“Previously … parents were gatekeepers. Now they have much less control.”
— Chris Ojeda, assistant professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, who studies children’s political beliefs.
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It wasn’t your typical pre-Election Day tweet: “If you’re in Michigan and 18+ pls for the love of god do not vote for my dad for state rep. tell everyone.”
The author, Stephanie Regan, 23, wrote the message during her father’s Republican primary campaign for State Legislature, which he lost this month. She and her father, Robert Regan, do not always see eye to eye.
As for Mr. Regan, he was not entirely surprised by the tweet. His children have always believed in questioning sources of authority, he explained, something that he had encouraged at home since they were little. He said conflict with his daughter in recent weeks stemmed from disagreements over white privilege and the peacefulness of Black Lives Matter protests.
But he said he was proud of his daughter’s rebellious stance.
“I applaud her for what she did,” Mr. Regan said. “I think she’s wrong, but I’m happy that she’s willing to take a stand.”
In a year of protest and elections, Ms. Regan is far from the only politician’s daughter staging some form of political revolt against her own parents.
In May, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, 25, was arrested as part of a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City. The arrest came roughly an hour before her father said he respected the peaceful protests but it was “time for people to go home.”
Claudia Conway — the teenage daughter of Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to President Trump, and George Conway, a conservative, anti-Trump lawyer — said earlier this summer that her heroes included the Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with whom her mother has publicly sparred. (Back in July the younger Ms. Conway tweeted: “@AOC adopt me.”) She has also encouraged her Twitter followers to vote Mr. Trump out of office. Last month she briefly left social media, which, she wrote on Twitter, was because of pressure from her parents.
This week her parents announced they will step away from their jobs at the end of the month, Ms. Conway leaving her White House post and Mr. Conway his Lincoln Project role, both citing a need to focus on their four teenage children. Claudia Conway celebrated the announcements on TikTok, with the proud statement: “Look what I did.”
Conventional wisdom has long held that the most powerful political influence on any child are the parents. A 2018 study in The Journal of Politics found that more than three-quarters of children whose parents share the same party affiliation will adopt their family’s political views. Numerous American political dynasties seem to uphold this finding: Chelsea Clinton takes after her parents’ progressivism, and Meghan McCain’s conservatism follows in the late Senator John McCain’s tradition. The Kennedy family has produced several generations of Democratic lawmakers.
But more recent political and psychological research points to reasons that young people might stray from their families’ political traditions. In part, that’s thanks to the internet and social media.
“Previously, exposure to information about politics was contained to the family,” said Chris Ojeda, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Tennessee who studies children’s political beliefs. “Parents were gatekeepers. Now they have much less control. The internet has democratized learning about politics.”
Amy Gross, a child psychologist, agreed that while young people used to rebel against the family with ripped clothes and dyed hair, now their social media profiles play a larger role.
But public political rebellions have tended to be more common among young men, according to Dr. Ojeda — which makes it all the more striking to see young women like Ms. Conway and Ms. Regan in revolt. Women’s rebellion, he said, is “more noteworthy and less ‘acceptable’ when it occurs.”
Other political scientists and psychologists think parents have always held less sway over their children than they might believe. Jeff Lyons, an assistant professor at Boise State University, said that social factors like friend groups can help shape a young person’s political beliefs.
So does the national political climate during their period of adolescence.
People who were teenagers in the 1980s tend more toward the Republican voting bloc, Mr. Lyons said, because Republicans were in power during the years most formative to their personal and political identities. People who came of age during the Obama administration tend to espouse more progressive views.
“Even if children get a consistent political message at home, their social environments provide a counterbalance,” Mr. Lyons said.
Some political scientists have found that parents’ ability to pass on their political beliefs differs by party. One study, using data that followed a group of Americans who were high school seniors in 1965, found that the children of conservative families are more likely to change their political views after leaving the home than the children of progressives.
“Democratic families typically generate a more sustained inheritance of politics,” said Elias Dinas, a professor of political science at the European University Institute, who examined the data. He attributes this partly to liberal university environments that reinforce progressive views. “More Republican kids leave their parental homes and start changing their views.”
Dr. Dinas’s research found this to be particularly true for Republican children raised in households that frequently discussed and actively followed politics. He noted, too, that his data set tracked young people who came of age during the Vietnam War, and might have been more likely to adopt liberal views because of the social unrest of the late 1960s.
But political differentiation might also be tied to a more timeless aspect of adolescence: teenage rebellion. Carl Pickhardt, a child psychologist, said the phase of childhood when young people emulate their parents comes to an end around 9 years old. Around age 13 comes the phase of detachment, when children look to differentiate themselves and express an individual identity.
“At that point, you can get the kid who says, ‘I’m going to be of a different political persuasion from my parents to express my individuality,’” Dr. Pickhardt said. He noted that children tend to differentiate themselves first in cultural tastes, like musical preferences, and move on to politics closer to their 20s. “The kid is trying to figure out who they are and what’s the way they want to be.”
Kuwait's New Emir Takes Over an Economy Paralyzed by Politics – BNN
(Bloomberg) — Kuwait’s new leader, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, 83, will take the reins of one of the world’s wealthiest countries as it faces a financial crisis made worse by internal political wrangling.
Sheikh Nawaf succeeds his half brother, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday at the age of 91. Sheikh Nawaf, the crown prince since 2006, had been serving as acting head of state since July, when the emir was flown to the U.S. for medical treatment.
The new leader comes to power at a time when Kuwait is facing the highest budget deficit in its history, brought on by the drop in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic. A potential solution to its brewing liquidity crisis has been blocked by parliamentary opposition to a law that would allow the government to borrow, as other Gulf nations have done in response to the dual crisis.
While Kuwait’s oil and foreign policy is unlikely to change, its domestic political landscape could be redrawn under the new leadership, particularly if Sheikh Nawaf makes a bid for national reconciliation. Such an initiative could help unblock Kuwait’s gridlocked politics and restore some balance among the different branches of the ruling family.
Kuwait is the only country in the Gulf where nationals have a genuine say in how they’re governed, but the resulting political paralysis means it’s been left behind by less democratic neighbors like the United Arabic Emirates. The emir appoints the prime minister and political parties are banned, so there’s no coherent opposition. The elected parliament is often filled with populist independents who butt heads with governments they accuse of being too soft on corruption.
Sheikh Nawaf has split from his predecessor in meeting with two of Kuwait’s veteran opposition politicians, Ahmed Khateeb and Ahmed Al-Saadoun, amid calls to allow the return of self-exiled opposition leaders. The new leader also recently received proposals for political and economic reforms from two opposition politicians. The meetings came ahead of crucial parliamentary elections later this year.
The opposition has boycotted parliamentary polls since December 2012, when the electoral law was amended at the order of the former emir. The boycott followed one of the biggest opposition rallies in the nation’s history, as critics called for the government to share more power with elected politicians.
The opposition claimed at the time that the changes to voting rules were aimed at reducing its chances of winning and made it easier for candidates to buy votes. The government said the amendments were intended to ensure stability and boost democracy.
According to the constitution, the crown prince ascends to power upon an emir’s death. That would leave Sheikh Nawaf with the duty of appointing a new crown prince, which he has one year to do. The new emir needs the endorsement of parliament for his crown prince nominee. In theory, parliament could reject the emir’s choice, forcing him to submit three fresh nominees for the house to vote on.
Sheikh Nawaf, born in Kuwait on June 25, 1937, is the sixth son of Kuwait’s tenth ruler, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. He was first appointed to the cabinet in 1978 as interior minister, and thereafter held the defense and social affairs portfolios. Sheikh Nawaf has also served as deputy chief of the national guard. He was educated in Kuwait and is married with four sons and one daughter.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
16 MLAs retiring from BC politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation
As a number of provincial politicians have bowed out of running for re-election ahead of Oct. 24, a national tax reform advocacy group is highlighting the cost of political retirement– to the tune of $20 million – with taxpayers footing the bill.
“While we thank these retiring politicians for their work, taxpayers need to know the huge cost of these gold-plated pensions,” said Kris Sims, B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“These pensions simply aren’t affordable for taxpayers. MLAs need to reform their pension plan.”
According to the government, MLA pensions are calculated by taking the highest earning years of the retiring MLAs and factoring in their years of work. The annual pension payments are capped at 70 per cent of the highest earning years.
That means that for every $1 the politicians contribute to their own pension plans, taxpayers pay $4, Sims said.
“It’s time to end these rich pension schemes,” said Sims, adding that MLAs not seeking re-election are allowed to collect the equivalent of their salaries for up to 15 months while they look for new jobs, and they get up to $9,000 if they need skills training.
The federation calculated the expected pensions for 16 retiring MLAs, and determined that former house speaker and BC Liberal MLA Linda Reid is expected to collect the highest per-year amount, roughly $107,000 annually when she turns 65 years old.
Reid, who represented the Richmond South Centre since 1991, is the longest-serving woman in B.C.’s government history.
Other estimated pension totals for MLAs include:
- Tracy Redies, B.C. Liberal MLA – ineligible due to less than six years in office.
- Claire Trevena, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
- Shane Simpson, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
- Scott Fraser, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $80,000 per year, $1.9 million lifetime.
- Carole James, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $82,000 per year, $2 million lifetime.
- Michelle Mungall, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
- Judy Darcy, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $37,000 per year, $647,000 lifetime.
- Doug Donaldson, NDP cabinet minister – estimated $58,000 per year, $1.4 million lifetime.
- Rich Coleman, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister – estimated $109,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
- John Yap, former B.C. Liberal cabinet minister – estimated $65,000 per year, $1.5 million lifetime
- Darryl Plecas, Independent Speaker – estimated $38,000 per year, $714,000 lifetime.
- Andrew Weaver, former Green Party Leader – estimated $31,000 per year, $764,000 lifetime.
- Donna Barnett, B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $46,000 per year, $400,000 lifetime.
- Linda Larson – B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $29,000 per year, $469,000 lifetime.
- Ralph Sultan, former B.C. Liberal MLA – estimated $74,000 per year.
- Linda Reid, former B.C. Liberal Speaker – estimated $107,000 per year, $2.6 million lifetime.
Source: – Victoria News
The Only "Black Issue" In American Politics Is Opposition to Racial Inequality
We’re about a month away from the November Elections.
One of the voting blocs that could decide the presidential race this year is the African American vote. Both candidates have talked quite a bit about what a vote for them would mean for Black Americans. But both of them have mischaracterized African American political views and loyalties in recent months.
“The existence of the Black electoral monolith is evidence of a critical defect not in Black America, but in the American practice of democracy.” — Theodore Johnson, Brennan Center for Justice
That’s nothing new, writes Theodore Johnson in the New York Times. He joins Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today and says that Americans have viewed Black voters as a monolith without really taking the time to understand the diversity of political thoughts and views that exists among Black voters.
Listen: Theodore Johnson on the African American vote that could decide the 2020 election.
Theodore Johnson is a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Johnson writes, “An enduring unity at the ballot box is not confirmation that Black voters hold the same views on every contested issue, but rather that they hold the same view on the one most consequential issue: racial equality. The existence of the Black electoral monolith is evidence of a critical defect not in Black America, but in the American practice of democracy. That defect is the space our two-party system makes for racial intolerance and the appetite our electoral politics has for the exploitation of racial polarization — to which the electoral solidarity of Black voters is an immune response.”
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