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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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.

Coup d’etat?

Published on Saturday 10. December 2016

The more nominations we see, the more one can question whether we are witnessing a coup d’etat with  oligarchs entering the White House through the back door. With billionaires, racists, right wing conspiracy theories, and with control falling into the hands of representatives of the rich few, one can wonder, given the definition of a coup d’etat: alteration of an existing government by a small group. A president-elect who rose to power on promises to the forgotten, whose anger he played on, is packing the government with the very people who have no concern for these people. A Secretary of Labor who is anti-union, who is against a minimum wage and who favors robots over people because they are easier to control is the very antithesis of what his job should entail. Then there is the EPA director in the pockets of oil, gas and coal and an Attorney General with a racist past who is against The Voting Rights Act.
Add to this,  there are spreaders of conspiracies, who like Goebbels, know that if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it. The elite are taking power while these conspiracies divert attention so that the elite can go forth with their mission. I keep raising the question, will people wake up before it is too late? If they do, a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

And it gets even more bizarre

Published on Wednesday 7. December 2016

Breaking news. Trump has appointed Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA. Pruitt has fought to weaken environmental protection regulations and has banded together with other state attorney generals to insure profits for oil, gas and coal companies. So what was supposed to be an agency to protect the environment, now becomes its worst enemy. If the trend continues of appointing people to do the exact opposite of what their department is entrusted to do, Trump will appoint a Secretary of Labor who is against raising the minimum wage, the  Paycheck Fairness Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and one who favors Right to Work laws. Can it get any worse? Probably, so stay tuned.

December 9th. It didn’t take long for my prediction to become a reality. Andy Puzder, Trump’s nomination for Secretary of Labor  is against unions, calls the minimum wage a “restriction,” and if he could he would replace workers with machines because they  can’t take vacations or sue their employers when they break the law. So yes, it can get worse. The question is where will it end?