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Historian Heather Cox Richardson on Trump’s Muslim Ban: „It’s a Shock Event“

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Heather Cox Richardson: If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln’s strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power. Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

the way of improvement leads home

bannonHeather Cox Richardson of Boston College is one of my favorite historians.  I highly recommend her most recent book To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party

Today Richardson gave me permission to publish a piece she recently posted to her Facebook page.

Richardson is probably right in assuming that Steve Bannon is behind Trump’s recent Executive Order on Muslim refugees.  She describes what Bannon is doing as a „shock event.“ This is an attempt to throw the country into confusion and chaos so that the administration can present itself as the only entity capable of restoring order.

Richardson explains:

What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a „shock event.“ Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually…

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  1. From a similar article: >> Third, popular attention must focus less on whether we agree with what the government is doing, and more on whether the system of checks and balances we have in place is working. It is a much bigger deal that the DHS felt they could ignore a federal court than that Trump signed an EO blocking green card holders in the first place. It is a much bigger deal that Trump removed a permanent military presence from the NSC than that he issued a temporary stay on immigration. The immigration ban may be more viscerally upsetting, but the other moves are potentially far more dangerous. <<
    View story at Medium.com

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    Peter Jebsen

    2. Februar 2017 at 2:07

  2. And: >> If this were happening in Honduras, we’d know what to call it. It’s happening here instead, and so we are baffled. <<
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/03/how-to-build-an-autocracy/513872/

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    Peter Jebsen

    2. Februar 2017 at 2:09

    • In 2021: >> The media have grown noticeably more friendly to Trump as well. The proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner was delayed for more than a year, during which Time Warner’s CNN unit worked ever harder to meet Trump’s definition of fairness. Under the agreement that settled the Department of Justice’s antitrust complaint against Amazon, the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos, has divested himself of The Washington Post. The paper’s new owner—an investor group based in Slovakia—has closed the printed edition and refocused the paper on municipal politics and lifestyle coverage. <<

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      Peter Jebsen

      2. Februar 2017 at 2:11

      • More from 2021: >> Nobody’s repealed the First Amendment, of course, and Americans remain as free to speak their minds as ever—provided they can stomach seeing their timelines fill up with obscene abuse and angry threats from the pro-Trump troll armies that police Facebook and Twitter. Rather than deal with digital thugs, young people increasingly drift to less political media like Snapchat and Instagram. <<

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        Peter Jebsen

        2. Februar 2017 at 2:11

        • >> What has happened in Hungary since 2010 offers an example—and a blueprint for would-be strongmen. Hungary is a member state of the European Union and a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights. It has elections and uncensored internet. Yet Hungary is ceasing to be a free country. <<

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          Peter Jebsen

          2. Februar 2017 at 2:12

  3. […] Additional reading Historian Heather Cox Richardson on Trump’s Muslim Ban: “It’s a Shock Event” […]

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