What we’ve learned from right wing reaction to Obama, and now Trump

On January 27, 1998, in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky revelations, Hillary Clinton appeared on the Today show and said, “The great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he … Read more

The elusive connection we have to truth

Perhaps it’s always been this way; humankind has been more motivated by emotions than reason and the primary emotion that generates beliefs is fear. The more that we’re driven by fear the less space we have in our brains to try to deal rationally with issues. Two recent items from very different parts of the … Read more

Pappy Bush and McCain gave green light to GOP extremists

The Republican Party has strayed so far from “societal norms” or “polite company” in recent years that it has caused some to ask, “Where have the grown-ups in the party gone?” It’s a fair question, particularly when looking at those members of the Grand Old Party who are currently running for president. But it wasn’t … Read more

Scarborough’s misconceptions about liberals in the media

Daily Kos called Joe Scarborough the “resident Republican blowhard on MSNBC.” Daily Kos and many other on the left-leaning outlets have taken Scarborough to task. Really. All Scarborough did was to assert that almost every mainstream news anchor or Sunday morning interview show is liberal. He cited a number: David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, … Read more

Why journalists engage in so many false equivalencies

For some time, we have been examining why Republicans look at things so differently from Democrats. Much has been written about the Republican brain including a book by that title by journalist and author Chris Mooney. Mooney has been described as “one of the few journalists in the country who specializes in the now dangerous … Read more

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs vs. the Republican pyramid of political values

You may have heard of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. He cites five levels of growth, beginning with what a newborn infant needs and moving on to self-actualization, which is the top level of the pyramid. Maslow describes self-actualization this way: This level of need refers to what a person’s full potential is and … Read more

Are Republican and Democratic brains like Yin and Yang?

Some people posit that the Republican brain and the Democratic brain complement one another, somewhat like yin and yang. The theory would be that liberal people bring to a society a full measure of empathy, reason, and fairness. Conservatives bring order, structure, and rules. Together there is a harmonious and smooth functioning society. I’m a … Read more

What Republicans could learn from a dead baseball player

Republicans could learn a lot from  just-deceased baseball legend Yogi Berra, like “when you come to a fork in the road, take it.” They seem to find most forks in the road befuddling and reason for impasse, rather than making clear decisions. But a few weeks prior to the demise of Berra, another quotable ballplayer–former … Read more

Joe Biden talks about courage and empathy: a unique combination

Many people think that the Stephen Colbert interview with Vice-President Joe Biden on Thursday, September 10 was seminal TV. Both had suffered tragic losses in their families and have done a remarkable job of picking up the pieces and moving on, while not forgetting how important the relatives whom they lost were to them. In … Read more