Posts Tagged ‘partisanship’

How polarizing is Donald Trump?

January 4, 2019

“From the very start of Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans have been divided along partisan lines in their views of him. But partisan divisions in U.S. politics are certainly nothing new.

Do views of Trump represent a change from how past presidents have been seen? How do changes in the country that have occurred in recent decades connect to the way the president is viewed today?”

The Pew Research Center explores, using polling data.

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Can The Honorary Boy Scout President Be Impeached?

July 26, 2017

Can The Honorary Boy Scout President Be Impeached?

The programs of the Boys Scouts of America teach young men civic engagement and citizenship, and since 1910 the sitting President of the United States has always been the organization’s Honorary President. On Monday, President Donald Trump addressed 40,000 Boy Scouts at their annual Jamboree in an exercise that can only be called child abuse. The BSA leadership had reminded scouts and scoutmasters that their organization is nonpartisan and above politics, but their current Honorary President didn’t get the memo:

“Over the next 35 minutes, the president threatened to fire one of his Cabinet members, attacked former president Barack Obama, dissed his former rival Hillary Clinton, marveled at the size of the crowd, warned the boys about the ‘fake media,’ mocked pollsters and pundits, and said more people would say “Merry Christmas” under his presidency. He also told a rambling tale about a famous, now-deceased home builder that meandered from a Manhattan cocktail party to a yacht and then to places that the president would only allow the boys’ imaginations to go.”

— ” Trump’s Boy Scouts speech broke with 80 years of presidential tradition,” Katie Mettler and Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

[The full transcript of the speech is here.]

The speech “had the feel of a third world authoritarian’s youth rally,” tweeted former acting CIA director John McLaughlin.

The President introduced several of his cabinet members who were Boy Scouts, but Eagle Scout Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, was conspicuously absent. Another Eagle Scout was MIA, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a Boy Scout board member who advocated letting gay boys join the scouts.

Mr. Trump’s last known involvement with the scouts was in 1989 when he paid Don Jr.’s Boy Scout registration fee. He took the $7 out of his charitable foundation.

More:

“Trump speech to Boy Scout Jamboree elicits widespread criticism for its partisanship, and profanity,” Jackie Calmes, Los Angeles Times

“After Trump Injects Politics Into Speech, Boy Scouts Face Blowback,” Alan Blinder and Mitch Smith, New York Times

“Boy Scouts of America distances itself from partisan politics after Trump speech,’ Politico

“The 14 Most Inappropriate Moments From Trump’s Speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Donald Trump Tramples on Boy Scout Values,” Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker

“Despite that Trump rally, Scouting is about citizenship and togetherness,” Rosecrans Baldwin, Los Angeles Times

Update:

“Boy Scouts dispute Trump claim that their leader called his speech ‘the greatest,'” Jacqueline  Thomsen, The Hill

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The Digital Political Divide

January 2, 2012

The Digital Political Divide

“Research has confirmed that the Internet exerts a polarizing force on the electorate. In his 2011 book The Filter Bubble, Eli Pariser writes about how search engines and social networks filter out dissenting opinions and offer users only what they want to see. Google and Yahoo draw on a user’s past search preferences when responding to queries, meaning that over time a liberal and a conservative might receive ideologically opposite search results having entered identical information. (Pariser recounts how a conservative entering the letters “BP” into Google received stock tips, whereas a liberal was linked to news stories on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.)

 Similar work by Cass Sunstein, the current Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, shows how the Internet creates “echo chambers” where users surround themselves only with the like-minded. This not only preserves partisanship—it exacerbates it. Sunstein found that pro-choice liberals become more pro-choice if they interact only with other liberals, and anti-abortion conservatives become more anti-abortion after surrounding themselves with other conservatives. The niche driven nature of the Internet is pushing us further and further apart.”

“Is the Internet Polarizing Politics?” Peter James Saalfield, big think

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.