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‘Normal Tourist Visit’ — The Weekly Roundup
Hey, it's Ron. Before we start today's episode, I just wanted to say thank you. We've recently asked for your time and support for political a g and I'm grateful for all of the enthusiastic responses both inner listener survey and from are extremely generous donors, you're truly helping to shape the next phase of political ecology. This community has been through a lot and done extraordinary things together over the last year. And while certainly, there is a rich diversity of viewpoints among us. We remain fiercely United in our opposition to anti-democratic forces and figures. No doubt. Most of us. Never thought we would be living during a time when fighting to keep that torch-lit would be necessary. But as terrifying as it is, this work we're doing together. Deepening and broadening our Collective knowledge base of the vast. Interconnectedness of the political
Finding us of the roles. We have to play and empowering one. Another in our individual lives is the Bedrock of a healthy democracy. It's what allows us to create forward movement together, uncoerced, and unintimidated by those who seek to wield power, whether clumsily or skillfully to nefarious ends examining these threats and understanding our role to play is it critically important piece of our Collective Civic engagement and it's working. You see the threats to our democracy and you're taking action.
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Which is why I'm so proud and genuinely excited to be on this journey with you.
Now, under the episode.
Welcome to political ecology. I'm Ronstadt slow. This is our weekly Roundup where we bring in a rotating panel of experts to discuss the truth. You need to know behind the most important stories of the week and how they're shaping the political landscape. On today's outstanding panel returning to the Roundup is politico's your favorite crisis? Communications consultant and MSNBC political analyst a good friend. Susan Del percio, Susan. Good morning. Thank you so much for joining us.
So great to be here today. Thanks also returning for the ecology for her weekly Roundup. Debut is dr. Katherine Sanderson. Catherine earned. Her doctorate in Psychology from Princeton University and is the polar family professor and chair of the psychology department at Amherst College. She's also the author of why we act turning bystanders into moral Rebels, which was the centerpiece of our really fantastic conversation back on March 10th and the link to that episode. In case you missed, it is in Today, Show notes. Catherine. So good to have you back. Welcome to the Roundup. I am so excited to be here. Thanks for the invitation on this week. Show the fight over the effort to find the facts and establish a shared truth about what happened on January 6th, and the unhinged defense claimed by an attorney for the qanon shaman. The New York attorney, general in Manhattan da turning up the heat on investigations into the Trump organization.
How the growing confusion over? The cdc's newest guidance is reflective of very different pandemic experiences. And what cultural psychology can tell us about the way we've responded to covid.
So on Wednesday, a bipartisan Bill to create a 911 South commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol past the house 252-2175 with 35 Republicans joining Democrats yet. It is entirely uncertainty for how the bill is going to pass through the Senate, where 10 Republican votes are needed as Republican leadership. In both Chambers has fought tooth-and-nail to prevent the commission from being created in the first place house, Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy and his number to Steve scalise have both voice. Their opposition as has their Senate counterparts in order to cuddle Republicans, including McCarthy claim their opposition is because the focus on the legislation is too narrow and they've tried to attack on several other instances of political violence. Last several years to the commission's Mandate, but the real reason seems rather obvious, which is that Republicans, especially McCarthy himself don't want to be subpoenaed and forced to testify about their
It's on January 6th, especially regarding their conversations with President. So Susan, if Republicans are successful in blocking the creation of this commission, what are they robbing us up? Maybe zoom out first and, and set the table here. Why do we need this Commission in the first place? Why is it so important truth? That's why we need, we need our country to come together and we can only do that if we all see the facts and can agree upon them. And I think if the if the facts come forward, it's going to embarrass a lot of people, especially Kevin McCarthy. So that's one of the reasons why he's, he's trying to kill this and my guess is. He also received quite a few calls from his pal. You know, the former guy, Chris that I don't understand about this really, really bad strategy, is that the house is under the Democrats control. They can stay
Hearing, they still have subpoena power. These things are going to come out. Now, getting in the worst part is, is that what some concern was is that the report would come out next year, that it would spill into the following year into an election year by doing this, by stopping the report from happening, the Republicans have all but ensured that this is going to go into 2022 and most likely become a campaign issue. You went during the impeachment process, there was a very narrow scope and very, and a very narrow man of information that was provided for a whole host of reasons.
That will not be the case if this if Congress investigates and it goes to several different committees that you're going to dig, they're going to dig everywhere and everything will be presenting. I hope that Nancy Pelosi actually put forth a commission that is four, Democrats. And four Republicans matching, what's been discussed and in really lend some credibility because why they can move forward the whole point of this. Why do we want to have a January 6th commission? Just like we wanted one on September 11th to find out what happened and to prevent it from happening. Again we learned something very important during the transition between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. It came out in the 9/11 commission report, the lack of a transition, definitely affected the country's preparedness in 2000 to 2001 in preparing the current Administration, the bush
Ministration in being the best repair that they could for a case like September 11th, the commission that they're proposing. Now it's going to have findings that will help us as a country. So it's all going to come out. So Amy Walter the national editor of the cook political report tweeted that she found the list of 35 Republicans tough to categorize, but it cuts across generation types of congressional district in past support, or opposition to impeachment. What do you make of that? I mean, how are you think about this list of the 35? Republicans, who essentially, you know, Buck tires GOP. Leadership vote, right? They were These boots were ripped and it wasn't one of those but you're conscious on your conscience, team. Right. What do you make of the 13 factors? I think they work there.
5 people who voted their conscience. I mean there wasn't the only connective tissue through all of it were members that decided that they were going to put country above party. That's what unites them. That's the thread that you see. And that was, they felt that that was no responsibilities. So they did the right thing. The only problem is politically is that then they get pointed you over and over again which potentially hurts them if they have to pay some primary Catherine, I'm interested in what you think about these 35 Republicans taking the risk and whether or not there's a difference, how, how could that impact with the day or any other members of Congress to act and tough situation? But I also want to talk about gaslighting because we've seen some really egregious displays of this lately. Attempted rewriting. What happened including it was Georgia, representative Andrew Clyde's. Recent characterization of attack as
A normal turret tourist visit but then they are quotes and so actually when we leaned into that from them as a psychological Concepts, can you help us understand how gas lighting works when a leadership figure declared publicly what you saw and what you heard didn't really happen? How effective is that? And maybe more importantly? Why is it so effective?
So I'll say a couple things about that. First of all, I'm going to harken back to our earlier conversation in which I don't call them defectors, I call the moral Rebels, right? Because as Susan said again, quoting Susan 35, people shows country over party, and that's what's really hard psychologically. It's really hard to do that when the former guy, who, by all accounts, seems to continue to have a lot of sway, for a little bit of reasons that are unknown but none the less for those 35 to take a rest and, and do what is clearly the right thing, right? To the center we're going to say searching for truth. You know, is the right thing and
They will very likely. Again, this will be different depending on their District, but many of them will in fact, face primary challenges, right? And you can kind of go through the list and think about where, you know, starting with Wyoming right. Click, starting with what's going to happen in terms of primary consequences. And so, I do think that we should acknowledge them as again, a number of very small boat, a very small bowl of Republican leaders Mitt Romney. Of course, I think being the most Salient who continue to do the right thing, no matter what. And to me, the gaslighting example, dovetails with with what Susan just said, in terms of, why don't we want the truth? So when 9/11 happened, no one was like you know what that was really bad and let's not revisit it right. You know he was really bad. We lost a lot of people. Let's move on with. Yeah let's just put that behind us. Yeah.
It's really sad but we don't want to focus on the lives that were lost. We just want to move forward and you know, family should be left to grieve on their own or whatever that would have seemed insane. Because part of understanding, what happened is extraordinary important in terms of being able to prevent it from happening again. So understanding the psychology of what actually happened as opposed to what we might pretend happened. I'm very normal tourist group seeing the capital, you know, threatening to hang the vice president. You know, happens all the time. That's essential and that's to me, frankly, What's So Scary About the time we are in. So let's talk about as it almost as a, as a chaser to what's going on in leadership. The Congress will talk about the qanon shaman for a minute because, well fair warning tour listeners. I'm about to quote someone who used extremely hurtful and hateful language in order to be clear about why I'm sharing this. It's because it illustrates
A lot of the harmful ways people in the country think and speak about mental health. It also illustrates the the the lengths to which this particular attorney is has to go in order to in order. There is busy, there is no defense for what happened on. January 6th in this in, his characterization is evidence of that. But if you're sensitive to hearing objectively defensive language about mental health and disabled people than you may want to skip this section, okay? And interview with talking points. Memo the defense attorney for Jacob translate who is also known as the qanon shaman. You might remember him as the guy wearing face paint and horns during the capital of tack attempted to inartfully tie. His client's mental health to the effects of President Trump's propaganda and he use the word propaganda regarding the election, by saying quote, a lot of these defendants, and I'm going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully, but there
All fucking short bus people. These are people with brain damage, their fucking are word there on the goddamn spectrum and quote, this is, this is the attorney for the qanon shaman, who, Catherine, Not Guilty. By reason of insanity, is a legitimate legal, plea. But many people have mental illnesses or disabilities, and many people are on the autism spectrum and they're not domestic terrorists. And this whole, you know, my client rides. The short bus is not a defense. So what is I guess, what is the show about the misguided ways people in this country, think about mental health, how does this demonstrate our overall lack of understanding the defense attorney in a case of high-profile? As the infection, would say something like this to a, to a reporter, no less. How do you think about that? So to me, of course, across multiple different levels and I say that as someone who is married to an attorney who also was like, not
I mean also, so I'm not on top of the hill, but it's but it seems like a super misguided legal strategy. It really speaks to a couple of things 1. The tremendous stigma that remains about psychological disorders and mental illness is, of course, rampant as a as a college. Professor, I'm particularly mindful. There was a study that was released by recently showing it in the last year, 80% of college students described struggling with mental health issues. And again, many of those off, of course I brought on by the covid-19 more anxious and Marty Preston and lonely, you know and so on. But the other thing that really struck me is that the use of the word, the r-word. And that is something that again, I may be older than you who all I'm in my 50s, but that is something that was a very, very normal word that I heard growing up. That was certainly. Some of it was her in the fall of last year. So in, in 2029,
Jensen my social psychology class do a final project using psychological theory to change the world in some way and I remember specifically a student who was on the lacrosse, team white, male lacrosse team here did his project on stopping the use of the r word and it just struck me as. Wow, this is something that has really, really changed in terms of what is socially acceptable, and what is normative. And the fact that that attorney didn't get that with so far out of sort of the realm of what is and is not acceptable was was stunning in a really negative way. So Susan, I am struck by the contrast between basically House Republicans line on January 6th and the formation of this of the commission to investigate the interaction and the qanon child has become this symbolic figure of the insurrection.
Who doesn't have a defense who says that it was Donald Trump's messaging is rhetoric, but it is propaganda that that caused this, that led him to do what he did. And his defense attorney basically says he's mentally ill. That's his defense. There is no substantiv argument and yet Republicans rise to that. Well, that was following up on the I watch. Fox News. So therefore, I went to the Insurrection. I mean, there's just a few weeks ago. I also think just to go back to the use of the r word for a minute. I wouldn't be surprised. Maybe it's because I expect the worst, but I think that lawyer use that language very intentionally to you, to be the kind of person that Donald Trump is no excuse, no political correctness. It was it, it it just matches everything else that is happening within the
And when you look at you in on, in the relationship with Donald Trump, in a relationship with Republicans, it's what Marjorie. Taylor Greene says all the time, I'm not politically correct. And she goes out there and she supports these crazy ideas but it boils down to politicians when we talked about like where they're going and how they look at things. They are so boil down to, if they're going to get reelected, that's it. And they keep trying to read the tea leaves. And if it can, they don't care about us, are going to get reelected in 2024 and what it looks like in 2024. Most of them probably don't think they're running for president. Now though they daydream about it, they're thinking about what do I do in 18 months this is what I've got. These are the this is what's given to me. This is what's out there.
It's such a far bigger, change the one I started out in this business 30 years ago, where we used to actually vote for people and work for people in politics because of their policies. Right now, in the Republican party, it doesn't matter what your policies are it when it matters, what your personality is.
And that's what we're seeing. And that's I think. Also another thing that kind of connect the dots through everything that's happening, whether it's whether whether or not members of Congress of Silent or they they support some of their colleagues who have gone off the rails and or they support colleagues that have been under investigation for pedophilia. I mean, like, this is like this is where we are right now. This is all personality politics and it is it is something that is very dangerous to our political system and I will also warn. It doesn't mean it's not going to happen on the other side of the aisle. I'm not saying these issues but look out for it before I shall call it performance politics, but it's out there. And right now it's the way the people connected.
So speaking of Donald Trump's crime CNN, broke some news this week regarding the ongoing investigations into the Trump family businesses that we've been keeping you apprised of a spokesperson for New York attorney general. Letitia James told CNN quote, we have informed, the Trump organization that our investigation into the organization is no longer purely. Civil in nature, we are now actively investigating the Trump organization in a criminal capacity along with the Manhattan da and quote. So there are two big pieces of new information here that that I want to. I want to look closely at. So first and foremost obviously is that the investigations have expanded in scope to include possible criminal activity, but also we now know that the New York a g e and the Manhattan da are working together and sharing information, their offices are collaborating. CNN also reported based on Anonymous sources that. James's office has been
Looking into the taxes of the Trump organization, CFO Allen weisselberg for 4 months and remember that they now have Trump's tax return because he lost that fight to keep them secret in the Supreme Court unanimously 9-0 against from back in February, so Susan in a post on his so-called communications platform, which is really just the dogs in the blog on the, on the first post-presidency, Trump blog, he died. He tried to draw a line from an and I'll use his own words here for for fun, the fake Russia, Russia, Russia hoax, the two-year, 48 million-dollar, no collusion Witch Hunt in peace, would hook number one, impeachment hoax number to and others and go to the scrutiny. He's facing now in New York, but he doesn't have protection and discretion that comes from being in the white house anymore as he did during the
Reviews for years. And this, you know, from a, from a, practitioner standpoint, it seems like predictable, and probably effective spin effective in that, the base will believe him, right? And that he'll raise lots of money doing this, but does this have the potential to hurt Republicans, or
Are the firewalls of the alternative reality that they have constructed effectively impenetrable by unflattering facts. Well, I mean, first also, one other thing besides not having the AG's office in the federal government behind him. He now has to pay his lawyers. I just like to highlight that somebody who doesn't really doesn't like paying his lawyer. So that's an issue. Matter fact, I'm sure he's tired, but seriously, here's the thing. I mean, it seems like it's big news at the AG has expanded her or her investigation into the criminal. To me, it doesn't surprise me because it was the Manhattan da. That's not even likes the New York City DEA. That's one of five boroughs of the city of New York. So it would make sense since he has
Business in other places that the investigation would expand. And it makes most sense for the AG who has a lot of leeway to invest in for investigation, should join forces because the Manhattan DA's. The one who has the most other information. And we're not aware of any other facts being or investigations happening in in New York counties counties of New York versus the FBI and and Southern dish. Donald Trump like guiltiest right. Here it is, whatever she's guilty of stealing money from like orphans and widows and a real direct-line proving and that he did
I don't think it matters, I think what the bigger conversate, there's two conversations and I'd love to get Catherine people, keep bringing it up. I'm not sure why I understand why it's news, but I wonder what the effect is. If constantly having Donald Trump's name at their, we're not even like the journeyman indictment. So it's funny. It's going to keep going, it's still going to, it's going to snowball and I think this is a country like we talked about moving on. How do you move on from that? And then there's the other thing which I struggle with is, how do you, what what, what is the punishment for any such crimes that are found? Because everyone believes as I do you do the crime, you do the time like this is our justice system has to apply even lie to everybody. Imagine putting even an ankle bracelet.
On Donald Trump. The biggest thing, I think that he's actually worried about is not so much going away. Is that it will? He's got money. Do come next year? On a lot of loans, he's got your he could be wiped out by just kind of settlement, so I just think I'm more concerned about where puts us mentally, then the political effect because I don't think it'll have a lot. I mean, there are a number of questions you can choose from, to the pool on here. But let's say, they find the worst out about Donald Trump it, but I think we all know that's probably not going to matter to the base. Probably not going to matter to most of the party outside the base. Not only because they, you know, he's going to be successful and spending this is another Witch Hunt, just keeping him in the news. In that way, help the help him, help him, retain control the party or, or, or is there any chance that they reflect this reflects poorly on Republican leadership?
I am just in general when you come across these headlines, when you're reading the news. How do you think about what's happening? You know, that the, I don't want to miss, use the term for holistic, ignorance, but it feels like that's what's happening here within the Republican Party. How do you think about this project because of Trumps prosecution holding accountable and his Ironclad grip on the party? So I have been wrong. Probably 4. I don't know. 5, 6 years about when the Republican party was not going to support this guy, but but, but I could and, you know, I mean, so so certainly I have been stunned by what he can do and and continue to not lose followers. I think there is a real danger and I think Susan really identified this. Well, I think there's a real danger and that there's this constant kind of drip drop write, the New York Times got his tax.
Oh my gosh, she was a cheat, you know. And and we know that in fact in the debate with Hillary Clinton, you know he said I don't think before he was elected the first break that mean that was before he was elected again. A long time ago, he acknowledged on Nationwide TV, he didn't pay taxes and so again many of his supporters are saying hey that's that's great. We all know the amount of money that he raised following his loss. / saying I need money to pay for Audits and you know, overturning and lawsuits and you know, whatever. And so he's he's made tons and tons of money on this. And it's I don't think there's anything frankly Financial.
Ifi'm, in fact, less optimistic that if you took money from women and children and orphans and widows, right people sort of admire him for his massive wealth again, you know, are quote wealth, but you know, he has a gold-plated toilet or, you know, whatever a lot of different real estate Adventure. So he seems very admirable in terms of what he's accomplished now on a personal level, we've seen that marital infidelity not a deal-breaker, right? I mean, so so they're lots of different things that have not been a deal-breaker. I think the closest thing that we actually get is, what's happening with Matt gaetz, right? Matt gaetz thing, I think now that's not Trump, not trying to say that they're the same or that you know that's going to be the next shoe to drop but I think it would almost have to be something on that level that people really do. I think sex with an underage again quoting some political commentators and underage woman
Right girl, right there. So we can I think when you get into some of that it actually becomes more problematic and I think that's kind of where the Epstein thing, you know, of course. But it's not anything related to anything about money is going to ever sing from and I do think there is also a hazard in that I'd rather not know that they're cooperating. I'd rather not know that whatever you know when they arrest him in handcuffs right. Right. Exactly. Nice to know ya. Just another Trump Crime Story waitron do you mind if I ask a question like you had that and I think about your students like how did they process like they see January 6th and they see that half the country is saying like a big deal. Just Another Day visiting, you know, whatever. And no one in in the in the fight of just not wanting to get to truth. And then the ID,
Donald Trump, no matter what kind of helping people are going to be fine with it. Like, where does that put us as a system? And you use the term Moro Rebels before? But like, where are we is moral citizens? Like how do you say specially curious about younger people because they're the ones who really are going to be the next leaders. Haven't they processed that. And we believe in the system, like we're not showing them. The system works, we're showing them just the opposite. So, how bright should we be? I mean, to me, that's, that's sort of is the fundamental question because I've lived through lots of Elections on as, as if you all. And I will say that I've been teaching at Amherst since 1997. So we would like to Democrats. We've elected Republicans, you know what, just to goes on and off, you know, kind of switching, you know, alternating Etc, and the mood on my campus. And again, you know, I'm in Western
She said, she not at a small liberal arts college, but the mood on the day, after the 2016 election was the only experience that I've had teaching that was similar was the day after 9/11 Fitbit to me, that was the same sense of absolute unit being in the morning. Now then we played out to what happens, you know, 4 years later, I would say people were very, very anxious and and yet I think there was also this what turned out to be a false assumption, right? That I think many of us thought, okay? When he loses, he will go and then we're back to a democracy, write her back to a democracy and, you know, we didn't hear a lot from McCain after he lost. We didn't hear a lot from Clinton after she lost weed in your life. When you can just kind of go through weed in your life and core. We didn't hear that whatever that has not been the case until I think there was a sense of collective anxiety through the election. Then of course the election
Results. You know, were not as clean and quick and acknowledged frankly by, you know, McConnell McCarthy. But again I think we thought, okay but there will be an inauguration and it will be over and the fact that we are now, you know almost in June and what are the numbers, 70 80% of Republicans. Don't think it was that to me is Tara how do you say I want to. I just want to pay you back on Tuesday question and just ask him to the way it look like what you hear from students in the classroom and how do they process this system? Not working or or or they, you know, I don't know what the, what the, you know, somebody's like there but it is it is a relatively, a model of the numbers on the same page or do you hear from students in your classrooms who are basically buying into this idea that
Well, maybe it wasn't legitimate, you know, I'd like I'm really not and again, that may well, be a reflection of, of, where I teach. But I will say, certainly my campus is, I would say more focused on things that are seen as having immediate consequences for college student, who sings like Frank Lee, you know, police misconduct and anti-asian sentiment. I mean, so I think the issue of transgender rights at or lack thereof and in certain parts of the country I think is what's getting a lot of attention and I think mostly that's because you know the calls to drain. It's really not sure. What is the hearing that what is the here and now right now and I think frankly for those of us that are bit older, it's thinking like oh our whole system. What is our system of government? Are we in a democracy? Because being the Hallmark of a democracy is somebody loses and acknowledges they losing and you move on and the fact that there's not an acknowledgement of the loss. I think is something that is a, is a law.
Your charms are the big picture concept and that I think by and large my students at least you're sort of focused more on the here and now and the things that are immediately impacting them that makes sense. It reminds me of something I brought up in a recent conversation, hasn't aired yet but the you mentioned big picture concept, long-term concept and I think that's exactly what it is. But we tend to those of us who were talking about, you know, the the the cracks in the foundation of our democracy and how, you know, terrible. This is we tend to use abstract language to describe these big Concepts, that aren't really immediately tangible. And I fear that creates a little bit of inaccessibility to a lot of people to understand exactly why this is so dangerous. Why it's because without you know a very robust civic education and an informed electorate you you can't appreciate those Concepts. You can appreciate why they're so why we've been trying them for hundreds of years. So
This is really on a personal note, they all last year, my husband kept like Googling, you know, countries that are strong democracies and you would be like, Costa Rica. Could we go to Costa Rica and, you know, then we would sort of, you know, Google do I have to learn Spanish, you know, like how well, how can I pass the citizen test if I'm in or not actually fluent in French or you know, whatever? And, and to me at a basic level, I did always assumed. I assumed good faith, either, that even people I didn't vote for, I assumed good faith. I assumed reasonable people can disagree, but they can do so respectfully and I certainly assume that people were focus on the truth and and that to me has been the most discouraging actually in not since Trump's election, that really post had the vines inauguration that has not has been, I think really upsetting.
Okay, CDC. Last week, they announced that fully vaccinated Americans could safely returned to most of their everyday activities without masks and without social distancing, and that has led to a lot of confusion and tension, over how to flip the switch on habits. We've all been practicing for over a year. So in a weekly Roundup episode recently, we discussed the mix of reactions to loosening covid restrictions and the Emma green piece in the Atlantic. That was titled the liberals who can't quit lockdown and in that episode has a couple weeks ago. I offer an observation that the strong social Norm we built around mask-wearing might perhaps be much stronger than the norm of following science and public health guidelines as they evolve as they were always going to evolve and we got a lot of feedback and there was a diem I received from a listener on Twitter which I thought was really insightful. So I wanted to say
You're that with you, and then use it as a springboard for the first half of this topic. And then, and then afterward, Catherine, I have another separate question for you, that dovetails with the topic we talked about this morning, about cultural psychology. So let's do this part first and I'll just read you what this listener said. So she writes hi, I'm digging to little called you a lot. Even though I am far, far to the left of you. I had a couple comments about the discussion around the Liberals being too cautious till about covid. 3/2 people need to relax as numbers get better. Totally with you on that for all the reasons you guys talked about. But I do think a few things were missing from the conversation that would explain the reflex to stay locked down and they are pretty valid. A lot of the people still wanting masks and precautions are thinking about that 6% For Whom the vaccines won't be effective, which colors a conversation with teachers considering that kids aren't vaccinated. Another piece of the conversation missing is that many of us have been traumatized not only by fear of the
I respect the fact that our neighbors are gleefully willing to let us and even their own loved ones. Die lockdown. Measures dictated by government authorities were our only defense against them. So I think it's necessary to remember many of us are going to emotionally emerge from this more slowly than others, not saying that's a reason for the government to continue lockdown, but maybe a reason for us to give people in that mindset. Some Grace. The other thing is that I think it is a frequent false belief on the part of conservatives that the left gets off on government control. What we believe is that the government should exert power to protect the vulnerable right now. There are still a lot of vulnerable. Another thing frequently, missing from this conversation. Is it people with disabilities in immune system issues? Can't always get the vaccines and rely on her immunity. Without the protection of government orders, they are facing situations where they will be forced back into work or the kids back into school in to unsafe environments if masks and social distancing are gone.
So with that, as a backdrop, which I thought was just a terrific comment and very additive to the discussion. Susan, what do you think first of all? What do you think about her view? That liberals? Believe the government should exert power to protect the vulnerable. And what's the flip side of that? Is it fair to say that Republicans aren't as concerned with are more vulnerable communities? And is that why the right has been moving so much faster towards ignoring or lifting restrictions and moving on from covid without without vaccines or herd immunity as a liberal vs conservative when we're talking about these things. Because first of all, we have to look at where things are happening being in New York, City is different than being in Upstate New York, for example, and that's within the same state and you have difference of opinions and you have dinner. So, when the, when the governor says, let's take everyone can not wear a mask outside.
Some people in New York City or still a little closer together, it still feels a little different. So people are allowed to watch out for themselves now, I think for me, the conservative side is Aisha, wear a mask if you want to wear masks, that's my personal choice, there's nothing wrong with me, I'm a mess. But if I am told that the vaccine is almost 100% And guarantee me not to die. I should be allowed to not wear masks. I am making a choice for myself. You want to protect yourself Ron from me because you still think like, I don't know about that vaccination, you know? Like that's okay. There's also there was an economic component when we're talkin about shutdowns, and I think we're, by the way, we're so far from. Shut down. Now, we're talkin about the stages of not wearing a mask, a residual adherence, to a norm that is no longer required. That's weird.
Here's where the interesting part comes in and going back to the shutdown, we keep saying rely on the science, you're one of the very dangerous things about the Trump Administration and its continuous even, you could, you can put the thread to January 6th is that they were undermining the scientist. And what was, what an entry in actual truth they were recommending unproven remedy potentially. They were saying the vaccine, you know, it's good but, you know, you can have it. We're working on it. But it's it's about people trust in government. Again, which is really what is so important and where I did, I was online episode where I criticized by then and in Nancy Pelosi and vice president Harris because every bit of science, they didn't need to wear masks if they would have said I'm wearing a mask
Shirt. Immunity I'm all with that. I get that. It sent to certain public message. But at the same time we're trying to open up and we do is very elected. Officials are saying it's okay to go back to work. If you're meeting these criteria, there is no one answer. Yes, there's 6% here there's 10% on that we could create all these things and just for the point about school, you know, again we can't just put the paint this all with the same brush CDC says the teacher should wear masks in school so they are, they are modify. I know you have to wear one on an airplane have to wear one in the subway even though your quote, lifting their masks and a so we have to look a little bit deeper and I think maybe that's part of the problem with the communicate. I think of communication that I think I really believe and I know the communication rollout was a big problem. And again, I think it would have been better to eat lettuce.
How many regionally like what the science say this and then let it fall to the states like Walmart and in New York and New Jersey had different. Connecticut all had different reactions to the same news, Catherine respond to anything there and in the listener's comment, but I'd especially like to know how your thing about the trauma that so many people experience just by living to 2020 and how that is going to affect our willingness to emerge from covid restrictions, and maybe some of us more slowly than others me there. So many interesting things about it. So one thing, I think it's important to recognize it when we talk about culture, what we're really talking about her subcultures, right? So we can talk about, you know, the United States versus, you know, Franz Torino Ethiopia or whatever. But as Susan, just noted, there are subcultures within the United States. We talked about red States and blue States, but they're actually or not red States and blue states are basically like, you know, blue cities and suburbs. And
Read Farms, you know, it and so on. So when we talk about culture, it's much more nuanced and, and culture can be subculture can be about raise, they can be about religion, it can be about, you know, whether you're college-educated, you know what political identification and so on. I think it's also very clear that Norms got established very quickly. I remember doing a podcast, probably a year ago now and there were two gas and and so I'm from Massachusetts and the other one was from North Dakota and then he was like no one's wearing a mask that you like a funny conversation if you was like, I never ever see it and I said I don't I can't think of what I've seen. Somebody's you know mouth you know because I have everybody that I saw on was wearing a mask until we get established very early and once social norms get established, it actually becomes very hard to break them. Very hard to change them and and I'll say personally I've I've done a fair amount
Outdoor entertaining with friends during the pandemic, you know, couple of couple of couples and we had a couple over for dinner, maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago, we had dinner outside and the other couple or both vaccinated and both vaccinated for months. My husband and I had had one shot but not the second shot and it started getting cold and Ellen. Also I'm tested every week. So I have been negative Buena for a year and I and I know that every week, I can't go to my office without the test and it's already getting cold and my husband was like, maybe we should go in the downpipe.
But we did was one of these things I was like, I don't know, I don't know. Can we do it again? It was absolutely ridiculous. Right. It was ridiculous. We both had one shot. The other couple had been vaccinated you for 4 months or whatever. I'm in still it's a risky, you know? It felt really like you know shall we shoot heroin Kurt about? How do I level up event? You know that my husband was proposing and again I know that seems ridiculous to people and then eat in many parts of the country but that's the challenge, I think, once they were the norm established, it does become hard to break it. Right? This is this dovetails with another topic I want to I want to get you another piece of this conversation when I get to and and I've been looking into this this new research that reminded me of a time last year and taking about a different countries were organizing their responses to covid with very
Degrees of Effectiveness, I raised the question at Wet some point to one of my colleagues about whether a core part of America's ethos are in our our cultural emphasis on individualism, might actually have played a role in handicapping our ability to respond to the specific threat profile, a pandemic presents because it's one that demands strong group, identification and cohesion. And this became becomes even more pronounced when you look at China and some other Asian countries where there was an existing cultural emphasis on the collective right than the well-being of the group. And of course we know that leadership in times of Crisis, is an enormous factor and America infamously failed that leadership test very top, but there's been some recent fascinating work in cultural psychology specifically by dr. Michelle gelfand, who was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Is around tightness looseness Theory which I think presents an interesting lens through which to look at this question. So could you maybe summarize what gelfand is getting out? What you bring to the table with this work and share your thoughts on the on how useful this specific lenses for thinking about the way we develop Norms or break them and almost all the way to get rid of the red blue problem, right? Get rid of the, the republican-democrat problem and help us think through this from a cross-cultural psychology perspective. Love that question. And I will say that, despite the challenges of the last year, teaching largely by Zoom, there has never been a year, I believe in history, in which it has been better to be teaching social psychology, a possible Dimension that this isn't just some kind of abstract
Theory, you should know because it's going to be on the exam. This Theory helps explain your life, right? This this Theory helps explain the world so very briefly the key distinction that Michelle is making is that there are certain countries that have more relaxed social norms and basically fewer rules and restrictions these are the so-called loose nation. And then there are other nations that are so-called tight. They have much stricter rules, and restrictions, and basically, sort of harsher punishment of discipline, kind of situations and what the research has shown, what her research in particular shown, is that loose Nations have much much more covid. They have many more covid cases. And they also, of course, have many more deaths from covid. And we saw that really play out in terms of what happened in certain countries, right to some of the Asian countries in particular you solve restrictions in China or Korea, or so on. And was, there was
Really a lockdown that it that it was not just like, hey, we'd recommend that you are in states of quarantine, but, you know, really an enforcement in that sense of what. If you're going to leave your house, you have to text a number and you have to have permission. And we saw that in lots of different countries in which there were specific rules. You cannot go outside to exercise. Unless you are walking your dog, you know, where and you have to be within a mile of home or, you know, whatever. And to me, though, the the key phrase that I often share with my students that I think perfectly illustrates this distinction is there's a famous saying in Japan and its desk. The peg that stands out gets pounded down. I heard that what's the equivalent in the United States and basically it's the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Then in certain places, it's be different, you know, beat be different be unique. Basically be a pain in the ass and in other countries it's didn't you know don't call attention to yourself follow the rules, right? I mean. The distinction and and to me we've clearly seen that countries in which there are tight social norms have have done much better. Susan, fascinated by this. And I would love to hear what you think about it but it one complication obviously has that, you know, those kind, some kinds of those those very aggressive responses like we saw an Asian countries would never fly here. Not only does the government not have those tools available at it's at its disposal but but also you know the people will Revolt, I think if it if it got too aggressive. So anyway, I'm interested in how you think about that and maybe you obviously did the leadership test was was failed and if we had had a
Coherence and and strong unifying message from the from the top. Maybe things would have been a lot different than how do you think about this different lens to look at or social norms? What I mean? Just first off the top, I think it's the question of leadership would surprise me so much and actually surprised me yet. Still under Biden is that there was not a patriotic response to covid-19 not telling people with the rules are and you had to do it and it's good for you and yeah you're not doing for yourself. You're doing for your neighbor. I mean a patriotic like we're going to get through this together. There was no Call to Arms. Like this is this was something that would have United us because as a country we do believe in our individual freedoms and and different people take it in two different directions of what they may be. But that's what where, which Hot Wheel
Hot in our country. We are special, we are unique. We handle things better than everybody else. And and so that kind of gets put into the fabric of who we are as a nation. But the one thing that always be doubt, all of that was patriotism and it is shocking to me. I really thought the toys of Republicans, would would go with five on the covid relief, bill. There's nothing more patriotic than getting out of this than keeping America. A hundred thousand people we saw them. Or could you imagine Look at me now or country responded after 9/11 terrorist attack people. 3,000 people died. The number was unbelievable for us to process and yet somehow, we we didn't process 600,000 death
It was a result of leadership from the top. I mean, clearly that was the president's job but it was it someone in it. Andrew, what? The time, kind of a little celebrity in having his press conferences. Go National because he was at least talking with the people having fun with the people, whatever you think of him. And I certainly have a lot of pinions having worked for him. Definitely helped the country at a time. I'm not saying it made, everyone do the right thing, but it gave us a place to go because you couldn't watch these National breathing and so II. And again, going to the January 6th, how is there not a more. That's what I'm concerned about Society like that. And that meant going through every category weather, whatever race you were, whatever religion. You were. However, old. You were it didn't matter. This is for America.
Hina divided, who's for what America and has given this a whole lot. But now we just had something really Katherine. Susan, just said something really interesting. I want to take this a little bit further, because as, as you think about the, as you described, their microcosms a culture, right? Especially when talking about tighten loose cultures, because both tight and which cultures can exist in the same people across different domains. So you can have, you can have a tight culture on one thing and a loose culture on another thing depending on the domayne. And so if you use patriotism as one of those domains where in America, it has traditionally been a fairly tight culture. We're well, we have the freedom to disagree about everything under the sun. We do have, we have in the past, had a very strong patriotic response.
That unifies Us in times of Crisis, especially when we have a leader who activates that domain, right? And calls us to to to that sense of of unity in thinking about what Susan just said, how should we think about the damage that has been done to that domain that type Culture by the former guy and how lasting is it going to be? Now when when the when the one thing that allows it to respond collectively strongly as as a nation is now fractured, almost seemingly irreparably.
So it's also very sad, isn't it? And I'm struck by what we saw it. Tremendously change, following 9/11 were also Norms about travel. All of a sudden, you have to take off your shoes, all of a sudden, you actually can't go to the gate. Remember this is going to be. This is going to completely date me. But remember when you used to be able to go to the gate if you weren't for me. Oh yeah. Absolutely meeting your party at the gate. Yeah that's right. Pick up your shoes and you're going to disappear and we just like all kind it is my right, right shoes but it is my right to go to the gate. I need to see my mother in this. This is the new normal and we all accepted and and I think there have been other times of Crisis. I'm remembering after Hurricane. Katrina there was a big outpouring of sort of
Political leaders coming together, right? And doing a big fundraiser and it wasn't a republican fundraiser or a Democratic fundraiser. It was a fundraiser because the sense that there were lots of people in need and former presidents combined efforts together. I'm also mindful. If you think about covid-19, that just occurred to me with with your question was Trump not going to the inauguration? That's what struck me is that during times of Crisis there's actually been a sense of look. I'm I'm going to have the vaccine like all of these political leaders who know Mike Pence, vaccine on TV. Nancy Pelosi vaccine on TV by Danny Novak Seen On TV, you know, Clinton Not Seen On TV all of these and you know who didn't have the back seen on TV. And so, part of it is that there are these Norms in which people pull together. Covid is not red or blue or did you know, a Democrat or Republican disease? It, it said it's a really major
All I need to know what pair of lungs, unifying thing. Like a hurricane, like a terrorist attack became politicized. It's terrifying.
Now that we're up to speed on the biggest stories of the week, what stories are you following that have either flown under the radar? Or that may influence our politics in a way? We might not be expecting, Susan?
So as you know, Ron I am not one for the cryptocurrency world is that people are buying into it. We've seen that over the last year and this really what we saw with it that the crash over the last few days because the Chinese government wouldn't recognize age of governor on businesses that were were using, it makes me think I'm looking towards regulations and review. This is something many people don't understand and I think it's going to now that it's affecting its mainstreamed its way into the stock market and other things. I think this is something that's going to show up pretty strong next week and exactly what you're buying, doesn't need right now. You think it's going to be as soon as next week. I don't know. I'm not going to say there will be snacks.
see the call for AAA a significant review on regulation, just getting people in together because
This is also a global issue. So the economies are our people are really getting unsure special with the talk of interest rates going up and everything like they don't and too many people don't understand the influence of cryptocurrency. They don't they don't understand the influence. We we are we are we owe you listeners? A thorough conversation at least a primer on this and stay tuned because you have him. The works. So Catherine, what are you watching? I want to start by saying please don't invite me to that conversation cuz I have to share about that with would fit into 6 seconds.
Living in my occupation is a college professor, but what struck me is, singer, Demi, Lovato has revealed. They are non-binary and are changing their pronouns. And this is a really Vivid example of someone who is a celebrated pop star, you know, teenage movie star really popular singer and made this announcement earlier in the week. And it struck me as this issue of transgender rights has been of course, very very Central in the so-called Republican agenda. You know, again, doctor bills and so on. And what I see is a growing awareness and acceptance of people identifying as non-binary people identify as transgender. And it strikes me as very similar to something that we saw play out in terms of glbtq plus, you know, rights over the last, you know, 10-15
Yours. I told Story the end of my book about my daughter. Caroline who was born on? May 17th 2004 and that is a really important date in our nation's history. I'm not sure if anyone listening knows, why not because of her birth, but May 17th, 2004 was the date in which Massachusetts, where she was born. Became the first state to legalize gay marriage. So is the date of her birth and end. It was in Massachusetts, not remember being in the car with her. In June of 2015, we were driving. When the Supreme Court decision came down, legalizing gay marriage, across the country, and I turned to Caroline. And I just said how, I just can't believe, you know, the day you were born. You have no state that legalized gay marriage and 11 years later. It's the country. Just seemed amazing. And Caroline looked up at me and goes yes, what took so long
I was like, wow, that is not long and so to me what was actually was so exciting about Demi Lovato's announcement is that it's just a drip drip. Drip of what we are going to see, I think in terms of acceptance of, they them pronouns which, which Demi Lovato is now using. And it struck me, is really sort of a positive example of a role model, for teens unit, for young adults, you know, somebody who they had grown up. Idolizing, I totally agree. I was going to mention this until I'm so glad you didn't bring me. No, no, no, no, no, no, you did it all. As a matter of fact, you did it better than I could have. So I appreciate that. Look ahead in particular that was terrific before I let you go. Where can people find you on the internet? And also, by the way, was a great. It was a great segue to our political G+ segment which will get to this minute. But for everybody else, before I let you go, where can I find you on the internet?
Catherine was at Sanderson speaking and I am on Twitter at Sanderson speaks. Thank you to everyone at home for listening. If you have any questions or advice for us, you can reach us as always at podcast at the little College e.com. It takes a lot of work and a lot of people to produce put ecology. So if you enjoyed this episode, please put in buy rating and reviewing the show where ever you get to podcast by sharing this episode and especially by contributing @politico, ology.com donate and make sure you're following us on Twitter and Instagram at political Tea Party test low. I'll see you in the next episode.
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