Benjamin Studebaker

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

Tag: Richard Nixon

Obama’s Legacy: The Evidence Beyond the Punditry

As President Obama’s term draws to a close, every political writer under the sun is offering a hot take on how he’ll be remembered. These can be fun to read, but they don’t tell you very much about what really happened while Barack Obama was president. So today I’d like to look at some of the evidence and data we have on this president. Let’s see how he stacks up next to past presidents and America’s friends and rivals.

Read the rest of this entry »

The 16 Types of Politicians

A couple years ago I did a post dividing voters into 8 political types. I would now like to do something similar with politicians.

Read the rest of this entry »

5 Best and 5 Worst Reasons to Oppose Donald Trump

Too often, opponents of Donald Trump discredit themselves by distorting or exaggerating his statements in an effort to damage him. Don’t mistake my meaning–there are a lot of serious problems with Trump as a potential president. But by focusing on made up garbage instead of hitting Trump with hard policy arguments, we end up giving Trump a pass in all the areas that really matter and encouraging people to disbelieve us when we are pointing at something that’s truly important. So today I’m going to establish myself as not one of those people by picking apart 5 bad anti-Trump arguments, followed with 5 anti-Trump arguments that really should be convincing.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Limitations of Proportional Representation

About 23% of Americans don’t like both Trump and Clinton. Many of these people are considering third parties, or would like to be considering them but don’t feel they can safely do so because of the American voting system, which makes it very difficult for third parties to win and ensures that people who vote third party get no say in the choice between the two major party nominees. Some people have talked about wanting to switch to proportional representation (PR) to break the stranglehold of the two parties on politics. Under PR, if 8% of the population votes for a Green or a Libertarian, 8% of the legislature is comprised of Greens or Libertarians. If no party is able to put together a majority of votes, parties have to cooperate in coalitions to get things done. PR is in Jill Stein’s platform and some libertarians have expressed enthusiasm for it as well. PR cannot really be applied to the presidential race, because the president can only be one person–he or she cannot be 8% Green. But for presidential races we could employ a ranked ballot system allowing for an instant-runoff. On this system if you voted for Jill Stein your vote could be transferred to Clinton after Stein is eliminated. This may sound intriguing, but PR is not a magic bullet and it can produce some very bad situations that we should consider.

Read the rest of this entry »

Candidate Evaluations: John Kasich

John Kasich has joined the presidential race, so it’s time for another candidate evaluation. I’ll be looking at Kasich’s background, policy history, and explicit statements to determine whether or not he would make a good president. I won’t be paying attention to electability or likeability, as is often common elsewhere on the web.

Read the rest of this entry »