Tag Archives: politics

Dawn J. Bennett Calls 2016 ‘The Year of Tribalism’

The well-known financial planner and radio show host Dawn J. Bennett recently wrote an article titled, “2016: The Year of Tribalism.” In the article she says, “In the rise of both Bernie Sanders’ progressive populism and Donald Trump’s nationalist populism, we are increasingly seeing voters choosing a new sort of Internet-era tribalism, banding together in communities so like-minded that they serve as echo chambers for shared hopes and fears alike.”

According to Bennett, this new tribalism is enabled and intensified by the Internet and technology. The Internet and technology allow smaller groups to have a larger voice, resulting in political institutions that have become “increasingly fractious coalitions of polarized factions.”

“The Democratic Party tries to coalesce Bernie’s socialist tribe, the mainline Clinton progressives, environmentalist groups, groups defined by gender and race, and more,” says Bennett. “The Republican tent holds mainline fiscal conservatives, the Tea Party, Trump’s nationalist populists, religiously motivated groups, and several flavors of libertarians. It’s messy, much more gray area than the clearly drawn lines we wish existed to make our choices easier.”

Bennett says there’s a dark side to tribalism. Tribalism can produce an “us versus them” feeling— “If you’re not with us you’re against us, and if you’re against us you’re the enemy.” This feeling has been present since the election, with group demonstrations against Donald Trump’s victory, as well as an increase in individual physical and verbal attacks that are motivated by the election’s outcome.

There are also benefits to tribalism, according to Bennett. “With such commonality of purpose and belief, these tribes can be very passionate, enthusiastic and creative and compelling,” she says. “They produce leaders like Trump, who are willing to take risks, to challenge what has gone before, and to inspire others to do the same. And if that energy can be harnessed and not allowed to run amok, I think we actually have the potential to meet our challenging global future.”

She continued, “My advice in this time of change boils down to this: gather your own information, listen to many viewpoints, and in the end make your own decisions. Protect your wealth, protect your future. By doing so thoughtfully, you will of necessity be engaging beyond your own tribes, and your voice will have a chance to contribute to the conversation that must take place to lead our country into the future.”

Brexit Vote Revives Movement for Texas’ Seccession


Grunge state of Texas flag mapBritain’s startling decision to exit the European Union (EU) has sparked the possibility of other countries leaving too. Since the decision, there has been talk about France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy making their exit as well. As the implications of Brexit unfold in Europe, the decision has also sparked the revival of secessionist movements in the United States, particularly in the Lone Star State.

Dubbed “Texit”, support for Texas’ secession exploded on social media in the wake of the Brexit decision. The use of the hashtag #Texit increased by nearly five times and saw almost 2,000 tweets between 7 and 8 a.m. London time, or after 1 a.m. in Dallas.

According to a 2014 Reuters/Ipsos poll, nearly a quarter of Americans are open to their states leaving the union. For Texas, the move toward secession is being powered by the Texas Nationalist Movement, which is formerly calling for the Texas government to support a vote similar to that of the British. The group believes the state would be better off as a sovereign nation.

Texas was an independent country from 1836 to 1845, after it seceded from Mexico. In her article “Opting Out”, financial expert Dawn J. Bennett notes that “as of 2014, if Texas were a sovereign nation, it would have had a GDP of nearly $1.7 trillion and been the 12th largest economy in the world, barely behind Canada and ahead of Australia and South Korea. Texas and Switzerland gross about the same from exports each year.”

Bennett explains that the secessionist movement is being fueled by many of the same issues and discontent that led to Brexit, such as “feelings of interference from the federal government, stagnant wages and weak labor markets, and a general dissatisfaction with the dismal political and economic landscapes we face.”

Despite Texas’ strong economy, Reuters reports constitutional scholars claim a U.S. state cannot secede. While there have been numerous secessionist movements throughout American history, no state has been created by seceding from another since 1863 when West Virginia was formed during the Civil War. And that involved seceding from another state, not from the union.

Will this time around be different? We have to wait and see.


Dawn J. Bennett & Niger Innis Discuss the Likelihood of President Trump

Financial advisor Dawn J. Bennett recently interviewed Niger Innis on her show Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett. Innis is the national spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), as well as an MSNBC commentator and political consultant. In the interview, Bennett and Innis discuss a common question many Americans have: Is it inevitable that Donald Trump will be the next president?

Innis says he thinks Trump being the next president is a real possibility. Innis, who is also the Chairman of Tea Party Forward, said, “We’re [Tea Party Forward] not quite sure just yet about Donald Trump, we’re all supporting him now, now that Ted Cruz has dropped out, and we certainly prefer Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, but we’re certainly not sure if Donald Trump is going to be a Constitutional Conservative or could he very well be a big government Conservative.”

He continued, “So that even if he makes the choices that we would like, how he executes those choices, through executive orders or through running roughshod over Congress and not recognizing the separation of powers, is something that would concern us, that wouldn’t concern us as much with a Constitutional Conservative like Ted Cruz. On the flipside though, what thrills the Tea Party about Donald Trump is his ability to confound the media, his ability to not only circumvent the media, the establishment media, but to actually shape and confront the media and get them to talk, to say his talking points as opposed to him playing from their song sheet.”

Despite his chokehold on the media, Trump has been more unpopular with minorities than past Republican candidates. In order to win the minority vote, Trump would need to undo the damage that’s been done. Innis thinks he’s already begun and could appeal to the Black community.

According to Innis, “I actually think where Trump has the ability to again confound conventional wisdom is actually in the black community. I think his talk of building a wall, the economic American nationalism that he promotes, it’s something that would appeal greatly to a number of black Americans. Particularly, we hear in this election and we see it and we often say that it’s a reflection of angry white males—Trump’s popularity. But the little hidden story is that is not talked about as much is that there are a lot of black males and Latino males that are angry too, that are unemployed or underemployed and want an opportunity to earn a living and be breadwinners for their family.”

Innis also notes that Trump has reached out to Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, Head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and a good friend of his. The organization represents around 30 million Latino Evangelicals nationwide. Trump addressed them recently, said Innis, and “gave a very conciliatory message.”

“He didn’t contradict himself in things he had said before. He just said that his message and my agenda of bringing jobs back into the country is going to be something that uplifts the Hispanic community,” Innis told Bennett.

So will Trump take over the White House? Only time will tell.

For more exclusive interviews, visit Financial Myth Busting with Dawn J. Bennett here.