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3. quotes from the article: fight the chaos lovers by promoting American agency
Sat Feb 24, 2024, 04:58 PM
Feb 24

"But Trump’s chaos vibes might fulfill a significant and otherwise unmet demand in the electorate. In the conclusion to their paper, Petersen and his co-authors write that the need for chaos emerges from the interplay between “dominance-oriented” traits (i.e., a preference for traditional social hierarchies), feelings of marginalization, and intense anger toward elites. Together, these traits would seem to apply to several voting groups: white conservative men nostalgic for a diminished patriarchy; independents who are furious about elite institutional failures during and after the pandemic; and culturally conservative, nonwhite Americans, especially men, who might feel marginalized by racism and economic inequality but also rue the latest waves of #MeToo feminism. Indeed, all of these groups are shifting toward the Republican Party under Trump."
"“You can think of need for chaos, in a way, like flipping the [chess] board over at a societal level,” Petersen said when I shared this deep story with him on the phone. “This is a status-seeking strategy of last resort. A person feels stuck and wants to have recognition, but he feels that he cannot be recognized or valued in the current system of cultural norms, rules, and power. And so, to solve that problem, he says: ‘Let’s tear it all down.’”
"If the need for chaos helps explain the mess we’re in, it might also offer the Trumpist opposition a clearer plan for wooing some (but certainly not all) voters back to normalcy. The need for chaos is rooted in people’s feelings about status, power, and control. For example, independents with culturally conservative instincts might feel that progressive ideas—what some call “woke” politics—weaken their social status, or that COVID policies trampled on their ability to control their daily life. Democrats could emphasize the ways in which their policies and priorities build status, power, and control. Under Biden, pay has increased so much for low-income Americans that it’s wiped out almost half of the past 40 years’ rise in income inequality; that’s a revitalization of economic status. Energy production is at an all-time high, and the U.S. has never been so energy independent; that’s both national and physical power. A right-leaning Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade; now Democrats across the country are fighting to protect abortion rights to restore women’s control over their own bodies. The antidote to a new American nihilism is a full-throated defense of American agency."

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