Statement of Purpose

Reason & Rants is a blog intended as a forum for political discussion. The approach we take seeks to combine reasonable arguments based on facts with opinion. As such, we will strive to be fair and accurate at all times, but we realize that authors are entitled to their opinions, and they are entitled to express them freely. We expect the readers to understand this as well, which is why we include short bios on each author; in this way, you will know our political leanings and biases and how these might affect our opinions. In an effort to keep things somewhat balanced, we will try to solicit response-posts from authors with different opinions.  At the beginning of each blog post, you will see an icon, which codes the type of post you are about to read. Here is a description of these:

Reason Post: While we understand that politics are important, we hold that politics are not about agenda, but about discussion. It’s been said that intelligence is the ability to change your mind when presented with fact; in that vein we seek to approach discussions through an open (if critical) mind. Reason Posts may include (but aren’t limited to) fact checking, “calling a time-out” in an important debate to look at the assumptions made on either side, or a heavily fact-based opinion article (expected to have sources and cite them).

Rant Post: These posts differ from Reason Posts in that they are highly opinionated and may not be grounded in object fact. That is not to say that rants will be based in lies: there is no place for that. But while politics deserve fact and reason, there is a place for raw opinion, as long as it is labeled as such.

Reaction Posts: Reaction posts are meant to give the other side a chance to voice their opinion in something more than a snide remark hidden in a comment. They will take on the same nature as the post that they respond to; reactions to reason posts should be based on fact and take a reasonable if opinionated approach, and reactions to rants may be subjective as well.

Link Posts: Link posts will link to other sources to present the main argument, and then provide a reaction to those. Reactions may be in agreement or disagreement with the link. As with reaction posts, link posts will take on the nature and tone of reaction posts in terms of objectivity or subjectivity.

The post type identified here are meant to help the reader (and authors) know what kind of post they are reading. In regards to link and reaction posts, it is an immediate signal that that you should seek out the initial post. The coding for Reason and Reaction Posts will help you know if you are getting a fact-based argument or an off-the-cuff reaction grounded in opinion than anything else. Through these mechanisms, we hope to provide a valuable discussion where the intent of the author is made known, and where real discussion can begin.


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