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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Schatz a good choice for U.S. Senate

December 27th, 2012 · 19 Comments · Politics

National media are running to catch up with the question, “Who is Brian Schatz?”

The Washington Post, New York Times, The Atlantic, and other news outlets were also running down Schatz’ background.

It should not have come as a surprise that Governor Abercrombie would make his own choice despite unusual public pressure from the late senator’s office. As I previously commented, Abercrombie was not among Dan’s acolytes in Congress, instead making his own way even while working out some form of detente with the senior senator.

I expect Schatz to do just fine in the senate. He’s smart, and he’s good on issues, and he’ll keep growing into the role. Some good staffers and he’s good to go.

Two little known facts.

#1: When we lived in Kaimuki back in the early 1970s, the closest Chinese restaurant was just across Waialae Ave past the Hawaii National Bank on the corner of 9th Avenue. It was a little bigger than a “hole in the wall” kind of place, but not by much. Given its convenient location, though, Kwok’s Chop Suey became one of our regular spots for dinner. I learned decades later that the restaurant had been opened by the Schatz’ wife’s grandfather, and later operated by her parents.

#2: You may have heard about the infamous Tuskegee experiments. Here’s a capsule from an NPR report in 2002.

Thirty years ago today, the Washington Evening Star newspaper ran this headline on its front page: “Syphilis Patients Died Untreated.” With those words, one of America’s most notorious medical studies, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, became public.

“For 40 years, the U.S. Public Health Service has conducted a study in which human guinea pigs, not given proper treatment, have died of syphilis and its side effects,” Associated Press reporter Jean Heller wrote on July 25, 1972. “The study was conducted to determine from autopsies what the disease does to the human body.”

The next morning, every major U.S. newspaper was running Heller’s story. For Morning Edition, NPR’s Alex Chadwick reports on how the Tuskegee experiment was discovered after 40 years of silence.

What you may not know is that Irving Schatz, Brian’s father, was later named as the only physician to challenge the ethics of the medical experiment in a written protest years before the controversy became public.

Here’s an extended excerpt from the August 2009 newsletter of the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine:

“I’ve known Irv Schatz for 16 years,” said Dr. James Ireland, “And I never knew about this.”

That comment was one repeated by dozens of people at the John A. Burns School of Medicine in August, when longtime professor Dr. Irwin Schatz was recognized for standing up against the notorious Tuskegee Study in 1965.

Dr. Schatz, then a 34-year-old cardiologist in Detroit, read a research paper about the study and sent a protest letter to the author at the Centers for Disease Control. In the early 1970’s, a Wall Street Journal reporter discovered the letter and reported that Dr. Schatz was the only physician to have strongly complained about the unethical research.

“Everyone (in medical school) learns about Tuskegee,” said Dr. Ireland, associate clinical professor at JABSOM. “I guess Irv is just so modest, he would never mention it.”
???
The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male was conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Subjects of the infamous research project were left untreated, even though by the 1940’s, penicillin had been validated as an effective treatment.

Dr. Schatz, former chair of medicine at JABSOM, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees on August 14, for a long career that included helping to expose the Tuskegee injustice.

Ultimately, Dr. Schatz’ concern led to improved research methods, including the necessity for informed consent of research subjects and the protection of patients in clinical trials.

Dr. Schatz’ criticism took bravery, according to Dr. David Robertson, Program Director for Clinical Research at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In a letter nominating Dr. Schatz for the Mayo honor, he wrote, “(Dr. Schatz) was a young physician at the time, and criticizing an investigation which was overseen by some of the leading figures in the American Public Health Service was an action that was, to say the very least, potentially harmful to his career.”

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  • Wailau

    Thanks for posting this. I was already feeling great about the appointment for the evidence it gives of the governor’s independence from the likes of Dods, Watanabe, and other members of the Inouye Gang, so this positive background on Schatz’s family only adds to my pleasure.

  • DanMollway

    Ian, I wish Mr. Schatz all the best with his new assignment. I got to know him fairly well while I was the director of the State Ethics Commission and he was at the Legislature.

    A point that maybe you could clear up–in a response to a comment of mine in your December 24 blog on the Perez story, you told me as follows:

    “In another era when public officials had more respect, your [my] point might have had more weight. Today is another story. No one is going to take the city view at face value on most issues.”

    I pointed out that you had worked for both the state and city government as far as I can recall, and I stated that there must be city and state officials who you do not believe fall within your general (apparent) view of cynicism about public officials.

    Your comments about Mr. Schatz imply that he is a solid person. How do you square this view with your views about public officials in general?

    I enjoy reading your blog and the comments of others. I am confused, however, as to what appears to be inconsistent views you appear to have about public officials, which seem to run the range of high praise at face value for some and the reverse for others. Again, I am not being argumentative here, but commenting on your blog entries is difficult if one day we are not to accord public officials any credibility based on your experience and knowledge, while another day another public official seems just fine. Just sayin’, as they say.

    Good luck to Mr. Schatz. I hope he gets past your tongue-in-cheek 10 reasons for not being a senator you wrote about in the Honolulu Civil Beat. I guess we know he has a suit!

  • gigi-hawaii

    I wonder if this is the Dr. Schatz, whose dinner I attended for UH 1st year medical residents back in 1977. My boyfriend at the time was a 1st year medical resident. Beautiful home!

  • Hitting the Ground Sprinting

    An extroardinarly vital subject for Schatz:

    A federal judge ruled this morning that the city can proceed with its $5.26 billion rail project while it reconsiders alteratives to its downtown route.
    U. S. 9th Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima ordered a halt of any construction activities in the final phase four of the 20-mile route from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, but did not issue an order halting construction on the first three phases.
    As the result of a separate case, the city has halted construction on the project after a Hawaii Supreme Court decision in August that said it must conduct archeological surveys on the entire 20-mile route. The city has said the survey should be completed this month.
    In today’s ruling Tashima said the city cannot proceed with the fourth phase downtown construction until it abides by his earlier decision that the city and federal officials reconsider alternatives of routing the rail through a tunnel under Beretania Street and reconsider the project’s impact on Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako and on traditional and cultural Native Hawaiian sites along the route.
    Phase four construction was not expected to begin until 2014, city officials say.

    “This is the news we had hoped for,” said Dan Grabauskas, CEO and executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. “The judge’s ruling allows us to complete the remaining work requested by the court, while keeping the project on schedule. These additional studies will be completed next year, well in advance of when construction was scheduled to begin in the City Center area. Oahu residents can look forward to seeing their rail system fully operational in 2019 as planned.”

  • charles

    My preference would have been for Blake Oshiro but that was a long shot at the outset.

    Best of luck to Sen. Schatz.

  • Michael in Waikiki

    SO relieved Hawaii’s newest (and most senior) U.S. Senator is only 40 years of age. Our Governor made the right choice. Only future elections will tell us if this was a politically wise choice or not.

    Ian, do you think age (youth) has now become the main consideration for any future candidates for U.S. Senate?

    Does this mean and end to candidates in their 50′s or 60′s?

    • Tim

      easy answer: of course not. this was an exception, not a new rule.

    • Kolea

      Some people have started calling Brian our “senior” senator. For now, that is wrong. Senator Akaka is still our senior senator until he retires on January 3, at the time Senator Hirono assumes his seat.

      So please, be patient.

  • Laurie

    Mahalo for sharing that information about Dr. Schatz, Brian’s dad. I am really inspired to learn that he stood up against that injustice. I see strength in Brian, and solid grounding in progressive values. I’m very optimistic that he will be able to stand with us.

    Until we solve the campaign funding process we can’t expect anyone to remain untouched by the compromise inherent in the current system.

    Hopefully that will change over time. Brian is the best we have I think.

  • compare and decide

    Ian, thank you for mentioning the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. This is from the wiki:

    The Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began the study in 1932. Investigators enrolled in the study a total of 600 impoverished, non-Euro Americans sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama; 399 who had previously contracted syphilis before the study began, and 201 without the disease. For participating in the study, the men were given free medical care, meals, and free burial insurance. They were never told they had syphilis, nor were they ever treated for it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the men were told they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term for various illnesses that include syphilis, anemia, and fatigue.

    By 1947, penicillin had become the standard treatment for syphilis. Choices available to the doctors involved in the study might have included treating all syphilitic subjects and closing the study, or splitting off a control group for testing with penicillin. Instead, the Tuskegee scientists continued the study without treating any participants and withholding penicillin and information about it from the patients. In addition, scientists prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs available to others in the area. The study continued, under numerous US Public Health Service supervisors, until 1972, when a leak to the press eventually resulted in its termination on November 16.

    By the end of the study in 1972, only 74 of the test subjects were alive. Of the original 399 men, 28 had died of syphilis, 100 were dead of related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected and 19 of their children were born with congenital syphilis.

    In October 2010 it was revealed that in Guatemala, Public Health Service doctors went even further. It was reported that from 1946 to 1948, American doctors deliberately infected prisoners, soldiers, and patients in a mental hospital with syphilis and, in some cases, gonorrhea, with the cooperation of some Guatemalan health ministries and officials. A total of 696 men and women were exposed to syphilis without the informed consent of the subjects. When the subjects contracted the disease they were given antibiotics though it is unclear if all infected parties were cured.

    One question to ask would be, is this worse than slavery?

    Perhaps most societies have slavery in different forms. The Russians had serfdom; in the modern New World there was chattel slavery. In fact, there are more slaves in the world today than there have been throughout all of history combined (mostly debt slavery in contemporary “democratic” India, that is, poor Indians going into debt to rich Indians and handing over their children in compensation). Countless religions and philosophies seem to justify slavery as normal and natural.

    But human medical experimentation seems exceptionally rare.

    Is there something peculiarly Western or even American about human medical experimentation, especially with a basis on race?

    Here is a famous documentary on Nazi Germany entitled “The Architecture of Doom”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnu_5zXsB7A

    Here is the summary of the film from Amazon.com.

    Featuring never-before-seen film footage of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, The Architecture of Doom captures the inner workings of the Third Reich and illuminates the Nazi aesthetic in art, architecture and popular culture. From Nazi party rallies to the final days inside Hitler’s bunker, this sensational film shows how Adolf Hitler rose from being a failed artist to creating a world of ponderous kitsch and horrifying terror.

    Hitler worshipped ancient Rome and Greece, and dreamed of a new Golden Age of classical art and monumental architecture, populated by beautiful, patriotic Aryans. Degenerated artists and inferior races had no place in his lurid fantasy. As this riveting film shows, the Nazis went from banning the art of modernists like Picasso to forced euthanasia of the retarded and sick, and finally to the persecution of homosexuals and the extermination of the Jews.

    The Nazis early on had an obsession with art (so many of them being failed artists). But the Nazis did not associate art with creativity or criticism, the way intellectuals typically do. Rather, the Nazis valorized bigness, grandeur, purity of form, sentimentality, standardization, kitsch; everything else was ‘decadent’. Later they took this aesthetic of purity into sanitation campaigns to exterminate rodents and vermin in the cities. After that, they began to euthanize those Germans who were (as we say today) mentally and physically challenged. Still later, this became the policy toward ethnic groups.

    However, these Nazi policies were modeled on the policies of other countries, in particular the US. From the wiki on ‘eugenics’:

    Eugenics is the applied science of the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population, usually a human population. It is a social philosophy which advocates for the improvement of human hereditary traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of more desired people and traits, and the reduction of reproduction of less desired people and traits.

    The modern field and term were first formulated by Sir Francis Galton in 1883, drawing on the recent work of his half-cousin Charles Darwin. He wrote down many of his observations and conclusions in a book, Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development.

    Eugenics became an academic discipline at many colleges and universities, and received funding from many sources. Three International Eugenics Conferences presented a global venue for eugenicists with meetings in 1912 in London, and in 1921 and 1932 in New York. Eugenic policies were first implemented in the early 1900s in the United States. Later, in the 1920s and 30s, the eugenic policy of sterilizing certain mental patients was implemented in a variety of other countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, and Sweden, among others. The scientific reputation of eugenics started to decline in the 1930s, a time when Ernst Rüdin used eugenics as a justification for the racial policies of Nazi Germany, and when proponents of eugenics among scientists and thinkers prompted a backlash in the public. Nevertheless, in Sweden the eugenics program continued until 1975.

    The final sentence of the following is damning.

    Supporters and critics

    At its peak of popularity eugenics was supported by a wide variety of prominent people, including Winston Churchill, Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, H. G. Wells, Theodore Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, John Harvey Kellogg, Linus Pauling and Sidney Webb. Many members of the American Progressive Movement supported eugenics, enticed by its scientific trappings and its promise to cure social ills. Its most infamous proponent and practitioner was, however, Adolf Hitler who praised and incorporated eugenic ideas in Mein Kampf and emulated Eugenic legislation for the sterilization of “defectives” that had been pioneered in the United States.

    It is fascinating how what started in the Anglo democratic world as an intellectual fad, and which remained largely marginal as policy and began to fizzle by the 1930s, became the central policy later in Nazi Germany.

    One aspect of a democracy is that there are all sorts of malevolent tendencies swirling around in the culture, no more or less than within a totalitarian regime. And those tendencies come to the fore much earlier in a dynamic, democratic society. But those tendencies are later diluted by the democratic culture and fizzle.

    One thing to worry about is that there is a neo-conservative movement in China among many elite youth, which might not fizzle the way it did in the 2000s in the US. It might metastasize into something worse.

  • cwd

    As someone who boarded Brian’s train in 1998 and became part of his campaign staff in 2006 when he ran for the CD2 seat against nine other Democrats and later worked on social justice issues with him over the next several years and campaigned for him 2010, I am so proud of him.

    With respect to his dad, the apples never fall far from the tree.

    As a member of a DC-based advocacy group battling with Congressional climate change deniers, I look forward to working Brian with one of his top two priorities.

    • ULU

      I was happy when Brian was chosen and overjoyed to hear him mention climate change as one of his priorities. As the Canutes find their version of reality doesn’t work, Brian will be in a leadership role, hopefully before we all find ourselves treading water!

  • cwd

    And yes, Brian’s support for Liquid Natural Gas puts us opposite sides of the table; however, he is very concerned about the environmental impacts of the locations where the LNG is found. Our group has already decided to take him into communities where fracking has gutted the physical and social environments in exchange for a few bucks.

  • David Stannard

    Apologies for the very belated and very minor comment, but for what it’s worth I suspect that Hawai’i's two new US Senators will rack up the most progressive voting record of any state during the next couple of years. To me, that’s worth celebrating. And no other choice by the Governor would have accomplished that. Thanks, Neil.

    • dr

      David, I think the Wyden/Merkley combination in Oregon sets a pretty high bar.

      Ian, thanks for the post about Irwin Schatz. I knew him a bit through his faculty senate service, but was not aware of this story. Of course, the son is not the father, but growing up in a household where ethics is more than just a word surely had an impact. (Incidentally, the senior Schatz is also on the state Supreme Court’s disciplinary board.)

  • compare and decide

    From the Washington Post blog The Fix, a post entitled “Neil Abercrombie’s Head Scratcher”, on the appointment of Schatz.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/12/27/neil-abercrombies-head-scratcher/

    The article claims that Abercrombie is shooting himself in the foot by making an unpopular choice for the Senate.

    It also touches on the political dynamic within the Democratic Party in Hawaii between two main factions, the dominant one represented by Inouye, the perhaps emergent one represented by Abercrombie.

    Abercrombie leads a party with a distinct divide between his own faction and Inouye’s. Besides supporting Hanabusa’s rise, Inouye encouraged former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann to run against Abercrombie in the 2010 gubernatorial primary and criticized Abercrombie for resigning his congressional seat during that campaign.

    (Inouye never endorsed Hannemann, though, and criticized him late in the race for a racially charged mailer.)

    Which is really where this pick likely came from. Though it might have been a politically difficult one for Abercrombie to make, in the end, he’s wagering that it’s worth the momentary pains of picking a political ally over a potential adversary.

    “I do think there must be internal Hawaii politics at work. Inouye and (Sen. Daniel) Akaka are the Old Guard; Abercrombie is part of the new,” said one Democratic strategist. “This does not make any logical/political sense, so therefore it must be personal.”

    In addition, politicians are fiercely protective of their prerogatives. When it was reported that retiring Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), for example, was pushing South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to appoint Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to his Senate seat, DeMint aides quickly shot down the reports.
    It’s not hard to see Abercrombie recoiling at the pressure from Inouye and his staff to pick their candidate — especially given their political history.

    From here, we can likely expect Abercrombie and/or Schatz to face primary opposition in 2014. At that point, we’ll see whether the governor’s gamble paid off.

    The article mentions the stark divide within the Democratic Party between a liberal faction and a less liberal faction, and that the major conflict in Hawaii politics is intra-party, not inter-party.

    What makes it interesting is that locally, this divide is rarely spoken about. Instead, in local discourse on the Democratic Party is the proudly exclaimed mantra that Hawaii is the “bluest of blue” states in its affiliation to the Democratic Party. But this strong party affiliation does not entail an affiliation to the liberal ideology of the Democratic Party.

    Ideologically, what would the Inouye faction of the Democratic Party represent if it is not liberal? Conservative? Moderate? Pragmatic? (Pragmatism is different from moderate, since a pragmatist like Republican Senator Bob Dole can assume any position along the ideological spectrum as it suits him, and not just remain dedicated to a moderate position.)

    Generalizing, how would you categorize the Inouye faction ideologically?

    • compare and decide

      If Neil Abercrombie, quintessential liberal, is largely an outsider within Hawaii’s Democratic Party, then what kind of ideology does the dominant faction in the local Party leadership generally manifest?

      First let’s look at the general ideology of the Republican Party in the US.

      It is known as ‘classical liberalism’. From the wiki:

      Classical liberalism is a political ideology, a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with limited government under the rule of law and generally promotes a laissez-faire economic policy.

      Classical liberalism developed in the 19th century in Europe and the United States. Although classical liberalism built on ideas that had already arisen by the end of the 18th century, it advocated a specific kind of society, government and public policy as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization. Notable individuals whose ideas have contributed to classical liberalism include John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo. It drew on the free-market economics of Adam Smith and on a belief in natural law, utilitarianism, and progress.

      The term classical liberalism was applied in retrospect to distinguish earlier 19th-century liberalism from the newer social liberalism.

      So it’s complicated.

      What Americans often refer to as ‘conservatism’ (for example, of the Republican Party) is actually an early form of ‘liberalism’, that is, the supreme valuation of political and economic liberty.

      And what Americans refer to as ‘liberalism’ (for example, of the Democratic Party) is really a later form of liberalism known as ‘social liberalism’ or ‘modern liberalism’, in which the state plays a larger role in protecting liberty.

      Making it more complicated, in the 1970s economists like Milton Friedman resurrected a strongly open-market form of economic theory, often called ‘neo-classical liberalism’ or ‘neo-liberalism’.

      Making it even more complicated, the Republican Party typically consists of an alliance of classical liberals with social and cultural conservatives. That is, Republicans typically subscribe to an old-fashioned economic orientation of small government and economic de-regulation coupled with an old-fashioned religious orientation that seeks to keep the cultural and social spheres more regulated.

      Making things even more complicated yet, there are ‘libertarians’. Libertarians are quite extreme in their desire for minimal government, desiring all sorts of government deregulation — both economic and social/cultural. Libertarians are usually Republicans, but not always. (Some Republicans distrust libertarians.)

      Making things still even more complicated are ‘neo-conservatives’. Neo-conservatives reject the traditional isolationism and caution of the Republican Party in favor of a ‘robust’ foreign policy that ‘exports’ democracy, and which is modeled on the ‘liberal internationalism’ of the Democratic Party; but neo-cons also reject the Democratic Party’s ‘liberal internationalist’ embrace of foreign alliances, diplomacy and multilateral institutions (e.g., the United Nations). Starting with the First World War, the US turned away from isolationism, and this globalist policy, associated with the Democratic Party, was critiqued by the far left-wing as imperialistic, which liberals denied. Neo-cons openly embrace the notion of imperialism (they glorify Israel as a model for the US). Interestingly, many neo-conservatives were liberals (and socialists and communists), and they often quip that “A neo-conservative is a liberal who got mugged by reality.” Their domestic policy is likewise largely an appropriation of some aspects of the Democratic agenda. They have appropriated the gospel of tax cuts and low interest rates from Keynesian economics – but they seek to utilize tax cuts and low interest rates at all times, not just during a recession. This rankles traditional conservatives who, like Herbert Hoover, called for not just cuts in spending, but tax hikes to achieve ‘fiscal rectitude’. Periods when neo-conservatives are in power, like with Reagan and Bush 43, are associated with massive budget deficits. Neo-conservatives have been accused of fusing the most problematic aspects of policy from both the Democrat and Republican Parties. From the wiki on ‘neo-conservatism’:

      Neoconservatism is a branch of American conservatism that includes endorsement of political individualism, free markets and the assertive promotion of democracy and United States national interest in international affairs including by military means. The term “neoconservative” (sometimes shortened to “neocon”) was used initially during the 1930s to describe American communist intellectuals who criticized Soviet ideology. Yet from the 1930s to the early 1950s, conservatives were strong non-interventionists and the Old Right committed to the concept of anti-imperialism until the late 1960s when neoconservatives began to endorse nationalism andinterventionism in opposition to the USSR.

      According to Michael Lind, in the late 1960s and early 1970s many “anti-Soviet, pro-Israel liberals and social democrats, especially those around Commentary magazine as well as supporters of Senator Henry (“Scoop”) Jackson helped found the neoconservative movement. Many joined the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and attacked liberalism vocally in the media and scholarly outlets.

      Now, Hawaii’s Democratic Party is dominated by a faction (Inouye’s) that does not seem so progressive or leftist. But neither does Hawaii’s Democratic Party seem to subscribe to the ‘classical liberalism’ that one finds among Republicans and libertarians. Nor are Hawaii Democrats attracted to neo-conservatism (with the exception of Ed Case). However, there are quite a few cultural conservatives amongst the politicians in Hawaii’s Democratic Party.

      The Inouye faction might not be modern liberals like Abercrombie, but nevertheless they don’t really fit into any of the diverse elements within the national Republican Party. (Oddly, Ed Case seems both a moderate libertarian and, on foreign policy, a neo-conservative … which is actually a contradiction.)

      The Inouye faction is neither fish nor fowl.

      The question remains open as to their ideological orientation.

      • Kolea

        You are mistaken if you believe most Republicans embrace classical liberalism. Classical liberalism arose in opposition to the domination of society by religion, the aristocracy and the monarchy. It was multi-dimensional and elevated reason above superstition and tradition.

        Most of today’s Republicans ARE conservative, not liberal. They tend to uphold political authority, religious authority and the domination of wealth over free individuals. In many ways, the embrace what classical liberalism rejected.

        Where I think you go wrong is in attaching your analysis too much to a belief in capitalism. Classical liberalism DID arise in conjunction with the emerging middle-class and articulated their interests against the feudal, monarchist and religious hierarchs. It promoted science as essential to innovation and the development of industry. To some extent, this connection persists among those who are now labelled “libertarians” in the United States.

        But capitalism gave rise to massive corporations and monopolies, who aligned themselves with politicians to use state power to enrich them further and enforce their privileges. And those who are now Republicans defend those corporate privileges against attempts by the people to regulate the excesses of the corporations.

        The irony is, the Tea Party activists of today are aligned with the East India Company of today. The stresses and fears of the declining social status of white, formerly middle-income people, especially males, has provoked reactionary responses, not “liberal” ones. They are not tolerant, egalitarian, pro-science. They are more often authoritarian.

        And if you want to turn to history to understand these people, look to the social pressures which gave rise to rightwing populism in post WWI Germany and evolved into fascism. Because rather than classical liberals, many Republicans are viciously anti-liberal, authoritarian and, if we are not careful, on their way to embracing jingoism, militarism, racism and fascism.

        • compare and decide

          This is an excellent point.

          Republicans publicly champion the laissez faire economics of ‘classical liberalism’, but they don’t necessarily pursue such policies when they have power.

          For example, the Bush administration raised tariffs for steel, and increased farm subsidies by 83% in 2003.

          The administration could claim that this was done for national defense purposes.

          But critics pointed out that the Bush administration seemed to have an attachment to the so-called Old Economy of agriculture and industry, and an aversion to the New Economy (e.g., Bush’s banning of stem-cell research).

          So the Republican Party manifests various and contradictory ideologies, as I listed them. But what might underlie all these various ideologies is a consistent negative emotional attitude toward change. The conscious mind believes in certain values and ideologies, but the unconscious mind is motivated by a generalized fear of change.

          This same attitude might be prevalent in Hawaii’s Republican Party. (I once walked past the office of the Republican Party on Kapiolani Avenue, and it was comprised exclusively of elderly white people sitting around a table whispering to one another in a paranoid fashion.)

          But this underlying attitude might also characterize the Inouye faction of the local Democratic Party, regardless of its rhetoric and identity.

          Beliefs are unique, because they refer not just to statements about the world (e.g., “The sky is blue.”), but also states of mind (e.g., “John believes that the sky is blue.”). Moreover, critical reflection reveals that all beliefs are of the second order (e.g., “I believe that the sky is blue, and I believe that John also believes this.”) But this critical reflection is rarely applied to the self, especially in terms of politics or religion (“I believe that I believe in equality and democracy.”) But, ultimately, we knowers are unkown to ourselves.

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