Political blogs can explore a wide range of issues, from specific policy questions, political rhetoric and discourse, to structural issues that affect the functioning–and deliberative nature–of government. You have a lot to talk about, sure, but be careful you don’t use this blog “merely” as a platform to express your political viewpoints or frustrations. Below are a few ideas:

Civic Discourse: Is civic discourse ailing in the U.S.? How might it be improved? How has the internet in general and social media in particular affected the possibility and the tenor of civic discourse? What do recent organized protest movements on both sides of the political spectrum—the various Tea Party groups and the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements—suggest about the state of civic discourse at present? What role do non-political forces (such as the media) have in promoting or disturbing civic discourse? In what ways does/can education enable civic discourse in and about politics? Under what conditions, if any, is uncivil discourse justified? What examples have you encountered that suggest that civic discourse is alive and healthy?

Party politics: What has happened to bipartisanship in the U.S. government? What are the ideologies underlying bipartisanship as a thing to be valued above other elements of political action and discourse? How do the structures of government in the U.S. (e.g., the filibuster, anonymous holds, veto powers) affect the possibilities of bipartisanship? Do “party lines” and lobbyists exert too much control over elected officials? What role should “third parties” play in U.S. politics? Has gerrymandering disrupted bipartisanship? How has the Citizens United ruling and SuperPACs affected elections? For that matter, what role should parties play in representative democracy? To what extent to political parties represent U.S. citizens? Do other nations have models that would prove useful in the U.S.? Is bi-partisanship possible in the contemporary media climate with 24/7 cable news shows and blogs?

U.S. foreign policy: How is the U.S. doing with diplomacy in different parts of the world? What does war have to do with it all? If the 20th century was famously known as “The American Century,” what will the U.S.’s role be on a global stage in the 21st century? What responsibilities, if any, does the U.S. have to provide foreign aid? What is the status of deliberation about the U.S.’s policy drone warfare, and how might that deliberation or policy be improved? What are some of the commonplaces that American citizens hold about foreign policy? Do you see these commonplaces shifting?