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