Ex-Republican explains she now believes her former party is filled with 'enemies of democracy'

In 2020, conservative columnist Mona Charen did something that would have shocked her readers back in the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s: she voted for a Democratic presidential nominee. Charen is among the veteran conservatives who — like Washington Post columnists George Will and Max Boot, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and The Bulwark's Bill Kristol — was a blistering critic of Donald Trump's presidency. And in an op-ed published by Haaretz on February 8, the former Nancy Reagan speechwriter lays out some of the reasons why she is glad to see President Joe Biden in the White House and considers pro-Trump Republicans enemies of democracy.

"Like progressives, conservatives believe in reform, but are more likely to stress gradualism, small-scale experimentation and prudence," Charen, now 63, explains in her op-ed. "From the very outset of his run for the presidency, Donald Trump smashed those understandings of what conservatism was. His lies alone were enough to signal his unfitness. Flagrant lying is a key feature of authoritarianism."

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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