Man, procrastination pays off big AGAIN! Sitting at my desk putting off going through my students’ notebooks, I came across this article in The Atlantic by the wonderfully insightful and scholarly, Jonathan Haidt.
By defining the American creed of all men are created equal as a quasi-religion, then we can view the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s equivocation and praise of Nazis and Klansmen as being taboo. He has violated one of our sacred texts, the Declaration of Independence.
That is how deeply and significantly he has rent US society. That he still has supporters shows just how self-inflicted the wound is and how far down the road to becoming the United Fucking States of Fucking Stupid we have gone.
The real question is, have we gone too far down that road to turn back?
Trump Breaks a Taboo—and Pays the Price
The past week brought violent conflict over symbols and values held sacred—and an act of sacrilege.
Jonathan Haidt — Aug 21, 2017
Taboo and sacredness are among the most important words needed to understand Charlottesville and its aftermath. Taboo refers to things that are forbidden for religious or supernatural reasons. All traditional societies have such prohibitions—things you must not do, touch, or eat, not because they are bad for you directly, but because doing so is an abomination, which may bring divine retribution. But every society also makes some things sacred, rallying around a few deeply revered values, people, or places, which bind all members together and make them willing to sacrifice for the common good. The past week brought violent conflict over symbols and values held sacred—and saw President Trump commit an act of sacrilege by violating one of our society’s strongest taboos.
The “Unite the Right” rally was an effort to mobilize and energize a subset of the far-right around its own sacred symbols—including swastikas and confederate flags—by marching to another symbol that is its members believed was under attack, a statue of Robert E. Lee. The psychological logic of the rally was to bind white people together with shared hatred of Jews, African Americans, and others, under a banner and narrative of racial victimhood and racial purity. Marching and chanting in unison has been shown to intensify feelings of oneness and social cohesion. The psychology of sacredness and its function in binding groups together is essential for understanding the method and the motives of the marchers.
Continue reading at The Atlantic: Trump Breaks a Taboo—and Pays the Price – The Atlantic