One can defeat Trumpism if we recognize racism as a defective tool whose use we must rid ourselves of as we develop the real effective ones.
Thought on Trumpism vs. Racism
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Recently Conservative columnist David Brooks wrote the following excerpted piece titled “The Rotting of the Republican Mind,” which contains some important points. While I am not a fan of David Brooks, he says how things are and not what they should or what we hope they would be.
We live in a country in epistemological crisis, in which much of the Republican Party has become detached from reality. …
Over the past decades the information age has created a lot more people who make their living working with ideas, who are professional members of this epistemic process. The information economy has increasingly rewarded them with money and status. It has increasingly concentrated them in ever more prosperous metro areas.
While these cities have been prospering, places where fewer people have college degrees have been spiraling down: flatter incomes, decimated families, dissolved communities. In 1972, people without college degrees were nearly as happy as those with college degrees. Now those without a degree are far more unhappy about their lives.
People need a secure order to feel safe. Deprived of that, people legitimately feel cynicism and distrust, alienation and anomie. This precarity has created, in nation after nation, intense populist backlashes against the highly educated folks who have migrated to the cities and accrued significant economic, cultural and political power. …
For those awash in anxiety and alienation, who feel that everything is spinning out of control, conspiracy theories are extremely effective emotional tools. For those in low status groups, they provide a sense of superiority: I possess important information most people do not have. For those who feel powerless, they provide agency: I have the power to reject “experts” and expose hidden cabals. As Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law School points out, they provide liberation: If I imagine my foes are completely malevolent, then I can use any tactic I want.
Under Trump, the Republican identity is defined not by a set of policy beliefs but by a paranoid mind-set. He and his media allies simply ignore the rules of the epistemic regime and have set up a rival trolling regime. …
What to do? You can’t argue people out of paranoia. If you try to point out factual errors, you only entrench false belief. The only solution is to reduce the distrust and anxiety that is the seedbed of this thinking. That can only be done first by contact, reducing the social chasm between the members of the epistemic regime and those who feel so alienated from it. And second, it can be done by policy, by making life more secure for those without a college degree.
Here is the interesting thing about the article. Nowhere in it is the word race mentioned. That will concern many, given that a part of the Republican technique is to use race as a tool to ensure even as they have bad policies, they get the vote of those they hurt.
Please listen to the entire video in this post and then give me your thoughts. It was a segment in one of our recent Politics Done Right shows.
My books, “It's Worth It: How to Talk To Your Right-Wing Relatives, Friends, and Neighbors” & “As I See It: Class Warfare: The Only Resort To Right Wing Doom” support (1) communication techniques & (2) Progressive message delivery.
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