Hi, my name is Sean Alexander – one of the co-founders of Next Publius. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this online publication as much as I have enjoyed working with our amazing team. When people ask me why we started Next Publius, our story isn’t as glamorous as some might think. I believe that Next Publius was born out of necessity. One night, my friend and I were on the phone and we started to have a deep conversation about politics. Being more liberal and living in suburban Georgia, I have always had to consider both sides of every political argument, something that my friend and I found lacking in the media. With cancel culture being more prevalent and the nation becoming more and more divided, I felt that we needed a platform where all perspectives could be shown without inflammatory language used and a platform that allows opposing sides to understand one another. Next Publius is our answer. After talking about this concept with my friend and now co-founder, Molly, we knew we had to create our own platform that embodies these values and brings a younger voice into politics. We aim to not only bring multiple sides together but also hope to allow people to read about different perspectives without having to be at each other’s throats. We felt that many people in our generation would have the same sentiment, so we started to reach out to our networks and Facebook groups to see who’d like to contribute and be a part of this project. We’ve been so fortunate to work with remarkable people that are passionate about not only their own political and social beliefs, but also the understanding that to move forward, we must first understand one another.
We also started Next Publius because we believe that as Gen-Z’ers, a younger generation, we are in a unique position to help the country come together. Most of our generation does not buy into the Democratic/Republican two-party system. Even more so, we want more constructive conversation that extends beyond party politics and that is rooted within our common humanity. With technology connecting us with more information than ever, we are able to read and expose ourselves to more facts and perspectives, without having to rely on our parent’s political opinions. We are learning to think for ourselves and advocate for what we believe in.
Another reason why we started Next Publius is that I believe Next Publius is my expression of patriotism to this country. As a kid growing up in the suburbs and shielded by my parents from societal problems, I was blissfully ignorant and, for the wrong reasons, thought that the United States of America was the best country in the world. While on the contrary, the United States is intertwined with a history of systemic and cultural issues. We have the highest number of incarceration rates, reported rapes, and national debt. We are the most drugged up country in the world, in terms of both prescription and illegal drugs. We also have the world’s highest rate of gun-related violence. I still believe that the United States of America is the best country in the world, not for what we have done, but for what we could be. With our constitution, freedom of speech, separation of power, and our inherent belief in the American dream, we can make the United States the best country in the world. The same belief is what drove me to start Next Publius with Molly.
Patriotism is not just blindly believing in your country’s greatness. It’s about understanding its flaws and striving to improve them. As Gen-Z’ers and members of Next Publius, we believe that continued growth creates a better America. We grew up on hope; it’s the hope the American Dream was built upon, the hope that the pilgrims brought with them, and the hope that immigrants still bring with them to this day. It’s the same hope that I believe can reignite the US to start conversations on how we can be a country that could actually lay claim to the title “Best Country in the World.”
Our youth, and what some would call naivete, is what allows us to hope and dream for a better future. It was past generations that built the foundation for us to be able to hope for a better future. It is our common humanity that connects us and can bring the United States together. It’s our humanity that will allow us to continue to strive- the same humanity that allows us to believe and dream of a better country.
While we are having discussions about the BLM movement, fundamental reform, LGBTQIA+ rights, our country’s COVID-19 response, and much more, there will always be differing opinions on how we can build a better America. Instead of fighting, we should embrace our differing opinions, learn from them, and grow from them. Something that we’re taught in school and we should learn as a society is to get along with one another. This is something obviously easier said than done, but we hope that Next Publius can be a step in the right direction – allowing us to start having the difficult conversations about our different opinions and to ultimately bring people together.
We started Next Publius because we are choosing to be better and know that there are more people like us who want to do better. We hope that as a society and as a nation, we can strive to do better, together.