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Berkeley author George Lakoff says, 'Don't underestimate Trump' — Berkeleyside

Berkeley author George Lakoff says, 'Don't underestimate Trump' — Berkeleyside
George Lakoff, retired UC Berkeley professor and author of Don’t Think of an Elephant, is one of a very few people in Berkeley who does not underestimate Donald Trump. “Trump is not stupid,” he tells anyone who will listen. “He is a super salesman, and he knows how to change your brain and use it to his advantage.” In fact, Lakoff predicted a year ago that Trump would win with 47% of the vote. As far back as 2006, Lakoff saw the writing on the wall. Lakoff’s message is simple, but it is couched in the language of cognitive linguistics and neuroscience. But a worldview is exactly what Lakoff is talking about. This theory explains why even college-educated Trump voters could ignore so many facts about their candidate. Our thoughts are chemical in nature, and occur within the confines of a physical body: we are not 100 percent rational beings. So if you are going to craft a message that can reach people who disagree with you, you have to understand their subconscious worldview. Related:  TrumpTrump VotersPolitics

Poll shows U.S. tumbling in world’s regard under Trump President Donald Trump gestures to members of the media gathered in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters) BERLIN — President Trump has alarmed citizens of the nation’s closest allies and others worldwide, diminishing the standing of the United States in their eyes, according to a wide-ranging international study released Monday. But in the survey of 37 countries, Russia is a bright spot for Trump. As beleaguered as the president is at home, a majority of Russians say they have confidence in him. Elsewhere, though, and with remarkable speed, Trump’s presidency has taken a toll on the United States’ image abroad. The international survey by the Pew Research Center found that favorable ratings of the United States have decreased from 64 percent of people across all countries surveyed at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency to 49 percent this spring. What is surprising, said Frank G. World leaders criticize Trump's choice to exit Paris climate deal

Poll finds Trump’s standing weakened since springtime US President Donald Trump waves to well wishers as he arrives at the 72nd US Women's Open Golf Championship at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminister, New Jersey, July 15, 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images) President Trump’s standing with the American people has deteriorated since the spring, buffeted by perceptions of a decline in U.S. leadership abroad, a stalled presidential agenda at home and an unpopular Republican health-care bill, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Approaching six months in office, Trump’s overall approval rating has dropped to 36 percent from 42 percent in April. His disapproval rating has risen five points to 58 percent. Almost half of all Americans (48 percent) see the country’s leadership in the world as weaker since Trump was inaugurated, compared with 27 percent who say it is stronger. Just over one-third of all Americans say they trust the president either “a great deal” or “a good amount” in any such foreign negotiations. politics true

Untold Truths About the American Revolution There are things that happen in the world that are bad, and you want to do something about them. You have a just cause. But our culture is so war prone that we immediately jump from, “This is a good cause” to “This deserves a war.” You need to be very, very comfortable in making that jump. The American Revolution—independence from England—was a just cause. How many people died in the Revolutionary War? Nobody ever knows exactly how many people die in wars, but it’s likely that 25,000 to 50,000 people died in this one. You might consider that worth it, or you might not. Canada is independent of England, isn’t it? In the year before those famous shots were fired, farmers in Western Massachusetts had driven the British government out without firing a single shot. Who actually gained from that victory over England? Do you think the Indians cared about independence from England? So when you look at the American Revolution, there’s a fact that you have to take into consideration.

Kathleen Parker: In his head, not ours | National columnists In one of Walker Percy’s brilliant novels, “The Second Coming,” protagonist Will Barrett keeps falling down for no apparent reason. He also suffers trances during which he contemplates existential questions. Barrett comes to mind in the era of Donald Trump. I’m not falling down on the golf course yet, as Barrett did, but I confess to a feeling of lightheadedness coupled with slight nausea. It makes perfect sense that Barrett finds salvation in a young woman recently released from an insane asylum. When many of those around you seem to be suffering from some sort of group mania — believing what isn’t true and defending what isn’t defensible — then the officially “insane” offer some strange solace. Today, about a third of the nation’s population seems to be suffering from a reality discernment malfunction. Thus, when Trump speaks in his fourth-grade, monosyllabic, syntax-challenged verbiage, they hear lyrical lucidity. “I am privileged to be here,” said Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta.

These Republicans didn't like Trump at first. They do now. "Trump's a buffoon," David Searles said before casting a vote for Marco Rubio in the New Hampshire primary. "He scares me," Rebecca Meyer said before settling on Ben Carson in South Carolina's primary. "He's not presidential," Gail Francioli said after backing Ohio Gov. John Kasich in that state's primary. Yet like nearly nine out of 10 Republicans nationwide, Searles, Meyer and Francioli supported Trump in the general election. In fact, these one-time-skeptics are part of the bulwark that is bolstering a President whose first month in office roiled the nation. Consider Wendy Housel of Summerville, South Carolina. Now? While reporting on the presidential campaign for CNN's book, "Unprecedented: The Election That Changed Everything," I interviewed voters in disparate regions of America. When it came time to vote, Republicans were as loyal to their party as Democrats were to theirs. I called a number of Republicans I met along the campaign trail to find out what they think of Trump now.

Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong. The Confederate flag waves over the South Carolina statehouse. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) History is the polemics of the victor, William F. Buckley once said. Not so in the United States, at least not regarding the Civil War. The Confederates won with the pen (and the noose) what they could not win on the battlefield: the cause of white supremacy and the dominant understanding of what the war was all about. Take Kentucky, where the legislature voted not to secede. Neo-Confederates also won parts of Maryland. In fact, the thin gray line came through Montgomery and adjoining Frederick counties at least three times, en route to Antietam, Gettysburg and Washington. South Carolina Gov. Neo-Confederates didn’t just win the battle of public monuments. [Why people convince themselves that the Confederate flag represents freedom, not slavery] Perhaps most perniciously, neo-Confederates now claim that the South seceded over states’ rights. [The racist assumptions behind how we talk about shootings]

Full text: James Comey testimony transcript on Trump and Russia A transcript of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8. This transcript will be updated: SEN. RICHARD BURR: I call this hearing to order. Story Continued Below The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence exists to certify for the other 85 members of the United States Senate and the American people that the intelligence community is operating lawfully, and has the necessary authorities and tools to accomplish its mission, and keep America safe. I very much appreciate your candor, and I think it provides helpful details surrounding your interactions with the president. I very much appreciate your candor, and I think it's helpful as we work through to determine the ultimate truth behind possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Only then will we as a nation be able to move forward and to put this episode to rest. My colleague, Senator Warner and I, have worked to stay in lock step on this investigation. SEN. We saw Mr. SEN.

In Trump country, a university confronts its skeptics ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan’s most legendary president coined what’s become an unofficial mission statement for one of the nation’s first public universities: to provide “an uncommon education for the common man.” Michigan, he declared, would be an antidote to aristocracy. Story Continued Below “Have an aristocracy of birth if you will or of riches if you wish, but give our plain boys from the log cabins a chance to develop their minds with the best learning and we fear nothing from your aristocracy,” that president, James Angell, said in 1879. Angell’s words are still a part of life at the Ann Arbor campus these days, but the spirit is missing: Today’s University of Michigan includes more than its share of blue bloods and people with inherited wealth. Tuition, which has shot up to compensate for steep state budget cuts, is a major culprit. The efforts have shown some promise, but they’ve also encountered surprising resistance. The trend has persisted. “Who does that?

What Happened? - I don’t know what happened. But here’s my current theory of what the White House thought was going to happen. I don’t have any more information than you do, and here I’m not concerned with the broader question of how the country came to this end. I am just trying to make sense of what happened on Wednesday. From the moment he knew he’d lost the presidential election, Trump absolutely wanted to get the result overturned. Some large proportion of his own staff and Congressional Republicans thought there was no harm in humoring him. So, Team Trump organized a big day of protest to coincide with the certification. The plan for Wednesday was to have Trump go down and rile up the MAGA crowd, have them march up to the Capitol steps, and look like a big mass of people demanding something be done. Once the ructions were underway, and the objections from Hawley and Cruz and others were being debated, Trump would call some Senators to push them to object or generally delay or whatever.

New details emerge on Moscow real estate deal that led to the Trump-Kremlin alliance While in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant in November 2013, Donald Trump entered into a formal business deal with Aras Agalarov, a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, to construct a Trump Tower in the Russian capital. He later assigned his son, Donald Trump Jr., to oversee the project, according to Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who arranged the controversial 2016 meeting between the younger Trump and a Kremlin-linked lawyer. Trump has dismissed the idea he had any business deals in Russia, saying at one point last October, “I have nothing to do with Russia.” But Goldstone’s account, provided in an extensive interview in March in New York, offers new details of the proposed Trump project that appears to have been further along than most previous reports have suggested, and even included a trip by Ivanka Trump to Moscow to identify potential sites. Trump “put Donald Jr. in charge and then Ivanka went to Moscow to look around for what the location would be,” Goldstone said.

Welcome to conservative Liberal, Mo. | Political Fix LIBERAL, Mo. • So bold were his convictions that George H. Walser, a military veteran, former prosecutor and state legislator, bought a patch of southwestern Missouri prairie and slapped together a town to fit his radical ideology. He called it Liberal. No churches or saloons were allowed, just fellow freethinkers who didn’t want to be pestered in the 1880s by opposing views. The high-minded call, of course, sounded differently to devout Christians. “Word battles were wild and furious; and Liberal soon became known, not only as an infidel or atheist town, but as a very strange town,” author J.P. Few reminders are left today of the town’s origins, other than Darwin Street, some catalpa trees and a cemetery designed by Walser. “People are embarrassed,” said Mary Toney, 54, who runs a café. On the Kansas border, 35 miles north of Joplin in the thick of the Bible Belt, people here believe they will stand before their creator one day. And voting is guided by faith. Gov. ‘Time for a change’

Repeal the Fourteenth Amendment – Complete Christianity Perhaps the greatest threat to the United States of America is not some foreign power, or even ideological systems within the nation. Perhaps the greatest threat to the United States is something hidden within our own Constitution. Perhaps it is something that may have seemed like a good idea to a lot of people, at the time it was done, but turned out to be disastrous in the century and a half that followed. I’m talking about the Fourteenth Amendment. Originally designed as a punishment against the Southern states, following the “War of the Rebellion” (the official name) in 1861-1865, colloquially called the “Civil War” (in the U.S.) and the “War of Secession” (in Europe), the Fourteenth Amendment gives the federal government sweeping powers never imagined by America’s Founding Fathers. It is the amendment that allows the federal government to strip the rights of any citizen it deems to be a “rebel,” or an “insurrectionist,” whether accurate or not. I propose the time is past due.

Ivanka and Jared’s Power Play The modern Presidential campaign may be the world’s most sophisticated pop-up operation, a billion-dollar multilayered organization that, if it hopes to succeed, must be as technologically sophisticated and responsive as any Silicon Valley unicorn. A campaign includes armies of social-media worker bees, data crunchers, messaging experts, policy advisers, media surrogates, fund-raising chiefs, oppo-research teams, volunteers, and, above all, coolheaded managers, who can formulate a coherent position on Chinese trade policy and a plan for how to get out the vote in Hillsborough County in a lightning storm. Then, there is the Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, which has followed this formula about as closely as the candidate follows the South Beach Diet. The Republican Party establishment has, if reluctantly, helped sketch the outlines of an organization. Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has hinted at the limitations of his own position. The lingering issue was religion.

Liberals Need to Take Their Fingers Out of Their Ears Eric Schnurer, a writer and public sector management consultant who has worked for many Democratic politicians and presidential candidates, addresses what he sees as the lack of recognition on the part of liberals of what motivates conservative voters. “Both sides of this increasingly polarized divide see the other as trying to extirpate their way of life — and not inaccurately,” Schnurer wrote in “War on the Blue States” in U.S. News and World Report earlier this month: Blue America spent the last eight years dictating both economic and cultural changes invalidating virtually every aspect of Red America. Schnurer elaborated on this line of thought in an email: The prototypical Trump voter sees a changing America leaving him behind; part of this is economic, part of it demographic, part cultural. Red and blue America often draw diametrically opposed conclusions from the same experiences and developments, Schnurer contends: Schnurer observes that Schnurer notes that Where, Pinker asks,