Americans are compassionate, charitable people. As such, we are vehement and sincere in our desire to help those less fortunate than ourselves. It is this compulsion of kindness and charity that drives so many of our political debates.
Disagreements over how best to ensure that people get adequate, affordable medical care, for example, can enrage people from all points on the political spectrum. How to best stimulate the economy to help those suffering through unemployment – or underemployment – can practically lead to fisticuffs.
The acrimonious debate that characterizes today’s political climate is, in a way, an expression of our nobility as a people. We believe so strongly in our compassion, and we see so clearly the path to help the less fortunate, that those who disagree on which path to take seem to be so grossly misguided as to be monsters. We impugn each other’s motives. We call each other names and hurl accusations of perfidy, greed, ignorance, and stupidity.
But the opinion pages of newspapers only allow a few hundred words of this passionate compassion from any one of us. Hence, The Screed. It’s something I’d like to make open to anyone who wants to contribute a political opinion, whether progressive, libertarian, or anything in between. This is not a money-making venture; it’s work driven by a passion for debate, and for the truth that emerges from repeated collisions with error.
Contact me if you want to contribute: bethel (dot) screed (at) gmail (dot) com
A confession, dated March 2011: I started The Screed as a print publication in August 2010, and I’m posting this old content when I feel it’s appropriate and not too dated. I’m also adding Screeds on new issues as they present themselves.