What Went Wrong Where did We Go Wrong

“Trump is a swindler, but the Trumpocalypse of 2020 represents something a lot bigger and a lot worse than a swindle. In the fall of 2019, a nonpartisan research organization studied the distinctive attitudes of Republicans who watched Fox News as their primary source of information. Among that group, 55 percent said there was virtually nothing President Trump could do that would change their minds about supporting him. Fox News and the Facebook feed have become for many Americans friends more intimate and trusted than family or neighbors. The validation of their prejudices by television and Facebook is a validation of themselves.

And so, for the sake of flag and faith, millions of decent conservative Americans countenanced scandals, wrongs, disloyalty, and crime. Trump’s followers live in an isolated knowledge community that has developed its own situational ethics. They wanted to lock up Hillary Clinton for sending and receiving emails on a personal server, not caring even slightly when Ivanka Trump did the exact same thing or when Trump outright blabbed to the Russian foreign minister secrets much more vital than anything Clinton could possibly have risked. They plunged into the QAnon fantasy of a wise and good Trump poised to crush a global ring of child molesters, in order to avoid the reality of a malignant Trump who by his own admission had preyed upon teenage beauty-pageant contestants. The System Failed the Test of Trump

A psychologist explains how a nationwide ‘breakdown of empathy’ has created today’s toxic GOP

The US is a lot more corrupt than Americans realize, and the problem goes much deeper than Trump https://www.businessinsider.com/scandals-show-us-is-a-lot-more-corrupt-than-americans-realize-2019-3

A handful of ultra-rich dynastic families are bleeding the country dry — and destroying American democracy

How Trump Happened It’s not just anger over jobs and immigration. White voters hope Trump will restore the racial hierarchy upended by Barack Obama. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/03/how_donald_trump_happened_racism_against_barack_obama.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class https://hbr.org/2016/11/what-so-many-people-dont-get-about-the-u-s-working-class

How the baby boomers broke America The most likely outcome in 2020 is that voters will yet again ask a baby boomer to fix what the baby boom broke. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/26/how-the-baby-boomers-broke-america-058122?cid=apn

Did we declare independence from common sense?https://www.al.com/opinion/2017/07/did_we_declare_independence_fr.html

Why I’m helping people fight their biases https://qz.com/work/1223020/why-im-helping-people-fight-their-biases/

American hyper-capitalism breeds the lonely, alienated men who become mass killers Despair, rage and lack of human connection among white men are key culprits in America’s mass shooting epidemic https://www.salon.com/2017/11/08/american-hyper-capitalism-breeds-the-lonely-alienated-men-who-become-mass-killers_partner/

White fear elected Trump: Political scientist Diana Mutz on the “status threat” hypothesis

Noam Chomsky reveals exactly what went wrong in the 2016 presidential election that gave us Trump

Angry young white men, the “incel rebellion” and an age of worldwide reaction White supremacists, online misogynists and the rise of the far right: How to fight a rising tide of resentment https://www.salon.com/2018/05/12/angry-young-white-men-the-incel-rebellion-and-an-age-of-worldwide-reaction/

Conservative Naval War College professor explains how Fox News is an addictive drug for paranoid elders

Fall of the American Empire

We’ll Be Paying For Mark Halperin’s Sins For Years To Come Reports of sexual harassment destroyed his reputation and his career. But I want to talk about the deeper, subtler, more insidious effect Mark Halperin had on our politics. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/evefairbanks/mark-halperin-poisoned-our-politics

What Machiavelli can teach us about Trump and the decline of liberal democracy The infamous philosopher had a lot to say about why democracies fall. https://www.vox.com/2017/7/24/15913826/machiavelli-donald-trump-democracy-america-erica-benner

Conservative Men Are Obsessed With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Science Tells Us Why. Conservatives respond to fear more strongly than liberals do, says one neuroscientist who studies political anxiety. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/conservatives-afraid-alexandria-ocasio-cortez_n_5c38cb74e4b05cb31c421cc3?guccounter=1

What America can learn from the fall of the Roman republic Theory for why Trump supporters are so angry Cramer’s recent book, “The Politics of Resentment,” offers a third perspective. Through her repeated interviews with the people of rural Wisconsin, she shows how politics have increasingly become a matter of personal identity. Just about all of her subjects felt a deep sense of bitterness toward elites and city dwellers; just about all of them felt tread on, disrespected and cheated out of what they felt they deserved.http://wpo.st/2hME2 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/15/donald-trump-didnt-hoodwink-his-voters-says-professor-whos-spent-nearly-a-decade-researching-them/

Working class whites delivered the election to Donald Trump, and Kathy Cramer can help explain why. For the past nine years, the political science professor has been studying the politics of rural Wisconsinites, returning to the same people over and over, analyzing their views and tracing them over time. This election cycle, she’s had a front-row seat to the rise of Trump.

We first spoke to Cramer last week before the election. Her research emphasizes how personal identities and frames of mind shape the political beliefs we hold — even the facts we choose to see. In her recent book, “The Politics of Resentment,” she explains that the perspectives of rural voters of Wisconsin are dominated by their belief that the government and city elites disrespect them and deprive them of their “fair share.”

In this worldview, racial and economic anxieties shape — and are shaped by — people’s personal values, like their beliefs about who works hard, and who deserves what. As Cramer writes in her book

This is how the politics of resentment operates — it works through seemingly simple divisions of us versus them, but it has power because in these divisions are a multitude of fundamental understandings: who has power, who has what values and which of those values are right, who gets what, and perceptions of the basic fairness of all of this.

After the election, we returned to ask Cramer for her reaction. Wisconsin was supposed to be part of Hillary Clinton’s “blue wall” — but in the end the state went to Trump, largely thanks to the white working-class and rural voters that Cramer studies. Some of these Trump supporters may have even voted for President Obama in 2012.

People with extreme political views have trouble thinking about their own thinking, study finds – Popular Science

Situational Assessment 2017: Trump Edition

While many things have changed in the world in the past two years, 2016 saw what looks like a phase transition in the political domain. While the overall phenomenon is global in scale and includes Brexit and other movements throughout Europe, I want to focus specifically on the victory of the “Trump Insurgency” and drill down into detail on how this state change will play out.

Decline of intellect – science as truth https://www.facebook.com/neildegrassetyson/videos/10155195888806613/

Square and stationary earth http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2015/09/30/history_of_flat_earth_theory_orlando_ferguson_s_map_of_the_flat_earth.html?wpsrc=atlasobscura

Merkel says pandemic reveals limits of ‘fact-denying populism’ https://thehill.com/policy/international/506393-merkel-says-pandemic-reveals-limits-of-fact-denying-populism

Perspective | This was the week America lost the war on misinformation — The Washington Post

‘A war against COVID and stupidity’: Houston doctor — Reuters


The Prophecies of Q American conspiracy theories are entering a dangerous new phase. https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/610567/

The Death Of Expertise https://thefederalist.com/2014/01/17/the-death-of-expertise/

How the Right Learned to Loathe Higher Education Conservative dislike of the academy isn’t new. But it is alarming.

The man who studies the spread of ignorance http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160105-the-man-who-studies-the-spread-of-ignorance

This Presidency is Killing Relationships—and We’re All Grieving Nothing adequately explains their complete rejection of Science.

Nothing completely accounts for them instantly embracing the most nonsensical of conspiracies.

Nothing truly prepared me for their social media explosions of racism.

Nothing fully connects the dots between their past goodness and this present ugliness.

I can microscopically parcel out every conceivable contributing factor: white supremacy, the pro-life lie, Fox News propaganda, toxic masculinity, Evangelical indoctrination, intellectual laziness, manipulated nationalism, unchecked capitalism, hatred for Hillary, political fatigue, disenfranchisement, fear of replacement, and celebrity worship:

They fail to adequately explain how I lost people I loved and respected.

They don’t cushion the pain of these separations.

They don’t make it easier for me to grieve the loss of living people.

They don’t comfort me in these relational funerals.

And as much as I am in mourning, I know that these people are likely similarly grieving me right now; that they too are lamenting their own list of ways they imagine I’ve changed or lost the plot or abandoned my convictions or betrayed my religion—and they’re wondering where they lost me.https://johnpavlovitz.com/2020/08/06/this-presidency-is-killing-relationships-and-were-all-grieving/

Big tech experts Jeff Orlowski and Tristan Harris explain why lies spread six times faster than truth on social media. @hari @TristanHarris @jefforlowski Amanpour and Company on Twitter

How professional wrestling perfectly explains Donald Trump’s ‘Superman’ stunt https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/11/politics/donald-trump-superman-shirt-coronavirus/index.html

Appeasement Got Us Where We Are It’s time to stand up to the fascists among us. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/07/opinion/donald-trump-fascism.html

People with extreme anti-science views know the least, but think they know the most: study https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/people-with-extreme-anti-science-views-know-the-least-but-think-they-know-the-most-study

“Because the 40 years of this plutocratic takeover — of the ideology that said if you’re torn between doing what’s good for money and what’s good for people, always do what’s good for money; these stories about lazy workers and welfare queens; and any number of other fraudulent tales that were meant to justify life in the Hamptons — if I allow myself to feel this way on a good day, it all actually feels like it’s burning down.

And on matters of race and identity, likewise, the Trump era doesn’t have the crackle of a launch. It has been a mourning. A mourning for white power. A mourning for a time when simply to be white and show up was enough. A mourning for an era in which simply to be a man, and not necessarily an especially capable one, could get you ahead of other people. A mourning for a time when you could be the default idea of an American and not have to share your toys.

We must understand that what we’ve been living through is backlash.”

We are falling on our face because we are jumping high

It’s official: Clinton swamps Trump in popular vote

How Covid-19 Is Transforming Culture and Media in the United States

Capitol Attack Was Culmination of Generations of Far-Right Extremism