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Koinos's Journal
Koinos's Journal
March 31, 2016

Guilty Pleasure Time

I was thinking of O'Malley this morning, and I haven't yet been able to see him and his band in person.

So I just ordered two O'Malley's March compact discs: "Celtic Fury" and "Wait for Me."

Too bad he was short on name recognition and money. He really belongs in the White House.

March 5, 2016

"The Rise of American Authoritarianism," by Amanda Taub

"A niche group of political scientists may have uncovered what's driving Donald Trump's ascent. What they found has implications that go well beyond 2016."


This is a rather long and thorough analysis of the latent authoritarian tendency in many Americans and how this tendency can be activated by threats, real or perceived.

It would be difficult to summarize this long article fairly, but here is an introductory excerpt:

Last September, a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst named Matthew MacWilliams realized that his dissertation research might hold the answer to not just one but all three of these mysteries.

MacWilliams studies authoritarianism — not actual dictators, but rather a psychological profile of individual voters that is characterized by a desire for order and a fear of outsiders. People who score high in authoritarianism, when they feel threatened, look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear.

So MacWilliams naturally wondered if authoritarianism might correlate with support for Trump.

He polled a large sample of likely voters, looking for correlations between support for Trump and views that align with authoritarianism. What he found was astonishing: Not only did authoritarianism correlate, but it seemed to predict support for Trump more reliably than virtually any other indicator....

In my opinion, the greatest threat to democracy as a way of life -- not just a political arrangement, but as an attitude of mind -- is authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is stoked by fear, both rational and irrational, and it looks to a strong punitive leader who promises to use force to end threats by outsiders and persons "not like us." It seeks order and stability at all costs. It subscribes to a command-and-obey or "top down" or hierarchical mentality. This is directly opposed to a democratic or "horizontal" mentality, characterized by openmindness, cooperation, and respect for others as equals.
March 2, 2016

"A real liberal revolution starts with communities of color," by kos

Definitely worth a read, in the light of discussions about this issue on DU.



Despite all of Bernie Sanders’ laudable successes, he’s been hamstrung by his consistent inability to make inroads in communities of color. It was the basis of my original “demographic ceiling” thesis, which I had pegged at 30 percent. He exceeded that, but getting to 38 percent is cold comfort to those who wanted to see a real movement blossom. And the early state results bear it out: You do not build a liberal movement by bringing together white people, then hoping that people of color come along for the ride. You start with those communities of color.

And as the early state results make clear, that never happened....

1) You don’t try to impose your framing and issues on people who have different priorities....

2) You don’t become resentful of other groups when they don’t follow along. The ugliest part of this primary campaign has been the accusation that certain Democratic voters don’t matter, especially since those voters being dismissed are disproportionately brown and black....

3) Everyone is on the same page from the beginning. Related to the above, I cringe every time I see a white progressive demanding that black or Latino voters explain their support for Hillary Clinton. Do you not realize how horrible that looks, and how offensive that is, that white people are demanding that people of color justify their choices? It’s beyond cringe-inducing. It’s deeply disturbing....

4) You will be more effective. Bottom line, no white-dominated liberal movement will succeed when 40 percent of Democrats are people of color. And people of color will be reluctant to join a movement led by little-known whites. History has made us justifiably suspicious of the Great White Savior. So building from the ground up, with full inclusion of people of color in leadership, will allow for a broad-based coalition that can have the numbers to topple the system. Because you know what, screaming at people of color about the oligarchy and corrupt Clinton really isn’t doing anyone or any movement any favors.

So why am I harping on this? Because I want to build an effective movement, and the Sanders campaign didn’t prove to be an effective vehicle for it. Yet the goal is one worth pursuing, so we need that movement.
March 1, 2016

Tulsi Gabbard may not be entirely helpful for the Sanders campaign.

I think that Tulsi Gabbard might not be the best spokesperson for the Sanders campaign. I foresee potential problems for the Sanders campaign with what appears to be her association with an anti-Islamic Indian nationalist party (BJP). Religious persecution of Muslims in India is a major human rights problem.

See this Alternet article:

"The Curious Islamophobic Politics of Dem Congressmember Tulsi Gabbard"



But the case of Tulsi Gabbard becomes less curious and more expected once you look at her links to a different set of ethnic and religious hardliners: the Hindu nationalist Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Since her election to Congress, Gabbard has tied herself closely to this party, which has a history of condoning hatred and violence against India's Muslim minority. Many of her stateside donors and supporters are also big supporters of this movement, which disdains secularism and promotes religious sectarianism....

Why did Gabbard work so hard to shield BJP abuses from congressional review? The answer lies in her base of supporters. The BJP draws on support from the large Indian expatriate community through an organization called the Overseas Friends of BJP. In August of last year, the group convened a large number of Indian American BJP supporters in Atlanta as part of an eight-city tour designed to prepare for Modi's first visit to the United States the following month.

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