What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

How Republican and Democratic Priorities Differ

November 16, 2010, 7:16 PM

The Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen pointed out a striking contrast Monday between what the Senate Republican leadership and the Senate Democratic leadership say their priorities are.

Here’s Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) inn a speech to the Heritage Foundation a couple of weeks ago:

Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office. But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things.

Compare that to what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), speaking about Congress as a whole, wrote in The Hill yesterday:

Our number one priority is still getting people back to work. And the most important change we can make is in working more productively as a unified body to help our economy regain its strength.

In other words, while the top Democratic priority is creating jobs, the top Republican priority is winning the next presidential election.

Now I don’t need to call McConnell’s office to know he would say the comparison is unfair. Part of the Republican opposition to Obama comes from a genuine disagreement over how to create jobs. And later in the same speech McConnell promised the Republicans would “fight tooth and nail on behalf of Americans struggling to find and create jobs.”

Still the difference in emphasis is telling. Republicans in Congress have, after all, have refused as a block to cooperate with Democrats in order to prevent them from getting credit for any legislative accomplishments. That strategy may have helped them win the midterm election, but it also meant passing reasonable opportunities to compromise for the good of the country. It’s telling too that creating jobs is not one of the things McConnell considers one of his party's primary legislative goals. After all, he knows that creating jobs is at odds with his top priority—denying Obama another term in office.


How Republican and Democrat...

Newsletter: Share: