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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A House Divided

Published on Monday 28. November 2016

Abraham Lincoln’s made a prophetic statement when he pronounced that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  Although this referred to the question of slavery, still it is relevant and  a frightening prospect given that, according to a CNN/ORC poll, 80% of all Americans feel that the USA is even more divided than before the election. If, against all odds, a recount suggests that there were irregularities, something Trump just suggested, the suspicion and even hate between the Republicans and Democrats will divide the nation even more and the possible outburst of emotion could likely be even more frightening.

False News

Published on Wednesday 23. November 2016

When false news get moe clicks and likes than objective news, when people only seek to reinforce their own prejudices and hate and when a president-elect profits on this phenomenon while constructing his own false news, then a country is on a downward spiral. Democracy is dependent on balanced news and an informed citizenry? What happens when this, to an increasing degree, disappears?

Trump’s Job Bluff

Published on Thursday 17. November 2016

Trump won the Rust Belt and thus the election by promising to bring back jobs to America. It’s a gigantic bluff. Only one of eight jobs lost to the US has gone abroad. The other seven have been “lost” to digitalization, robotization and automation. Thinking he can turn back technology is as illusory as thinking he can stop job loss by building a wall. The protectionist wall will raise the cost of goods, lower manufacturers’ profits and lead to inflation. The production chain of American goods goes through several countries and if you add tariffs to each link, the costs will go to the consumer. Another thing that Trump failed to mention is that many of the Rust Belt jobs went to the Sun Belt where production costs are lower. Will he then follow his logic and set up tariff barriers between the Sun Belt and the rest of the US? What will happen when the Rust Belt workers discover that the promises on which they pinned their hopes are a bluff? I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near Trump when it happens.

Road Block

Published on Saturday 12. November 2016

As I said in my blog «Road Work», the Republican Party paved the road for Donald Trump to drive to the White House while doing everything they could to try to stop him, including backing the so-called most hated man in Washington, Ted Cruz.  They day after he was elected, pundits started pointing out why he wouldn’t be able implement the issues on which he was elected which would save the country from falling into the hands of right wing loonies. If the idea was to limit him from day one, why did the Republicans pave his road and why do we have to prevent him from doing what he said he would. Especially when there was an alternative that we wouldn’t have to protect ourselves against. Is it possible, like in the case of Brexit, people are waking up to horrors of what they elected. And wait when those who elected him find out that he won’t do anything to help them, that they were simply pawns in his megalomaniac plan to gain power. Will the shit then hit the fan and will it take place in the streets?

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.