Category Archives: Blog

WELCOME TO A HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR

As we approach the beginning of a New Year, I am reminded of the good deeds performed by anonymous people on my behalf during the last year. It reinforces for me the kindness and generosity of people who have taken the time and initiative to help me.

I only remember their deeds, not their names. They came into my life for a few minutes, helped me out of a jam and moved on to fulfill their own needs.

Just a few weeks ago I was riding my 4-wheel electric scooter from physical therapy anxious to get home for lunch.

About a half-mile from home my scooter died. It was fully charged but that didn’t stop it. Trying to alternately push the 175-lb machine and move forward when the power engaged briefly was a task.

From men and women at various points in the tedious journey, recognized my plight, stopped their cars and asked if they could help…and help they did.

It was a great gesture of needed assistance in a time of real need. The 12-minute trip took over 45 minutes but boy was I relieved and grateful.

It reminded me of a time a few years back when I moved into my current condo and the elderly couple I sold my condo to called to ask if I left some money in the desk I gave them with their unit.

Both episodes convinced me of how humanity exists in this overburdened world and how much we need to celebrate this humanity.

So let’s say a fond adieu to the joys and good feelings about 2019 and welcome the New Year with great expectation and humanity.

Happy New Year

H appiness depends upon your outlook on life. Find the good in all situations.
A ttitude is just as important as ability. Keep your attitude positive.
P assion, find yours this year! Do what you love and you will never work.
P ositive thoughts make everything easier. Stay focused and stay positive.
Y ou are unique, with special gifts, use them. Never forget you have talent.

N ew beginnings with a new year.
E nthusiasm, a true secret of success.
W ishes, may they turn into goals.

Y ears go by too quickly, enjoy them. Wisdom from your elders, listen.
E nergy, may you have lots of it. Take care of yourself.
A ppreciation of life, don’t take it for granted. Live each day.
R elax, take the time to relax in this coming year. Keep a balance in your life.

WELCOME TO A HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

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OBSERVATIONS & THOUGHTS ABOUT 2019

I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, I’m an Independent albeit probably a conservative Independent. I have a problem identifying with the orthodoxy or either party.

The Democrats are turning more toward social programs funded by the government and I’m not at all sure where the Republicans are turning.

In 2019, I changed my mind about a few things:

1. I no longer support doing away with the Electoral College. The popular vote allows too much influence for the big major cities—once again the founding fathers were right.
2. I firmly believe in climate change, I just am not sure how much is contributed by men nor am I confident all the large countries will do their part in making necessary changes.
3. The concept of “privacy” has been exaggerated to an extreme which has worked against the majority of law-abiding citizens.
4. I recognize some of the failings of capitalism but it is still the greatest and best economic system in the world and has helped more people advance than any other system.

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I’m going to count to 3—the frustrated call of all parents trying to raise a mischievous kid. I’m going to count to 3 and you better… It’s really an age-old cry for help. I’m going to count to 3 and you better stop doing that, better come home, better eat your…

With all our technology, you’d think we’d have found a better way.

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Ranking U.S. Companies by the Priorities of Americans

Just Capital and Forbes have rated U.S. firms based on factors that matter most to the American public, like fair pay, ethical leadership, customer privacy, environmental impact and job creation.

Here are the top most “just” U.S. companies according to their analysis: Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Salesforce, Alphabet, PayPal and P&G.

Microsoft’s top spot is a result of its “particularly strong track record on how it serves its workers, communities, and the environment,” according to Just Capital.

Compared with averages for the Russell 1000, the 100 companies in the listing pay their median workers 31 percent more, give 8.4 times as much to charitable causes, have 25 percent more women on their board, and are 32 percent more likely to have established environmental policies. They also score a higher return on equity, by six percentage points.

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A Social Civil War is in Progress

A new poll says 70 percent of Americans believe we are on the verge of civil war. They are wrong. There’s no verge. A social civil war is in progress.

Two primary reasons why: Never before was it acceptable to call your country racist or to demand taxpayers pick up the tab for the health care expenses of illegal aliens.

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How accurate is the Horowitz Report?

Last week, the Inspector General of the Justice Department, Michael Horowitz, issued a more than 400-page, long-delayed report written over an eight-month period. In this report, Horowitz basically said just two things: first, that the FBI was dishonest in seeking surveillance warrants on the Trump campaign; and, second, that no political bias was in play.

Upon hearing that, fair-minded people all over the country said…really?

So Michael Horowitz is convinced that the most sophisticated law enforcement agency in the world is incapable of properly requesting a tap on a presidential campaign, perhaps the most important investigation the FBI has had since the 9-11 attack.

This is incredibly hard to believe and Horowitz’s boss, Attorney General William Barr, does not believe it either.

He essentially told the nation that Michael Horowitz is full of it and hinted that criminal indictments against some FBI people will be forthcoming.

I guess it takes longer to write a whitewash than straight facts.

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If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

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Impeachment is as distant as world peace.

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To Satisfy our Future:

• We have to stop sanctuary cities and open borders. They both lead to anarchy.
• Everyone should have a photo ID card to vote.
• The House of Representatives should have 4-year terms and be limited to 4 years.
• Raise the cap on Social Security tax to $250,000 along with the median age to 70.

So, all in all, what kind of year was it?

The economy remained strong and the increasing talk of a possible downturn or recession got tabled. Trump’s trade wars didn’t hurt the storekeepers all that much; on the contrary, his trade wars seem to be having some success.

The Democrats, in desperation, elected a few nutty reps and are trying to turn the party to the social domestic agenda of Western Europe, in spite of their lack of success, and have focused all their attention and energy on responsible governing and fighting Trump with endless investigations instead of countering his annoying behavior with programs that will defeat his re-election.

If Trump would shut his annoying mouth, he would have had a pretty good year. Nobody likes him except at least half the country.

• The economy is strong
• Unemployment is way down and employment is way up
• His aggressive trade negotiations are beginning to work
• He has appointed a record number of judges
• He’s survived an endless stream of investigations

With the stock market jumping up and down, the craziness of the politics in both parties, and the general sanguine in the country, it was a pretty good year.

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DO YOU NEED TO TAKE 10,000 STEPS/DAY TO KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY?

Do you find yourself running in place at the end of the day to get the step count on your activity tracker up to 10,000? While gratifying to hit your goal, you’ll be glad to know that many steps may not be necessary. Results of a recent study on fitness show you can cut that number by more than half and still achieve positive health results. Of course, you can still strive towards your personal goals, but don’t stress if you don’t reach that magical number on your Fitbit every day.

There is no scientific basis that 10,000 steps are the ultimate goal for maximum impact on your heart health. The number stems from a Japanese marketing campaign for a pedometer, not solid scientific evidence, according to the study.

U.S. Fitness Guidelines recommend you get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week to gain maximum benefits. Walking is an excellent way to increase your activity level—even if it’s just doing a couple of extra laps around the yard when you take out the trash. It all counts.

Small amounts of walking—as little as five or 10 minutes at a time—done regularly throughout your day provides positive results. Every step you take counts towards your goal but some steps are more beneficial than others.

A leisurely stroll is fine, but a brisk walk is even better when it comes to improving your heart health. If you’re counting steps, 80 steps a minute is considered a slow pace; 100 steps a minute indicates a pace that’s brisk to moderate; and a fast pace is 120 steps a minute, according to Harvard Health.

Once you’re up and moving, how many steps do you really need? According to the study, the number is less than you may expect.

Researchers looked at a group of nearly 17,000 women with an average age of 72. The women all wore trackers to count their steps and the pace of their activity as they went about their usual day. Participants were divided into groups based on the average number of steps they reports: 2,700, 4,400, 5,900, and 8,500. During the 4.3-year follow up period, here’s what researchers found:

• The women with the least amount of activity averaged about 2,700 steps a day. They were found to have the highest risk of death.
• Women who completed 4,400 steps a day were around 40 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period than the women walking 2,700 steps or less a day.
• Risk of dying for women in the 5,900-step group fell by 46 percent compared to the less active participants.
• Women in the 8,500-step group experienced 58 percent lower risk of dying but that benefit seemed to taper off at an average 7,500 steps a day. There was no added longevity when extra additional steps were completed.
• The intensity level and speed of the steps had no effect on the results. Slow, steady walking offered similar results to a more aggressive pace.

What do the results mean?

Despite the lower steps needed to gain results, researchers stress that the study’s results are not justification to do less. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease and improves brain function as well as circulation, weight control and blood pressure.

However, for women who struggle with adding exercise to their day, the study shows that their journey to improved health may take fewer steps to complete than they originally thought. And that’s good news for everyone.

Find a doctor

Whether you’re just beginning to add steps to your day or regularly maxing out your pedometer, the team of experts at your local hospital can help you reach your heart-health goals safely. If you are looking for a primary care doctor, you can search for one that’s right for you from a local hospital. Or you can find one using a regional directory.

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THE SURGE OF BOLLYWOOD, K-POP AND TURKISH TV

Adeel Hassan of the N.Y. Times reported on an interview with a Middle East journalist who explains how the biggest migration in human history is helping to fuel the erosion of American cultural dominance.

“The Bold and the Beautiful,” a staple of American daytime television for more than 30 years, peaked in its worldwide viewership at 26.2 million in 2008. A few years later, “Magnificent Century,” a Turkish drama, was broadcast to 200 million people. That wide gulf in audience is one of the focuses of the book “New Kings of the World,” about how American soft power is being eclipsed around the globe.

The author, Fatima Bhutto, was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, raised in Damascus, Syria, and educated in New York and London. She now works as a novelist and journalist in Karachi, Pakistan. Ms. Bhutto racked up tens of thousands of frequent-flier miles while exploring popular culture emerging from the East.
During a recent visit to the New York Times newsroom, she gave us a different perspective on race and culture. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

Share with us what tour cultural diet was like.

Growing up in Damascus in the 1980s, my father would get James Bond films on VHS, we’d have Motown music playing in the car, and I’d watch half an hour of nonverbal cartoons that state TV would show in the evenings.

I am very much a child of American culture but at the same time, I also had access to plenty of non-American culture products. As a teenager in Pakistan, I listened to Snoop Dogg and American hip-hop, but also to the Pakistani bands Junoon and Strings, as well as Rai music from Algeria and Egyptian pop.

American culture was always the glitziest, but it wasn’t always the most thoughtful.

The lure of American soft power—Coca-Cola, jazz, jeans, rock ‘n’ roll and, of course, Hollywood—has historically been strong and backed by the government. How did American military supremacy help export this cultural power?

The American military is the most widely deployed in history, and it maintains a massive infrastructure outside its borders with bases across all continents and an enormous machinery to support its presence.

At its height, in 1968, more than one million American troops were deployed in 54 countries. They brought their cultures with them, their films, their music, their tastes and their products. And they also were a huge presence that required entertainment, so they became places where musicians and artists would find welcome ground.

Today, just under 20,000 personnel are overseas, marking the lowest American troop deployment in six decades. One might argue that as troop numbers decrease, so too does American culture dominance.

When did the pivot away from Hollywood begin to occur? Why was there a backlash?

There isn’t one moment we can point to, rather it’s a perfect storm of factors including plummeting American prestige, the belated rediscovery that local cultures are valuable in and of themselves, and the rise of classes with different tastes and backgrounds emerging out of the turbulence of globalization, migration and urbanization.

Describe the effect of those trends.

In 2015, over one billion people left their homes in search of a better life. Only a small percentage, 244 million, migrated abroad. The majority, some 763 million, moved from rural to urban areas within their own countries. Between 1.5 million and 3 million people move to cities every week. The psychological disorientation caused by these shifts is profound.

People leaving their families and villages are unmoored in the big, soulless city. It is a geography without anchors, full of sexual and material deprivations, injustices and inequalities. Add to that the betrayal of globalization’s promise: that the world would be lifted on a tide of wealth, opportunity and access.

But hundreds of millions of people who uprooted their life in order to become captains of this new world have found no wealth, no opportunity and no access. Rather, the opposite.

How does Hollywood speak to the world’s unmoored and displaced? What does “Hustlers” say to a woman who has left her family’s village in El Salvador to move to the turbulent, violent city? What does “Avengers: Endgame” say to Afghan refugees, fighting to survive, in this new world? Nothing. It doesn’t speak to them at all.

What makes an Indian film, a Turkish television drama or a Korean pop song have more universal appeal than a piece of American work?

They look modern and appealing in the same way that American film, TV or music looks. But uniquely, these are all cultural products set firmly in the realm of values. They are not concerned with which billionaire son inherits his father’s empire, but rather focus on ordinary people struggling to live lives of dignity with the force of the world against them.

They are concerned with principles, with how one defeats temptation, greed, and avoids dishonor. So for the most part, there is less violence; there’s no nudity; romantic relations are portrayed very chastely; and there’s no swearing.

You can listen to a K-pop song with your grandmother in the room, no lyrics have to be beeped out. You can watch a Turkish drama, or dizi as they’re called, with your entire family.

Are all these cultural movements tied to their government and plays at soft power as well?

These industries have been producing culture for decades and, yes, they are all weapons of soft power, some more than others. K-pop is born out of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. South Korea was badly hit, and couldn’t rebuild their economy by relying on the heavy industries of Samsung and Hyundai as they had done in the past. President Kim Dae-jung decided to focus on pop culture. It required no organizational infrastructure—only talent, time, and training.

K-pop is a $5 billion-dollar-a-year industry. In 2016, K-pop music videos were watched 24 billion times on YouTube, with 80 percent of the views coming from outside South Korea. In YouTube’s top ten list of videos with the largest number of views in 24 hours, six belong to K-pop bands. YouTube didn’t even know videos could be watched over one billion times until Psy’s “Gangman Style” famously broke their counter.

What is the glocalization you write about?

“Glocalization” is the ultimate bait and switch. It’s the secret sauce of K-pop, which relies on taking established Western pop music and tempos and then “localizing” it by speeding it up. That elevated speed is what makes K-pop music do dance-y and so infectious. K-pop is an industry with its eye finely tuned to the market. It’s not concerned with authenticity. But what it does is take an established pop formula and do something frantic and innovative with it that is distinctly Korean.

You went to see where all this culture was produced, and also where it was consumed around the world. What are the most surprising places these movements have conquered?

By far, the most surprising discovery was to find an entire subculture of Bollywood fans in Peru. They are all indigenous Peruvians, people who migrated into Lima from the highlands, and they don’t speak English but know all the Hindu/Urbu lyrics to Bollywood songs and are immersed in the culture of the films.

Campo de Marte is a park in downtown Lima that is filled with people every Sunday dancing to Bollywood music. Women turn shawls into saris and stick sequins on their foreheads as bindis. It’s a cinema that makes them feel seen; they see their struggles and their dreams mirrored in the story lines.

You’ve spent hundreds of hours on “research.” Give those of us who know little about these genres your best recommendations.

It’d had to say “Cukur” is definitely the dizi to watch; it’s “The Godfather,” but set in an Istanbul ghetto. “Gully Boy” is the best Bollywood film I’ve seen in years because it recalls the best of old Bollywood—turning the gaze to those on the periphery of society. I have a K-pop playlist of top hits I created, which I’m happy to share but probably shouldn’t.

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THE PLIGHT OF OUR NATIVE AMERICANS

Today’s blog is a letter I received from Lovena Lee, Chairperson of The Southwest Reservation Aid organization

Dear Mr. Schwartz:

You and I may have a different understanding of particular events in America’s history. You see, I’m a member of the Diné—or “The People”—what you may call the Navajo tribe of Native Americans.

I grew up in the Sweetwater area of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, but my ancestors came to what is now the United States over a thousand years ago. At an early age, I learned our Navajo traditions, culture and history as told in stories passed from one generation to the next.

As a teenager, I left the reservation to attend boarding school and then college. There, not everyone shared my thoughts on how historical events—particularly those surrounding America’s western expansion—created the framework for the prejudice, poverty and despair Native Americans continue to endure today.
3-Minute American History Quiz

The “3-Minute American History Quiz” illustrates how policies made over 185 years ago still affect the everyday lives of Native Americans.

Question 1: Why did the United States government establish Indian reservations?

Answer: The government’s objective was to rid the country of its “Indian problem” and open land for white settlers.

Beginning in 1830 with the Indian Removal Act, the official policy of the United States was to forcibly remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands and relocate us to far-away regions “reserved” for Indians. For the Cherokee and other tribes, this is often remembered as the “Trail of Tears.” But it didn’t end there. During the Navajo Long Walk beginning in 1863, thousands of Navajo were also removed from their homelands.

Question 2: How did the government decide where to locate the reservations?

Answer: Typically, the government put reservations in areas it regarded as being unfit for white settlers—isolated and arid places unsuitable for agriculture and far from towns, transportation and the growing economy.

However, as the nation’s population expanded westward, the government took back most of these lands and forced Native Americans to relocate again—this time to even less-desirable lands. Today, the land reserved for Native Americans has shrunk to just 2.3 percent of the land originally promised.

Question 3: If I were to visit, what should I expect to see on an Indian reservation today?

Answer: You would see a proud people—strong in tradition and values—living in near third-world conditions. Poverty is extreme. Drive around the reservation and you’ll see many people living in run down houses and trailers, many of which are without electricity, telephone, running water or a sewage system.

Today, Native Americans are the poorest population in the entire Northern Hemisphere.

Question 4: How can these conditions exist in the richest and most powerful country in the world?

Answer: Between 35-85% of the Native Americans who live on the reservations are unemployed. To find work, many must most away from the reservation and leave their families behind. (Many children living on reservations are being raised by their grandparents.)

Even the most basic services—healthcare, stores and schools—are often an hour or more away and families are forced to choose between using the little money they have to buy gasoline for the car or food for the children.

Question 5: What is being done to resolve the problem?

Answer: Thankfully, the Southwest Reservation Aid (SWRA) program is helping us build strong, self-sufficient Native American communities. But we recognize that it is unrealistic to expect anyone to focus on building a stronger community—much less return to the reservation—unless they know there will be food for their family. Accordingly, SWRA’s most urgent goal is to get food to the people on the reservations who need it most.

To fulfill this need, the SWRA program is distributing staples such as beans, rice, flour, soup and canned goods to Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Apache and other reservations. Last year along, SWRA provided enough food for over 22,000 meals for Native American Elders, families and children.

Question 6: How can I help?

Answer: The most urgent need is for food. Today, one in four Native Americans who live on reservations don’t have enough to eat—or know where their next meal will come from. Feeding people is SWRA’s number one priority but we need your help to do it.

You can help with a tax-deductible contribution which will help us buy rice, vegetables, beans, cheese, oatmeal, potatoes and the other foods that people on the reservations need to survive.

Remarkably, SWRA can provide a full serving of food for only 11 cents! This means we can feed 910 Native Americans—who would otherwise not have anything to eat—for only $100. With just $150, we can feed 1,364 people.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Lovena B. Lee, Chairperson

You can support the Southwest Reservation Aid program by sending a check to: 1310 East Riverside Drive, Phoenix, Arizona 85034.

A Joyous and Happy Thanksgiving for all!

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HOW DID ISLAM GET SO MUCH INFLUENCE?

Did you know that radical Islam (only 1% of our population) is being taught at taxpayer expense in your children and grandchildren’s schools? If this outrages you, it should!

At Riverheads High School in Virginia, a mandatory assignment had students practice calligraphy by copying the Muslim declaration of faith, “There is no God but Allah.” And female students were invited to wear the traditional hijab, or head scarf, to teach them the value of the “modesty” of Muslin women!

While leftists have thrown the Holy bible out of our schools and banned the Pledge of Allegiance, public school teachers are indoctrinating your children and grandchildren with Islamic teachings.

And right now, our government is ignoring an Islamic propaganda campaign on your children and grandchildren that’s taking place right in our own backyards!

Your children and grandchildren’s textbooks are designed to whitewash radical Islam’s anti-American agenda. The radical left has ripped God out of our schools…while adding pro-Islamic lessons.

Over the past few years we’ve seen a massive increase in pro-Islamic lessons, along with an all-out assault on God and our Judeo-Christian values. Just look at what’s happening:

• In a Florida school, students had to design and create Muslim prayer rugs…while a Federal judge prohibited public prayer at a high school graduation ceremony—and even banned the words “prayer” and “amen.”
• In Maryland, students had to write out the Shahada, which states “There is not god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”…while in Texas a seventh-grade assignment taught kids that God was a myth and not a fact.
• Countless schools around the country force children to learn and recite the five pillars of Islam…while in New Jersey the ACLU forced a school to cover up all religious symbols during a graduation ceremony.

Do you think what’s happening in classrooms around the country is good for America? If that’s not bad enough—even more disturbing is that some of these pro-Islamic lessons are paid for with your tax dollars!

As I write this blog, New York is promoting an “educational” video for teachers to use called “Dying to be a Martyr.” The video interviews Islamic terrorists who tell students why their attacks are justified.

Your children and grandchildren are being taught that Paul Revere was a “real terrorist” but the 9-11 hijackers were just “freedom fighters”!

These aren’t mistakes, my friend. This is all part of the left’s deliberate effort to rewrite history.

Anti-Christian and anti-Israel bias is found in books distributed to your children and grandchildren at public schools in all 50 states.

• An elementary Social Studies text titled The World by Scott Foresman described Jesus Christ as “a young Palestinian.”
• A teachers’ guide called the Arab World Studies Notebook, published by the Middle East Policy Council, claims that Muslim explorers discovered America before Christopher Columbus.
• And major textbook publishers allow the powerful Council on Islamic Education to review and even censor material before publication.

The books your children read in college are even more anti-American. For instance, too many students are forced to read The Autobiography of Malcolm X by the radical “Nation of Islam” leader than books about our founding fathers!

As a result, impressionable students are being filled with a hatred for America.

Consider American pre-med student Abdisalan Hussein Ali from the University of Minnesota. He died as a terrorist suicide bomber in Somalia. And he was the third young American student to do so!

And then consider that three teenage girls from Denver ran away from home to join ISIS! Too many young people today are learning to HATE America and despise liberty and patriotism.

Unfortunately, many students learn this from leftists in academia, where biased professors control what your children and grandchildren read in our taxpayer-funded schools!

And so they’re eliminated history lessons…exalted the work of anti-American jihadists…and expanded courses on radical Islam and other movements that advance their extreme agenda.

Meanwhile, polls show our children are learning very little about real American history.

The leftist indoctrination of our young students is a full-out attack on our freedoms.

Enough rewriting history. Enough of this “blame-America-first” liberalism. And enough manipulating of your children and grandchildren’s textbooks to scorn patriotism and praise Jihadists!

Your children and grandchildren are forced to adopt diversity, multi-culturalism, and a white-washed view of Islam all in the name of “political correctness” and “tolerance.”

Tragically, the serious study of our Founding Fathers, our veterans, and their battles has all but disappeared from our schools.

Polls today reveal most students don’t even know who America fought against in World War II. However, because they’re read the new, politically-correct textbooks, today’s students believe America is mostly a “racist” country.

In one popular high school textbook, American Odyssey, there are five pages of “expert” quotations about the U.S. dropping the atomic bomb, and every single quotation is critical of America.

There is no mention of World War II’s great leaders or liberators, but there’s an entire chapter on “The War and Civil Rights.”

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HOW WHITE DEMOCRATS MOVED LEFT

An interesting analysis by David Brooks, opinion columnist for the N.Y. Times.

“People are always changing their minds, day to day. But over the past 20-odd years one group has shifted to an astounding degree: highly educated white Democrats. I’m not sure I understand why this group has undergone such a transformation, but it has, and the effects are reshaping our politics.

“The easiest way to describe the shift is to say that educated Democrats have moved steadily to the left. In 1994, only about a sixth of Democrats who had gone to graduate school said they were consistently liberal. In 2015, more than 50 percent did. In 1994, only 12 percent of Democrats with college degrees said they were consistently liberal. Eleven years later, 47 percent did, according to the Pew Research Center.

“One of the results is that, as my colleague Thomas B. Edsall put it this week, there are now three Democratic parties. The most moderate faction is the most nonwhite and focuses on pocketbook issues like jobs and taxes. The most left-wing segment is the most populated by whites. It focuses on issues like abortion, global warming, immigration and race and gender equality.

“To say that white educated Democrats have moved left is true, but it’s not the essential truth. The bigger truth is that this segment is now more likely to see politics through a racial lens. Racial equality has become the prism through which many in this group see a range of other issues.

“For example, immigration is now seen through the lens of race, in a way that simply wasn’t true two decades ago. As Zach Goldberg noted in an essay in Tablet Magazine, between 1965 and 2000, the percentage of white liberals who wanted higher immigration levels never deviated far from 10 percent. During the Obama administration, the number rose to the range of 20 to 30 percent. Now, more than 50 percent of white progressives want to see higher immigration levels.

“Many progressives see barriers to immigration as akin to unjust racial barriers. Many want to dismantle the border enforcement agencies and eliminate criminal sanctions against undocumented crossings precisely because they are seen as structures of oppression that white people impose on brown people.

“The racial lens also affects views on foreign policy topics. For most of the 20th century, for example, white liberals consistently sympathized with Israel more than with the Palestinians. But that has reversed. White progressives are much more critical of Israel than ever before. What had once been seen as an intractable regional conflict between a democracy and a series of authoritarian regimes trying to destroy it is now seen as a conflict between a white colonialist power and the brown people it oppresses.

“In this new dispensation, the concept of white privilege is on everybody’s lips. As Goldberg points out, in 1996 and 2010 about a quarter of white liberals thought racial discrimination was a very serious problem. By 2016, 58 percent did. White liberals have warmer attitudes toward other races than they do toward their own.

“In this dispensation, more white progressives view society as basically unjust. In last year’s Hidden Tribes survey, for example, 86 percent of progressive activists said that people’s life outcomes are outside their individual control.

“This shift in outlook has yielded several paradoxes. As many researchers have pointed out, white progressives are now farther left on immigration and race and diversity issues than the typical Hispanic or African-American voter.

“Second, two of the great marks of privilege in our society are skin color and education levels, and yet in the Democratic Party it’s the highly educated whites who express the greatest alienation with the system that benefits them so directly.

“Third, the progressive framework is egalitarian, but the shift has opened up wider opinion and cultural gaps between this highly educated elite and less educated groups.

“Why have white progressives moved so far so fast? There are several theories.

“The most direct theory is that America is a land of systemic racism. Highly educated white progressives have woken up to this fact and are out in front of other groups. This is, after all, the nation that elected Donald Trump and that puts children in cages at the border.

“The more cynical take starts with the observation that the creed of wokeness is mostly centered to the super-prestigious universities and the affluent progressive enclaves along the coasts. In this take, if you’re a rich white child of privilege you have to go to extraordinary lengths to prove you’re one of the good children of privilege and not one of the bad ones. In this take, white progressives don noble clothing to make themselves feel good without really dismantling the structures that keep them in lifestyle bubbles, and on top.

“For me, it’s a good idea to assume that people adopt their positions for honest, well-intentioned reasons. The crucial question them becomes: When is the racial lens (with its implied charge of racism against those who disagree) the right lens to use and when is it not? When does it illuminate an issue and when does it conceal?”

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