Thursday, February 8, 2018

Topline: Tribalism's Expanding Reach

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

Stand Up Republic
 

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

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In Defense of the Rule of Law 
New York Magazine — Feb. 5, 2018
One of the more insidious aspects of GOP leaders’ attacks on federal law enforcement is its effect of politicizing even the most basic institutions of governance. If everything is reduced to basic tribalism, then there is no way corrupt leaders and members of their “team” can be held accountable. The Nunes memo was only the latest in a long line of efforts to delegitimize all government institutions that are, by design, nonpartisan, and it will certainly not be the last.

Accountability  

Cash for Conmen? 
The Daily Beast — Feb. 7, 2018
While the election of Trump has spurred something of a civic awakening in American society, some unscrupulous actors have used this newfound enthusiasm for personal gain. Organizations engaged primarily in self-promotion and self-dealing have seen a lucrative business opportunity in exploiting anti-Trump sentiment for their own ends. While it’s important to make your voice heard, it’s also necessary to make sure your dollars are going primarily to a good cause.

Governance  

Vote Local 
The Houston Chronicle — Feb. 2, 2018
The Houston Chronicle reminds us of the importance of political participation. With low voter turnout, especially in party primaries, our political system is often dominated by more extreme ideological candidates who can turn out a more passionate base. The best way to counter this movement to the extremes at a local level is to turn out to vote consistently at every stage of the electoral process.

Ideas  

Citizen Soldiers are Citizens First 
The Washington Post — Feb. 7, 2018
We’re more accustomed to seeing this kind of fascination with military power in tinpot third world dictatorships, but here we are. Though bone spurs in his foot sadly prevented him from military service of his own, the president has frequently co-opted the nation’s respect for the uniform and used it to bolster his own flagging popularity. While respect for those who have served is healthy, the over-politicization of military support is a dangerous trend in a constitutional republic.

Russia  

Trying to Tarnish Steele 
Just Security — Sept. 6, 2017
John Sipher, former member of CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, explains the Steele “dossier” and places its information into the proper context. Essentially, the “dossier” is not a dossier, but a raw intelligence product, a collection of information gleaned from primary sources that still needs to be vetted and verified by further research and analysis. As Steele’s work was the primary target of the infamous Nunes memo, it’s becoming ever more important to know the facts of his work and that of his sources, much of which has been validated.











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