Washington State Has Too Many Confederates

A vehicle near a school displays a Battle Flag decal saying “In memory of those who fought.”

Let's sum up the blog so far: For a state that wasn’t even a state during the Civil War, Washington has an unfortunate number of Confederates. Back in 2017, every shell-shocked Democrat had their own theory to explain President Trump’s election. I came up with mine after a third-grade concert. A Chevy parked outside the … Continue reading Washington State Has Too Many Confederates

“Tribalism” in political commentary means “social identity”

Henri Tajfel

Recently heard an interesting interview on local radio with author Amy Chua about tribalism in modern politics. While it’s great to hear the discussion of our identities as a driving force between our choices in politics, it’s a little frustrating that the word “tribalism” is being used ubiquitously to refer to social identity. To be … Continue reading “Tribalism” in political commentary means “social identity”

California Secede? Never(ish).

Flag of California, the Bear Flag

Perhaps we should’ve mentioned that while we didn’t see a single confederate flag in California, we did spot approximately 10,000 Bear Flags. And they wave as something like a flag of the Trump “resistance.” California, today the world’s sixth largest economy, has been raising eyebrows for seeming to live up to the "Republic" title on … Continue reading California Secede? Never(ish).

Confederate flags in LA: 0

Neither near the beaches nor up in the hills did we see a single Confederate flag during a recent visit to the larger Los Angeles area. In a place where travel is measured more in time than in miles, we spent interminable hours on I-5, the 605, the 405, the 101 and their many siblings. … Continue reading Confederate flags in LA: 0

Russians indicted for plying Confederate crusades

Captain Confederate

Thirteen Russians were indicted this week as part of the special investigation into Kremlin efforts to sway the last presidential election. The legal details of the FBI's Russian investigation are fascinating, but consistently bury how these cyber operatives won American hearts and minds. As most people know, Russian fronts created innumerable fake social media accounts, … Continue reading Russians indicted for plying Confederate crusades

Sex, identity and an Alabama Senate race

There’s a notable experiment in social identity theory in which people were asked to sign up for a program that offered a small amount of cash if their favorite team lost. There was virtually no downside. You signed the paper. If your team won, great. If your team lost, you got paid. But people wouldn’t … Continue reading Sex, identity and an Alabama Senate race

WaPost: How the Russians pretended to be Texans — and Texans believed them

The Heart of Texas was the most popular pro-secession page on Facebook. It turned out to be run by Russians, who only needed a cartoonish understanding of Confederate feelings to rack up millions of views. As Casey Michel writes in the Washington Post: "Its organizers had a strangely one-dimensional idea of its subject. They seemed … Continue reading WaPost: How the Russians pretended to be Texans — and Texans believed them