Weekend Homework – Read or Die

I thought I understood the American Right. Trump proved me wrong by Rick Perlstein

The Evangelical roots of our post-truth Society by Molly Worthen

The thing is, what we’re living through, the politics that have betrayed common sense and taken a us down a weird alley, aren’t really politics. That is to say, it’s not really a political philosophy at all that’s taken us hostage, not in the liberal/conservative sense. It’s much more rooted in fundamentalist religion, personality and tribalism.

Read David Roberts in Vox on Trump’s Paris Climate Decision Shows the Threat Global Tribalism Poses to the Planet.

Three important aspects of this distinction, for present purposes:

  1. It also maps onto a rough taxonomy of personality types. At the extreme tribalist end is the authoritarian personality; at the other extreme are the dissolute, louche, and unrooted. Most people land somewhere in the middle, though psychologists have found that people tend one way or the other.
  2. No one is at a fixed point on the spectrum; circumstances matter. Fear and anxiety move everyone in the direction of tribalism. A sense of safety and trust inclines people more toward cosmopolitanism.
  3. In recent decades, Americans have been sorting themselves not only by income and education, but by personality. Tribalism is concentrating in exurban and rural areas; cosmopolitanism is concentrating in urban areas.

And then lastly – the AFL-CIO’s Working America program has some thoughts on Building a Progressive Majority by Winning Back White Working Class Moderates




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