18-15 Segment 1: The Rise of Confrontational Politics

 

Copyright: razihusin / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Controversial politicians are nothing new in American politics, but the recent election of Donald Trump proved just how influential high-conflict politicians can be on the public. However, many people wonder what makes these high-conflict individuals so appealing, and how they manage to argue their way into powerful positions. We talk to two experts about how high-conflict politicians become so successful.

Bill Eddy, president of the High Conflict Institute and author of Trump Bubbles: The Dramatic Rise and Fall of High-Conflict Politicians, explains that a high-conflict person (HCP) is an individual that exhibits a repetitive narrow pattern of behavior, an all-or-nothing attitude, and intense emotions that easily distract them from being focused on problem solving. Many of their patterns of behavior become predictable, but Eddy states high-conflict individuals must first do something damaging before people realize. Yet, these high-conflict people still tend to attract an audience. He explains that high-conflict people are appealing in times of turmoil because they are able to make situations look simple. Furthermore, Eddy explains two other influencing factors in their success: the system of communication between a high-conflict person and the public, and that individuals ability to manipulate this system. Through understanding these different factors, high-conflict people are capable of gaining a following that allows them to become successful.

Another way that high-conflict people are able to appeal to a large audience and increase their opportunity for success is through emotion. Lauren A. Wright, PhD, political scientist and author of On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today, explains that studies have shown that being able to observe a person’s facial expressions, rather than just hearing the person speak, can influence people to be more inclined toward that person. Because of this, television and other visual media play a very important role in the public’s perception of a person.

How does this provide an advantage to politicians? This unconscious absorption of expression allows high-conflict politicians to easily spread their anger to their followers, while also establishing a loving relationship with them even though they have never met. However, when handling situations with a high-conflict person, Eddy explains that it is important to use E.A.R. statements. These statements rely on empathy, attention, and respect which can calm someone with a high-conflict personality because it shows them that you are aware that they are working hard and that you appreciate the work that they have done.

Guests:

  • Bill Eddy, president of the High Conflict Institute and author of Trump Bubbles: The Dramatic Rise and Fall of High-Conflict Politicians
  • Laura A. Wright, PhD; political scientist and author of On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today

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17-34 Segment 1: The Demise of Cash

 

Most of us rely on our debit cards, finding it easier to not use cash for transactions, however, the United States Treasury still printed up to 80 billion dollars of paper money last year. Where is all this money going? What is it being used for?

In his book The Curse of Cash, Harvard economics professor Kenneth Rogoff describes that printed cash often causes citizens to be poorer and less safe. He claims that printed cash is used for evading tax and committing crimes like buying and selling drugs. He believes that cash needs to provide value to citizens rather than authorizing crime. He believes that if society used less cash, then perhaps crime could be reduced.

One solution Rogoff proposes is “financial inclusion”, a system where people on welfare receive debit cards. In countries like India, the fast majority of the population receive a debit account through welfare. This saves the government money because they no longer have to print checks, and those receiving welfare do not have to transfer checks into their account. With the debit system, the money from welfare goes directly into a debit account which the recipients then can spend. This would make transactions easier for people and could lead to less reliance on cash.

Rogoff predicts the termination of cash bills in the next 10-20 years.

Guests:

  • Kenneth Rogoff, professor of economics at Harvard University and author of The Curse of Cash

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