Obedience to Political Party Narratives Is Now Required By Right and Left, As the US Embraces Authoritarianism

I lived in authoritarian regimes where there was lack of due process and almost tribal presumptions of guilt and innocence. Both the right and the left (and this medium) are pushing the US in an authoritarian direction. "Please resist the temptation to follow hyper-partisan instincts in the Kavanaugh-Ford case," I wrote on Facebook, along with... Continue Reading →

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19th Century Political Factions Return in 21st Century

Before the age of mass media, in the 19th century, political factions were common. Perhaps future historians will look at the Tea Party Republicans and Occupy Wall Street the way we look at Bourbon Democrats; the Mugwumps; and the Know-Nothings. Factions keep coming back, then disappearing. I thought of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) as having... Continue Reading →

Cracks in the Wall of Trumpism

Two-thirds of Americans in a Fox News poll say the Mueller investigation should continue; 64 percent think Mueller is treating Trump fairly; 56 percent think it's likely he'll find criminal or impeachable offenses by Trump, and 71 percent think Trump will try to fire Mueller before he's done. Former CIA Director John Brennan says Russia... Continue Reading →

Conservative/Republican Angst Is Just Desserts

The conservative movement and Republican Party seem to be imploding with infighting over Donald Trump. Less than four months after Donald Trump took office, at least two Republican members of Congress are floating the idea of Trump's impeachment (Source: Breitbart.com).  Others are fantasizing about President Mike Pence. Conservative discussion boards are fraught with infighting, criticism of... Continue Reading →

American Conservatism Falls into Reactionary Defensiveness

Conservative columnist Charlie Sykes nails the dilemma of modern conservatism, which is abandoning principles in favor of a reflexive, reactionary defense of Donald Trump only because he annoys liberals. Ad hominem attacks have replaced logic, principles, and commitment to eternal values. This "anti-anti-Trumpism" is ultimately a dead end, he writes. "Conservatives will care less about governing... Continue Reading →

‘Trumpism’ May Be Temporary Setback

Ruy Teixeira is optimistic about a progressive triumph against Trump and the Republicans. "Liberals Will Beat Trump in the End," he wrote in Washington Post: "The dominant ideology in the United States is one that combines 'symbolic conservatism' (honoring tradition, distrusting novelty, embracing the conservative label) with “operational liberalism” (wanting government to take more action in... Continue Reading →

Anger and Mourning on the American Right

In "Strangers in the Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right," sociologist Arlie Hochschild probes the emotions of America's conservative base, to understand those who see government as more of a problem than solution, to "build the scaffolding of an empathy bridge." "We, on both sides, wrongly imagine that empathy with 'the other'... Continue Reading →

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