Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Jun 16th, 2010

Summary: The growing fear among some citizens of losing their rights and freedoms has created a political backlash toward the U.S. government and manifested itself in violent rhetoric and anti-government groups who want to “take their country back.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews takes a hard look at the recent surge of anger on the political right in “Rise of the New Right: A Hardball Documentary with Chris Matthews.” In this blog entry, Aubrey Immelman chronicles the rise of rightwing extremism in America following the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States in November 2008. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on June 16, 2009 Aubrey Immelman reported that North Korea threatened a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” if provoked by the U.S., but that U.S. officials were downplaying any imminent threat to the United States of a North Korean missile strike or confrontation between the two countries at sea.


Apr 16th, 2010

Summary: Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public and tend to be Republican, white, male, and married, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on April 16, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that a Homeland Security Department intelligence estimate warned that right-wing extremists could use the bad state of the U.S. economy and the election of the country’s first black president to recruit members and incite violence. He also reported on a pro-life public lecture by Stephanie Gray of the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn.


Feb 15th, 2010

Summary: The incendiary rhetoric of demagogues like Glenn Beck or Michele Bachmann is powerful because it slips through the cracks in our acculturated human rationality, with its biological substrates in the fontal cortex, to hit a lower nerve in the subcortical brain regions of the limbic system, the seat of emotion. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 15, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that federal authorities examining the early, chaotic days of the $125 billion American-led effort to rebuild Iraq had significantly broadened their inquiry to include senior American military officers who oversaw the program.