Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

the rise of American authoritarianism

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

More than two years ago Amanda Taub, a journalist and former human rights lawyer, published an amazing article that I somehow missed. Drawing on the work of several political scientists, Ms Taub explains why Donald Trump was elected, and why we can expect US voters to elect authoritarian figures similar him in the future. In other words, Trump is not a passing phenomenon. (more…)

Donald Trump and political parties

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Against all predictions, Donald Trump will soon be the official Republican candidate for president of the United States. The President of the United States functions as head of state and head of government. A President Trump in this powerful office frightens many, including the editors of the Financial Times. Today’s FT contains a strong ‘non-endorsement’ of Trump. Below are highlights from the editorial.

Mr Trump

libertarian logic

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

These are not direct quotes, but similar statements are sometimes uttered simultaneously, by the same person.

“Redistribution of income with revenue from taxes will never work because people are inherently selfish.”

“Charity will cover everything because people are inherently generous.”

HT “The Discovery of the Heart“, CBC Ideas podcast, with Paul Kennedy, 13 April 2016.


working-class Republicans in US politics

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

American journalist Jacob Weisberg has an interesting op-ed in this weekend’s Financial Times. Here are two paragraphs that caught my attention. To place these paragraphs in context, note that working-class Democrats who became Reagan Republicans decades ago are Donald Trump Republicans today.

Working-class Republicans are waking up to the reality that their party does not represent them any more than the Democrats did. On issue after issue, Mr Trump

Anti-intellectualism in American Life

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Commenting on my TdJ post on “American exceptionalsim”, Douglas Walker wrote, in part:

America is exceptional because it has nurtured a people who view the world as one of grandeur beyond the ability of mere mortals to comprehend. For this reason, the typical American tends to be anti-intellectual, in the best sense of the word. Pragmatic and forward looking in their view of the world, Americans are not seeking intricate theoretical explanations of philosophical notions about the nature of the world but simple practical ideas relevant to the problems of an active life.

Responding to Douglas, I wrote (in part):

Douglas, you seem to agree with de Tocqueville

American exceptionalism

Monday, December 28th, 2015

The idea of American exceptionalism, together with past American greatness, is often discussed in US politics, most recently in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The concept of American exceptionalism was introduced long ago by Alexis de Tocqueville in his classic book, Democracy in America (1835/1840). The following sentence from volume 2, chapter 9 of the 1972 translation is frequently cited:

libertarian criticism of President Obama’s policies

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Libertarians, like the Tea Party Republicans, are unhappy with Barack Obama, but their criticism takes a very different tone. Here is an example, from a libertarian critique of the way Obama is waging ‘war on terror’.

Think about the terrible ordeal Sen. John McCain went through as a prisoner of war. Ditto for Rep. Sam Johnson and other Americans who were tortured by their Vietnamese captors. Awful as all that was, does anyone think the world would be better off if McCain, Johnson and the others were killed rather than tortured?

Well, that is how Barack Obama thinks. He criticized George [W] Bush for allowing three captives to be water boarded. He called it

return of the neocons

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

This is scary. American writer Jacob Heilbrunn (born around 1965) explains.

[T]he Republican party is resurrecting the unilateral foreign policy doctrines that first took hold under President George W Bush and his vice-president Dick Cheney.

Unlike the Democrats of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, who later came to express regret over their role in the Vietnam war, leading Republican figures such as Mr Cheney and former deputy secretary of defence Paul Wolfowitz have never admitted to making missteps in Iraq or Afghanistan. On the contrary, they have argued that it is President Barack Obama who has erred by failing to prosecute combat in Iraq and Afghanistan vigorously enough.

Until recently they did not get much of a hearing. But recent events have blown fresh wind into the sails of the neocons. ….

Perhaps no one has been more impassioned in their support of the foreign policy of George W Bush than Tom Cotton, a 37-year-old Iraq war veteran who has won election as senator in Arkansas. Mr Cotton has called the Iraq war a

Keynes was right!

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

This ‘must-read’ column is not gated. Click on the link below to download all 11 paragraphs. The language is clear, concise, easy to understand. IMHO, the analysis is spot on. If you disagree, please post a comment.

Countries that took emergency measures to reduce public borrowing have mostly suffered weaker growth, as in the case of Britain from 2010 to 2012, Japan this year and the United States after the 2013

David Brat defeats congressman Eric Cantor

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

FT Columnist Christopher Caldwell comments on economist David Brat’s upset victory against Eric Cantor – the number two man in the US House of Representatives – in a Republican party primary.

Prof Brat was such a long shot that no national Tea Party association backed him. But it is right to call him a Tea Party man. He is an ideologue. Mr Cantor, by contrast, was a pragmatist. Tea Partiers … believe … Republican bigwigs represent their donors, who overlap and socialise with Democratic donors. Together they secure the things rich people want: low capital gains rates, high immigration, an agnostic culture. ….

It is a common error to look at the Tea Party ideology as just an intense, distilled version of the Reaganism Republicans have espoused since the late 1970s. The political scientist Norman Ornstein, for instance, speaks of a battle