Hate, not Economic Despair: Trump’s Rural American Victory

Muslim xenophobia

As I noted yesterday, sociologists and historians tell us that economic insecurity and inequality provide fertile soil for racial and cultural resentments. Economic stresses don’t create those resentments, however. Like everything else, economic conditions are experienced through a cultural lens–that is, how we interpret economic circumstances and react to them depends upon the value structures and worldviews of the people doing the interpreting. When […]

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Google Trends & Hate Data: Not a Pretty Picture

hate crimes in Donald Trump MAGA America

Vox recently reported on a research project that led to publication of a book titled “Everyone Lies.” If you are one of those people who suspects that humanity is filled with people who are anything but noble, it’s apparently the book for you. Stephens-Davidowitz was working on a PhD in economics at Harvard when he became obsessed with Google Trends, a […]

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50 Years of Loving: The End of Interracial Marriage Bans

Loving v Virginia

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a historic decision that would set foundational legal precedent for equality and the fundamental Constitutional right to get married. A year before she died in 2008, Mildred Loving – the namesake at the center of the landmark case Loving v. Virginia – made statements reaffirming the fight for equality and linking […]

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The New Southern Strategy: What Swamp Is Being Drained?

drain the swamp

Reactions to Trump’s proposed budget from the country’s much-disparaged “elites” has been unremittingly negative, for obvious reasons–if such a budget actually passed, it would eviscerate support for science, the arts, medical research, children’s health, urban redevelopment and transportation, not to mention food for the poor. As many policy analysts have pointed out, this budget would wreak havoc for huge numbers […]

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“Those People”: The Economic Realities Of Demonizing ‘Otherness’

those people otherness

Most of us have been in conversations that included someone’s dismissive reference to “those people.” When I was growing up in Anderson, Indiana (with exactly 30 Jewish families in the whole town), the term was often applied to Jews. It was also–and remains–a favored euphemism when race is being discussed by people who don’t like to think of themselves as […]

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Two Countries, Both American

Two Countries, Both American

There’s an important new book by Peter Temin, professor emeritus of economics at MIT, titled The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy.  It paints a depressing  portrait of America and the evaporation of what used to be a healthy middle class. His assertion: America is no longer a single country. Instead, we are two separate nations, and those […]

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Trump’s Terrifying Question: “Why Was There The Civil War?”

Trump spoke of the Civil War and Andrew Jackson

In a radio interview with “Main Street Meets the Beltway” that aired today on SiriusXM, Donald Trump not only claimed Andrew Jackson was very angry about the Civil War and could have done things differently had he held office later, but outright questioned why the war happened in the first place. “People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil […]

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