Benjamin R. Olson's application to the Rubenstein Fellowship at the Brooking Institution


The youtube video below set's up my application, as it was the catalyst for me applying to the fellowship. I'd like to turn this presentation, with many edits and refinements, into a Ted Talk and Speaking Tour to get people to think about American Politics in a less simplistic partisan sense, and empower a movement of moderates, for which I have a specific definition.

At a very high level, this Fellowship could focus on one or both of the following. Both center around the premise that we need a movement of moderates now.

1) Because Washington is broken. Starting with the U.S. House in 2018 we need to elect a substantial freshman class of moderates to begin fixing Congress and getting it working again

2) To dampen the effects of the current Nationalist movement in the West so we can avoid WWIII. To do this we must advocate for a more compassionate globalism that solves the "agency" problem brought up by Rousseau. This idea is way above many peoples heads--and so this would be an education campaign that acknowledges the problems with Globalism long-ignored by elites, while warning of the horrors of Nationalism. 

The PDF Application can be viewed here

A wriTing Sample can be viewed here

Resume is here



BONUS: Preview of the French Election

Using Apple's Keynote program, I created 97 annotated slides. First, I give an overview of my circular politics framework which I created, that outlines how I see politics in the U.S. (beyond left and right--also front and back of the circle) and why political polarization undermined moderates, literally broke Washington, and fueled populists.

The Nationalist/Populist wave is not unique to the United States, so I explore what Russian involvement in the 2016 elections in Britain and the U.S. and 2017 elections in France and Germany means for Globalism, Russian relations, and the American Empire. I conclude that Putin funded an idea that was ready to take hold in the West because it had been ignored by the political class since 1945. I examine the concept of Sovereign Democracy, and the underling philosophy behind it which comes from French Enlightenment Philosopher Jean-Jaques Rousseau. We take a history lesson and ask whether Globalism is just our nice shorthand for the American Empire.

Last, I compare the values of Nationalism and Globalism and using Aristotle's Virtue Ethics, I wonder if their is in fact a virtue between the vices of Globalism and Nationalism.