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Thomas Brown
Student of politics and history. Enjoying the circus before the tent burns down. Founder of Practicing Politics —

But if you want BLM to succeed, you need to.

Photo by Shane Aldendorff from Pexels

It makes sense. In a movement focused on bringing to light the experiences of marginalized groups, why would you focus on the demographic who has benefited the most from the very systems that caused this marginalization in the first place?

Well, because in important ways they haven’t. Or, at least, they feel like they haven’t.

If you want to gain a new perspective on why so many Americans still cannot get on board with BLM and refuse to dismount the Trump bandwagon, then I urge you to keep reading.


The winter will be colder without it

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Coming from Alberta, a place many refer to as the Texas of Canada, I feel obliged at this time to offer some words of advice to our much warmer, southern twin state. Winter is a time where we need to rely on others more, not less. But as news of your recent snow dump — relatively speaking, that is — begins to spread, it seems that many are preferring to brave this one out alone.

Please — do not do this.

The death count already sits at 24. This may not sound like a lot in the grand scheme of…

As it turns out, the final days of being a President in the US are akin to the final hours of class before Christmas break in Elementary School…

Photo by MIKE STOLL on Unsplash

As it turns out, the final days of being a President in the US are akin to the final hours of class before Christmas break in Elementary School; the usual rules don’t really apply, instead of regular lessons you just listen to songs and colour in pictures of Rudolph, you can head home a little earlier than you are supposed to, and finally, if you so wish, you can even get away with some funny pranks! (like unaccountably sending thousands of fellow students to capture and likely execute your School Principal).

Would this final option be morally questionable? Undeniably! But…

Because until now, they have been counting on us to leave them alone

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been under the spotlight recently, receiving both support and backlash following their decisions to ban or moderate content posted by former President Donald Trump. As with seemingly every other news item that makes headlines these days, this debate has evolved to encompass a much deeper issue. Having now outgrown its initial context, the debate poses a relatively simple question:

Should we be regulating social media platforms?

While this question has strong arguments on both sides, personally, I know where I stand: yes. If you ask me where I lie on pretty…

‘How’ and ‘why’ you should contribute to this publication!

Article summary:

  1. What Practicing Politics is — a publication that talks about how we engage in politics at all levels, as well as solutions for how to do so more effectively.
  2. What content we accept — anything nonpartisan that relates to political engagement and political culture.
  3. How to contribute — email me directly at with a small bio and article draft, you can then be added as a writer and submit directly to the publication.

What is Practicing Politics?

If the last year has shown us anything, it’s that we need to take a long, hard look at the way we practice our politics. The…

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

With everything going on in American politics at the moment, US foreign affairs have received an unprecedently low level of attention in the media. Usually, comments on the Chinese trade-war, Russian election interference, and Middle Eastern conflicts are prevailing themes in news headlines. Over the past month? Little to nothing.

But that doesn’t mean the world has ceased to exist, and neither has the fairly legitimate threat that America’s enemies pose gone away either — quite the contrary. The World, along with every American citizen, will be watching today as rioters storm Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Importantly, they will…

These two answers could explain the current rise in support for anti-democratic behaviour

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Is democracy about having your say or getting your way?

It is often taken for granted in the West that democracy is one of our guiding principles, yet what that means is rarely publically discussed. Since the beginning of Trump’s 4-year term, and over the last few months, in particular, we have been inundated with news coverage of his troubling ‘anti-democratic’ behaviour. On the flip side, many pro-Trump media outlets have been directing similar critiques towards the Democrats as well, largely over their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and their supposed benefit of wide-spread voter fraud.

In both cases, the…

Photo by Aliyah Jamous on Unsplash

Why it’s so important you understand the connection between the way you feel and the way you think

Although emotions guide us all, we rarely trust them in others, particularly when we think they are trying to misguide us.

In a 2015 article for the Guardian, writer Eyal Winter shares a story about his Great Uncle Walter, a Jewish man living in Nazi Germany:

One night in 1933, Walter returned home petrified of what he had just experienced. While walking through town, he had come across a Nazi rally and out of interest took the risk of entering the crowd. As he walked in deeper and the Nazi national anthem began to play, he found himself slowly beginning…

Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

Once you start admitting you were wrong more often, it becomes nearly impossible to actually ‘be’ wrong at all

I spend a lot of time thinking about how I talk. Especially when it comes to politics, I try as much as possible to be conscious of both what and how I share my ideas. Part of this comes from a genuine personal interest in the subject, part of this probably comes from the anxiety of being caught saying something ridiculous.

If you are at all the same, you’ll know where I am coming from…

And if you spend any amount of time talking about this with your friends, or just watching the speech mannerisms of others, it becomes immediately…

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Even when you aren’t ‘negotiating’, these techniques can help you navigate any difficult conversation

Political dialogue can often feel like a negotiation — with each side trying to put forward why their view makes the most sense. However, way more often than not, there is no ‘final solution’ to these discussions. People aren’t like to fundamentally change in one conversation, and unless you are sat in Parliament or the Oval Office, the ideas being shared likely won’t have an immediate impact on the rest of society.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t important!

It is these conversations that over time will shape the way we relate to different issues and — perhaps more importantly…

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