Links and Comments: Recent links, August 2020

Too many recently for detailed comments. Here are a bunch.

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CNN: Tucker Carlson upset that he’s told how to correctly pronounce Kamala Harris’ name. Why are conservatives upset by being asked to observe simple standards of decency and respect?

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NYT: A Bible Burning, a Russian News Agency and a Story Too Good to Check Out. Conservatives are quick to assume the worst about their supposed political foes, in this case Black Lives Matter protestors, and only show themselves to be dupes for Russian propaganda.

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Washington Post: brilliant (sarcastic) op-ed by George T. Conway III (Kellyanne Conways’s husband!): I believe the president, and in the president. Random excerpt:

I believe the president didn’t know Michael Cohen was paying off porn star Stormy Daniels, and that Cohen did it on his own, because the president had no reason to pay her off. I believe the president was reimbursing Cohen for his legal expertise.

I believe the president is a good Christian, because TV pastors say so, and that it’s okay he doesn’t ask for God’s forgiveness, because he doesn’t need to, since he’s the Chosen One. I believe the president knows the Bible, and that two Corinthians are better than one.

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Alternet: Experts explain the 4 main psychological factors that drive Trump’s rabid fan base. Rebelliousness and Chaos; Shared Irrationality; Fear; and Safety and Order.

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Salon: Man-baby smashes democracy: Daniel Drezner on our “Toddler in Chief”. “Tantrums, poor impulse control, short attention span, oppositional behavior — unfortunately, it all fits.”

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Washington Post: Sally Yates blows up Republican conspiracies and falsehoods.

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Washington Post: Republicans don’t seem to grasp cause and effect.

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Washington Post: The spread of covid-19 in the South shows the risks of anti-intellectualism. Subtitle: “Skepticism about science and expertise has long permeated the Bible Belt”

Where did this anti-science bias come from? It became rooted in Southern culture and politics with the Scopes Trial, popularly known as the Monkey Trial, in 1925 in Dayton, Tenn.

The trial stemmed from the modernism rising in the post-World War I era. Southern whites felt that these changes challenged their way of life, including seeing the teaching of evolution as an attack on traditional values. They moved aggressively to retain socio-cultural control in a time of transformative change by limiting modern influences.

Following the trial, anti-intellectualism became more acceptable. This was solidified with the establishment in Dayton of William Jennings Bryan College in 1930, where students and faculty must annually affirm their belief in the story of Genesis. Anti-intellectualism drew strength from the gathering of religious fundamentalists whose mission to spread their beliefs became more public as southern Whites responded to changes that occurred as the result of the civil rights movement.

When Southern conservatives lost the battle for civil rights, with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, they turned their attention to abortion, previously virtually a non-issue even in the Catholic Church, as a new issue to unite conservatives. But that’s a topic for another post.

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And if you believe in one conspiracy theory, why not believe them all?!! (Because — shh — they’re all connected, you know. Just ask Q.)

Vice: The Conspiracy Singularity Has Arrived.

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