The political roundup this week includes the psychological impact of Afganistan, the Delta variant, and climate change. Who supports leaving Afganistan, why don’t people want to get vaccinated, and is climate change real? Dr. Bart Rossi, Ph.D. provides insight into these topics.
The United States has been at war with the Taliban in Afganistan for twenty years. Following 9/11, the U.S. sent its military to Afganistan, initially, to root out terrorist camps, and hunt down Bin Laden.
Twenty years later we’re still there. But in February 2020 there was a peace treaty struck between the U.S., Afganistan, and the Taliban. The U.N. security council, as well as Pakistan, Russia, and China all supported the deal.
The peace treaty called for the U.S. to cut its forces in Afganistan in half by July 2020, with full withdrawal by Mahy 2021. This, however, was predicted that the Taliban upheld its commitments; one of which was to prevent Al-Queda from operating in areas of their control.
In the summer of 2020, as he was campaigning for re-election, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw all American Troops from Afghanistan sooner than required.
It is July 10, 2021, and here is the political roundup this week.
When President Biden came into office he has maintained a course of fulfilling the commitment of full withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afganistan. But as discussed in the article in Foreign Policy, It’s Time to Prepare for U.S. Withdrawal From Afghanistan, President Biden had a two-pronged strategy — negotiate an extension so that the country could become more secure, and complete the full withdrawal.
By early July the U.S. has withdrawn approx 90% of troops and equipment, putting it ahead of the 2021 schedule.
The coronavirus, COVID-19 has killed over 600,000 people in the United States. Americans immediately drew battlelines regarding the virus early on by February 2020. Some initially called the panic over the virus a hoax and unwarranted hysteria as Trump declared everything was under control, and that it will disappear, like magic, by the spring. President Trump, his political allies, and conservative media repeatedly claimed it “nothing more than the flu.” This was the conservative narrative, even though in an interview with Bob Woodward (Feb 2020) Trump acknowledged that COVID-19 was far more contagious and deadly than the flu. Pushing back against science quickly morphed into a narrative about individual freedom when it came to stay-home order, and masks. The result was that the United States had the worst numbers of any developed nation in the world, accounting for 25% of the world’s COVID-related deaths.
With the rollout of the vaccines, a new battle has been drawn between those getting vaccinated, and that those refusing. Conservatives again have made the discussion about personal freedoms, the right of a person having the right to do with their body as they choose.
So now with half the nation vaccinated and cases and deaths sharply dropping in 2021, the country is facing a new threat from the Delta Variant. According to the Wall Street Journal:
The highly transmissible Delta variant has become the dominant strain of the Covid-19 virus circulating in the U.S., according to federal data. It is spreading rapidly as communities loosen pandemic restrictions and officials struggle to reach unvaccinated people.
Biden’s approval rating in regard to his handling of the pandemic has been steady at approx. 60%,
Biden has also been outspoken about Climate Change. And like the pandemic, this issue too seems to be split along political party lines, with some supporting government efforts to curb greenhouse gases. While others, don’t. In fact, many people in American don’t believe climate change exists, and continue to deny what science presents.
IN this episode political psychologist Dr. Rossi delves into the American psyche vs. science.