Greetings and salutations or as so many of my former Aussie classmates at Australian National University would say “G’day Mates!”
My name is Tom Ufert and I am deeply honoured to have been invited by Divine Magazine to write this monthly column on politics. For over thirty years I have been politically motivated. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle once wrote “Man is by nature a political animal”and in my humble opinion he was absolutely right.
Some may rightly question what qualifies me to comment on this influential subject. First and foremost, I am a citizen. Therefore, not only is it my constitutional right but my moral obligation to be an informed and involved participant in the affairs of a democratic republic. On a more professional level my academic pursuits have blessed me with a double BA in Political Science/History and graduate studies in East Asian Political Affairs as a Rotary International Fellow. Additionally, I have been honoured to serve as a Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Intern, worked on 11 political campaigns and have been nominated as a White House Fellow. Finally, my past employers/mentors have included one White House Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan, an Assistant Chief of Staff to then Vice-President George H.W. Bush, the recently retired Obama Administration U.S. Trade Ambassador, one state governor and two Members of Congress. As of today, I am an Amazon Best Selling Author and a 2016 U.S. Presidential Candidate.
To say the least I am definitely a “political animal.” I list these accomplishments not to boast but to elicit confidence. My goals and intent with Politics Today are to inform my readers, to inspire participation and to challenge pre-conceived notions. As I once lectured to public high school students, “Politics does affect you whether you want to believe it or not!” I have never been suckered by the popular notion “My vote doesn’t count.” Consider this: If your vote didn’t count, then why do candidates, politicians, special interest groups and the media place so much emphasis on public opinion polls?
The primary focus of this column shall be American politics and its influence on U.S. domestic policies, foreign affairs, national security, geo-political strategies and international relations. Periodically we’ll address the ever increasing concerns of global economic trends and civil liberties. Politics Today will utilise a variety of opinions and reports to broaden the mind. Every attempt will be made to be open minded and avoid being judgmental. However, please try to remember that this is essentially an OpEd column. Nonetheless, your responses and feedback are encouraged and highly respected so please feel free to comment. The free exchange of opinions and ideas is an essential element to the marketplace of ideas that helps all humanity progress towards a higher plane of existence.
I fully understand that Divine Magazine’s readership stretches far beyond American shores and is guided towards a rather diverse audience. Therefore, let me be perfectly transparent. While I am ethnically Caucasian, homosexual in orientation, raised a Roman Catholic in religious faith, physically challenged with three permanent “disabilities”and a naturally born American citizen—none of these strictly defines me. While I am all of these, none of these classifications is all that I am about! Strictly speaking, like all of you I am a human being living on this revolving dust speck we call earth trying to do the best I can. I am not infallible and far from perfect. Accepting the fundamental premise that we can agree to disagree, while practicing mutually respectful discourse is the first step down the “road less travelled.” In the end, together we’ll try to make sense of this often confusing human behaviour we call politics.
Since this is my inaugural submission as a guest columnist at Divine Magazine, I felt it was necessary to formally introduce myself, outline the parameters of what I’ll be addressing and perhaps tease you a little. It is my sincere hope that you’ll join me next month when I’ll do my best to make sense of America’s 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign. Here in the United States we sarcastically refer to this period in the election cycle as the “silly season!” So you’ll have to bear with me as I try my best to guide readers through the quagmire I like to call Political Craps.