Many people have asked me about my chosen pen name, Euripides. Of course, the name comes from the famous Greek tragedian who wrote some of the best classic works, including Trojan Women, The Bacchae, and Medea. The Greek Euripides’ works contain several early references to Greek democracy and are known for their realism and biting satire.
But that isn’t why I chose Euripides as a pen name for my political writing.
I chose the name because of an even older Greek play: A man, walking in the dark and foggy night, holds up a lantern, searching for something in the mist. Presently another man, also wandering in the dark mist with a lantern, meets up with the first. The first looks to the second and holds up a pair of pants.“Euripides?” the first man asks.
“Eumenides?” asks the second.
And that’s how I chose my pen name.
I’ve written articles and blogs for several years at Euripides’ Self Evident Truths, with extemporanea writings with my views on politics, religion, education, morality, ethics, democracy, and the republic.
Despite unkind words to the contrary, I do indeed teach both at the college and at the university levels. As a student, I gained advanced degrees in anthropology, Near Eastern archaeology, international studies (with an emphasis in the Mideast), and history. I currently teach classes in U.S. history, world religions, political theory and ideologies, Western civilization, and modern Mideast history and politics.
Ideologically, I agree with the ideals of liberal democracy of the 18th and 19th centuries, tempered with the republican model. In the original sense of the word, I am a liberal democrat, with a healthy distrust of government and politicians. Those defining the liberal movement of the 18th century understood that government must be limited in its power. By handing power to voters, government could be limited and held under control. Interestingly, at that time, the conservatives wished to retain the status quo with its authoritarian governments and strict economic control over the state. In modern times, we’ve flip-flopped the terms: conservatives now press for limited government, and liberals press for increased state control – statism. (It also must stick in the craw of modern liberals to realize that they’ve now become the “establishment” they fought against in the 1960s.)
On the political side, I am a registered independent, albeit quite a conservative one. Today’s Democrats are flat-out wrong in their statist ideals of economic and social liberalism. Republicans are power-mongering wannabes. Libertarians are too strange even for me. And I have absolutely no idea what the Green Party even is. (Nor do I want to know – in this case, ignorance truly is bliss.)
I am a card-carrying member of the NRA, firmly believing that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is what protects all the other constitutional rights from going away too quickly. (There’s nothing scarier to leftists than a gun-toting conservative.)
Contrary to popular belief, I am not a Bible-thumper, especially where politics are concerned. I generally treat my Bible with respect rather than thumping it. In my writings I do indeed defend the 1st Amendment’s ideal to protect the free exercise of religion but do not mix religion in with my politics. (It must grate on the nerves of secular humanists everywhere that the Founders protected religion and not atheism.)
I was an NCAA fencer and coach for many years. Nowadays, I enjoy photography, Tae-kwon-do, shooting, playing Munchkin, and my family, not necessarily in that order.
Here, on the Rational Conservatism site, I’ll offer an academic’s approach to the contemporary problem of statist government. My posts here will be more on the academic side – analysis and review of historical and current conservative thought in contrast with modern liberalism. If you want to catch my snark, I’ll still be writing at Self Evident Truths.