How the right's monomania and the left's Great Awokening feed each other
A few observations:
Follow the money.
We no longer have American electoral politics, but rather competing agitprop-based fundraising grifts. You raise far more money from anger and outrage than positive policy solutions, well articulated.
Between this dynamic and the massive graft of tax dollars funneled to the Democratic party for partisan purposes by government unions, community organizers and other dodgy partisan schemes, I'm coming around to having public financing of political campaigns.
I think this is perhaps the best, most clear and coherent analysis of how we find ourselves in the polarized nation - world we live in today I have ever read
This boggles me:
“Of the 471 incidents we found of attempts to get professors fired, about 164 of them (35%) were from the right.”
Having a cognitive dissonance moment over this one right now. I thought it was 99% from the left. Thank you for ALL of the work you’ve done!
"So, even the people who say Trump called the white supremacists, KKK members, and neo-Nazis “very fine people” have a good argument. Trump may not have known who the people who got the permit were; he may have contradicted himself in that press conference; but nothing turns the claim that he complimented racist protesters into a 'hoax.'"
THANK YOU. I am so sick of this bogus narrative being presented by anti-anti-Trumpists as the smoking gun that somehow proves that Trump is really an OK guy who just can't get his facts straight and yet has been made out to be some kind of monster by a rabid mainstream press.
I listened to a whole podcast featuring James Lindsay (one of Helen Pluckrose's collaborators in the amusing fake greivance-studies research paper stunt) generally impressed by his good sense before spending the last 15 minutes of it facepalming over his stunningly ignorant reasoning for voting for Trump. This "hoax" was, of course, the centerpiece of that reasoning. And he appears to be one of the many Johnny-come-lately's to this general conclusion about Trump, noting that he spent three and a half years thinking Trump was awful until he took a friend's advice and googled "Trump was right". Seriously.
This basically boiled down to whether you think Trump was saying white supremacists were good people vs saying that this particular bunch of white supremacists weren't actually white supremacists and were really good people. If you've honestly been swayed to support Trump by such trivia, you haven't been paying a damn bit of attention to everything he's done and gotten away with. Not surprising if you were paying so little attention to this incident in the first place that you were persuaded to consider it a "hoax" years later just by viewing a portion of a transcript of a press conference that was fully covered by the media at the time.
I agree, but think it might be useful to go back farther to see how these two trends began. In the late '7O, the Democratic Party, was broken down and torn apart by its continued support for the Vietnam War. Thinking it could capture the energy of the 196Os predominantly youth movements, it began to focus on 'movement' or what it considered pre-movement aims, or what became known as single-issue campaigns - and also 'minority caucuses' (sic Over the course of the next few decades, that changed the nature of the Democratic Party. First, it taught a whole new generation of Democratic activists to identify with specific issues over identifying with Democrats as a political party. Second, institutionalizing issues in this way also bred competition for political attention and funding, so you had environmentalists competing with women's groups for their specific cause. Third, it gave unprecedented influence to college grads attuned to this new politics and networks of think-tanks studying and promoting them. Fourth, inside and outside liberal organizations often came up with a novel 'demand' to prove their authenticity against another organizing the same issue.
As examples, the 2nd wave woman's movement ignored working class women until unions started addressing equal pay in the early '8Os. and you got the extremisms of 2O2O - such as abortion on demand up to the delivery room - of the abortion-rights movements.
This all came about as the Republicans intensified pushing 'wedge issues' around religion, sex. 'family values', etc Thats when the two camps - liberal and conservative - began a decades-long fight, carried out primarily by that 14% you identify at either end of the spectrum, but profoundly influencing American culture, weakening Party identification and discipline - until we get to 2O16 when the entire electorate went to the polls thinking both party's were 'do-nothing' Trump winning only consolidated the views of both sides that they must be right.
I think FIRE should ask the ACLU for its name. I mean, the ACLU isn't meaningfully for civil liberties anymore, so if they passed it over to FIRE old folks like me wouldn't have to mentally remap it.