Benjamin Studebaker

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

Tag: Joe Biden

The 2016 Candidate Evaluation Series Finale

Now that Joe Biden has finally made up his mind and decided not to run for president, I can conclude my candidate evaluation series. This series finale post will provide you with a number of election-related resources:

  1. My thoughts on Biden’s decision
  2. Links to all the extant candidate evaluation posts along with all the additional election-related content I have written so far.
  3. A full league table of the presidential candidates in which they score points for supporting policies that would benefit the country and lose points for supporting policies that would harm the country.
  4. Mini-Evaluations of some of the third party candidates and marginal figures (e.g. Jill Stein, Lawrence Lessig, etc.)
  5. Statistics on how popular the different candidates’ evaluations have been with blog readers

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Why ISIS is Beheading Americans and What We Can Do About It

Two American journalists have now been beheaded by the Islamic State–James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Vice President Joe Biden has already declared that he wants to follow ISIS to “the gates of hell.” But why is ISIS doing this, and what should the United States do about it?

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The Political Pitfalls of Pessimism and Optimism

In the United States, we are often exhorted to be optimistic, enthusiastic, and positive about our society and one another, criticising “constructively” or perhaps preferably not at all. The United States has a particularly optimistic political culture, one where you really can make your campaign slogan “hope”, “change”, or “yes we can” and get away with it. The United Kingdom is quite a different place–in Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron got into office with the slogan “we can’t go on like this”. There’s a “change” message in there somewhere, but it certainly isn’t phrased in hopeful terms. Today I’d like to have a closer look at the role optimism and pessimism play in the American and British political systems, respectively, discovering how both extremes can have a deleterious effect on government.

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