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Trump, Media Assaults on Omar a New Low for American Politics

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent, @StacyBrownMedia American politics appears to have hit a new low. According to reports, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has beefed up security following the vicious attacks she’s received and even news reports that paint her as un-American. “It is trafficking in Islamophobia, and should be condemned by everyone,” Booker said. Some media favorable to the president have also attacked Omar and despite death threats made against her, Trump has continued his assault by calling her –without any supporting evidence and against her denials – “anti-Semitic,” and “anti-Israel.” Booker noted that Trump has also attacked other African American women leaders like California Rep. Maxine Waters. That Trump claims he’s not racist isn’t satisfactory, Booker said. “It’s not enough to say, I’m not a racist. Matthew Haviland, 30, of North Kingstown was charged after sending approximately 28 threatening emails on March 10 to a college professor, whose name and affiliation was withheld by federal officials. The professor, who had been friends with Haviland for about 11 years, believed Haviland’s views changed because “of the way the news media portrays” President Donald Trump, Laft wrote. Authorities said Omar was among the Democrats whom Haviland threatened to kill. “We, as a people, cannot allow our Black leaders to be attacked for their advocacy.

The Chief review: John Roberts and the decline of American democracy

If We Can Keep It review: how Trump happened and how America might survive Read more The pages of Joan Biskupic’s new, carefully reported biography of the chief justice are replete with evidence to support that conclusion – which Biskupic is much too polite to reach. Biskupic is a former Washington Post supreme court correspondent who is now a legal analyst for CNN. The author has known Roberts for more than 20 years and he granted her 20 hours of interviews. She has rewarded that courtesy with plenty of anodyne observations. In 1980, Roberts “was captivated by Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign”. As part of his youthful opposition to the renewal of key portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Roberts pretended there was “no evidence of voting abuses nationwide”. That decision came three years after Roberts lobbed his single largest grenade at the heart of American democracy, when he joined the other conservative justices to give corporations the right to spend as much money as they chose to elect the public officials who would be most enthusiastic about promoting unfettered capitalism. This single act of sanity has sparked some hope that Roberts might replace Anthony Kennedy as the most reliable swing vote. But except in 2015, when he backed the ACA again, he has remained reliably rightwing. Her final sentences are just as unsatisfying: “The chief justice is leading a court increasingly in his own image.

Survey by UNL, California profs reinforces what we already know: Our politics is stressing...

You talked politics with your mother, brother, bartender and banker, and all it did was jack up your blood pressure. In this divisive period in American politics, two professors in Nebraska and one in California decided to conduct a survey in March 2017 to see how pervasive were high stress, conflict with family and friends, and even health problems related to thinking and talking about politics. The three — Kevin Smith and John Hibbing, political science professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Hibbing’s son, Matthew, an associate professor at the University of California, Merced — wrote a paper on their findings last year. 31.8% said exposure to media outlets promoting a contrary view “can drive me crazy.” 29.3% said they had lost their temper because of politics. 25.6% said they spend more time thinking about politics than they want to. 23.3% said politics compelled them to think seriously about moving. About 800 people took the survey through YouGov, a polling firm that recruited a demographically representative sample of American adults for the survey. Sign up for World-Herald news alerts Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox. Hibbing hopes to continue the survey through the years to make comparisons.

WCU political science expert weighs in on Mueller investigation

We spoke with the head of the political science department at Western Carolina University, Chris Cooper, about the latest on the Mueller investigation. For almost two years now, the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has been a constant presence in U.S. politics. "This is the most talked about issue in American politics right now," said Cooper. One of them being the possible political ramifications this report could have on the President or Robert Mueller. "We still don't know exactly what that's going to look like," said Cooper. We also asked Cooper if he thinks just the release of the report energizes the President's already loyal fan base. "Absolutely. His base is going to take this and say, 'hey, look the report's out. That means Donald Trump didn't do anything wrong," added Cooper. "Meadows has come out immediately and said, 'hey, look this shows there really was no fire at all.

What does white identity mean in American politics today? Professor’s new book delves into...

Chronicle File Photo Research on white Americans in political science has historically concentrated on racial prejudice, but a Duke professor is shifting the focus to white racial identity. Ashley Jardina, assistant professor of political science, provides a new perspective on race and racial attitudes in American politics in her book "White Identity Politics." "One is in fact racial prejudice; we know that racial prejudice still really informs a lot of white people's political preferences. But the second is also, independently, this desire that whites have to try to preserve their group's privileged status." To examine these trends, she analyzed survey data from the American National Election Studies and from her own research. She pointed to a couple of factors that have made white identity salient in recent years. One factor motivating the trend Jardina found in white identity is immigration and the consequent demographic shifts in the United States, she explained. "Subsequently, some whites are now much more aware of the importance of their racial identity.” Although racial prejudice is an out-group sentiment—when one group dislikes another group—white identity is an in-group sentiment about favoring your own group. It's motivated by wanting to just keep the power, the status, the privileges that you have and the things you benefit from as a member of your own group,” Jardina said. “Then this research became even more relevant in 2016 when Donald Trump entered the scene and was clearly actively appealing to whites and to their sense of identity," she said.

On C-Span’s 40th Anniversary, a Top Executive Reflects on Its Political Impact

“From this day forward,” Mr. Gore said at the time, “every member of this body must ask himself or herself, how many Americans are listening to the debates which are made?” Since that day, when C-Span debuted with four employees, the network has become a mainstay in American politics. We spoke with Susan Swain, one of C-Span’s two chief executives, about the birth of the network, Washington’s initial resistance to being caught on camera and how the network has adapted to the social media age. This meant that any time you were interested, you could watch what your member of Congress had to say. The compromise was that the House of Representatives, the speaker’s office, would control the cameras that were on the floor of the House. The Senate finally acquiesced and it’s a classic story of American politics. Television loves pictures, so they would do more stories about the House. C-Span’s relevance comes in the form of not only all of the events that we cover every day but within minutes after we televise them, they are digitized and stored on our video archives. That means a member of Congress can pull a clip from their hearing and send it out to constituents. What we have documented over the years is that when people are nominated to the Supreme Court they go into their committee hearings expressing their open mind to the concept, and then once they get inside that chamber of nine, they manage to be convinced by the others there that it would be detrimental to the institution. We keep hoping that as the generations change and younger appointees come in who are very familiar with media and even social media, that the attitude will change.

Reconstructing American Politics

Music to my ears. Stephen Skowronek, a political scientist at Yale, has provided some useful insights into the relationship between presidents and political parties over the course of American history. In what he called the "politics of political time," he noted that such surprising pairings as Carter and Reagan could help us see deeper patterns in the development of American politics. Individual presidencies exist within a matrix of ambition, opportunity and strategic constraints. I found it pretty useful for thinking about the relationship between presidents and judges and the contours of American constitutionalism as well. Some presidents, which Skowronek called reconstructive, are able to significantly remake American politics, reorganizing ideological commitments, political interests and public policy in ways that leave a lasting impression on the political landscape. The politics that characterize other presidencies are defined, in part, by their relationship to those reconstructive moments. Corey Robin, Julia Azari, and Jack Balkin have pointed out that the Donald Trump presidency looks much like the politics of disjunction. Trump happily casts aside some of the intellectual, electoral and political constituents of the old Reagan coalition while trying to draw in his own set of Trump Democrats. They may well be right that the Republican Party that emerges from the present moment will bear the mark of Donald Trump rather than that of Ronald Reagan.

The Deepening ‘Racialization’ of American Politics

As whites began to feel the costs of the civil rights revolution — affirmative action, busing, urban violence — Republicans recognized the potential of race to catalytically interact with the broader rights revolution and the anti-tax movement to drive working and middle class voters out of the Democratic Party. Utych found that a core premise of both political operatives and political scientists — that “moderate candidates should be more electable in a general election than ideologically extreme candidates” — is no longer true. In an email, Utych pointed out that racial views are extremely significant in the trends he describes: The importance of racial attitudes, and how intertwined with politics they’ve become, can go a long way to explaining polarization. Tesler calls this phenomenon “two sides of racialization”: Obama performed particularly poorly among racially resentful whites, but garnered more votes from African Americans and white racial liberals than a similarly situated white Democratic candidate. That year, Tesler wrote, the American public saw a much wider gulf between Clinton and Trump’s positions on issues like immigration and federal aid to African Americans than they had perceived between prior Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. Across several different racial attitude measures in a number of different surveys, views about race and ethnicity were more strongly related to vote choice in 2016 than they were in Obama’s elections. By contrast, Gallup trends show a nine-point rise in the percent liberal among Hispanic Democrats, from 29 percent to 38 percent, and an eight-point increase among black Democrats, from 25 percent to 33 percent. (Of course, the percentage of white voters who identify as Democrats is much lower than it is for African-America or Hispanic voters.) Despite differing ideologies and opposing views on some issues, on average last year, 82 percent of conservative Democrats, 91 percent of moderate Democrats and 96 percent of liberal Democrats disapproved of the job President Donald Trump was doing as president. In “The Distorting Effects of Racial Animus on Proximity Voting in the 2016 Elections,” Carlos Algara and Isaac Haley, political scientists at the University of California at Davis, show how powerful race has become in mobilizing support for Republicans: “Not only did Trump’s frequent invocations of race in the 2016 campaign prime voters with high levels of racial animus to evaluate the presidential contest in racial terms,” they write, but the increased salience of race in the 2016 campaign “percolated to relatively low-information congressional contests as well.” The result, Algara and Haley show, is that voters liberal on issues other than race defect “to Republican candidates up and down the ticket when they harbor racial animus.” Racial animosity, they write, hurts both black and white Democratic candidates: “Racial animus (at least when salient) harms Democratic candidates across the board.” I began this column with a pair of quotes from my 1992 book, “Chain Reaction.” Here is another pair: As the civil rights movement became national, as it became clearly associated with the Democratic Party, and as it began to impinge on local neighborhoods and schools, it served to crack the Democratic loyalties of key white voters.

We Are All Evangelicals Now

Data from PRRI show that white evangelicals consistently exhibit the highest support for Trump and most conservative viewpoints of all religious groups. In my book, which included analysis from a 2016 survey my colleagues and I conducted of more than 10,000 people, I show that support for Trump was higher among non-evangelical whites than among evangelical black, Latino, or Asian Americans. That is, the most religiously conservative non-whites tend to be less conservative than whites who don’t identify as religiously conservative. This fact shows that conservative political attitudes are not just a function of religion. Similarly, Latino evangelicals tend to be more conservative on abortion than white evangelicals, but much less likely to support Trump or a Republican House member. A middle-aged, white evangelical man who was interviewed for my book said he only thought about race “because I’m forced to … We’re forced to think about things in racial terms. But, political scientist Ryan Burge’s analysis of a large-scale study of more than 60,000 people shows that young white evangelicals identify with the Republican Party at about the same rate as their older counterparts. Over the course of my research, my team and I visited 60 evangelical churches and interviewed more than 70 white, black, Latino and Asian American evangelicals. She argues that religious affiliation and identity are not “impervious to politics.” Rather, “partisanship can profoundly shape identification with and engagement in the religious sphere.” The bottom line is that the racial divides and racial anxieties we see in evangelical America are not so different from the views of white Americans more generally. Hence, their defenses may be easily raised by “the War on Christmas.” Narratives of persecution have primed them to expect a broad cultural assault, despite the fact that white Christians face the least religious persecution of any religious group in the United States.

The Divisive Nature Of U.S. Politics Reflected In The Workplace

The data showed that while almost half of respondents enjoy talking politics with colleagues because it helps them understand other viewpoints, 53% admit they limit social interactions with co-workers who have differing political beliefs. Audra Jenkins, chief diversity and inclusion officer for Randstad North America said that the study showed that the topic of politics itself is extremely divisive in the workplace. Without a strategy in place, organizations run the risk of impacting their diversity and inclusion initiatives by creating another barrier that limits the diversity of thought.” The survey found that over half of employees had witnessed heated political discussions or arguments at work and over a third have been involved in them. The survey also found that differences in political viewpoints whether expressed online or in person can be alienating and damage workplace camaraderie. Forty-three percent have at least one colleague whose political views don’t align with their own and have felt excluded at work as a result. So how can managers create a culture of tolerance and respect in an organization of employees with wildly differing political opinions? Jenkins says that banning political discussions outright in the workplace is neither appropriate nor realistic. Fifty-eight percent of employees wouldn’t interview at companies that publicly promoted political beliefs they didn’t support. Just over a third of employees would take pay cuts to move to companies that promoted causes aligned with their political values. Sixty-seven percent of millennials say they’d quit their jobs over political differences with their bosses versus just 15% of 50- to 64-year-olds.