In Part I of this discussion we suggested that each of us, in order to keep down internal conflict, creates a personal universe. And that we use everything in that smaller world to keep internal conflict as low as possible. In the best of circumstances that allows us to feel both effective and free.

Unfortunately, for many of us it will be difficult to really keep our internal conflicts (experienced as anxieties) at a comfortable level. Family relationships often are not ideal. …


A large number of people chose to read my August 13 article Republicans Are Dying and a number of you took the time to comment. I appreciate your doing that. Several of those who commented were exercised by my suggestion that people are always rational. You just did not believe that it was so.

Politically, voters being rational is more important than we might first suspect. If they are really rational we can begin to predict what they will do. If they are not rational things become much more random. …


When my brother and I were young our very religious mother saw to it that we attended the small local Church of the Nazarene. The congregation was small and for a considerable time they met in a local one room school. The Nazarenes were “holiness people” who believed that through a second work of grace one could lose their natural “bent to sinning”.

They were also very strict about behavior. The older ones still thee’d and thou’d each other. And, people who had lost their bent to sinning were required to demonstrate that by not going to movies, by not…


Turn your mind to sunny California, home of beaches, films, and forest fires. Think of California with forty million people, most of them Democrats (California’s population is larger than all of Canada’s). Their Democratic governor is tall, handsome Gavin Newsom, a commanding presence right out of central casting. Despite his star appearance he seems to lack great personal charisma. Still, he is a great detail man who probably understands California’s challenges as well as anybody.

And he is in big trouble. With a little more than a year to go in his term Newsom is facing a recall vote. That…


Last Sunday in Kabul, Taliban fighters having entered the Afghan capital took over the Presidential Palace. President Ashraf Ghani took off for parts unknown, presumably Tajikistan, which is about as unknown as you can get. The fighters were there because they had been told it was their duty to return the government to its rightful leadership, to the Taliban. The extremist Muslim Taliban had been ousted with the help of the United States twenty years before.

The Taliban fighters are self-consciously male. They lack, in the western sense, much formal education. For them when formal education does occur it involves…


The national Republican Party is in a peculiar position. Thanks to Donald Trump the party constantly makes the news. Thanks also to Donald Trump, the party has become a hopeless minority. There is no major population group projected to grow that can be identified as Republican.

It is true that Trump attracted new voters who did, in 2016 and after vote for Republican candidates, but they are a weak political reed indeed. Many were previously inactive working class Democrats.


Back at it: We seem to be living in a peculiar political time. Many people, who think of themselves as Republican, really do believe that the infamous invasion of the Capitol on January 6th was to some degree justified because the presidential election was stolen. They believe that Donald Trump really won, that all those officials in all those states who were responsible for counting the votes were, and are, lying. …


It is May 19th and Liz Cheney has been set free. Last week the Republican caucus in the House led by Kevin McCarthy voted by voice vote to remove her from her third ranked position among House Republicans. That does not mean that she leaves the House. She will still be a member. It does mean that she can henceforth speak freely as an individual member unencumbered by her official position in the leadership. …


Liz Cheney, Wyoming’s only member of the House, is in deep trouble. Cheney, whose father is Richard Cheney, Vice President for all eight years of the administrations of George W. Bush, has appeared to be on an inevitable leadership trajectory among the Republicans in Congress. As Republican royalty her future seemed assured. It may be assured anyway but not for the easy rise to the speakership that many predicted for her.

To understand why, let us look at the current Grand Old Party. It does appear possible that the Grand Old Party will not get much older. It is going…


We live in a confusing political world. Democrats in this country are frustrated because many of the voters they view themselves as trying to help, constantly seem to vote against their own best interests. They continue to vote for congressional Republicans even though Republicans really want to do nothing for the working class voters who now make up such a large proportion of their party’s base.

What is really happening is that liberals in this country impose on politics an economic model. Their unspoken assumption is that voters will (and should) vote for the party which promises them the greatest…

Hank Rishel

Retired political science professor of 40+ years. Educated at Olivet, UofM, MSU, Northwestern, & Harvard. Hoping to make politics a fun & exciting topic for all

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