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Democratic debate: Why Buttigieg’s attack on “revolution politics” was controversial – Vox.com

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Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is facing criticism for launching an attack on Sen. Bernie Sanders during Tuesday night’s 10th Democratic primary debate — his critics argue the attack was also a denouncement of the political struggle that has made Buttigieg’s candidacy possible.

During the debate, Sanders was asked to clarify his stance on past comments he has made praising some aspects of left-wing dictatorships, such as their literacy and health care programs.

After Sanders responded by calling for nuance in US views toward foreign leaders — and by tying his views on Cuba to former President Barack Obama’s stance on the country — Buttigieg argued against Sanders’s position, and claimed it demonstrates why the senator is unfit to be the Democratic presidential nominee:

The only way you can [restore American credibility] is to actually win the presidency, and I am not looking forward to a scenario where it comes down to Donald Trump with his nostalgia for the social order of the ’50s and Bernie Sanders with a nostalgia for the revolution politics of the ’60s. This is not about what was happening in the ‘70s or ’80s, this is about the future. This is about 2020.

The remark drew a mixed reaction from the crowd in Charleston, and the Buttigieg campaign tweeted the line.

But on Twitter, the point was not met with overwhelming acclaim, especially among Sanders supporters. Sanders campaign spokesperson Briahna Joy Gray argued that the revolutionary politics of the 1960s were largely positive — particularly for communities of color in the US.

The moment gave other Sanders supporters, such as senior adviser David Sirota, the opportunity to promote Sanders’s civil rights era activism, and others noted progressive political activism in the 1960s also involved the antiwar movement, the push for women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights activism.

Amid mounting criticism, the Buttigieg campaign deleted the tweet.

As Vox’s Alex Ward has explained, “Sanders has a long history of showing support for left-wing dictatorships around the world.” This history came to the fore Sunday during an interview with 60 Minutes in which Sanders said, “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba … but, you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad.”

Sanders went on to say, “When [Fidel] Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program.”

Again — as Sanders pointed out Tuesday — Obama made a similar statement, saying in 2016 as the US tried to improve its relationship with Cuba, “The United States recognizes progress that Cuba has made as a nation, its enormous achievements in education and in health care.”

But Sanders’s argument allowed Buttigieg to reiterate a point he has tried to make in recent debates: that Sanders is too radical to be the Democratic Party’s nominee, and that he is, as Buttigieg said in last week’s Nevada debate, a “candidate who wants to burn this party down.”

The mayor’s dismissal of the “revolution politics of the ’60s” was meant to be of a kind with this criticism. Buttigieg campaign staffer Rodericka Applewhaite made this point on Twitter amid the pushback the mayor was facing online, writing that Buttigieg “was being critical of Sen. Sanders’ nostalgia for Cold War-era, authoritarian regimes. The Civil Rights movement wasn’t implied nor referenced.”

However, that the civil rights movement wasn’t referenced was what had many Sanders supporters and other observers incensed — particularly given criticisms Buttigieg has faced about his outreach to minority communities in the past.

Buttigieg has faced a number of questions about his support among marginalized communities thus far in the campaign cycle. He drew just 2 percent of the black vote in the Nevada caucuses, and the lack of support within the black community that signals doesn’t portend well for next Saturday’s South Carolina primary, where black voters make up 60 percent of the Democratic electorate.

And his campaign has drawn extensive criticism from other LGBTQ people — critics have argued Buttigieg has failed to address the broader needs and concerns of the LGBTQ community. His desire to find a middle ground between the social traditions of the 1950s and the revolutionary 1960s shows why.

The 1960s were a time of great political change for many marginalized communities in the US. The civil rights movement of the time gave birth to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination on the basis of race illegal under federal law and removed barriers to voting for black people. The feminist movement at the time created social change that opened the doors to new and longer careers for women.

But although Buttigieg is a white man, his attack on the time’s politics especially betrays his lack of perspective on a personal level. The life he lives now — as a married gay veteran who is a viable candidate for president — would not have been possible without the revolutionary queer politics of the ’60s.

The decade saw the birth of the LGBTQ rights movement through the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot in San Francisco in 1966 and, more famously, the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York City. Without the queer agitation against state power at the time, there would be no marriage equality in the US in 2020, and “don’t ask, don’t tell” restrictions on openly LGBTQ people serving in the military might still be in place.

It is those politics that Buttigieg’s statement appeared to dismiss.

He was correct, however, in stating that 2020 has a number of pressing issues — in particular, the hard-won gains of the 1960s LGBTQ revolutionary politics are in danger, with LGBTQ people are facing a renewed pushback against their rights. And the Trump administration has launched attack after attack on queer and trans rights. LGBTQ rights seemingly hang by a thread — just this week, the Supreme Court decided to hear a case that could allow adoption agencies receiving federal tax money to discriminate against LGBTQ prospective parents.

Buttigieg said he wants to focus on 2020, but perhaps queer and other minority voters could use a little bit of ’60s revolutionary politics this year.

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Study: Politics Outweighed COVID Severity in Reopening Decisions – Inside Higher Ed

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The political leaning of the county in which a college or university is located is the factor most closely associated with whether it offered in-person or remote instruction in fall 2020, research released Tuesday shows. The article, published in Springer’s Research in Higher Education, finds that the severity of the pandemic near a college and sociopolitical factors in its state were also associated with institutional decisions on how to offer instruction.

State political factors were a stronger factor for four-year public institutions than for four-year private or community colleges, while county political preferences had a stronger effect on four-year private and two-year public institutions.

“Given that in-person instruction was associated with increased COVID-19 incidence in the local area,” the authors write, “polarization, political identification, and institutions feeling compelled to operate as politicized entities (to stay close to the ‘in-group’) likely made the severity of the pandemic worse. These outcomes are aligned with the general findings [of previous research] that institutions seemed to give more weight to sociopolitical features over pandemic severity when choosing in-person instruction for Fall 2020.”

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Why American Politics Is So Stuck — and What New Research Shows About How to Fix It – POLITICO Magazine

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Why does American politics feel so stuck these days, with bipartisan bills vanishingly rare and solutions seemingly taking a back seat to constant attacks?

Our newly published research suggests an answer — and maybe a way to get un-stuck.

Most policies are rife with trade-offs. They have an intended outcome and some regrettable side-effects. Our recent studies suggest that political polarization in the United States runs so deep that it leads partisans to see the other side’s intended outcome as a ruse and the side effects as the real intention. In other words, Democrats and Republicans not only disagree about policy matters; they believe the other party’s agenda is intentionally designed to do harm.

We call this tendency the partisan trade-off bias, and it applies to both parties. To a Democrat, the purpose of an environmental policy that reduces carbon emissions, for example, is to preserve the environment, and a corresponding loss of coal mining jobs is an unfortunate side effect. But a Republican, our research finds, might look at that same policy and see a plot to eradicate jobs in the fossil fuels industry. Meanwhile, a Democrat might presume a Republican push to lower corporate tax rates is more about helping the wealthy and hurting the poor than fueling economic growth.

Of course, skepticism about motives is sometimes warranted. But, oftentimes, it is misguided, and the deeper it runs, the harder it is to get anything through the policymaking process. Unless politicians find a way to lessen the effects of the partisan trade-off bias, we’re likely to keep seeing stalemates on important policy issues.

We documented the partisan trade-off bias across five studies using online samples of a total of 1,236 participants, a mix of Republicans and Democrats. As an example, in one of our studies participants were randomly assigned to view a set of policy trade-offs, some proposed by Republicans and some proposed by Democrats. The policies dealt with taxes, environmental regulation, gun control and voting rights. Participants then rated how intentional they perceived the negative side effects of each policy to be. The more participants identified with the Republican Party, the more intentional they perceived the side effects of the Democratic-proposed policies to be, and the more participants identified with the Democratic Party, the more intentional they perceived the side effects of Republican-proposed policies to be.

In a nutshell, our studies showed that the negative side effects associated with different policy trade-offs are not interpreted by opponents as side effects at all, but as intended goals of the policy.

To date, the political science literature has shown that political polarization leads partisans not only to dislike each other, but to see the other side increasingly as a threat to the country. Our identification of the partisan trade-off bias reveals a psychological tendency that might help to explain this perception of threat. After all, how can you get along with someone who you perceive as intentionally trying to do harm?

The good news is that by identifying the partisan trade-off bias, our research points a path forward: Policymakers who pay more attention to this bias might be better equipped to achieve compromise. This means that rather than focusing only on the main goal of a policy, they need to communicate clearly to the public what is intentional and what is a regrettable side-effect of that goal.

Fortunately, our studies also suggest this might be achievable. The partisan trade-off bias happens not because people don’t understand a given policy, but because they don’t trust the policymakers who are pushing that policy. We found that the level of trust a person feels toward a policymaker proposing a policy is a crucial driver of the partisan trade-off bias. And when we were able to increase people’s trust in the policymaker in our studies, we saw the partisan tradeoff bias decrease substantially.

Existing research suggests there are many ways politicians can earn others’ trust, but one of the most powerful is also the simplest: making sure people feel their voices are heard and listened to before a policy is announced, including both those inclined to like and dislike a policy. When we told participants in our studies that a policymaker spoke with stakeholders from all sides of the political spectrum before rolling out a proposal, the partisan tradeoff bias subsided.

Practically speaking, these findings suggest that announcing a big policy goal, and then doing press tours and campaigns to tout its benefits, likely does little to build trust. What happens before the policy is announced is crucial to building broad support for the policy. Politicians need to make it clear that they are speaking with and listening to those likely to be affected by a policy’s side effects. In the context of climate policy, a politician might visit coal miners in West Virginia or oil and gas workers in Texas while in the process of formulating a plan to reduce emissions, for example. The more widely the politician can advertise these efforts — across multiple types of media and across the ideological spectrum — the better.

Giving people a voice in the process does not mean they will change their minds about the value of the policy. But it does increase the chances that they will see the policy as a sincere attempt to solve problems rather than a form of hidden malice. That, in turn, can help lower the temperature and de-escalate the cycle of polarization. The same lesson holds for those of us who are not policymakers but ordinary citizens who want to have better conversations about politics. If you think you know what the other side’s real intentions are, think again. What you see as malice might be an unintended side effect. And if you want someone to give you the benefit of the doubt, put in the work of making them feel heard before you make yourself heard.

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A new reason to move: politics – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Blue states will get bluer, and red redder, in coming years, as more Americans factor political issues into their relocation decisions and head for places with like-minded tribes.

That’s the forecast from real-estate brokerage Redfin, which included “more migration for political reasons” in its outlook for the housing market in 2022. The deepening political polarization of the country includes new city- and statewide laws likely to attract adherents and repel detractors, driving political issues deeper into community life. Texas this year passed the nation’s strictest anti-abortion law, for instance. A Mississippi anti-abortion law could lead the Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal everywhere. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, states will once again be free to set their own abortion statutes, creating a drastic dividing line between permissive and restrictive states.

Another Supreme Court case, involving gun rights, could make it easier to carry concealed weapons in New York and 7 other states, eroding gun-control efforts propagated largely by Democratic governors and mayors. On the other hand, marijuana is now legal in 19 mostly blue and purple states. Cities such as Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York are experimenting with police reform meant to cut down on lower-level arrests. Public-school curricula is a new flash point between parents who want racial and social justice taught in schools, and traditionalists who feel threatened by “wokeness.”

A U.S. Supreme Court police officer walks past its building as rulings are expected in Washington, U.S. November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A U.S. Supreme Court police officer walks past its building as rulings are expected in Washington, U.S. November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Covid pandemic led to sharp disparities in masking rules, school opening policies and business restrictions among states and cities. That’s on top of longstanding differences in regulation and taxation between traditionally Democratic and Republican states. While there’s nothing new about regional differences in governing styles, policy polarization is making it easier for Americans to live in areas they find ideologically compatible. It’s also getting harder for liberals to find a comfortable enclave in conservative states, and vice versa.

[Click here to get Rick Newman’s stories by email.]

Moving patterns reflect politics

Americans seem increasingly likely to sort themselves into ideological groups by geography. “We know people are leaving blue counties and moving to red counties,” says Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “I think this will start to happen at the state level and at the neighborhood level. After next year’s midterm elections, we’ll be able to see if neighborhoods become more polarized.”

Up till now, the migration from blue states to red states has largely been driven by affordability. Blue states along the coasts typically have higher living costs and taxation levels than, say southern red states such as Texas and Florida. More and more, however, moving patterns reflect overt political choices.

An October Redfin survey of people who recently moved, for instance, found that 40% said they would prefer or insist on living in a place where abortion is fully legal. The portion taking the opposite view—saying they would prefer or refuse to live in an area where abortion is fully legal—was 32%. It’s not unusual for survey respondents to express strong opinions on abortion, but it may be new for people to factor such views into moving decisions. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe and more states ban or severely restrict abortion, it could become a bigger factor in relocation.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 12: A newly sold home is shown on August 12, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Home prices have climbed during the pandemic as low interest rates and working from home has become more abundant. Home prices around the country continue to surge in the second quarter as strong demand continues to overwhelm the supply of homes for sale. Nationwide, the median single-family existing-home sales price increased by 22.9% in the second quarter. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 12: A newly sold home is shown on August 12, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Home prices have climbed during the pandemic as low interest rates and working from home has become more abundant. Home prices around the country continue to surge in the second quarter as strong demand continues to overwhelm the supply of homes for sale. Nationwide, the median single-family existing-home sales price increased by 22.9% in the second quarter. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

A newly sold home is shown on August 12, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The Redfin survey of movers also gauged attitudes toward other touchy political topics. Larger percentages favored living in areas with liberal policies such as strong voter protections, gender anti-discrimination laws and legal weed. But 23% said they don’t want to live in places with strong anti-discrimination laws, 22% don’t want to live in a state with legal weed, and 16% don’t want to live where there are strong voter protections.

Americans consider many factors when deciding where to live, and some of those factors have political overtones. Many parents base home-buying decisions on the quality of schools, which drives up home prices in the best school districts and creates de facto segregation. The white-flight phenomenon has a similar effect, with whites who can afford to leaving urban areas for places where they consider quality of life better.

But those types of location decisions are based more on family-first attitudes than the liberal-conservative divide that’s taking root now. Americans choose a political tribe when they vote, donate money to political causes and decide which cable-news station to watch. Perhaps it’s only natural that Americans want to live among their political comrades, as well. Like much of America, real-estate listings are trending toward liberal or conservative.  

Rick Newman is the author of four books, including “Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success.” Follow him on Twitter: @rickjnewman. You can also send confidential tips.

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