The Browning of America

Jennifer Richeson on political threat in a browning America

America is changing. A majority of infants are, for the first time in US history, nonwhite — and the rest of the population is expected to follow suit in the coming decades. The number of religiously affiliated Americans is at a record low, and the share of foreign-born residents is historically high.
Yale psychologist (and MacArthur genius) Jennifer Richeson has done pioneering work on the way perceptions of demographic threat and change affect people’s political opinions, voting behavior, and ideas about themselves. The short answer? The more conscious we are of other groups gaining strength, the more politically conservative we become.
What Richeson explains in this conversation is the crucial context of American politics in this era. If all you listen to on this list is this podcast and the Lilliana Mason conversation, you’ll have a better handle on what’s driving the age of Trump. 

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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