• Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

Rational Politics

Thoughts by Charles E. Brown

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In the flurry of modern discussions, debates, and rapid-fire news cycles, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the underlying principles and values that inform our society’s discourse. It’s also too tempting to let others – political commentators and news broadcasters – tell us what to think, what matters, and what direction we should take. While it’s vital to stay informed about current events, it’s equally important to delve into foundational issues that shape those events, to return to traditional values and principles, and to educate ourselves directly through the age-old practice of reading books.

The Power of Foundations

Traditional values – concepts such as liberty, personal responsibility, family, faith, and respect for law and order – provide a compass that directs the course of our society. These are the principles upon which the United States was built. They’ve endured centuries of change, continually serving as the underpinning structure that holds our nation together.

In the context of the modern age, these values are not outdated relics to be discarded in favor of trendier ideologies. Rather, they are the steady hand that guides us through turbulent times. They give us the tools to assess and address contemporary issues and challenges, from economic uncertainty to societal unrest. By focusing on these foundational issues, we can better understand our current events, not just as isolated incidents but as part of a larger tapestry woven by the threads of our shared values.

Why Reading Books Matter

In today’s digital age, we’re bombarded with information from all directions – news broadcasts, political commentators, and social media feeds. While these sources offer valuable insights and updates, they tend to present a fragmented picture of the world, shaped by the immediate pressures of the 24-hour news cycle and the need for soundbites.

Reading books, on the other hand, allows us to delve deeper. Books provide a comprehensive view of topics, offer historical context, present nuanced arguments, and stimulate critical thinking. They allow us to step back from the daily bombardment of information and examine issues from a broader perspective.

Books written by thought leaders, philosophers, historians, and economists provide a wealth of knowledge that helps to inform and refine our views. They also introduce us to the foundational principles upon which our society is built, giving us a firm grounding on which to stand as we navigate the complexities of modern life.

Moreover, reading gives us the freedom to form our own opinions without the filter of a TV host or news reporter. It requires active engagement and introspection, two essential practices for maintaining a vibrant and informed democracy.


So, in this modern age, let us not forget the significance of our traditional values and the foundational issues that have shaped and will continue to shape our society. Let us not rely solely on the fragmented narratives presented by the news media but also immerse ourselves in the rich and complex ideas presented in books. By doing so, we ensure a more nuanced, informed perspective that recognizes the importance of our past in shaping our future.

With that in mind, let’s return to the timeless habit of reading to explore their full depth and breadth of ideas. In this practice, we can find understanding, engage in meaningful discussions, and shape the future with wisdom rooted in the lessons of our history.

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