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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Crystal Night, 2016

Published on Friday 11. November 2016

Donald Trump became president on the exact same day that Crystal Night took place 78 years ago. Whether there is a frightening coincidence here remains to be seen. But something that is clear is that there is a growing discontent which right wing populists are using to incite a reaction. In Europe there is Marie Le Pen, Alternativ fur Deutchland,  Putin, Orban, Erdogan just to name a few.When Trump receives congratulations from Putin and Le Pen perhaps there is reason to worry. But even more, the chant “lock her up” at the Republican election night party, the flood of hate mail to liberal organizations, the rise in hate crimes is even more frightening. Is there a chance of a rising mobocracy as Robert Kagan suggested in his article, “This is how fascism comes to America?” There are signs and only time will tell. But the underlying frustration on which an authoritarian and unscrupulous leader, and Trump has shown the personal characteristics to be one, are there.

At the present, I admit that my above comparison probably seems questionable. But .when Trump is already tweeting that the demonstrations all over the US are incited by the media, what will happen next and next and next? Three days later the first next is apparent: Steve Bannon. The next next is clear: Jeff Sessions as Attorney General a person who was rejected for a judgeship by the Senate for racist comments including that the Ku Klux Klan was fine “until I found out they smoked pot.” It seems that Trump has a bent for racists. It’s hard to say which racist is worst, but the thought of the person to be at the top of the legal justice  chain being a racist is slightly unsettling. And with 40% of Americans being either religious or ethnic minorities, that makes for a lot of worried people.

A Norwegian’s Analysis

Published on Saturday 8. October 2016

A Norwegian pundit said, “The U.S. is ungovernable.” He suggested that many Americans don’t know what a state is or what a government does. According to him, many Americans seem to want to be left alone as if 314 million Americans just happened to wind up in the same geographical area and feel that should be left to cope for themselves without government intervention. This provides a perfect scenario for big fish eating small fish.

Road Work

Published on Friday 7. October 2016

The Republicans have paved the road on which Trump is driving toward the White House. With their obstructionist politics they have rendered Washington almost dysfunctional which gives Trump the opportunity to say “Washington is broken and only I can fix it.» The irony is that the Republicans now find themselves in a no-win situation where they can either align the party with him and thus define it as racist, misogynistic, anti free trade, anti-Nato (scaring the s… out of Baltic state leaders) and support his corporate tax cuts which would raise the national debt by an estimated $5 trillion. Or they can distance themselves from him and give the election to Clinton and face the prospective of liberal Supreme Court justices, a doubling of the minimum wage, an expansion of Obama Care and her clamping down on Wall St. From the Democrats’ perspective and a little schadenfreude one might say that the Republicans’ dilemma couldn’t happen to nicer guys.

A Contradiction

Published on Wednesday 5. October 2016

Much of Trump’s base complains that Washington has forgotten them and in revenge they are going to vote for him. But what they are voting for is one who refuses to raise the minimum wage and swears that the first thing he will do as president is to abolish Obama Care costing the 20 million people enrolled in the program their affordable health care. In addition he will dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau whose mandate is to protect consumers from predatory financial institutions such as Wells Fargo which recently issued credit cards to “customers” without their consent and charged them a fee. It is strange how many Americans vote against their own economic interests while complaining that Washington has abandoned them.

Trump’s Wall

Published on Monday 3. October 2016

Trump has been talking about his famous wall since day one. But he has already constructed a wall which he doesn’t even know he has constructed, a wall between himself and reality. When he still thinks he won the first debate while 62% know that he didn’t, he is living in his own bubble. What would a president out of touch with reality from day one be like in the course of four years? Would we see a growing discrepancy between Trump’s reality and the real world reality and a president ensconcing himself in a mental bunker, not the place from which we want our president to govern.