Writer and researcher Sarah Kendzior’s new book is a series of essays that she wrote from 2012 through 2014 that ultimately predicted the rise of today’s politics, government institution bashing, paranoia — and the possibility of a President Donald Trump.
In a Tuesday interview with “Late Night” host Seth Meyers, Kendzior explained that despite understanding the possibilities of Trump, she finds no solace in being right.
“When I’m in demand, when my areas of expertise are in demand, then you know America is in bad shape,” she explained. She went on to explain what she calls “parachute journalists,” who jump into an area and try to uncover and understand an entire culture for a few weeks and then race out. For those who live and understand America outside of New York or the Washington Beltway, however, the rise of these ideologies was completely predictable.
She went on to explain how “frustrating” it is “because people are genuinely suffering,” with the GOP’s policies. She noted that it isn’t limited to St. Louis, where she is from, but also in places where “anybody treats your community with that level of superficiality, with that lack of concern.” She described it as being like The Hunger Games. Meanwhile, with the failure of local newspapers and acquisition of local news stations by conservative company Sinclair Broadcasting, the fear is that local news will not be covered.
“Trump likes to bandy that phrase about, ‘forgotten people,'” she recalled. “I mean, he’s — you know, I think a better phrase would be ‘neglected people’ because that puts some accountability on public officials. You know, they have a job. Public officials are here to serve us whether they believe so or not. And they’ve been negligent. I think that’s, you know, somewhat true of the [Barack] Obama administration. It’s certainly true of the Trump administration. They’re negligent with malice, with malicious intent. And so this idea that Trump somehow speaks for forgotten America or speaks for people in places like where I live is just — it’s absolutely ludicrous.”
She also discussed a portion of her book where she notes, in part, the recession from 2007 and 2008 hit Middle America particularly hard and that Washington manufactured a so-called “recovery” to pretend everything was better than it was. Trump understood it and was able to capitalize on it.
“What corporations did though is take this idea of the recession and of the recovery and basically just decided to stop paying people,” she explained. “That’s a thing I discuss quite a bit in the book. They had unpaid internships, unpaid labor. They made that kind of a normal expectation. Even though it’s extremely exploitive and it became a restructuring. you know? They said, ‘Oh, it’s the recession. We can’t afford it.’ ‘Oh, we’re still recovering. We can’t afford it.’ And they did that as a way to, you know, limit the labor pool to the most elite, to the most advantaged. And that creates problems. As I say in the book, ‘A false meritocracy breeds mediocrity.’ And unfortunately, I think we see that in our political [climate].”
Watch her full interview with Meyers below:
Food safety groups warn of looming zoonotic pandemic, blast USDA’s new slaughter plant regulation
"Self-regulation when it comes to animal movement, slaughter, and meat inspection is bad news."
Food safety advocates warned Monday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's USDA newly implemented rules for pig slaughter are setting the stage for a potential public health disaster—including the possibility of another infectious disease that could come from animals.
At issue is the New Swine Inspection System (NSIS), which the USDA finalized in October. Touted by the federal agency as a "modernization" effort, the regulation sparked immediate fears and lawsuits by watchdog groups over its elimination of kill speed limits and weakening of the inspection system.
Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor’s effort to postpone election — and protect voters from COVID-19
Hours after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order postponing this week's election to June, the state Supreme Court ordered the election must proceed as scheduled.
BREAKING: The Wisconsin Supreme Court has blocked Gov. Tony Evers' executive order postponing the spring election in the state. Tomorrow's election IS BACK ON https://t.co/nZz9D4IsA3
— Zach Montellaro (@ZachMontellaro) April 6, 2020
US begins blood tests for coronavirus immunity: reports
The United States has begun taking blood samples from across the country to determine the true number of people infected with the coronavirus, using a test that works retrospectively, according to reports.
The new tests are based on serological surveys, which differ from the nasal swabs used to determine if someone currently has the virus.
Instead, they look for whether certain antibodies are present in the blood which shows that the person fought and then recovered from the illness -- even if they never showed symptoms.
These tests are seen as key to gradually easing lockdown, by allowing those who have proven immunity to re-enter society.