The Populist Right, Part 4: The Traditionalist Worldview, Part 9

Why can’t we just get along? This is a question that I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Colliding Ways We See the World. This series of blogs looks at five worldviews that each have defining characteristics. Understanding the five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative—is a necessity in this complex and rapidly-changing world. The next several weeks I will be examining the traditional worldview, an often misunderstood and demonized worldview. I would like to share with you some ideas that I have been exploring.

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”  ― W. Somerset Maugham

The Populist Right, Part 4

Globalizers, Republicans and Democrats, have been very supportive of immigration the last several decades. Immigration has added many pluses to American society by making it more diverse, interesting, and dynamic. But the influx of immigrants has also helped the globalization agenda by providing cheap labor for its enterprises and attracting the brightest workers from around the world to the tech industry in Silicon Valley.

09 chart

In market capitalization $

The populist right is firmly against illegal immigration, especially those who breach our southern border. The left seems more ambivalent about immigration, many taking a more open-border stance and muddying the difference between illegal and legal immigration, and asylum seekers.

Trump has sworn to stop illegal immigration. Populists cheer when Trump brags about building a wall to further separate Mexico and the U.S. They want to curtail migrants new mexico, arizonaillegal immigration and “round-up” and deport immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, especially if they have a criminal record.

This means approximately 11 million or more illegal immigrants, probably a number too large and costly for deportation efforts. Actually Democrats and Republicans have passed the immigration issue down the line for too long and are largely responsible for the current impasse. Trump appears strong and decisive in talking and acting on an issue the two parties have avoided for decades, while the Democrats timid decisions and confusing language about immigration make them look weak and vacillating.

About the Author

Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.

wviewscoverPlease email info@global-awareness.org or visit www.global-awareness.org for more information.

For more about worldviews see Dr. Ames’ book Five Worldviews: How We See the World. $9.95

 

 

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The Populist Right, Part 3: The Traditionalist Worldview, Part 8

Why can’t we just get along? This is a question that I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Colliding Ways We See the World. This series of blogs looks at five worldviews that each have defining characteristics. Understanding the five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative—is a necessity in this complex and rapidly-changing world. The next several weeks I will be examining the traditional worldview, an often misunderstood and demonized worldview. I would like to share with you some ideas that I have been exploring.

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”  ― W. Somerset Maugham

The Populist Right, Part 3

As indicated from the 2016 presidential election results, it is apparent that the Democratic agenda did not resonate with the needs of the working class. The Reagan Democrats, many of the white working-class who switched to Republicans with the 1980 election of Reagan, often switch back and forth between the two parties depending on the candidate and agenda.  

They voted for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. But in a decisive move, many switched to Donald Trump in the 2016 election, especially in the critical “rust belt” states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

In early 2016, no one would have imagined that the forces of globalization would be challenged from both the left and right; populism was taking on a left and right variant. The Democratic and Republican parties of old were overshadowed by a new brand of politics: the populist right and left.

34 President Donald Trump, USOn the right, populism had a new leader: Donald Trump. He was different, both ideologically, psychologically, and emotionally, from the other Republican candidates. Spouting populist rhetoric, he pledged to smash through the ideological divide and to “Make America Great” again. It sounded good and enough people believed him to catapult him to the highest office in the land, despite his crass outbursts and lack of experience. At the time of this writing, Trump seems intent on dismantling the levers of liberalism and the checks and balances on his power. He is carrying out a populist agenda point by point.

During his campaign, Trump railed against free trade agreements—the cornerstone of the globalized worldview—that he claimed hurt American workers. He has nixed the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement with Asian counterparts. On occasion he chastises American corporations planning to send jobs to Mexico or overseas.

08 NAFTA

NAFTA flag

Populists want an end to free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, and a return to bi-lateral trade negotiations.

They are in favor of levying a tariff on goods imported into the U.S. from American firms manufacturing in countries who have taken advantage of low-wage foreign labor.  He is also bent on righting trade imbalances and intellectual property theft by China by imposing selective tariffs on imported goods. He claims that he is fulfilling his campaign promises to his constituencies, however, the results are mixed.

About the Author

Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.

wviewscoverPlease email info@global-awareness.org or visit www.global-awareness.org for more information.

For more about worldviews see Dr. Ames’ book Five Worldviews: How We See the World. $9.95

 

Posted in awareness, cultural divide, differences, diversity, perspectives, populism, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Populist Right, Part 2: The Traditionalist Worldview, Part 7

Why can’t we just get along? This is a question that I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Colliding Ways We See the World. This series of blogs looks at five worldviews that each have defining characteristics. Understanding the five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative—is a necessity in this complex and rapidly-changing world. The next several weeks I will be examining the traditional worldview, an often misunderstood and demonized worldview. I would like to share with you some ideas that I have been exploring.

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”  ― W. Somerset Maugham

The Populist Right, Part 2

Global and national forces have hit all of us in many ways but arguably the group most negatively affected in the U.S. is the working class and poor who do not hold a college education and live in regions other than city core areas. 07 men workersTheir wages have stagnated for decades and opportunities for well-paying jobs with non-technical skills have also stagnated.

These forces have occurred in many Western countries with results similar to those in the U.S. As the middle and working class grows in Asian countries and other emerging economies, the middle class in Western countries is shrinking. Among this group of Americans, the perception is that they are “getting the shaft.” This perception is what fuels their insecurity and anger, and they resent indecipherable academic analyses and statistics to discount their perception since that academic analysis is conducted by the people they distrust the most: educated elites and government researchers.

The Populist Right in the U.S. has its recent roots in the Tea Party movement that started in 2009.

07 tea party 2009

Tea Party Movement, 2009

The movement rose in response to President Barack Obama’s push for universal health care. It was a fiscally conservative political movement within the Republican Party that advocated for lower taxes, a reduction of the national debt, and decreased government spending.  They got part of their wish with President Trump’s tax law passed in 2017, but as a result of the tax law the national debt and federal budget deficit have exploded.

With all these bubbling tensions simmering in a cauldron of discontent, along came the 2016 presidential election. The frustration of this group of Americans has been building for years and in the 2016 presidential election it was directed at the political class for ignoring their plight.

The Democratic Party, long a champion of the working class, has in recent years turned to the globalizers and technocrats as a core constituent, and hasn’t found a way to blend the working class agenda into their platform of contending constituents:

young people, immigrants, people of color, LGBT, urban, and college-educated. The left, in which many encourage immigration, even illegal immigration, has angered the working class, who has experienced competition or perceived competition from these new low-wage workers for a shrinking pool of manufacturing and well-paying but low-skilled jobs.

About the Author

Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.

wviewscoverPlease email info@global-awareness.org or visit www.global-awareness.org for more information.

For more about worldviews see Dr. Ames’ book Five Worldviews: How We See the World. $9.95

 

 

Posted in awareness, cultural divide, differences, diversity, perspectives, populism, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Populist Right, Part 1: The Traditionalist Worldview, Part 6

Why can’t we just get along? This is a question that I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Colliding Ways We See the World. This series of blogs looks at five worldviews that each have defining characteristics. Understanding the five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative—is a necessity in this complex and rapidly-changing world. The next several weeks I will be examining the traditional worldview, an often misunderstood and demonized worldview. I would like to share with you some ideas that I have been exploring.

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”  ― W. Somerset Maugham

The Populist Right, Part 1

The Populist Right has swept unto the global stage as a powerful political force that demands our attention. One of the key characteristics of the Populist Right is its followers are against the established elite. For those on the right, the elite consist of globalizers, a 06 classroomprogressive media, academics on the left, and left-leaning highly-educated professionals.

They intensely despise the upper 20 percent of the population according to income who are considered the highly educated, progressive meritocracy. They purportedly speak for the “common man” and have their interests at heart when devising political policies.

A number of factors are intertwining to create a tidal wave of discontent among many06 wave groups in the United States. These forces are in-part powering the rise of the Populist Right (and the left to a lesser degree). I will summarize four factors below that I have found have adversely affected those who hold a Traditional/Populist Right worldview.

Since the 1980s, the U.S. has led a globalization agenda guided by neoliberal principles. Economic globalization, in particular, has spread around the world. This globalization/neoliberal process has had wide-reaching consequences and has been characterized by four major shifts in the U.S.

First, many national corporations have sent their manufacturing operations to low-wage countries, particularly in China, to increase profit margins. This shift, along with06 automation automation, has resulted in the decline in the income of working class men, both black and white. As a result, historic levels of income inequality and concentration of wealth at the very top and among the upper twenty percent, the highly-educated professional class have occurred.

Second, the U.S. government, with corporate blessings, ignored illegal immigration and refused to pass immigration laws in order to have a supply of cheap labor at home to06 illegal immigration bolster profits and as a bulwark against unions. Unclear and confusing immigration laws along with other reasons have adversely affected a shrinking middle and working class who have experienced stagnant wages and fewer job opportunities.

Third, rapid technological changes and automation have created greater efficiencies in the workplace that have eliminated many jobs and disrupted everyday life. These technological advancements have been celebrated by Silicon Valley and the professional elites, but have disrupted jobs and the social fabric of ordinary Americans.

And fourth, the changing nature of the nation-state and patriotism influenced by an influx of immigrants and an allegiance by the global elite/educated class to a global06 patroitism rather than local/national agenda has resulted in a disruption of shared, core values revolving around a common love of country. Along with this decline in patriotism and a fraying of the social fabric that binds the country together, greater incivility among competing factions has occurred.

About the Author

Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.

Please email info@global-awareness.org or visit www.global-awareness.org for more information.

wviewscover

For more about worldviews see Dr. Ames’ book Five Worldviews: How We See the World. $9.95

 

 

 

Posted in awareness, cultural divide, differences, diversity, History, politics, populism, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Traditional Political Conservatism, Part 4: The Traditionalist Worldview, Part 5

Why can’t we just get along? This is a question that I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Colliding Ways We See the World. This series of blogs looks at five worldviews that each have defining characteristics. Understanding the five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative—is a necessity in this complex and rapidly-changing world. The next several weeks I will be examining the traditional worldview, an often misunderstood and demonized worldview. I would like to share with you some ideas that I have been exploring.

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”  ― W. Somerset Maugham

Traditional Political Conservatism, Part 4

Karen Stenner has identified three kinds of conservatism: authoritarianism, laissez-faire conservatism, and status quo conservatism. The later kind would apply to the traditional

05 Karen Stenner

Karen Stenner

political conservatism described in this section. Status quo conservatives are averse to change, which is the reason they want to preserve customs and traditions of the past.

According to Stenner, status quo conservatism is apparently partly a function of “conscientiousness” one of the Big Five personality dimensions. She concludes that “There is evidence that conscientiousness—associated with rigidity, orderliness, and a compulsion about being in control of one’s environment—promotes conservatism to a considerable degree.” Often this personality type is attributable to increasing age, given that aging is generally associated with increasing rigidity, intolerance of uncertainty, and discomfort with new experiences.

Stenner goes on to say that “Status quo conservatives and authoritarians may converge when their interests for rejection of change and intolerance/complexity collide. For status quo conservatives social stability is more important than striving for oneness and sameness, and aversion to change trumps aversion to difference.”

The preservation of customs and traditions is the center point of conservatism. 01 traditionsThese traditions include the importance of a two-parent family, marriage as an institution, religious organizations that provide social norms and mores to guide moral human behaviors and curb impulsive destructive actions. Although conservatives do not reject all change, in their view it should be gradual and moderate. Scruton states that the “philosophical burden of American conservatism has been to define those customs and traditions and to show how they might endure and flourish from their own inner dynamic, outside the control of the state.”

The Reagan coalition held until the 2016 presidential election. In the Republican primary, Donald Trump obliterated the Reagan conservative establishment candidates and 34 President Donald Trump, USheralded a populist right form of conservatism that held few of the principles of the old traditional conservative coalition. Even the globalist, who had latched on to both the Democratic and Republican parties with a firm grip, were diminished with the populist storm.

Even though Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton tried to distance herself from her globalist past and take on a new persona as a bona-fide populist on the left, Trump exploited her weakness in this area and went on to not only defeat her but also globalism, neoliberalism, and traditional conservatism in the monumental election of 2016.

The twenty-first century has witnessed a period of rapid and profound changes in which familiar institutions and traditions are under assault by forces on the political right and left. In world history, after periods of intense change, there if often a return to continuity, perhaps the promise of political conservativism will once again provide the answer people are searching for today.

About the Author

Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.

Please email info@global-awareness.org or visit www.global-awareness.org for more information.wviewscover

For more about worldviews see Dr. Ames’ book Five Worldviews: How We See the World. $9.95

 

 

Posted in awareness, cultural divide, differences, diversity, perspectives, populism, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Traditional Political Conservatism, Part 3: The Traditionalist Worldview, Part 4

Why can’t we just get along? This is a question that I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Colliding Ways We See the World. This series of blogs looks at five worldviews that each have defining characteristics. Understanding the five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative—is a necessity in this complex and rapidly-changing world. The next several weeks I will be examining the traditional worldview, an often misunderstood and demonized worldview. I would like to share with you some ideas that I have been exploring.

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”  ― W. Somerset Maugham

Traditional Political Conservatism, Part 3

Conservatives found a presidential candidate representing their core principles in the 1964 election, Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona.

04 Barry Goldwater

Senator Barry Goldwater

To the dismay of conservatives, he was soundly defeated by Lyndon Johnson, a liberal Democrat who enacted sweeping social programs and expanded the war in Vietnam. The conservative movement went underground for the rest of the decade and into the 1970s.

 

As the economic crisis of the 1970s worsened, liberals were stymied as to the right course of action to solve it.  All the while, conservatives were building institutions, formulating ideas, and cultivating political leaders. They emerged victorious in the 1980 presidential election with the convincing victory of the affable and skilled politician, Ronald Reagan. Although not a “true” traditional conservative himself, he cemented his victory by putting in place a winning coalition of traditional political

03 Ronald Regan

President Ronald Reagan

conservatives, Christian fundamentalists, a nascent populist right, and neoliberals championing free-market economics. It was a coalition that would endure for thirty-five years.

It can be argued that the last of the political conservative presidents in the U.S. was George H.W. Bush, who was elected in 1988 after serving as Ronald Reagan’s vice-president for two terms. He positioned himself as an institutionalist, not an ideologue, who vowed to make government work. He reached out to Democrats in a way that now seems inconceivable, leading to the passage of the landmark Americans with Disability Act, a Clean Air

04 George H.W. Bush

President George H.W. Bush

Act amendment, and agreeing to tax increases to lower the deficit. His institutional instincts served him well in his foreign policy approach, where he dealt with monumental events, such as the end of the Cold War and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. He skillfully forged alliances and steered international organizations like NATO and the United Nations to achieve his foreign policy objectives.

Conservatism today has become a defender of Western civilization against leftist critics who disparage the achievements of the Western tradition. Those on the left take a more negative and critical view of Western tradition, dismissing them as oppressive, colonialist, and focused on seizing and controlling power. Critics of the Western tradition derisively label the traditionalists as holding ideas of “dead, white men,” and dismiss their contributions as irrelevant and backward. In particular conservatives decry political correctness as a constraint on freedom of expression and its emphasis on Western guilt for past colonial exploits.

Economically, many political conservatives shifted their slower growth economic stances to embrace neoliberal principles, the free-market, laissez-faire type of economic system that rose to dominance in the 1980s. 04Although many self-styled conservatives still adhere to neoliberal policies, today many are questioning the benefits of this system and turning to other economic forms. Today, many are advancing the economic ideas of the populist right in which they speak out against the neoliberal, globalized economic system and favor a more local, regional, and national system. I will cover the supporters of a globalized type of economy in a later blog.

About the Author

Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.

Please email info@global-awareness.org or visit www.global-awareness.org for more information.

wviewscover

For more about worldviews see Dr. Ames’ book Five Worldviews: How We See the World. $9.95

Posted in awareness, cultural divide, differences, diversity, economy, globalization, History, perspectives, populism, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Traditional Political Conservatism, Part 2: The Traditionalist Worldview, Part 3

Why can’t we just get along? This is a question that I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Colliding Ways We See the World. This series of blogs looks at five worldviews, each having defining characteristics. Understanding the five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative—is a necessity in this complex and rapidly-changing world. The next several weeks I will be examining the traditional worldview, an often misunderstood and demonized worldview. I would like to share with you some ideas that I have been exploring.

“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”  ― W. Somerset Maugham

Traditional Political Conservatism, Part 2

Conservatism lay dormant under the cloud of the depression years and World War II. 03 New DealAfter the war, a group of conservatives, collectively known as the “New Conservatives,” gained national attention by admonishing New Deal progressive economics, a mushrooming military-industrial complex, and rampant consumerism.

A key figure of the New Conservatives, Russell Kirk, laid out six “canons of conservative thought” in his seminal book The Conservative Man. Some of his ideas: explained how political problems were essentially religious and moral problems, highly regarded the variety of traditional life as opposed to the conformity of leftist ideologies, emphasized the necessity of social classes and order in a civilized society,

03 Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk, The Conservative Man

highlighted the importance of tradition as a check upon human’s impulses, recognized that change and reform were not identical, and stressed the importance that reform should be gradual.

Roger Scruton, a noted conservative thinker and author, has written forty books on British and American conservative ideas. When asked how he became a conservative, he explained that when he looked out his apartment window while living in Paris in 1968 and saw crowds of demonstrators torching buildings and overturning cars, he vowed that he would be against whatever the protesters were for.

Since that time Scruton has held disdain for leftist ideas. His conservative philosophy is summarized in this quote:

“Conservatism starts from a sentiment that all mature people can readily share: the sentiment that good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created. This is especially true of the good things that come to us as collective assets: peace, freedom, law, civility, public spirit, the security of property and family life, in all of which we depend on the cooperation of others while having no means single-handedly to obtain it. In respect of such things, the work of destruction is quick, easy and exhilarating; the work of creation slow, laborious and dull. That is one of the lessons of the twentieth century. It is also one reason why conservatives suffer such a disadvantage when it comes to public opinion. Their position is true but boring, that of their opponents exciting but false.”

Another preeminent conservative was William F. Buckley (d. 2008). In 1955 he established the National Review, a well-respected conservative journal still in operation. 03 William F. BuckleyBuckley worked tirelessly to define conservatism as a political movement in which American religious and social traditions have a central voice and ideas have a leading role. He also sought to distance conservatism from Antisemitism, and racism, an association that unfortunately continues today. He firmly believed that all Americans should be included in upholding religious and social traditions, as well as the institutions of government as the Founding Fathers, as he believed, conceived them.

About the Author

Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.

Please email info@global-awareness.org or visit www.global-awareness.org for more information.

wviewscover

For more about worldviews see Dr. Ames’ book Five Worldviews: How We See the World. $9.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in awareness, cultural divide, differences, diversity, perspectives, politics, populism, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment