Political Action and the Call to “Do Something”

Every time we have a tragedy or catastrophe happen, there are calls to “do something.” Often, the “something” we’re supposed to do isn’t specified. In fact, politicians rarely get specific so we cannot hold them accountable. But, is reactive political action good? Should we continue to react to problems at the surface level or dig into the roots instead? Grayson Quay and I discussed this and much more in this episode.

Here’s what we discuss:

  • Problems with the call to “do something” in reaction to a terrible event
  • Politicians’ perverse incentive to “do something” rather than nothing, even if the something is counterproductive
  • Whether reacting to catastrophes or tragedies makes good policy
  • Times that government action exacerbated problems
  • Some of our favorite literature, including Notes From Underground and C.S. Lewis

Reactive Political Action

When we take political action after a tragedy, we are normally not thinking straight. If emotions are high, we act irrationally, which makes for policy that feels good in the moment, but doesn't fix the issue. Plus, acting quickly can mean we aren't taking into account all of the factors that lead to a problem. National issues rarely can be solved by policy, and can never be solved with a quick piece of legislation.

Better Political Action

Political action that makes sense is proactive. Instead of waiting for a tragedy to respond to, we ought to look for negative trends in our society and the causes. We know we have issues with mass shootings, drugs, mental illness and more, so why don't we respond? We ought to be able to take political action to prevent these problems from getting worse. Furthermore, each of us can play our part in fixing the issues. Don't wait for politicians in Washington D.C. to fix our issues, but solve your own problems as best you can. Politics should be a last resort.

About Grayson Quay

Grayson Quay is a freelance writer based in Arlington, VA. He earned his MA in English literature from Georgetown University in 2019. Grayson's work has been published in The American Conservative, Reason, The National Interest, and the Spectator US. You can find him on Twitter here. Here's the link to the article we discussed.

212. Antitrust and Big Tech | Why Conservatives Should Tread Carefully - Conversation of Our Generation

I had the chance to sit down and speak with Ashley Baker, an expert in antitrust. We discussed antitrust and big tech, and how conservatives should fight back against tech. Ashley is the Policy Director for the Committee for Justice, Expert at the Regulatory Transparency Project, and works with the Alliance on Antitrust. So, she knows what she's talking about, and it shows. Dive into the conversation below to learn more about these issues and what Ashley recommends. What is Antitrust? Antitrust is basically a set of legal principles, laws, and precedents that inform us on how to handle anti-competition behaviors of companies. Big businesses may work with other organizations to undermine competition in the economic landscape, which is what antitrust seeks to prevent. Since businesses are built to beat their competition, they can hinder their competition's ability to succeed. However, they cannot work to destroy competition itself. And, that is where antitrust comes into play. There are many examples of antitrust violations we can point to, but the basics of antitrust is that we want to promote a competitive environment. Antitrust Laws and How They Relate to Big Tech You may be familiar with antitrust laws like the Federal Trade Commission Act, which gave us the FTC, or the Sherman Act. But, antitrust law is much more than a couple acts passed by Congress. In fact, much of what governs antitrust policy is precedent, and that's where conservatives have to be careful. If we are to regulate big tech companies through antitrust policy, we need to beware of how it'll effect other aspects of law. That's why I am so grateful to Ashley for coming on to discuss the antitrust efforts and big tech. She shows how antitrust cases inform our laws, and how we might apply that to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. Antitrust and Big Tech We must do something about big tech need, but what? First we must understand a few things. Are big tech companies monopolies? Does big tech violate antitrust law in the United States? What can we do to regulate big tech? We'll find the answers to each of these questions in the particulars. There's no simple answer. Rather, the devil is in the details. How Conservatives Should Fight Back Against Big Tech Our politics leans towards slogans and partisanship, rather than real solutions. The answer to this problem won't fit neatly in a 10-point plan or some ideology. Instead, we have to grapple with the principles at play and the particulars of the situation. Through prudence, we can find a solution. Check out this episode: Antitrust and Big Tech | Why Conservatives Should Tread Carefully Subscribe to the Conversation of Our Generationersation of Our Generation Podcast here Check out the YouTube video here --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 212. Antitrust and Big Tech | Why Conservatives Should Tread Carefully
  2. 211. Elitism and Prideful Disdain | A Nasty Story by Fyordor Dostoevsky
  3. 210. Political Action and the Call to "Do Something"
  4. 209. Breaking the Rules of Philosophy
  5. 208. Failures of Modernity and Rationality

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