About this blog

By Joe Campbell

to parse ['pärs]

  1. to analyze syntactically by assigning a constituent structure
  2. to describe grammatically by stating the part of speech and explaining the inflection and syntactical relationships;
  3. to examine in a minute way : analyze critically.

This is the blog of an amateur.

I have been interested in politics – since I was but small. I am knowledgeable about American history, and have an in-depth knowledge about American history and politics from World War II onwards.

I have an interest in law – both the abstract principles and how it imbues a society with a certain order.

I have an interest in national security – how a state derives its legitimacy and the hard decisions it makes in order to maintain its legitimacy.

I have an interest in foreign policy – and how America strives to use its awesome yet somehow diminished power to create a better world.

I have an interest in the macro-forces shaping the world as history moves on – the economic, social, political forces.

I, of course, have an interest in literature and culture and sex and good television and classic movies (and even bad movies). But this blog only lightly touches on all these things.

I am an amateur – and I will write about things about which I do not know much. But I will always warn you, good reader before I write about such things. More often, I cite authors who I find interesting; and write about areas which I have some meager expertise.

I am an establishmentarian. I don’t always agree with what the “establishment” is doing – but I try to understand the challenges being faced by those with power and why they make the decisions they make. I very rarely subscribe to conspiracy theories – although I do find them to be extremely interesting and occasionally enlightening. I don’t accept the idea that those with power are simply evil – and that we can blame them for all the evil in the world. My life experience leads me to believe that the world is far more complicated than that.

Probably the key thing to understand me in terms of this blog is this:

In the summer of 2007, I was reading a profile of a relatively unknown Barack Obama in the New Yorker – and again and again, I kept thinking to myself while reading – this is the type of politician I can believe in. A pragmatist. With liberal ideals. With a conservative temperament. Who’s a writer at heart. But whose vision is that of a leader. Who is reflective yet confident.  Who’s willing to do what it takes to win. I kept thinking to myself, this man is expressing exactly my views of what politics is and should be. I had a vague idea of how the Bush/Clinton politics could be navigated – and Obama seemed to have sensed the same thing and figured it out. It was out of that feeling of kinship and common cause with Barack Obama that this blog was created a few months later. In the past year and a half, there have been a few decisions by Obama on which I disagree with him on policy grounds – but none on which I think I would have made a different decision when factoring in political considerations.

That is where I stand. I’m sure at some point, I will disagree both politically and substantially with the candidate – but to a great extent we share the same vision of politics, and the coupling of a liberal ideology with a conservative temperament.

This blog is an attempt to explore the subjects of interest I mentioned above – politics, national security, law, foreign policy – to come at them as a talented, a knowledgeable, a reflective – but still always – an amateur.

For more about me, check out my bio page.

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