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Connective Action: A New Shift in Political Activity

Today, politics seems to be driven by our passions. The facilitation of objective criticism and thinking appears to be sidelined and replaced by our passions, which would be something that our founders worry. That, however, is countered by, in large part, our institutions still standing against the flood of impassioned voters. While our executive and legislative branches are stuck in the political muck, our judiciary is busy deliberating on legal interpretation of our laws. The population wants to speed up our governments response to issues, whereas our institutions were designed to slow down responses to facilitate effective deliberation on those issues. Both have their vices, and both have their merits.

But has our deliberation changed? Has our modus operandi for political activity changed? I believed that political activity is still a fundamental aspect of American society, but the ways of organizing and spurring political activity has shifted. In the article, "The Logic of Co…
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Individualistic Populism: A New Strain of American Politics?

After the 2016 Presidential Election, we’ve come to see a new political landscape form from the ashes of the old political regime. Institutionalized politicians became vulnerable to a more incentivized left and right. Moderates are “cowards” to their own parties, viewed as yielding unnecessary ground to achieve incremental progress. Such progress isn’t politically palatable in the current environment, and many are beginning to adapt to such new reality. Senator Harris, viewed as a pawn of the establishment by the progressive left, recently threw her support behind Senator Sander’s Medicare-For-All bill.
Some may see this as a degrading situation in our democracy, I see this as an opportunity to regain lost ground because of the successful campaign that the Tea Party branch of the Republican Party. The Tea Party members managed to mobilize a grassroots movement to stifle President Obama’s initiatives during his tenure. Now, such momentum is on the side of the progressive wing of the De…

California Becoming a Sanctuary State: Calhoun’s Nullification Argument and the Absence of Initiative from the Federal Government

As of late April, the New York Times published an article online entitled, “California Moves to Become ‘Sanctuary State’, and Others Look to Follow”. The narrative surrounding various states and their push towards countering an administration that’s very ill-informed on the complexity of immigration and immigration reform finds its roots in the federal legislative discourse. For the sake of specificity, such discourse is found in the controversy behind the Tariff of Abominations, and the subsequent nullification doctrine that ensued.             Such doctrine argued on the merit of state’s rights, particularly overriding federal law in the states respective jurisdiction. Regarding the Tariff of Abominations, the issue pertained to taxation on foreign goods for the South, and the subsequent rise in the cost of living as a result. Conservatives use the nullification doctrine found in the Tariff of Abominations to undermine the legitimacy of such push being make by California. However, s…

An Assessment of Ideological In-Groups & Subsequent Effect

Belief systems and comparison of such systems constitute a sophisticated reasoning that may not explain the rationale behind the politics of the American public. However, while the belief systems can't necessarily elaborate on the ideology of the people it represents, ideology can't be relegated to the sidelines. Christopher Devine and his article entitled, "Ideological Self-Identity: Psychological Attachment to Ideological In-Groups as a Political Phenomenon and a Behavioral Influence", attempts to address and bridge the divide between ideology and belief systems in the form of political behavior. He states that "Ideology is one of the most consistent and powerful predictors of myriad political attitudes and behaviors, including vote choice, candidate evaluations, policy preferences, and party identification." (Devine, 2015, p. 510). To neglect ideology as a factor towards an individual's formation of political behavior (and even political identity) w…

2nd Generation Filipinos: More Asian or Latino?

Again, I turn to Dr. Ocampo and his articles to further my research on Filipino-Americans. Because my research deals with the understanding of how this ethnic community forms its' collective political identity (and individual identity), it's important to understand how a Filipino-American interprets his or herself. In my last post, I highlighted Dr. Ocampo's efforts to clarify why Filipino-Americans lack a sense of cohesiveness under the pan-ethnic label of "Asian-American". In this post, I want to again reflect on Dr. Ocampo's wisdom on Filipino-Americans and their self-imposed identity. Within the article entitled, "Are second-generation Filipinos 'becoming' Asian American or Latino? Historical Colonialism, Culture and Panethnicity", he tries to understand the motive behind the factors that lead to Filipino-Americans selecting a pan-ethnic identity. Before I dive in, I just want to take a moment and say that Dr. Ocampo's works on Filipi…

The Pan-Ethnic Identity Crisis: Filipino-Americans and Ethnic Identity

In the article entitled, “Am I Really Asian?” Anthony Ocampo addresses a question that I too have long asked myself. Being a Filipino-American, I have always tussled with the question of identifying myself as a Filipino-American or an Asian-American (and even a Pacific-Islander for that matter). The general fragmentation found within the Asian-American community, especially within the Filipino-American community, is a significant obstacle for the Asian-American community needs to address to become a more effective voting bloc and thus more politically influential. However, Filipino-Americans are also asking themselves about how they should identify themselves. To associate a Filipino-American as an Asian-American is easier said than done. There are many factors on the side of the Filipino-American community that contributes to the issue of an association with the pan-ethnic label of Asian-American. One story that was part of the article’s introduction was the story of Aaron. His stor…

Simplicity Taken Too Far: A Take on the Formulation of Voter Impression

The article, entitled “This Is Your Brain on Politics”, was an interesting take on voter impression. Although the piece was written in 2007, the paper offers a unique take on how the voter reacts to certain impressions that they interpret from a candidate that is presented to them. In regards to the data extrapolation and/or methodology behind the research, the article states that “In anticipation of the 2008 presidential election, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to watch the brains of a group of swing voters as they responded to the leading presidential candidates.” (Fitzgerald et al., 2007). The importance not only lies in the subsequent brain analysis being performed, but the subject pool being a random assortment of swing voters. These swing voters, as mentioned in the article, totaled 20 with an even gender split of 10 male and 10 female subjects. The subjects were placed in the imaging scanner when the presidential candidates were being presented. They were asked …