Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Centrism

The Left’s Problem With Order, the Center’s Problem With Happiness, and the Right’s Problem With the Truth

There’s something wrong with the conversation in each of our mass movements today–the left, the center, and the right. Each one is missing something important, and because of this it’s difficult for perceptive people to feel truly at home in any of them.

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The War for Social Media: The Center is Trying to Diminish Diversity and Control Speech

There’s a story we tell about social media. Once upon a time politics wasn’t so divided and polarized. But then, social media came along–it let people retreat into bubbles, where they only talked to people who thought as they did. This caused them to get all extreme and nasty. And then the alt-right and the Russians figured out that they could inject fake stories into these bubbles and turn social media users into Trump supporters! Our beautiful liberal society was torn apart, and it’s all because people stopped trusting traditional news sources, like the big newspapers and TV networks. Companies like Facebook have a responsibility to do something about this–to call out the fake stories, or stop them from showing up in people’s feeds. Sounds familiar, right? I want to tell a different story about social media.

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Candidate Evaluations: Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio has declared his intent to run for president, so it’s time for another entry in the 2016 Candidate Evaluations series, where we examine a candidate’s background, policy history, and explicit statements in an attempt to figure out whether the candidate would actually be any good at being president. Too often, no one bothers to ask these question, focusing instead on electability or likability. Previous entries have included Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Hillary Clinton, none of which were able to earn even a tentative endorsement.  Will Rubio do better?

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Why a Third Party Won’t Solve Anything

Whenever there is widespread disaffection with American politics, a recurrent idea pops up–why don’t we have a third party, one that isn’t like the two we presently have? Why is there no third party for the large majority of Americans who are to some degree hostile toward both the democrats and the republicans? This solution is not all that different from “throw the bums out”. It relies on the premise that our problem is the parties and the individuals that make them up. Today I set out to argue against this. It’s not that our parties are bad, it’s that our system is. The American political system is flush with perverse incentives that guarantee that any major party significant enough to have a chance of winning elections must inevitably become like the two we already have.

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Intellectual Hipsters: Centrists

Today I would like to once again return to the subject of the intellectual hipster–someone who adopts an idea without giving it much thought for the purpose of conveying or demonstrating an intellectual impulse that is, in reality, foreign to them. In the past, we have looked at libertarians, sceptics, and lovers of Nietzsche. Today I wish to turn to the self-proclaimed centrists, those who purport not to agree with either side in political disputes, with the implication that their moderation indicates higher wisdom than their partisan counterparts.

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