Drew Rodgers

I live in Norway with my wife, Inger, and our cat T.J. Maxx and teach International Business Communications at Oslo University College School of Business.

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Dictators

Published on Tuesday 7. February 2017

A typical approach for dictators is to attack and muzzle the press, attack the legal system to neutralize it and convince people that their politicians aren’t to be trusted. Then they say, “trust me, I can fix everything.” Then they do. They fix everything so it functions in their own interests, both economic and political. Sound familiar?

A Respite in Difficult Times

Published on Saturday 14. January 2017

I have been blogging a lot recently due to recent events. It can get a bit heavy so I thought maybe a respite is due. You can scroll down to “The Spirit” and other music. My latino friends say that especially the soundcloud numbers give them “feliz” and maybe they will do the same for you. My novel, “John, Waldo and Henrietta” may not have exactly the same impact, but people who have read it say that it made them think about ideas that they hadn’t considered before. Enjoy.

Trump’s Strategy

Published on Wednesday 11. January 2017

Trump’s strategy is similar to that of cult leaders and leaders of police states.  First he discredits institutions such as the press and the political process and politicians, thus encouraging people to disbelieve everything that is said that does not correspond to his vision. The press in his words are “skum” and Washington politicians are “incompetent.” In doing so he creates a wall between  other people’s vision and ability to run the country and his vision and ability . Once he has isolated his followers  by building this wall, he can then feed them with conspiracy theories and lies to keep them in his fold. He then fires off tweets from behind the barrier attacking the world beyond his barrier to insure that his followers remain isolated and in his fold. The danger is that this wall not only  isolates his followers from reality, but also Trump himself which makes him incapable of dealing with reality. One can draw a parallel to Hitler at the end of WWII where he ran the country into the ground from his bunker. One does not need a physical bunker to run the country down when one has a mental bunker. When we know what Trump’s strategy is, the  question remains,  what is his goal with this strategy?

What Happens When…?

Published on Sunday 8. January 2017

What happens when the president of the United States is so thin-skinned that he  can’t stand criticism and so vindictive that he viciously attacks anyone who criticizes him? Megyn Kelly found out. After leading a presidential debate where Trump felt unjustly treated, she was so viciously attacked by Trump and his team that she feared for her safety. This does not bode well for a critical press, which Trump describes as “skum.” Given this, how well he is suited to run a country where opposing views are the basis of a democracy. Add to thin-skinned and vindictive we have Trump’s lack of contact with reality, such that he added 3 million illegal votes to explain why Clinton beat him in the direct vote. Thus we have a president who lives in a mental bunker from which he fires off vindictive tweets to attack any reality out of touch with his vision of it. As to the question “What happen when…?”, all we can do is wait another twelve day to find out. But we can probably expect the worst.

Collective Trauma

Published on Friday 16. December 2016

Emile Durkheim discussed the idea of collective trauma arguing that norms, values and rituals were the foundation of social order. He stated that when the security and cohesion they provide is pulled out from under a population, like a rug, a sense of collective trauma can occur. The last political campaign uprooted these values, norms and rituals. The norms and values were assailed by vindictive attacks where there were no moral limits to what was said. The ritual being uprooted is idea that elections should be free and fair. When it appeared that they were not, one of the basic foundations of American democracy became threatened.
In addition, the bitter rivalry between the two parties threatens to further tear apart the very idea of democratic politics, the idea that even though parties disagree, they can come together to solve problems facing our nation. When that is no longer possible, people then face those problems alone increasing the collective trauma.