6 Political Websites you Need to Read in 2014
Sometime in early 2011, I decided to break my reliance on huge news outlets and began to explore. After a couple months of reading and searching, I became comfortable with my daily rotation of Slate, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, The Economist, and sometimes The Atlantic and The Weekly Standard. There were others of course who I’d visit from time-to-time, but these where pretty much my go-to sources for opinion and analysis of current events. However, over time this shifted again and my affinity for other sites began to grow. With that in mind, I’d like to discuss and recommend to you six great publications that you should follow this year.
Note: No, I do not agree with every single thing said by these outlets. Even a cursory read would show this to be impossible. Though you could say my views comprise some kind of weird mix of all of them.
The super-optimistic, snarky libertarian flagship, Reason is always a great read. If I ever want to see a clear-eyed, individualist take on current affairs, no site offers better analysis with a more positive attitude. A lot of libertarians today are becoming insufferable, glum curmudgeons, hiding out in the metaphorical boondocks of the world bemoaning the inevitable march of statism across the US. But little do they know there are plenty of things to be happy about and so many more things that are getting better everyday. Can you tell I read the site daily?
There are many things I like about The National Interest, but there’s one line in their mission statement that perfectly embodies what the site is about: “Groupthink is not an appropriate way for the world’s remaining superpower to forge policy.” Not that the site doesn’t have an editorial bias, it certainly leans toward the “realist school”, as opposed to more pugnacious and interventionist ways of thought. But in dealing with large institutions of power and how they work, I’d like more of this please.
But never mind all of that, off with their heads! There’s something about committed hardcore-leftists that makes them so appealing to argue with, and so interesting to read. While I’m certainly not a socialist, it’s important for all proponents of market-economics to engage with Marxist thought and analysis. Who knows? You might find yourself agreeing with the Reds from time to time.
And now for something completely different. The American Conservative is by far the most thought-provoking and informative conservative publication in the United States. Like…by a giant, sweeping long-shot. Self-restraint, deferred-gratification, and an acceptance that sometimes gradual shifts in the political landscape are better than blood-bathed insurrections; all hallmarks of the type of intellectual conservatism the website embodies. A good way to keep one’s impulses in check.
Liberalism: but without the identity-politics, political correctness or “I-need-to-feel-good-about-myself” BS. If Matt Stone and Trey Parker were British Liberals writing about politics, their site would probably look something like this. It’s damn refreshing to see a publication mount such a robust defense of liberal humanism, long after so many tenured academics declared it “dead.” Oh it’s alive, and it’ll spit bile right in your face! Awesome.
Mmm, nothing like a fresh cup of left-wing market-anarchism to start the day. I’ve made it a habit lately to share Markets not Capitalism with everyone I debate. The use of free market forces as a bullwark against state-enhanced privilege is a very convincing concept and gives weight to something I’ve thought for awhile now: liberty and social justice need not be mutually exclusive. A good place to clear your mind of those statist assumptions we all carry around with us.
I hope that gives you a good reading list for this year. There’s a lot to discover on the internet, but it’s important to have some guide-posts to help you find quality content. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do.