Perhaps 98% of the population doesn't have that perspective, the 2% that do are so immersed in it they've lost all perspective. I got close enough to see how it worked, but not so close I became a part of it.

If you're going to be reading what I write, allow me to do something that journalists would never do--tell you what I believe so you know how the workings of the mind that writes the words. Not to sound repetitive, but I believe in a balance of seemingly mutually exclusive beliefs. No, I'm not a moderate or independent as those terms are commonly understood. Nor am I vacillating between various ideologies--on the contrary I'm pretty rock solid in my beliefs. Speaking of contrarianism, I'm not one to take pleasure in shooting down others' ideas or disagree just for the sake of disagreeing.

I believe in the sovereignty of the individual (as the Republican Party claims to do) and plight of the common man (as the Democratic Party claims to do). I hold business in high esteem (as establishment Republicans do) but particularly small business (as rank-and-file Republicans do). I'm wary of Big Business (as Democrats are) but also of Big Government (as Republicans are). I believe in peace through strength, but I believe the biggest threat to any country is its army. I believe in both evolution and creationism, and in climate change but not anthropogenic global warming. I believe freedom is a product of order. I think education is of the utmost importance but have few nice things to say about universities. I need evidence before I form opinions but I think God exists. I'm a laissez-faire capitalist, but I'm for government regulation. I think taxes need to be lowered but the poor need more help.

If any of these sound contradictory, they're not, at least in my head. I think I have good arguments for each. Perhaps I'll write about them all so I hope you're intrigued enough to check back.
IngeMusings
Topic
This blog attempts to add perspective and context to local and national politics, through a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and philosophy--all tempered with common sense. About the author

Eric Ingemunson's commentary has been featured on Hannity, CNN, NBC, Inside Edition, and KFI's The John and Ken Show. Eric was born and raised in Ventura County and currently resides in Moorpark. He earned a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. As a conservative, Eric supports smaller government, less taxation, more individual freedom, the rule of law, and a strict adherence to the Constitution.