I honestly don't think the story is how Dems are underperforming or Trump is overperforming. The real story is how polarization has reached a point where each side sees this as existential. When people believe the stakes are this high, they close ranks and vote from fear.
This level of existential polarization kills normal democratic norms. When we're afraid, most of us become more appreciative of order, more accepting of authority, and less likely to care about what's "moral". This is basic human psychology.
Earlier thread today about race and democracy, with some high quality replies. Generally, people agree that ethnic tribalism underlies democracy; it does so even more at times of deep polarization.
Now consider:
- Whites will be under 50% of the US population by 2045
- More than 50% of all children in the US are non-white as of July 2020
- At least 109 US counties became majority non-white in 2019
- The median age of white people in the US is 58; for non-whites it's 27
It's kinda understandable, even trivial, that in a country where polarization has never been worse, where everyone is afraid, where historically privilege was tied to race, and where demographic is shifting... many people will vote with their ethnicity. Not everyone, but many.
In case this thread flies and I get lots of nasty replies, reminder, I'm a stateless Palestinian refugee living under police protection because Trump-friendly tyrants want me dead. The stakes for me = if Trump wins I may not live to see 2024. Explanation is not justification.

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More from @iyad_elbaghdadi

3 Nov
Don't come at me but I believe a significant proportion of violence extremism (if not the majority of it) is rooted one way or another in unresolved trauma on both the individual and collective levels. Unfortunately the response to it has been to create even more mass trauma
By "collective trauma" I mean when entire communities are subjected to traumatizing events, often systematically and often intergenerationally, to the point where traumatized behavior and attitudes are normalized
When I say this a lot of people say "hey, you mean these terrorists are victims?" I think that's irrelevant, if someone is coming at me to hurt my family I will defend myself. If I have no choice but to hurt him, I will, regardless what mental state drove him to attack me
Read 5 tweets
3 Nov
The more people feel targeted based on identity, the more they grab on to that identity. The more you make people aware of their identity, the more passionate they get about it. Forced assimilation (or, "combating separatism") accomplishes the opposite of what it sets out to do.
Group identity melts when it becomes painless, colorless, even boring. That's when it melts. It decides nothing in your life, so it becomes unimportant. But so long your group identity determines how your government will treat you, expect people to embrace it more.
Remember, identity is an extremely intimate matter; it's literally the answer to "who am I?" Can you think of a more profoundly existential question? If people don't have the answer to that, or don't have the freedom to search, it quickly climbs to the top of their life's agenda
Read 4 tweets
29 Oct
Ask me anything about radicalization
(I'm going to spend some time with my little boy, but will try to respond to all questions when I'm back)
Okay, should I reply or quote-reply? Some of the answers may end up being mini-threads
Read 4 tweets
29 Oct
When my younger self was radicalized 17 years ago, he deeply believed that the world was "us vs them", "with us or against us" and that everyone who didn't believe that were clueless sheeple, or complicit
He also believed "we" were the victims of "them" and that "we" are under such existential threat that anything "we" do in self defence is justified given how high the stakes are
Looking back 17 years later I now see the details of the ideology and how each point was justified as minor and almost insignificant details. A grand narrative of "us vs them" needed justification and it found a way, regardless how many facts or moral truths it needed to twist.
Read 6 tweets
26 Oct
Last Friday, my maternal uncle passed away after having contracted covid-19. May his soul rest in peace.
Exile is hard. You don't only mourn one death, you mourn everyone else you love who'll die before you're able to see them.
Be kind, guys. And forgive. Life is too short.
Read 4 tweets
22 Oct
Today in "Being Palestinian in Norway". My bank, @NordeaNorge, sends me text and email saying I have a very important message in my digital mailbox.

I don't have a digital mailbox.

I wanted one, but @NordeaNorge said Palestinians can't have one. We're second-class humans.
Second day I'm calling, and still on hold. Because Palestinians don't need to have their time respected either.
Yesterday I was on hold for 30 mins until my phone credit ran out (yes, it's a paid line, because they want to discourage calls, because who needs to call anyway other than people like me?)

Now I'm on hold for another 30 mins and counting.
Read 8 tweets

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