As a long time reader of Daily Kos, unashamed political junkie, and avid writer, my decision to create a Daily Kos account is certainly well past due. Indeed, coming from Ann Arbor, I am no stranger to progressive ideals or activism.
Perhaps it is because I come from Ann Arbor, shielded from the general sea of anti-progressive insanity, that I have generally limited my own political commentaries to lengthy Facebook posts and heated conversations with my own peers. Alternatively, as a student, I have enough writing to do anyway without going out of my way to write anything else on top of it. Whatever the reason, I have realized the need to stand up for, and with, my generation so that our voices might be heard.
The fact of the matter is that real journalism is extinct (at least in the United States) and the fleeting vestiges of democratic governance are critically endangered. When only the corporate oligarchs control what and how information is transmitted to the people, when consent of the governed is secured through mass manipulation and fear, our democracy is reduced to nothing more than farcical November ritual.
Is the American system of government perfect? Far from it, but the most fundamental strength of the American system is its ability to adapt in response to ever-changing social, economic, cultural, and historical circumstances. Such adaptation is a quintessentially American tradition; it has ensured domestic tranquility (relatively) while, at the same time, accommodating dramatic revisions to social, economic, and legal paradigms.
That is, the American system has a proud tradition of extending basic civil liberties, legal protections, and economic opportunities to people who previously had none. While this process has historically been painfully slow at times, the American system has gradually grown to reflect the idea that all persons who live under American law have certain inalienable rights.
Obviously, anybody who has even a rudimentary understanding of American history and government already knows these things. So how are they relevant to my decision to create an account here?
I have been increasingly disturbed by disproportionately-influential rhetoric of the right-wing echo chamber and increasingly frustrated by the general lack of civic engagement, particularly among my own generation. Ignorance now seems to be a virtue and real progress has taken a back seat to manufactured paranoia.
Popular reform after popular reform has been impeded because American ignorance paranoia is being actively exploited to effectively hijack all levels of American government, in the name of protecting the interests of those who sought to manufacture this paranoia in the first place. Meanwhile, the oligarchs consolidate their wealth and power at the expense of the common citizenry.
Basic, in many cases tautological, schools of thought, such as Keynesian economics and due process of law are now, somehow, controversial. Even empirical, scientific evidence is somehow political speech. While this war on reality is mostly perpetrated by one faction, both sides are guilty of collaborating in the effort.
Progressives, myself included, are guilty of allowing the ongoing manipulation of the American people because, although our voices are growing, we have not spoken out loud enough. We must all amplify our voices ten-fold if we are to avoid historical culpability in the creeping dismantling of our democracy. If enough of us are loud enough, we might even be able to save it.
Amplifying my own voice beyond the fifteen or so of my Facebook friends who read my political ramblings is my primary motivation for finally creating an account here. And, yes, I do recognize that writing diaries on Daily Kos amounts to little more than preaching to the converted, but preaching to the converted is better than preaching to nobody at all.
As for the topics I intend to write about, my primary area of expertise is in the life sciences--not politics. I might post a political commentary from time to time, but there are already scores of better writers than myself already doing that here.
I have noticed that there does seem to be a shortage of Daily Kos diaries on the life sciences and the biomedical sciences. Given how politically relevant much of the past, recent, and ongoing developments in these fields are, I would like to address those issues head-on.
Accordingly, if anybody has suggestions for life and biomedical science topics to write about, I would love to here them.