Merion West

This publication was founded to bring a new and independent voice to the current media landscape, which has become too partisan and polarizing. As such, Merion West aligns itself in the Hard Center, while publishing critical commentary from both the Left and the Right.

The writers at Merion West are academics, students, former members of Congress, and activists from across the country. Although our individual backgrounds may differ, we are all similarly committed to delivering thought-provoking, dogma free analysis to our readers.

Henri Mattila is a co-founder at Merion West. He is an undergraduate at Cornell University where he majors in business and finance. Henri was born in Helsinki, Finland and is an army reservist there. In addition to business development for Merion West, he enjoys backcountry snowboarding. Get in touch at
 Erich J. Prince is a co-founder at Merion West. Erich studies political science at Yale University. He has written for a variety of publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Hartford Courant, The News & Observer, the Orlando Sentinel, and The Daily Caller. His writing has been honored with two awards from the Columbia University School of Journalism. Erich is from Philadelphia. Contact Erich at
Hans Riess is a contributor at Merion West. Hans recently graduated from Duke University with a degree in mathematics and will soon begin a PhD in electrical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He is interested in applying concepts in mathematics to political decision-making. Hans is a native of Indiana. Reach out at
 Nikhil Sridhar seeks out writers who bring important new perspectives to Merion West. He studies biology and political science at Duke University and is interested in American politics. Nikhil is from Virginia. Contact him at

Our Philosophy

At Merion West, we believe that there are few dangers more pernicious than the urge to become an obedient, unthinking member of a one-size-fits-all ideology. Novelist Milan Kundera warned:

Anyone who thinks that the Communist regimes of Central Europe are exclusively the work of criminals are overlooking a basic truth: The criminal regimes were made not by criminals but by enthusiasts convinced that they had discovered the only road to paradise. They defended that road so valiantly that they were forced to execute many people. Later it became clear that there was no paradise, that the enthusiasts were therefore murderers.

Poet Charles Simic agreed:The first person who told me about the evil in the world was my grandmother…The poor woman had more sense than most people. She listened to Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and other lunatics on the radio and since she knew several languages, she understood the imbecilities they were saying. What upset her even more than their vile words was their cheering followers. I didn’t realize it then, but she taught me a lesson that has stuck. Beware of the so-called great leaders and the collective euphorias they excite.

The desire, whatever its source, to submit with unquestioning obedience to popular opinion or the most fashionable narrative, is best met by exposing oneself to a variety of facts and the best arguments of each side. At Merion West, we provide this dogma free analysis. Our commentary acknowledges that many of the issues are more complex than how politicians and advocacy groups frame them to suit their purposes.


Join Merion West

If you are interested in contributing to Merion West, please visit Join Merion West.