tl;dr: Even though I’m not a candidate for office, I’m going to take a shot at answering seven questions raised by Jason Booms.

In the introduction to a planned loosely-connected series of posts, I wrote that I wanted to look at the long-term trends and themes that may drive politics in the 21st century. I’ve been having trouble getting started on writing, but finally got pushed out of my procrastination by the January post “Seven Questions” by local political blogger Jason Booms.

Jason writes:

With the Maryland filing deadline fast approaching for those who are (or are considering) seeking public office in the 2018 election cycle (February 27, 2018 to be precise), this blog is once again considering what questionnaires (if any) to send out to various campaigns. . . .

While we can discuss specific policy proposals all day long ($15/hr federal minimum wage, Medicare for All, etc. . . .), I like to return to exploring “first principles” to understand how candidates think about underlying issues.

This is a pretty interesting approach to try to take candidates out of the “talking points” mode of political campaigning. Some candidates have already taken Jason up on his offer, beginning with some candidates for District 12 of the Maryland House of Delegates.

I thought it would be fun to supply my own answers to his questions, even though I’m not running for anything. I’ll do one question and answer per post, and will update the following list as I publish new posts:

  1. Wealth inequality
  2. Social democracy (plus a bonus fun post “If-by-socialism”)
  3. Racial equality
  4. Liberty and equality (and baseball!)
  5. Class warfare
  6. Gender equality
  7. LGBTQIA equality

These posts will be primarily “think pieces,” but I may offer some actual policy suggestions here and there.


I’m not 100% sure what Jason would consider to be acceptable answers to these questions (although his subsequent posts offer some guidance). Certainly some if not most of them I’d consider to be leading questions, in the sense that Jason is apparently trying to suss out who best matches his particular vision of progressive politics.

I doubt very much that I myself would pass Jason’s litmus test (to the extent he has one), but I think these are questions to be taken seriously. I’ll try to answer them honestly and to the best of my ability. I’m still thinking through a lot of these issues and doing ongoing reading and research, so a lot of my comments represent “work in progress” and “thinking out loud”. I reserve the right to change my mind on some points in the future. (As I said, I’m not a candidate for anything.)

Finally, I’ll remind everyone once again that I am a registered Democrat and have been all my life. However, I’ll try to be as non-partisan as possible, in the hope that these posts may be of interest to you no matter your political affiliation.