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Who am I?

I'm including the following information in the interest of full disclosure. I would like to think that none of this information is critical for understanding and participating in the AMM, but ultimately, that is for you to judge.

My name is Paul Chapin. I am on the IT staff at Amherst College. I have degrees in economics, political science and education. And I am a long time politics buff having started with the Kennedy-Nixon election while still in grade school.

Politically, I'm a Democrat. Like most people, my standing on the liberal/conservative scale varies with the issue, but I'd probably put it in the 7 to 8 range of a scale running 0 to 10 with 10 being the most liberal. (Note this scale would have to be exponential as you move away from the center. There are some very extreme individuals on both sides). I tend to be socially liberal, economically moderate and hawkish in foreign policy. My goal, however, is to run this site fairly for everybody who accepts the Party's basic philosophy.

This site is in part my reaction to the increasing nastiness of politics and the concurrent drop in the quality of the actual debate. While many Americans like to hark back to the days of civil discourse, this country has a tradition of regarding politics as a contact sport. But, to continue the sports analogy, now after the game the players don't shake hands anymore. Political combat has become continual and it flowing over into policy decisions with winning becoming the only lasting objective. Worse, it's now beginning to flow over into the fans who are becoming increasing belligerent both towards politicians they don't like and to fans who support the other side. This is just not healthy for the country.

I maintain this site on a part time basis. Worse, I only have a dial up connection from my home which is located in the boonies, or as much in the boonies as you find in Massachusetts. This means a lot of the work is done on my lunch hour or after hours. Don't expect blazingly fast response. You can email me your comments and suggestions at pdchapin@amherst.edu, but with the same understanding. If you do email, please prefix your subject line with "AMM" so I can filter it out from all the spam I get.

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