The title of this blog, a seeming contradiction in terms, alludes to the Internet’s renowned convenience as well as its formidable power as an informational and organizational tool. Armchair Firebrand seeks to affect positive social change by disseminating information and facilitating online discourse with an eye towards cultivating a more well-informed public, all from the relative comfort of its editor’s own living room.
Founding Father James Madison once declared that, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance.” Unfortunately, in today’s society, the elements of that axiom often seem reversed. Over the last decade, we’ve seen one of our major political parties engage in an Orwellian campaign of propaganda, disinformation and outright lies. Currently, that same party’s cynical strategy of blind obstructionism threatens to bring the wheels of our government to a screeching halt. Meanwhile, our media is more concerned with covering celebrity transgressions and sensationalized scandals than reporting objective facts about the many vital issues confronting our democracy. And the vast majority of us are content to remain blissfully ignorant.
It is the responsibility of every American citizen to understand how our government operates, to be aware of its actions (or lack thereof) and to hold our elected officials accountable (to a reasonable extent). Those are the fundamental principles of our republic. As Madison put it, “a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.” Recently, we seem to have lost touch with that ideal. Armchair Firebrand seeks to help restore it.
So, in that spirit, I dedicate Armchair Firebrand’s inaugural post to James Madison.