Blog 62. Conspiracy theories—making politics crazy.

As reported in  Scientific American (Dec. 2014) two political scientists* at the University of Miami find that about one-third of Americans believe Obama is a foreigner, and about as many believe that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an “inside job” by the Bush administration.  Continue reading

Conservative and Liberal essay

CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL–TWO CULTURES IN ONE AMERICA?

 (adapted from lectures, 2007-08)

One day a friend remarked to me that he had been talking with a neighbor, when my name came up in the conversation. The second man let out an expression like, “Humph, he’s a liberal.” I found this amusing. I wondered what, exactly, did the second man mean? The media use the terms, “liberal” and “conservative,” or “left” and “right,” without ever defining them. I want to look at the meaning and implication of the terms, because the country is divided politically, socially, and religiously into two camps labeled as “liberal” and “conservative.” States are identified as either blue or red. I see a nation divided not so much by money as by different ways of life that are generated and shaped by beliefs. And if you think this polarity is entirely new, see the epilog at the end. Continue reading