Reasons for Optimism as Election Results Come In

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How to Forget an Election

The other day, I called a friend to get his thoughts on the election. He was someone who — in the close to a decade that I have known him — has never missed an opportunity to talk politics. But asked about the election on this day, he simply said, “I don’t feel like talking about that.”

As the election results come in over the next few days, and likely weeks, millions of people will look for ways to distract themselves from news coverage on what is sure to be a tumultuous period in American history.

I understand the impulse…

Or is Hypocrisy the Indispensable Law of Public Life?

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with politics.

The Potential of Politics

I love democratic politics because it has such incredible potential. It is the one area of life where (at least in theory) we can work as equals.

The strict hierarchies that define corporate America and dictate so much of our lives are replaced by the concept of “one person, one vote.” In theory, the cashier at Goodwill has as much say in the direction of the country as does Jeff Bezos. …

Will we turn on each other or work for the good of our neighbor?

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I am walking through my neighborhood’s Fred Meyer and notice that something is off. The shelves are filled with the same products in the same places. The lighting is the same bright white fluorescent lighting that has always been there.

Finally, I realize that it is the people who have changed. I can’t see their faces with their N-95 masks on. But I can see the emotion in their eyes — either unmistakable sadness or anger. Sadness is the stronger of the two emotions, verging on resignation. …

How the words we use shape our lives and shake the world

A blank journal laying open on a wood surface with a pen resting on top of the pages.
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This article was adapted from a speech I recently gave to my local Toastmasters club. If you are interested in public speaking, I would recommend checking them out at


My favorite musical has to be Hamilton; it has some of the most wonderful, lyrical language I have ever heard. My favorite line of the entire musical comes from the song “Hurricane.”

“When my prayers to God were met with indifference, I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance.”

That is what I want to convince you of today, that you can pick up a pen and write…

Redefining Patriotism for 2020 & Beyond

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What follows are some of my thoughts on U.S. History, Patriotism, American exceptionalism, and how we can become a more united country as we celebrate 244 years of independence.

Thoughts on Independence Day

Over the last few years, the 4th of July has been a time of both celebration and consternation. I enjoyed spending quality time with family cooking over a charcoal grill in the summer sun and watching fireworks light up the night sky with friends. However, as the nights wore on and the fireworks began to fade, I could not help but think about the state of my country.

This year, that…

Encouragement for those who are starting on Medium, and are trying to find the courage to publish that first article.

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There are so many things that terrify me about writing. Where to begin? First, there are the insecurities that come with putting your private thoughts on public display.

I imagine these insecurities are near-universal, which makes them precisely 0.00% less anxiety-producing as you sit there, trying to work up the courage to hit that big green publish button. Maybe a shot of liquid courage would help? No, you don’t want to be that kind of writer!

Second, there is one glaring practical consideration that may be more specific to me. …

Douglas Ridley

I write about politics and policy. The goal is to promote a more informed, thoughtful, and civil dialogue on how we can create a politics that solves problems.

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