In the late weeks of the 2004 Presidential campaign, I observed that America’s problems were being aggravated by the “echo chamber effect”: people’s tendency to talk only with people who think pretty much the same as them.
So I decided that what the world really, really needed was for me to express some of my opinions. I began writing email columns and sending them out to people whose email addresses I knew. Eventually I set up an online blog and began posting those articles; they’re still there.
That was over three years ago, and the calendar has turned over a few times. We’re nearing the end of the most hotly-contested Presidential primaries in recent memory. For the first time in many years, the office is wide open: no incumbent President is available to run, no Vice President is running, and both parties have been having very interesting primaries. A few months ago, many fretted that Ohio would be irrelevant in the primaries; now it appears that we will have a meaningful role to play at least in the Democratic primary.
And in the meantime, the campaign of Barack Obama has brought into the political process a lot of people who previously stayed away. The primaries have stimulated a lot more excitement than we’ve seen before, and even in polite society, people are talking about about politics and religion. I’m not sure that the echo chamber is gone, but it’s become less fashionable.
And so – later than I would have liked – I’ll be posting some political thoughts here. Unlike my 2004 and 2006 postings, this is an actual, honest-to-goodness blog, written with real, modern blogging software: so I can invite readers to post their own thoughts and reactions here as well.
Let’s get started. I have come to the conclusion that when I fill out by ballot for the March 4 primary, I’m going to vote for Hillary Clinton. In the columns ahead, I’ll try to explain why I’ll be doing that, and why I think other voters in the Democratic primary should do the same.
And that’s enough for now. The heavy lifting starts in the next column.