On November 18th, I posted on a National-Local Mix, that combination of topics that a blogger might consider under Trump. The need to think about a national-local mix was obvious enough: “Trump is a fundamentally different candidate from those who have come before him. Not grasping this would be obtuse. Writing only about sewing circles or local clubs or a single local meeting while ignoring Trump’s vast power as president – and what it will bring about – would be odd. Someone in Tuscany, circa 1925, had more to write about than the countryside.”
To say I’m opposed to Trump, if it had to be said, would be an understatement.
How, though, does one go about deciding what to write about politics, sometimes national, sometimes local?
I’d say there are three steps: (1) be clear about one’s own political beliefs, and find the challenges to those beliefs in (2) national and (3) local policy.
(In this method, finding the challenges is actually a sign of optimism, as it assumes the more easily enumerated group is what’s wrong; if the smaller, more easily counted items were what’s right, then a community would be in truly terrible shape. Most matters in life are not political, and Whitewater in particular would do well to abandon a failed political culture. See, An Oasis Strategy.)
Here’s how those three steps look, in my (libertarian) case —
Political beliefs: individual liberty, limited government, free markets in capital, labor & goods, sound reasoning, peace.
National challenges: authoritarianism, nativism, mendacity, conflicts of interest, poor reasoning, government intervention for businesses, subservience & admiration of Putinism (this last being both a matter of domestic and foreign policy).
Local challenges: closed government, self-interested leadership, grandiosity, conflicts of interest, poor reasoning, government intervention for businesses, and factionalism & lack of community-based enforcement.
Other people would start with different beliefs, and so find different challenges. From the concerns they listed, one would have topics to address that derive from these concerns.
That some officials might have trouble making a list of their own principles (where principles mean more than self-interest) is much to their detriment.