16 votes

I finally understand why evangelicals support Trump, and it's not just hypocrisy, mindless anti-gay, or stupdity

It's because they believe(d) he can(could) tear the whole thing down, so they can rebuild a theocratic empire on its ashes.

I was listening to Ian Masters' Background Briefing from sometime in the past few days, and he had some lady on who said it. She was speaking about the idiotic ruling from FLA on the mask mandate, then pointed out that this judge was one on the approved list from the Council for National Policy. Apparently Trump agreed only to appoint judges from this list, among other concessions, in order to gain evangelical support. And then she said, they want to tear down all American institutions, so they can install a theocracy instead. It finally all made sense.

This is terrifying to me. I was brutalized by evangelical fundamentalist religion growing up, and am still severely impeded by the trauma in my adult life. I would much rather live in a world where every lunatic open carries a fully automatic submachine gun than live in a theocracy.

I was recently informed about the Council for National Policy. They're a force for evil. A highly effective force, that his been working mostly in secret since at least the 80's to turn America into a Spanish inquisitors pipe dream.

This still doesn't quite explain why middle class Baptist Jane would vote for Trump, I guess maybe racial fear? Paternalistic conditioning?

I try to be solutions focussed generally speaking, but I don't see one right now, sadly. I aim to start looking and thinking..

46 comments

  1. [2]
    sharpstick
    Link
    I wrote my Masters thesis on this. Its roots are in Reformed theology going back to John Calvin. They see what he did in Geneva as a template to be reproduced in America. The research I did was...
    • Exemplary

    I wrote my Masters thesis on this. Its roots are in Reformed theology going back to John Calvin.
    They see what he did in Geneva as a template to be reproduced in America.
    The research I did was scary and depressing.

    Terms, influential thinkers and organizations to explore.

    Dominionism
    Presuppositionalism
    Theonomy

    Cornelius Van Til - A Christian Theology of Knowledge
    Francis Schaeffer - Escape from Reason
    Rousas John Rushdoony - The Institutes of Biblical Law
    Gary North - The Sinai Strategy: Economics and the Ten Commandments
    In this book Mr. North advocates for the return of communal stoning.

    Alliance Defending Freedom
    Capital Ministries
    The Chalcedon Foundation
    Coalition on Revival
    Concerned Women for America
    Family Research Council
    Pinnacle Forum
    Plymouth Rock Foundation
    National Black Robe Regiment
    Reclaiming America for Christ
    Sovereign Nations
    The American Vision
    The Foundation of Moral Law
    Wall Builders
    Well Versed

    19 votes
    1. RNG
      Link Parent
      Any more specific material you'd recommend?

      Any more specific material you'd recommend?

      5 votes
  2. [25]
    Codo_Sapien
    (edited )
    Link
    As an exvangelical in the Midwest, I can definitely attest to growing up around the groupthink that goes into conservative Christianity. When I was graduating high school and becoming voter-age, I...

    As an exvangelical in the Midwest, I can definitely attest to growing up around the groupthink that goes into conservative Christianity. When I was graduating high school and becoming voter-age, I was told by my grandma that "voting Republican is the Christian thing to do", and that gets carried into the voter booth by a lot of people.

    I don't have any standout sources regarding the rise of the Religious Right at the moment, but this has been going on since the 70s (so I'm told, I'm not that old to have experienced that firsthand). The work done by Jerry Falwell, Sr. and the others who founded the Moral Majority did a depressingly efficient job of marrying good ol' Christian values to conservative political identity.

    This Last Week Tonight piece on Mike Pence from 2018 resonated deeply with me. Particularly, I started paying close attention when James Dobson and Focus on the Family was brought up - a household name in my Nazarene PK childhood. It turns out that FotF (and other organizations of similar ilk are doing the same, I'm sure) has been collating listener/reader contact information for the past 40 years, and they're not shy about communicating to the millions of people they have on record. In doing so, have established significant political power brokerage - that conservative politicians clamor for. All you have to do to get that voter block is promise to build toward theocracy. Or abolish abortion, but pototato, potato.

    If you're interested in a more academic source on the topic, I'd like to recommend the Exvangelical podcast. I haven't listened to every episode, but Blake Chastain does a great job of hosting deeper discussions about Evangelical identity from a historical perspective.

    If you're not - here's Zen & the Art of Xenophobia by Five Iron Frenzy.

    12 votes
    1. [16]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      We were a Focus on the Family family growing up. We had a LOT of their books in our house — Max Lucado was literally a household name. I had a lot of kid-focused devotionals from them, as well as...

      We were a Focus on the Family family growing up. We had a LOT of their books in our house — Max Lucado was literally a household name. I had a lot of kid-focused devotionals from them, as well as books on growing up. My parents didn’t really talk with us kids about life’s struggles (e.g. anxiety, making friends, fears, puberty, etc.). They would just get us a FotF book about a topic and expect us to read and learn from it. I’ve honestly forgotten or blocked out most of what I read, but I do know some of the teen-focused books that tackled sexuality were pretty damaging to young closeted me.

      12 votes
      1. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        When I was young I would listen to a Christian radio station that pushed a lot of Focus on the Family stuff. It all seemed really wholesome and good. I mostly listened to it for the music. The...

        When I was young I would listen to a Christian radio station that pushed a lot of Focus on the Family stuff. It all seemed really wholesome and good. I mostly listened to it for the music. The only really negative thing they did was asking for money, but it was better than the advertising on commercial radio.

        And then later on I found their fearmongering anti-gay media and I felt betrayed.

        4 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Yeah, not all of their stuff was bad. A lot of it was uplifting and positive, and I remember liking how it encouraged thoughtfulness and reflection. Much of it was sort of anti-nihilist and pushed...

          Yeah, not all of their stuff was bad. A lot of it was uplifting and positive, and I remember liking how it encouraged thoughtfulness and reflection. Much of it was sort of anti-nihilist and pushed you to find meaning, depth, and connection in everyday experiences. Furthermore, there was a lot about genuine self-improvement — of wanting to be better and the legitimate efforts it takes to get there. Of course this was all framed through God, but I can see how some of those roots remain in me today despite me no longer centering myself in God.

          The downside, however, was that, yeah, there was also some flat out toxic stuff. Every book I read on sexuality was strongly anti-gay and confirmed the belief I had at the time that I was irreparably broken, permanently unlovable, and a disgrace to God Himself.

          6 votes
      2. [4]
        NoblePath
        Link Parent
        Church of Christ?

        Church of Christ?

        4 votes
        1. TheRtRevKaiser
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Wow, didn't expect to see somebody from the CoC on Tildes. My wife and I both grew up in the CoC and have been struggling for years with wanting to leave but feeling like we can't because of...

          Wow, didn't expect to see somebody from the CoC on Tildes. My wife and I both grew up in the CoC and have been struggling for years with wanting to leave but feeling like we can't because of family. It's tough because the options here in the deep south are pretty limited.

          Edit: Just read some of your replies elsewhere in the thread and I'm guessing that we probably experienced different branches of the CoC. My experience with CoC churches and schools were that there were generally about as conservative as your average evangelical church of some other flavor, with some unique peculiarities. But I know it's a very decentralized "denomination" and I've known folks who experienced some pretty harrowing stuff. I'm really sorry that was your experience. While I've dealt with lots of frustration with the churches I have been a part of, I haven't experienced anything like the trauma that you seem to have deal with, and I'm sorry if I seemed to be downplaying that with my original reply.

          6 votes
        2. [2]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Lutheran (Missouri Synod) I had some friends who were Church of Christ though. Also, for those unfamiliar, there are two main branches of Lutheranism in the US: the LCMS (Lutheran Church -...

          Lutheran (Missouri Synod)

          I had some friends who were Church of Christ though.

          Also, for those unfamiliar, there are two main branches of Lutheranism in the US: the LCMS (Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod) and the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Contrary to the name of the latter having “Evangelical” in it, it is the more progressive group by far.

          5 votes
          1. NoblePath
            Link Parent
            I had friends in the church, and “friends” who were going to hell. It’s a bad place. Church of Christ that is. Hell’s probably a step up. Glad we made it out.

            friends who were chirch of christ

            I had friends in the church, and “friends” who were going to hell. It’s a bad place. Church of Christ that is. Hell’s probably a step up.

            Glad we made it out.

            4 votes
      3. [5]
        Codo_Sapien
        Link Parent
        I haven't read as many of the FotF books, but they were in the house for me to read as I was growing up. Most of my personal experience with the entertainment wing: Adventures in Odyssey (the...

        I haven't read as many of the FotF books, but they were in the house for me to read as I was growing up.

        Most of my personal experience with the entertainment wing: Adventures in Odyssey (the early, less-preachy stuff) and the Narnia audio dramas come to mind. What's frustrating is that this is genuinely good art from an extremely problematic source.

        3 votes
        1. [4]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          I loved Adventures in Odyssey! I’ve always wanted to revisit it as an adult, but I also don’t want to tamper with my genuinely fond memories of it. Mr. Whittaker was a childhood icon of mine.

          I loved Adventures in Odyssey! I’ve always wanted to revisit it as an adult, but I also don’t want to tamper with my genuinely fond memories of it. Mr. Whittaker was a childhood icon of mine.

          4 votes
          1. [3]
            Omnicrola
            Link Parent
            Oh man I remember Adventures too, I also haven't revisited them as an adult and agree it would probably be a bad idea. Narnia is still a favorite of mine, even though now the parallels with...

            Oh man I remember Adventures too, I also haven't revisited them as an adult and agree it would probably be a bad idea.

            Narnia is still a favorite of mine, even though now the parallels with Christianity are far more obvious. I have a particular fondness for the BBC dramatizations they did of them, was always disappointed they stopped at The Silver Chair and didn't do the Magician's Nephew. Which would surely be the coolest-looking one to put on screen.

            3 votes
            1. NoblePath
              Link Parent
              It’s OK, CS Lewis is a true Christian, like Mr Rogers or Jimmy Carter.

              It’s OK, CS Lewis is a true Christian, like Mr Rogers or Jimmy Carter.

              6 votes
            2. Codo_Sapien
              Link Parent
              I stopped listening around the time the second voice actor for Whit died in real life. I've heard that the later episodes are much more agenda-heavy with horrible topics like "traditional...

              I stopped listening around the time the second voice actor for Whit died in real life. I've heard that the later episodes are much more agenda-heavy with horrible topics like "traditional families", where Whit challenges logical fallacies.

              Regarding Narnia - I frickin' know, right? Everyone picks up Narnia expecting LotR numbers, but they lose steam halfway through because the only one everyone loses their moviegoing crap over is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

              At least the original VeggieTales run is still golden, amirite?

              3 votes
      4. [4]
        TheRtRevKaiser
        Link Parent
        I can only imagine how tough that was, I'm sorry you had to go through that. FWIW, those same types of books fucked up young straight me pretty good too...

        I do know some of the teen-focused books that tackled sexuality were pretty damaging to young closeted me.

        I can only imagine how tough that was, I'm sorry you had to go through that. FWIW, those same types of books fucked up young straight me pretty good too...

        3 votes
        1. kfwyre
          Link Parent
          When I first left Christianity I had a very navel-gazey view of its damage that really only let me see the impact of the homophobia I experienced. It took a lot of processing with some of my...
          • Exemplary

          When I first left Christianity I had a very navel-gazey view of its damage that really only let me see the impact of the homophobia I experienced. It took a lot of processing with some of my straight friends afterwards to realize that the Christianity we knew also impacted their romantic and sexual identities negatively (as you also identified). I couldn’t see it at the time because when we were in the faith everybody kept those cards very close to their chest, but once we left and started being more open and honest about things it was heart wrenching to see how they had been silently struggling too.

          Up until I unpacked that, I’d thought that straight people were the ideal of Christianity so they had nothing to worry about. I spent years anxiously aspiring and trying to be that ideal so that I could be treated with all the admiration and support it seemed to garner. What I didn’t realize was that ideal still came with some very negative messaging about who you were and what you did. Much of it was similar to what I felt as a gay guy, only the language and targets were changed.

          For example, the Christianity we grew up with taught many that their own sexuality was the sin of “lust”. Instead of awareness of one’s own sexuality being a healthy, normal part of development, it was heavily scrutinized as an impurity and a flaw — something to be overcome or corrected rather than accepted. Despite being straight, many straight guys I knew still had their own sexualities used against them as a weapon.

          Meanwhile, many girls were taught incredibly regressive things about sexual and romantic roles. There was also a far greater gendered penalty put on them if they’d ever manifested their sexuality through action. Faith-based slut shaming was essentially unavoidable, and the messaging around it was often horrifically caustic. One “misdeed” on a girl’s part was not only seen as sinful but as something irreversible and unfixable. A girl who had “given up her purity” had essentially thrown away her chance at a happy, healthy, Godly marriage.

          Because the heavy thumb of Christianity manifested primarily as homophobia for me, I assumed everyone else was free from its weight, but it turns out they were just as underneath it as I was. The weight took a different form and went by a different name, but was no less burdensome or oppressive.

          One of my favorite books is Blankets by Craig Thompson. It’s a graphic novel about the author growing up in Christianity and how his Church’s messaging about sexuality and romance was damaging for him. Despite the author being straight, I could see so much of my own experience in his story, and it helped me understand the experiences of many of my straight brothers and sisters in the faith. People like to draw very clear lines between LGBTQ oppressions and straight oppressions, and while that can be useful in some circumstances, it can also create a false dichotomy. In the circles I grew up in, oppressive teachings on sexuality oppressed everyone because everyone had either a sexual identity or lack thereof that was not treated with the respect and understanding it was due.

          This is all a really long way of saying that I think I probably have some sense of what you went through and it pains me that you had to go through it. I’m sorry that was your experience (assuming I’m even close), as well as mine.

          8 votes
        2. [2]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          What kind of content was in there?

          What kind of content was in there?

          3 votes
          1. TheRtRevKaiser
            Link Parent
            The one that I remember most vividly was "Every Young Man's Battle" which was given to me by my Dad to help with my "masturbation problem" (the problem being I was a normal 14 year old). I was...

            The one that I remember most vividly was "Every Young Man's Battle" which was given to me by my Dad to help with my "masturbation problem" (the problem being I was a normal 14 year old). I was having trouble figuring out how to describe what these books were like, but I think this description from a Salon article about evangelical purity culture does a better job that I could:

            In dozens of popular Christian self-help books, protecting one’s purity until marriage is described as a young adult’s number one priority. In the best-selling Battle series (Every Young Woman’s Battle, Every Young Man’s Battle, etc.), men are taught that they must guard their purity by understanding sex as ‘‘the enemy’’ in a life-and-death battle, by raising a ‘‘sword and shield’’ against it, and even by making an ‘‘ocular covenant’’—learning to ‘‘bounce’’ one’s eyes away from ‘‘lustful objects’’ (i.e., women). Men must allow Christ to take their minds ‘‘captive’’ so nary a thought about a woman enters their imagination, all the while ‘‘building a line of defense in the heart’’ against their natural inclination to use women for sex. In other words, because men are by nature sexual predators, their pursuit of purity revolves around doing battle with their very nature.

            This all led to a really fun cycle where pretty much every night I would agonize about trying not to "lust in my heart" by thinking sexual thoughts or masturbating. When I inevitably failed, I would then be terrified that I had sinned and was going to hell. That cycle of shame and fear repeated itself pretty much every day.

            The thing is, I don't think that was what my parents wanted. I think they wanted me to have a healthy attitude toward sex and sexuality, but they had no idea how to get there in the context they lived in and looking back I think they had some of the same shameful, confused feelings and thoughts that I did. And my parents weren't just pew warmers, my father was a minister with a Masters degree in theology. So I can't even imagine the kind of whammy most folks in churches like mine got hit with.

            11 votes
    2. [3]
      inwardpath
      Link Parent
      By 2013 I had mostly completed my journey out of Christianity so I had not given an eye to Five Iron Frenzy's work for years at that point, nor do I enjoy that style of music anymore- however it...

      By 2013 I had mostly completed my journey out of Christianity so I had not given an eye to Five Iron Frenzy's work for years at that point, nor do I enjoy that style of music anymore- however it is very heartening to see them tackle American Christianity's homophobia, xenophobia, etc from within. Need so much more of that.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Codo_Sapien
        Link Parent
        Oh man, have I got good news for you (maybe)! That was from Engine of a Million Plots way back in 2013. FIF dropped Until This Shakes Apart last year, and it was more confrontational. That said,...

        Oh man, have I got good news for you (maybe)! That was from Engine of a Million Plots way back in 2013. FIF dropped Until This Shakes Apart last year, and it was more confrontational. That said, it's still rock-with-horns, so it may taste sonically bad for you. As for me, it's definitely become musical shorthand for how I've been feeling for the last 5 or so years while I've been deconstructing.

        I agree that we need more Christian artists challenging the Evangelical status quo.

        6 votes
        1. TheRtRevKaiser
          Link Parent
          My wife has been enjoying Drew Holcomb a lot. It's not the primary focus of his songwriting but there's definitely some stuff that resonates with us as we've been struggling with things.

          My wife has been enjoying Drew Holcomb a lot. It's not the primary focus of his songwriting but there's definitely some stuff that resonates with us as we've been struggling with things.

          4 votes
    3. [5]
      Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      Not every day I run into someone who knows what that is, I grew up right next to NNU in Idaho. Going home is super weird now, 20 years after moving out of that state.

      a household name in my Nazarene PK childhood

      Not every day I run into someone who knows what that is, I grew up right next to NNU in Idaho. Going home is super weird now, 20 years after moving out of that state.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Similar boat here. I know you’re emphasizing the “Nazarene” part of that quote but it wasn’t until I moved away from where I grew up that I realized that “PK” wasn’t actually a common identifier...

        Similar boat here. I know you’re emphasizing the “Nazarene” part of that quote but it wasn’t until I moved away from where I grew up that I realized that “PK” wasn’t actually a common identifier that everyone knew. It was just common where I was because I was very much inside the evangelical bubble. There were so many churches around that I knew a lot of PKs. I even roomed with one in college!

        For anyone here that’s unfamiliar, “PK” is a common abbreviation in Christian circles that means “Pastor’s Kid”.

        5 votes
        1. Codo_Sapien
          Link Parent
          Ah, you're right. Thanks for the Evangelicalese translation!

          Ah, you're right. Thanks for the Evangelicalese translation!

          2 votes
      2. [2]
        Codo_Sapien
        Link Parent
        I'm an Olivet alumn! Looking back it's amazing how small the bubble was. On the inside it was huge...

        I'm an Olivet alumn! Looking back it's amazing how small the bubble was. On the inside it was huge...

        3 votes
        1. Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          Small world, I live in Michigan currently!

          Small world, I live in Michigan currently!

          3 votes
  3. [7]
    HotPants
    (edited )
    Link
    I've spent significant time trying to understand Republican thinking. The democratic country I come from generally considers anyone supporting Trump to be bat shit insane. But I've been struggling...

    I've spent significant time trying to understand Republican thinking.

    The democratic country I come from generally considers anyone supporting Trump to be bat shit insane. But I've been struggling with Republican support for presidents ever since Bush invaded Iraq.

    Some people are single issue voters. Lower taxes. No gun control.

    Most are confused if you simply claim Trump is a liar. That just doesn't fit in their mental model. I used to think it was Fox News. Hitler stated that 90% of people will believe whatever they read on the news. He felt only 10% of people actually think about what they read.

    But something changed recently. Fox News tried to kill Trump in the primaries until they saw they were no longer the king maker and were about to lose their audience. I think what changed was the internet. Social Media. Ultra conservative news blogs.

    People believe whatever their social in group believes. I know I do.And the loudest folks on social media are often heard the most.

    And who is louder than a Trump supporter?

    7 votes
    1. [6]
      AnthonyB
      Link Parent
      I was having trouble understanding them as well, but over the past couple of years I've watched several friends slowly turn into Republicans and that has been very illuminating. In my friends'...

      I was having trouble understanding them as well, but over the past couple of years I've watched several friends slowly turn into Republicans and that has been very illuminating. In my friends' case, their support for Republicans is entirely reactionary. Whether it was about mask/vaccine mandates or BLM/CRT hysteria, they always talk about Democrats when I ask them why they support Republicans. While it's not always the case, there's evidence that even the most batshit far-right Trump supporters are motivated less by true belief in a particular cause and more by their reaction to change. This article had a very interesting passage on that:

      Pape’s team mapped the [January 6] insurgents by home county and ran statistical analyses looking for patterns that might help explain their behavior. The findings were counterintuitive. Counties won by Trump in the 2020 election were less likely than counties won by Biden to send an insurrectionist to the Capitol. The higher Trump’s share of votes in a county, in fact, the lower the probability that insurgents lived there. Why would that be? Likewise, the more rural the county, the fewer the insurgents. The researchers tried a hypothesis: Insurgents might be more likely to come from counties where white household income was dropping. Not so. Household income made no difference at all.

      Only one meaningful correlation emerged. Other things being equal, insurgents were much more likely to come from a county where the white share of the population was in decline. For every one-point drop in a county’s percentage of non-Hispanic whites from 2015 to 2019, the likelihood of an insurgent hailing from that county increased by 25 percent. This was a strong link, and it held up in every state.

      I think there is good news and bad news in that. The good news is that most people still prefer sensible policies. There is plenty of polling on this across many issues, including support for Amazon workers unions. In my personal experience, the overwhelming majority of Republican/Trump voters I know support things like raising taxes on the wealthy, enacting more aggressive climate policies, securing abortion rights, and expanding infrastructure. The bad news is that no one has been able to sell those policies and very few have made an honest attempt at doing so. Until Democrats show they are willing to propose meaningful structural change they will continue to get bogged down by fights over culture war and identity politics, which is a battle they've been losing for the better part of four decades.

      13 votes
      1. [4]
        NoblePath
        Link Parent
        It’s a challenging problem, because identity issues and associated discrimination are a really big deal for those with non-majority identities. Those on the right are willing to dispense with...

        It’s a challenging problem, because identity issues and associated discrimination are a really big deal for those with non-majority identities.

        Those on the right are willing to dispense with truth entirely in their propaganda, relying on emotion alone (see recent conversation on ~~ regarding social media mind tricks) and being very effective at motivating supporters thereby. On the left we are not unwilling to use some emotion but we are more Aristotelian believing our rhetoric should contain as much reason as pathos. And also we want to give minorities (defined as broadly as possible) the ability to have equal access to society without surrendering their identity or uniqueness. We also want better roads, better livelihood, and better healthcare, and better doughnuts.

        5 votes
        1. [3]
          AnthonyB
          Link Parent
          Of course. I mean, they should be a really big deal with anyone who values justice or equal rights. I was really struggling with how to phrase that last point because I didn't want to make it seem...

          It’s a challenging problem, because identity issues and associated discrimination are a really big deal for those with non-majority identities.

          Of course. I mean, they should be a really big deal with anyone who values justice or equal rights. I was really struggling with how to phrase that last point because I didn't want to make it seem like it's something that the left should abandon, but I also didn't want to launch into a separate point where I ramble incoherently and propose messaging strategies from my couch. But since we're here...

          I think the biggest problem with the Democrats' approach to identity issues and their messaging as a whole is that they almost entirely ignore class. As a result, a lot of people (most of them white) walk away with a message that says, "things are fine, the only people that have it bad are BIPOC/LGBTQ+, white people are fine, white people have it easy." Or worse, "white people are the problem." And yeah, there is certainly an element of truth in that, but it ignores the fact that class is also a form of identity and it minimizes or ignores the growing stress and uneasiness that all working and middle-class people feel right now.

          I know a lot has been said about the "economic anxiety among the white working class" and that there has been an endless stream of think pieces about it since 2016, but at this point I think it's safe to say that the majority of the country has the sense that something is wrong. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party consistently fails to recognize or put a name on "that funny feeling," and they fail to point to a boogyman that people can blame. But again, that's because most of them dont want to offer any meaningful structural change. The mainstream/establishment wing of the party is still operating under the pretense that things are mostly fine and that we just need a few tweaks here and there and some more opportunities for marginalized people (a few million to HBCUs ought to do the trick, right?)

          Republicans, on the other hand, do a lot more to recognize the sense of uneasiness that people have, and unfortunately, they have a boogyman that they point to. The've been very successful in harnessing that frustration, in part because they're the ones who are willing to say something is wrong. The crazy thing to me is that, between the two parties, Republicans seem to do more to recognize that class itself is a form of identity. They don't say it outright, and their idea of class is directly tied to whiteness, but it is everywhere in their messaging. And yeah, when you go through the Republican platform point by point it looks insane, but on the big picture, it's pretty easy to follow. They acknowledge the feeling that things are going to shit, they identify the source of the problem, and they offer a solution. It's simple and streamlined. The only problem is that they are pinning it on changing demographics and cultural shifts rather than things like corporate consolidation, income inequality, and the erosion of institutions and social safety nets. You ask the republicans what the problem is and you get a simple answer: them.

          Is there an equivalent among establishment Democrats? Do they acknowledge the feeling that things are going to shit? Do they identify the source of the problem? Do they offer a solution? In my view, no, they do not. They acknowledge certain problems. They acknowledge that corporations dont pay their fair share of taxes, they acknowledge that climate change is bad, and they acknowledge that racism and bigotry exist, but they dont have a larger, simpler message or solution that those issues can fit into. Their platform is aimless. Ask someone like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, or Joe Biden what the problem is and you won't get a straightforward answer.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            Akir
            Link Parent
            You know what, I think you are right, but only insofar as you use the word "democrat" instead of leftist. Most Democrat representatives are extremely moderate about things because they are trying...

            You know what, I think you are right, but only insofar as you use the word "democrat" instead of leftist. Most Democrat representatives are extremely moderate about things because they are trying to capture that mythical middle ground. I've heard from a lot of people on the right that they have respect for Bernie Sanders because he gets the issues with class. But then again there are representatives like AOC who also get it and they demonize her like she's out to personally attack them.

            Then again I'm really not the best person to offer this kind of opinion because I have long started thinking about our politicians - democrats in particular - like celebrities, barely paying attention to what they do because at the end of the day they're all painfully ineffective at making any change in my life.


            On the other hand, the idea that we should have to have a simple easily communicated platform is kind of BS. The real world is complicated and must not be simplified. In reality we have a myriad of problems to fix, and there's no one simple magic bullet that will fix everything. Magic bullets are actually the cause of a lot of them - bullets called "small government", "deregulation", and "defunding".

            2 votes
            1. AnthonyB
              Link Parent
              Wholeheartedly agree with everything you said there. I'm 50-50 on this point. Yes, complicated problems require in-depth analysis and complex solutions. I dont understand why we haven't seen a...

              You know what, I think you are right, but only insofar as you use the word "democrat" instead of leftist. Most Democrat representatives are extremely moderate about things because they are trying to capture that mythical middle ground. I've heard from a lot of people on the right that they have respect for Bernie Sanders because he gets the issues with class. But then again there are representatives like AOC who also get it and they demonize her like she's out to personally attack them.

              Then again I'm really not the best person to offer this kind of opinion because I have long started thinking about our politicians - democrats in particular - like celebrities, barely paying attention to what they do because at the end of the day they're all painfully ineffective at making any change in my life.

              Wholeheartedly agree with everything you said there.

              On the other hand, the idea that we should have to have a simple easily communicated platform is kind of BS. The real world is complicated and must not be simplified. In reality we have a myriad of problems to fix, and there's no one simple magic bullet that will fix everything.

              I'm 50-50 on this point. Yes, complicated problems require in-depth analysis and complex solutions. I dont understand why we haven't seen a politician address issues and offer their solutions via readily available long-form videos a la John Oliver segments or breadtube videos. Stump speeches are such an outdated and ineffective form of getting a point across and we have the perfect platforms to allow politicians to provide a deeper look into their positions in a way that is more clear and easy to follow than a run of the mill campaign speech. But even so, at the end of the day, I think a lot of it will still boil down to slogans and simple, direct messaging. Part of what made Bernie so popular was the simplicity and discipline in his messaging with the millionaiies and billionaaiies ☝

              I'd love to participate in a high functioning democracy where the voters are well-informed and engaged but for now we have to work with what we've got.

              1 vote
      2. HotPants
        Link Parent
        That article is really interesting. I don't hold out any hope of McConnell allowing a vote on raising taxes on the rich/ abortion rights/ climate change or infrastructure, and I doubt any...

        That article is really interesting.

        I don't hold out any hope of McConnell allowing a vote on raising taxes on the rich/ abortion rights/ climate change or infrastructure, and I doubt any Republican Senators would cross party lines to support such a vote.

        1 vote
  4. [6]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [5]
      NoblePath
      Link Parent
      Then in this particular case, how would you describe what is “right” in a way that matters?

      Then in this particular case, how would you describe what is “right” in a way that matters?

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. [3]
          NoblePath
          Link Parent
          Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Let me first clarify: I have not said conservatives generally or conservative voters are evil. Or if I did, I didn't mean to. I did say that the Council for...

          Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

          Let me first clarify: I have not said conservatives generally or conservative voters are evil. Or if I did, I didn't mean to. I did say that the Council for National Policy is force for evil, and I stand by that.

          Second, I consider tildes largely a progressive space to both vent and strategize. If the platform and the community want to be informative and bridge-building beacon, I'll work to align with that and find another place to vent.

          Third, let me vent and ask for strategy around your dying small town perspective description. It makes a kind of sense on a visceral level, but there's a couple things that frustrate about that. First, is that as far as I can tell, the reason the kids are leaving is not liberal brainwashing, but market manipulations by large players (con-agra, GM, International Textile Group) decimating the rural economic base. If the perspective you describe is what is really being held by rural conservatives (and I don't have any reason to doubt it's at least part), there is a serious information and cognitive dysfunction occuring. Another trouble with this explanation is the article mentioned elsewhere (can't remember if it was in this post or another on tildes) that the communities with the most support for the 1/6 insurrection were counties where dark-skinned people were increasing in numbers. Of course it's only human to blame people who look different, but that doesn't make it OK.

          Finally, I take issue with your notion of intent, and comparing racism to "grooming" (a term I had to spend a minute parsing). In American law, for the most part, culpability does not arise from a malfeasor's intent to cause harm, but rather simply the intent, or even the negligence, of causing the the thing that causes the harm. With "grooming," there is a very specific intent. On the other side, systemic racism is a very real thing with very real consequences, but there is no requirement to intend racism specifically while making large contributions to it, and accrue the associated culpability. A great example of this is "voting reform" requirements, although I would argue that those actually pushing theses issues, such as the CNP, do have the specific intent of suppressing the votes of marginalized, minority communities.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            inwardpath
            Link Parent
            I definitely see perspectives from the right that have disdain for any non-conservative higher education because it's perceived as a danger to their kids' beliefs and values.

            I definitely see perspectives from the right that have disdain for any non-conservative higher education because it's perceived as a danger to their kids' beliefs and values.

            1. CALICO
              Link Parent
              "Reject Modernity, Embrace Tradition"

              "Reject Modernity, Embrace Tradition"

        2. Akir
          Link Parent
          I think your view here is a bit too unrealistic. The model might be right right - There is definately some kind of imagined logic behind their viewpoints - but the problem is that once they have...

          I think your view here is a bit too unrealistic. The model might be right right - There is definately some kind of imagined logic behind their viewpoints - but the problem is that once they have been radicalized into the point where they're chanting "Let's go Brandon" to "own the libs", they have been trapped in the web of interwoven stories told by right wing media. They find people who tell them they are right about their wrongly-reasoned position, and that's all they need to start believing them on some other story, and that makes them vulnerable to another story, and so on and so on - this is what they call getting redpilled.

          You might remember me talking about having a race-obcessed coworker that I was forced to deal with, and I kind of wish that I had his life in comic-book form to give out to people to get a better understanding of how reactionary-right people work. This man was a California native and actually considered himself a hippie; he was very health-concious, was big on eating whole foods with antioxidants, and his favorite drinks were completely unsweetened iced tea, but he listened to conservative media all the time.

          We would talk all the time - weather I wanted to or not, often, and at first I would be able to go into depth and explain with data and at times it seems I had convinced him to change his mind on a few things, but after a few days it were as if he had completely forgotten we had even talked about them. It was because every time he went home he would spend the vast majority of his time watching right-wing media. And why would he agree with me, where I've been challenging him to understand other viewpoints, when he can listen to Tucker Carlson and just agree to whatever he says?

          2 votes
  5. [7]
    skybrian
    Link
    I doubt "evangelicals" all believe the same thing. For one thing, that term includes blacks. I didn't find a survey of "evangelicals" but here's a survey showing support for Trump among...

    I doubt "evangelicals" all believe the same thing. For one thing, that term includes blacks.

    I didn't find a survey of "evangelicals" but here's a survey showing support for Trump among churchgoers is about 60:40. So 40% of people who attend church regularly don't support Trump.

    5 votes
    1. JXM
      Link Parent
      Well, evangelicals are among the more hardcore Christian sects, so it makes sense that their numbers would be even higher than general churchgoers.

      Well, evangelicals are among the more hardcore Christian sects, so it makes sense that their numbers would be even higher than general churchgoers.

      4 votes
    2. [5]
      NoblePath
      Link Parent
      There are not really that many black evangelicals, at least not as I understand the term. And while there are certainly differences, they do all think a lot alike. I’d bet money that I can go into...

      There are not really that many black evangelicals, at least not as I understand the term. And while there are certainly differences, they do all think a lot alike.

      I’d bet money that I can go into any evangelical Church and they’ll share a large number of core values and all be dressed from like the same five stores.

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        cfabbro
        Link Parent
        Yeah, isn't Baptist the denomination most black people in the US belong to? Baptists are technically a type of Evangelical, but AFAIK they have a slightly different (less fire & brimstone focused)...

        Yeah, isn't Baptist the denomination most black people in the US belong to? Baptists are technically a type of Evangelical, but AFAIK they have a slightly different (less fire & brimstone focused) doctrine.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          Whom
          Link Parent
          I've found that it's helpful not to think of Evangelicals as some level in a hierarchy (as in "Baptists are technically a type of Evangelical"), but to think of it more as an independent tag or...

          I've found that it's helpful not to think of Evangelicals as some level in a hierarchy (as in "Baptists are technically a type of Evangelical"), but to think of it more as an independent tag or tendency that is more common in certain denominations, but does not encompass them.

          Related and possibly helpful video:

          How Evangelicals Became Republicans

          4 votes
          1. cfabbro
            Link Parent
            Thanks for that video, it was depressing but also enlightening.

            Thanks for that video, it was depressing but also enlightening.

            3 votes
        2. NoblePath
          Link Parent
          They’ve always been a bit different. Black Churches are less judgmental and way less authoritarian. Also way more fun. They are separating even more these days. As the Southern Baptist Convention...

          They’ve always been a bit different. Black Churches are less judgmental and way less authoritarian. Also way more fun.

          They are separating even more these days. As the Southern Baptist Convention continues to move right and more political they are shedding black churches.

          At one time the convention was almost cool. Reactionaries took it over in the late 80’s when a minority of uber-conservative churches bussed in members to flood the meeting. There are many sad Baptists who remember that day.

          2 votes