Writing

Piece 41; Belief Without Dogma By. Raimondo Graziano

Belief Without Dogma
By. Raimondo Graziano

Can there be belief in a greater cause, a unifying theme and ideal without all the trappings of dogmatic preaching and ideological punditry? Is this stance even possible, or plausible in the modern day? Why is it that throughout much of our history these two distinctive concepts have moved throughout it all, coupled together m, joined at the hip in a destructive spiral through each one of our lived and through each major moment in our history?

Belief and dogma; together they are the basis of radicalism. Though separate them and you have to benign concepts. On the one, belief. A belief, a strong yearning within and a pull towards something greater than oneself. On the other hand, dogma, blind adherence to a cause, belief or political system.

While belief can be the bedrock foundation of our faith in not only ourselves, but of others, dogma can be the flame within which connects you viscerally to a set of values. However when one and the same, and when propagated by one or a number of charismatic leaders, the consequences have proven deadly throughout history. From Roman Emperors, to the Catholic Church, to the Hans in China, and the Mullahs in Iran and from Germany in the 1930’s to the Republican Party and base today in the United States. Belief tied with dogmatic adherence to value and customs can be downright dangerous.

However, if we seek to build a belief within ourselves, and form a bedrock of foundational principles we can see that these are not one concept together, but two distinctive ones and we can leverage both to build a better world. Through the individual, we can see past the lies that the elites and supposed intellectuals of the world push on us subconsciously. Through an educated populace we all together can break the wheel so to speak, for good. 

Old Howard Union

42 – In Support of a Trade War

It is obvious that the actions taken by the Peoples Republic of China over the course of two decades has worked to undermine international norms of trade, diplomacy and law after they were admitted into numerous Western institutions meant to push for democratic ideals of liberty, democracy and freedom. While they have taken advantage of these institutions they have clamped down further on the rights of their citizens at home. Out of principle, and a desire for that which is FAIR, I endorse the trade war undertaken by the President.

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Show Notes

Important readings pertinent to the topic.

  1. https://thebulwark.com/trade-wars-are-good-but-hard-to-win/amp/
  2. https://thetylt.com/politics/trade-wars-good
  3. https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/trumps-trade-critics-are-wrong-his-tariffs-could-bring-major-benefits-to-america.amp
  4. https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/02/05/business/us-china-trade-war-europe/index.html
  5. https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/e-u-to-benefit-most-from-trade-war
Old Howard Union

Issue Brief, 11 – Progressive Foreign Policy

Progressive foreign policy is something we rarely hear spoken about by major political candidates of the left, they tend to focus more so on domestic policy. However with recent developments the world over and an increasingly interdependent world, many progressives are asking the question – what is, or rather, what should progressive foreign policy look like.


Show Notes

Some important and informing links.

Writing

The Imperial Presidency by. Raimondo Graziano

The Imperial Presidency

By. Raimondo Graziano

The presidency of the United States has always been loosely defined, the actual enumeration of the powers of the president encompass little more than two paragraphs in our constitution – the guiding document of our nation. Over time, the president’s power has increased significantly, and the propensity of the man holding office to use his unilateral or executive authority has grown stronger with every passing, election. Coupled with the continued capitulation and enabling by the President in offices own party, whoever it may be, the party has endorsed these actions through their complicity in the overreach in executive authority. While this has increased steadily over time, in the last hundred years, specifically and most importantly after the elections of President Franklin Roosevelt, the slow march towards the imperial presidency we have today has greatly fastened.

The Republic in many ways is no more – Congress has become a tool of the President to advance an agenda, and the work there truly shows when the majority party holds onto Congress; the courts too have become a tool to ensure the policies enacted, are constitutionally protected and endorsed by partisan judges. The executive, has broad powers today – than at any other point in history. We have an imperial presidency, and our institutions are threatened by them – whether or not this is good, moral, or immoral is not the question. The question is – are the American people in support of a more central government, do the American people endorse this imperial presidency – not of one specific administration but of what it means for the office itself.

While numerous administrations have used executive authority to push forth policy change and reform none have ruled by the pen quite like the 44th and 45th, the former and current presidents of The United States. Executive Orders have become the tool of choice for Presidents hampered by partisan divides amongst the Congress and a general inability to govern effectively. Lacking majorities in both chambers of Congress the hope of achieving substantial policy achievements is pitifully low. Through executive action however, the President can act unilaterally- though that carries with it the possibility it will be overturned by an incoming administration. However, the precedents that have been set over the course of the last decade are fundamentally reordering the very institution of the Presidency itself, centralizing its power, reducing the importance of the judiciary and Congress to mere pawns of the President and his party. From the 44th using his pen to rewrite immigration policy, to the 45th reappropriating funds through use of an emergency declaration at the Southern Border to build his wall – a core campaign promise.

Both broaden the reach of presidential power. Just this month, officials from nearly every major cabinet department have refused to comply with requests for documents and answer to subpoenas regarding ongoing investigations from numerous House Committees. This here touches on the concept of coequal branches of government. And on cabinet departments too, the number of acting secretaries who have not been confirmed by the Senate is astounding in the country’s history – the President himself has said it allows him greater leeway to work, in other words to centralize presidential control over the executive and to undercut the Congress, and use judicial appointments of ideologues pushed through speedy confirmations to ensure these changes are upheld. Where is the questioning of the American people on this? Where is our social responsibility? We are either distracted by banal mundane trivialities, or we have lost the will to care. Either way we in some way have condoned this rise of the Imperial Presidency.

Old Howard Union

33 – Impeachment

President Trump has been waging political war on his enemies for some time and with the release of the Mueller report as well as a number of other investigations into the President, and oversight committee hearings, subpoenas and all else, the president is ramping up his rhetoric, and his combativeness with the coequal branch of government- Congress. Currently the House is considering beginning impeachment proceedings, and a number of requests by the House to testify have been ignored. Should the President be impeached?

Show Notes

No show notes this evening.