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March 30, 2018 11:09 PM   Subscribe

How nostalgia for white Christian America drove so many Americans to vote for Trump

Can Evangelicalism Survive Donald Trump and Roy Moore?

PART 1: What does it mean to be an Evangelical today? We [The Liturgist Podcast] talk with Matthew Vines from The Reformation Project as well as author/speaker Jen Hatmaker about Evangelicalism in 2018.

PART 2: What does it mean to be an Evangelical today? We [The Liturgist Podcast] talk with Matthew Vines from The Reformation Project as well as author/speaker Jen Hatmaker about Evangelicalism in 2018.

A Quiet Exodus: Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches

Why So Many Liberal White Guys Just Can't Admit The Election Was About Race, Explained

Trump and Ethnicity in Comparative Perspective

The Last Temptation [readme & previously] - "How evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory"
It is remarkable to hear religious leaders defend profanity, ridicule, and cruelty as hallmarks of authenticity and dismiss decency as a dead language. Whatever Trump’s policy legacy ends up being, his presidency has been a disaster in the realm of norms. It has coarsened our culture, given permission for bullying, complicated the moral formation of children, undermined standards of public integrity, and encouraged cynicism about the political enterprise. Falwell, Graham, and others are providing religious cover for moral squalor—winking at trashy behavior and encouraging the unraveling of social restraints. Instead of defending their convictions, they are providing preemptive absolution for their political favorites. And this, even by purely political standards, undermines the causes they embrace. Turning a blind eye to the exploitation of women certainly doesn’t help in making pro-life arguments. It materially undermines the movement, which must ultimately change not only the composition of the courts but the views of the public. Having given politics pride of place, these evangelical leaders have ceased to be moral leaders in any meaningful sense.
White Evangelical Women, Core Supporters of Trump, Begin Tiptoeing Away

Despite porn stars and Playboy models, white evangelicals aren’t rejecting Trump. This is why. - Evangelical leaders say Trump's Stormy affair is OK

As Trump stokes the fears of his evangelical supporters, and Pence placates the most hardened elements of the far right, a new case is likely to presage the next front in the battle over religious liberty and free speech.

Why Evangelicals—Still!—Support Trump - "Evangelicals Fell For It" [previously]

The Little-Known Theology Behind White Evangelical Support of Donald Trump
But we miss something important about Jeffress — and white evangelical support for Trump, generally — by writing him off as a hypocrite. In defending Trump, Jeffress has consistently deployed a theology of government, little-known outside scholarly circles, that draws on biblical teaching. And that theology — along with the dark vision of a fallen America that Trump shares with Jeffress and other white evangelicals — offers a clue to the mystery of their support for the foul-mouthed, twice-divorced tycoon in the White House.
Trump’s Evangelical toadies are destroying the Christian brand [Weekly Sift, many links]

Reclaiming Jesus From The Trump Evangelicals

A Look Back: 2016 PRRI Findings That Will Shape Politics in 2017
5. White evangelical Protestants grow more accepting of politicians’ moral indiscretions.
6. Trump supporters are likelier to be nostalgic for the 1950s.
...
10. States with large white Christian populations were likelier to support Trump.
"In order to receive forgiveness, don't you have to confess to your sins?"
posted by the man of twists and turns (64 comments total) 68 users marked this as a favorite
 


From Baptist Press in 2017: Churches up, Baptisms down, if you'd like the raw numbers to go along with the "church in decline" articles. One nice thing, maybe the only nice thing, about the Southern Baptists is how open they are with the numbers: both membership and money.

For anyone who's still on Facebook and who was once evangelical, there's a great closed group called Exvangelical. Great mix of serious posts and shitposts, and they've been pretty useful to me in terms of processing my own personal history.

Thanks for the great post. I think I've already read most of these, which is not a criticism. Just glad to see someone else shares my interest. One of the many terrible things about the Trump era is that it's dredged up church memories I thought I had left behind decades past. And one of the silver linings is that Trump is accelerating the steep decline of evangelicals. They've had terrible retention rates with their twentysomethings raised in the church before Trump. With Trump (and Moore), things are looking much, much worse for them.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 12:37 AM on March 31, 2018 [16 favorites]


"In order to receive forgiveness, don't you have to confess to your sins?"

I watched that link. The authors answer to that question was 'that's between him and god'. When confronted with Trumps assertion that he didn't have anything to repent for, he ignored the question. Then he brought up a bunch of whataboutisms (Clinton did xyz... but obviously they attacked him mercilessly for his actions, unlike Trump). The only honest thing he said was his love for various Trump policies. Weirdly he brought up economic and non religious related policies as part of this love.

I can't say I know about religion, but I'm pretty sure that whatever God one worships, he/she/it/them doesn't have a strong opinion about trade tariffs.

And if you think that maybe, just maybe, the author of "God and Trump" (the person interviewed in that link) is just non-judgmental of individuals, he found time to attack Stormy Daniel's 'lifestyle' while adamantly deflecting critiques of Trumps past actions and words.

I'll go back and read more of these links, but I doubt I'll be surprised, as I've consumed various media about the evangelical support of Trump in the past. The best story (and that is all it is, a story) they can come up with is that he's a 'changed man', but never do they bring forth any evidence for this (other than his supposed sincerity when meeting with church leaders).

One thing is certain, the least godly politician (in both rhetoric, policy, and actions) that the US has seen has also delivered the goods in his 'religious freedom' (to oppress), antiabortion (see women in ICE custody being denied access to reproductive care repeatedly, only to be overturned by the courts, repeatedly), and supreme court nomination.
posted by el io at 12:56 AM on March 31, 2018 [9 favorites]


Why So Many Liberal White Guys Just Can't Admit The Election Was About Race, Explained

As I mentioned last week, their steadfast refusal to acknowledge the role race played in the election makes it seem as if they're playing some sort of devolved, pre-racial game of Taboo.

The title doesn't match the content, but the title is more click baity. Of course the election was about race. Every presidential election is about race. The election was also about free trade.

If we want nuance, which the left used to embrace, it's more accurate to say Trump's race baiting won him the primary, and his fiery rebuke of free trade won him Ohio and Michigan in the general election. Those states pushed him over the top, and (as Michael Moore pointed out) those two states also helped elect a Black man with a Muslim last name, twice. Both states hit hard over free trade with their voters feeling betrayed and abandoned. Nope, in the rust belt, it was trade that fueled anti establishment resentment, and Trump exploited it.

It's important to harp on this, because the Democratic establishment can't be allowed to sweep their disastrous free trade position under the rug. To blame Clinton's defeat (yes yes, I know) on Russia, Race, and Sexism plays well with the corporate base, but it flies in the face of one grand sweeping impossible to ignore fact, pretty much everyone in America, liberal and conservative both, thinks America's trade policies favor the 1% over the 99% and Democrats must nominate a Presidential candidate who position on trade mirrors that of most Americans or we risk getting a second term of Trump.
posted by Beholder at 1:02 AM on March 31, 2018 [55 favorites]


It's important to harp on this, because the Democratic establishment can't be allowed to sweep their disastrous free trade position under the rug. To blame Clinton's defeat (yes yes, I know) on Russia, Race, and Sexism plays well with the corporate base, but it flies in the face of one grand sweeping impossible to ignore fact, pretty much everyone in America, liberal and conservative both, thinks America's trade policies favor the 1% over the 99% and Democrats must nominate a Presidential candidate who position on trade mirrors that of most Americans or we risk getting a second term of Trump.

The thing is, Clinton also had a protectionist stance on trade. Yes, it was more based on reality and facts than Trump's, but it was there.
Quote from the first article:
Tucker and her husband, David, said they voted for Trump because they want a more limited federal government. They mentioned social issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and school prayer.

The Tuckers were also dismayed when their health insurance bill skyrocketed. Before Obamacare, they had no health insurance and paid out of pocket. Their monthly bill will rise from $115 a month now to $435 next year, Thresa Tucker said.

Many of those who have lost jobs seek help at White Plains Baptist Church, where her husband is preacher. But not all who seek help are worthy of it, she said. The church has to be a good steward of its money, so there are criteria for assistance, and she asks whether people attend church regularly. African Americans who have voiced concerns over what Trump will do for the poor would have a different perspective if they tried harder to help themselves, she said.
There is so much stupid and evil in those lines, my head is spinning. And there is a good bit more racism in there than tariffs. I know it's not Ohio, but I think these people are representative of the white evangelical voters, which are who this post is about, not the infamous white working class. Why did people who claim to be part of a "moral majority" overwhelmingly vote for a morally and materially corrupt candidate? TLDR: it's the racism. And also the sexism, but mostly the racism. Why do I think that? Because they say so themselves.

This is an impressive FPP - thanks!
posted by mumimor at 1:20 AM on March 31, 2018 [57 favorites]


It's frustrating to see another attempt to rewrite the history of the last election. Trump won because less Democrats voted, and they didn't become Republican voters, because get this, even less Republicans voted.

Google's your friend when it comes to the election analysis. Here's one article that discusses the Pew Research Report.

Let's stop arguing who the Democrats and Progressives need to pander to and make sure GOTV efforts are successful in the midterms. You win elections by getting your base out to vote, and whatever you might think about Hillary her campaign failed at GOTV.
posted by herda05 at 1:29 AM on March 31, 2018 [30 favorites]


Let's stop arguing who the Democrats and Progressives need to pander to and make sure GOTV efforts are successful in the midterms. You win elections by getting your base out to vote, and whatever you might think about Hillary her campaign failed at GOTV.
True, but maybe also by getting some people to feel so disgusted by Trump that they don't vote. Trump himself seems to be more worried about Stormy Daniels than about Russia (in that he is weirdly quiet about her). And there does seem to be less conservative enthusiasm these days.
posted by mumimor at 1:38 AM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


Are those loons nostalgic for polio too? I hear it was real big in the 50's.

The era their're nostalgic for didn't exist. They're nostalgic for a life that only existed in television programs such as "Father Knows Best", The Andy Griffith Show", "Make Room for Daddy" etal. Sad.
posted by james33 at 3:56 AM on March 31, 2018 [33 favorites]


The era their're nostalgic for didn't exist.

Just in regards to the first article - I think a lot, often, about a line from the military Code of Conduct. “I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.”

And I think about what it means to be committed to defend a way of life, and why it’s something that people can reasonably be asked to fight and die for it, and what you do when that “way of life” is different for different people.

I think it’s wrong to say that the era and way of life people are nostalgic for didn’t exist - it seems to me that it did exist in some towns and some places, for some people. Your conception of a way of life depends on what is transmitted to you orally by your parents, how you experienced childhood, and what you want to give to your kids- and in some places time moves slowly enough that it doesn’t change that much - or didn’t until recently. Maybe because television, or cable, or the internet, connected everything - but the fact remains that for a long time the only way you would experience culture was what you personally were immersed in. You just wouldn’t see how other people lived to be either offended or tempted by it, and I think that’s a huge factor in the perception that a way of life is completely disappearing.

And it’s true that as religiosity declines, it hasn’t been replaced with a secular shared community, but rather with a Balkanization of interests. I don’t think religion’s protective value was in its morals, but rather that it was a shared community experience that could be assumed - a reason to consider people as part of your “tribe”. I wonder a lot about what we could replace it with and how we could grow together.
posted by corb at 4:04 AM on March 31, 2018 [45 favorites]


If we want nuance, which the left used to embrace, it's more accurate to say Trump's race baiting won him the primary, and his fiery rebuke of free trade won him Ohio and Michigan in the general election. Those states pushed him over the top, and (as Michael Moore pointed out) those two states also helped elect a Black man with a Muslim last name, twice. Both states hit hard over free trade with their voters feeling betrayed and abandoned. Nope, in the rust belt, it was trade that fueled anti establishment resentment, and Trump exploited it.

Nope it was race. Analysis after analysis has shown the biggest influence/indication of a Trump vote was racial animus/grievance. And sure some voted for Obama. It's the "I have a black friend" excuse. It doesn't mean they're not racists, doesn't mean racism didn't drive them to vote for Trump. 8 years of Obama didn't show racism was over or cure it, it inflamed it, even in people who voted for him. People who were racist voted Obama because "he was a good one", because we'd had 8 years of terrible Bush, because of change, because of Iraq, because of the financial crash, because Palin was awful, because McCain ran a shitty campaign, etc. etc. It wasn't because they were not racists. And 8 years of Fox & Co constantly playing up the racial element, 8 years of still having to act not racist or getting called out for racism after you condescended to vote for a black man, etc, all built up more rage about it. Which Trump exploited.
Whether or not they identified with a party, most people who voted in the 2016 election were partisans. “Approximately 83 percent of voters were ‘consistent partisans,’ ” writes Sides. In other words, they voted for the same major party in both 2012 and 2016. This is the typical case. But about 9 percent of Donald Trump’s voters had backed Obama in the previous election, equivalent to roughly 4 percent of the electorate. Why? The popular answer, or at least the current conventional wisdom, is economic dislocation. But Sides is skeptical. He concludes that economic issues mattered, but no more or less than they did in the 2012 election. The same goes for views on entitlement programs, on trade, and on the state of the economy in general. The weight of those issues on vote choice was constant between the two election years.

What changed was the importance of identity. Attitudes toward immigration, toward black Americans, and toward Muslims were more correlated with voting Republican in 2016 than in 2012. Put a little differently, Barack Obama won re-election with the support of voters who held negative views toward blacks, Muslims, and immigrants. Sides notes that “37 percent of white Obama voters had a less favorable attitude toward Muslims” while 33 percent said “illegal immigrants” were “mostly a drain.” A separate analysis from political scientists Sam Popkin and Doug Rivers (and unrelated to the Voter Study Group) finds that 20 to 25 percent of white voters who oppose interracial dating—a decent enough proxy for racial prejudice—voted for Obama.* Not all of this occurred during the 2016 campaign—a number of white Obama voters shifted to the GOP in the years following his re-election. Nonetheless, writes Sides, “the political consequences in 2016 were the same: a segment of white Democrats with less favorable attitudes toward these ethnic and religious minorities were potential or actual Trump voters.”
posted by chris24 at 4:37 AM on March 31, 2018 [45 favorites]


I think it’s wrong to say that the era and way of life people are nostalgic for didn’t exist - it seems to me that it did exist in some towns and some places, for some people.

it absolutely DID exist because i remember it in a small midwestern factory city in the early 60s - i'm aware now that it wasn't that way for everyone and i'm not nostalgic for it at all - if you didn't conform or fit in quite right, it could be very oppressive

the 60s eventually killed it off - but that was a product of those being excluded demanding a place at the table and the contradictions that could no longer be smoothed over - not to mention that by the mid 70s most of the factories shut down ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:38 AM on March 31, 2018 [17 favorites]


by the way, i googled it and the title translates as "whitewashed tombs" - it's from matthew 23:27

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness."

very clever
posted by pyramid termite at 4:43 AM on March 31, 2018 [51 favorites]


More from another article on Obama to Trump voters.
Even if these numbers aren’t exact, they’re still important. Taken together, they seem to complicate one narrative around the election of Donald Trump: that it represents a swift backlash borne of white tribalism and white resentment. If some nonwhites voted for Trump and if some Trump-backing whites voted for Obama, how could it be racism? What does white nationalism have to do with it?

During the 2008 election, FiveThirtyEight relayed an anecdote from the campaign trail:
So a canvasser goes to a woman’s door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she’s planning to vote for. She isn’t sure, has to ask her husband who she’s voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, “We’re votin’ for the n***er!” Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: “We’re voting for the n***er.”
At the time, this was presented as an anecdote about Barack Obama’s popularity—about the possibility of racial solidarity. With hindsight, we know that reading was wrong. What this suggests, in truth, is that these voters tolerated Obama as the best available choice. He wasn’t a transformative figure; he didn’t signify a change of heart. At most, he wasn’t George W. Bush. At best, he was “one of the good ones,” someone they could respect, even if they viewed his group with fear and suspicion. And four years later, he wasn’t Mitt Romney, a man who embodied plutocracy in approach, affect, and attitude. These Americans voted for Obama and kept the white racial frame that shaped their understanding of their place in this country. [...]

We assume that the relative lack of racial violence over the last generation is because of a change of heart and attitude. And surely that has happened to some extent. But to what degree does it also reflect an erstwhile political consensus wherein leaders refused to litigate the question of multiracial democracy? Absent organized opposition to the idea that nonwhites were equal partners in government, there was no activation in the broad electorate. It wasn’t an issue people voted on, because they couldn’t.

Donald Trump changed that. With his tirades against nonwhites and foreign others, he reopened the argument. In effect, he gave white voters a choice: They could continue down the path of multiracial democracy—which coincided with the end of an order in which white workers were the first priority of national leaders—or they could reject it in favor of someone who offered that presumptive treatment. Who promised to “make America great again,” to make it look like the America of Trump’s youth and their youths, where whites—and white men in particular—were the uncontested masters of the country.

In the same way it has always been possible for white Americans to love black individuals and vote for the subjugation of black people, it is also possible to like Barack Obama and also yearn for a return to this idealized past, especially in a world that is tenuous and unstable. Which means that, in the case of the Obama/Trump voter, all we have is a case of simple preference order. When the choice was between Obama and a conventional Republican, these voters chose Obama. But when the choice was between Obama’s flawed successor and a man who promised to restore their greatness, Trump won.
posted by chris24 at 4:48 AM on March 31, 2018 [33 favorites]


I don't think religion is particularly the source of the various evils of the world, any more than in that it is an invention of humans and humans are the problem with humanity, but boy howdy does it make it easy to cover up and ignore problems and hard to convince people to change.
posted by Scattercat at 4:53 AM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


I have a relative who during the past few years has kept trying to pull some sort of Socratic thing during political discussions at family get-togethers where she'll stridently ask, "Why do you think the U.S. was so prosperous during the 1950s and 1960s?" and I'll respond by talking about the strength of unions and inauguration of institutions like Social Security, phenomena like tobacco and leaded gasoline producers effectively borrowing from the future by creating delayed negative externalities, and about the other places around the world which also had post-WWII booms. (Like, you know, the defeated countries Japan and Germany.) She gets all outraged and doesn't finish her point, but I assume she's angling for a claim of unique virtue on the part of the U.S. and moral fiber and the absence of pesky government regulations. Maybe one of these years she'll state her claim directly instead of just attempting rhetorical legerdemain.

Last Christmas she (a Boomer) also asked me (GenX) why I thought my generation has such a problem with drugs. My brother and I had a good laugh when I told him about that—someone from the generation of Woodstock, Scarface, and Rush Limbaugh addicted to oxycodone faulting us as too susceptible to drugs.
posted by XMLicious at 5:13 AM on March 31, 2018 [86 favorites]


I suppose you have the option of answering “high maximum income tax on the top brackets and strong government regulations of many industries” when asked about fifties-era prosperity, too
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:35 AM on March 31, 2018 [62 favorites]


The whole thing is such a shabby scam perpetuated both upon evangelicals and by them upon others. I don’t know how it could be any more obvious than in the living form of Donald Trump, but I will not be surprised if I live to find out.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:39 AM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


What does it mean to be an Evangelical today

Being immoral to force morals you don't live by on others.
posted by chris24 at 5:48 AM on March 31, 2018 [46 favorites]


Generation Z Is Less Religious Than Ever, and Evangelicals Don’t Know Why

(Carnac envelope to head) Because most evangelical leadership are hypocrites!

*reads article*

I was close, all I missed is that it was from the perspective of an opinionated and slightly zealous atheist who added another nuance.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:12 AM on March 31, 2018 [5 favorites]


I was a tiny cog in the Hillary GOTV machine, and I talked to a lot of Democrats in NC who would not vote for her because they thought she was corrupt. So I don’t blame her team as much as I blame Comey, the Russians, and the multi-decade GOP smear campaign. Sexism certainly didn’t help, but trade policy was not top of mind. Not to relitigate the primaries, but a lot of Bernie fans I talked to said they wouldn’t vote for Hillary.
posted by rikschell at 6:15 AM on March 31, 2018 [28 favorites]


I also did GOTV for Hillary, in a Democratic stronghold. The only time I got screamed at and physically chased off the property while out canvassing, it was millennial white-dreadlock urban liberals yelling at me about corruption. Free trade did not come up. Most of the working and middle class Black voters I contacted (anyone who has done canvassing knows that contacts are few and far between regardless, so the ns here are small) were enthusiastic and rightly terrified about the alternative.

Anyway. I arrived at the same LARP theory of American evangelicalism as Fred Clark, before I ever read anything by him. If there's one thing Trump can do, it's spin a ludicrous, dramatic, completely non-verifiable yarn in a way that slyly winks at the fact that no one literally believes what he just said, but he nonetheless gives permission for you to act like you did. That's evangelical catnip. He's the best DM that evangelical LARPers have ever had.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:48 AM on March 31, 2018 [62 favorites]


Good old-fashioned hatred is a powerful force, yet we look to other causes for some reason.
posted by tommasz at 6:48 AM on March 31, 2018 [7 favorites]


72 Hours in Clinton Country is a lovely parody to cleanse your palette.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:12 AM on March 31, 2018 [8 favorites]


It's important to remember just how many people are terrified of Islamicist terrorism.
That's part because cable tv news adores it, and provided splendid coverage of ISIS etc.
It's also because the US is still fighting the war on terror - you know, the longest war in American history.
posted by doctornemo at 7:16 AM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


Some of this reads like an updated Screwtape Letters with a very different ending.
posted by childofTethys at 7:20 AM on March 31, 2018 [8 favorites]


Some of this reads like an updated Screwtape Letters with a very different ending.

*suddenly gasps, looking uncomfortably lost in memories for a few minutes*
posted by loquacious at 7:31 AM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Gerson piece ("The Last Temptation") is a bullshit attempt to draw daylight between the evangelical backing of his ex-boss GWB and evangelical backing of the current POTUS. I'm going to take a hard line that if you're writing a piece on the evangelicals sacrificing their espoused values for secular power and your only mention of the Southern Baptists is a throwaway line about Russell Moore, you're full of shit.
posted by PMdixon at 7:31 AM on March 31, 2018 [7 favorites]


To blame Clinton's defeat (yes yes, I know) on Russia, Race, and Sexism plays well with the corporate base, but it flies in the face of one grand sweeping impossible to ignore fact, pretty much everyone in America, liberal and conservative both, thinks America's trade policies favor the 1% over the 99% and Democrats must nominate a Presidential candidate who position on trade mirrors that of most Americans or we risk getting a second term of Trump.

"yes there were a plethora of 'but-for' causes of the election's outcome but it should be clear to everyone that the one I've chosen as important is the one to generalize from!"
posted by PMdixon at 7:34 AM on March 31, 2018 [19 favorites]


More about characterizing Trump voters

Has there been anything about Trump appealing to people who like malice? Who like chaotic behavior?
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:48 AM on March 31, 2018 [13 favorites]


Has anyone written an article exploring Trump as the anti-Christ of Revelations and Evangelical support as intentionally bringing on the Second Coming in the optimistic view that they'll be among the chosen? (yes, I know there's fiction that's trodden that ground)
posted by kokaku at 8:19 AM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


To blame Clinton's defeat (yes yes, I know) on Russia, Race, and Sexism plays well with the corporate base, but it flies in the face of one grand sweeping impossible to ignore fact, pretty much everyone in America, liberal and conservative both, thinks America's trade policies favor the 1% over the 99% and Democrats must nominate a Presidential candidate who position on trade mirrors that of most Americans or we risk getting a second term of Trump.

This research note A Note on the Effect of Rising Trade Exposure in the 2016 Election has not been fully peer-reviewed but it does suggest that exposure to trade affected the 2016 election enough that Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina might have stayed in the Democratic column if the growth rate of Chinese import penetration had been 50% lower during the period of analysis. On the other hand, the American National Election Study data in the article from The Nation Economic Anxiety Didn't Make People Vote for Trump is fairly clear that racial attitudes played a much stronger role in vote choice in the 2016 than voter perceptions of the economy. (And I'd hardly call The Nation pro-corporate or Russophobic.) I think the election between Trump and Clinton was close enough that the effect of trade policies could have affected outcomes on the margins, but the political science research is pretty clear that the effect is smaller than the effect of race.
posted by jonp72 at 8:28 AM on March 31, 2018 [13 favorites]


The effect of manufacturing decline on a county's vote share for Trump also differed based on whether the county was ethnically diverse:

The share of employment in the manufacturing sector and long-run manufacturing job loss at the county level are not statistically significant in explaining the change in Republican vote shares from 2012 to 2016, when controlling for standard voting determinants. However, the change in the Republican vote share is positively correlated with manufacturing in predominantly white counties and negatively correlated with manufacturing in ethnically diverse counties, with these effects roughly offsetting each other. (cite)
posted by jonp72 at 8:32 AM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's frustrating to see another attempt to rewrite the history of the last election. ... You win elections by getting your base out to vote, and whatever you might think about Hillary her campaign failed at GOTV.

I like how your comment about rewriting failed to mention the Comey letter, which singlehandedly moved a blowout election to a toss-up.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 8:39 AM on March 31, 2018 [19 favorites]


It's frustrating to see another attempt to rewrite the history of the last election. ... You win elections by getting your base out to vote, and whatever you might think about Hillary her campaign failed at GOTV.
---
I like how your comment about rewriting failed to mention the Comey letter, which singlehandedly moved a blowout election to a toss-up.


It also doesn't mention the lack of the Voting Rights Act protections for the first time in a presidential election and the corresponding drop in minority turnout.

And your linked article was written two days after the election, doesn't reference the Pew study you say it does, and is wrong on turnout. It says turnout was 56%. We know from the actual Pew study that came later in 2017 that turnout was 61.4% which matched 2012. Even with the massive minority voter suppression.

Yes, turnout is very important. No, Clinton didn't suck at it.
posted by chris24 at 8:47 AM on March 31, 2018 [28 favorites]


Your article is so dated and wrong it says Clinton got 6 million fewer votes than Obama did in 2012. She didn't, they both got 65.9 million. Maybe best to use articles from after the vote counting is finished when talking about turnout.
posted by chris24 at 8:55 AM on March 31, 2018 [15 favorites]


[Getting away from the subject of the thread here; let's reel it back in.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:13 AM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


I have so many thoughts on these articles, and my brain is still a little migraine addled, so I'll probably be commenting more than once. But the first thing that pops into my head is that this particular strain of Christianity has been claiming persecution since at least my grandmother's day. I guarantee you that if any of the geezers in the first article were preaching back in the 1950s that they're so nostalgic for now, their sermons back then included at least a sentence or two about how horribly Christians were being treated compared to the 1930s. It's like they can still smell the Romans and lions.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:18 AM on March 31, 2018 [14 favorites]




I'm kind of surprised and dismayed that the role of sexism in the election is dismissed or given a token acknowledgement, given the subject of the FPP; the religious right has typically been strongly patriarchical (despite the occasional woman preacher), and nothing matters more to them than denying a woman's right to choose. And there's always been a strong streak of hypocrisy in the movement regarding cheating men; the biggest scandals in evangelist America were Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker, and both of those men are on the air today. (Swaggart never stopped; Bakker's career was interrupted by his felony conviction and prison sentence, but he's back on the air hawking food buckets to preppers. Here's his statement WRT arming teachers, BTW.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:45 AM on March 31, 2018 [34 favorites]


But not all who seek help are worthy of it, she said. The church has to be a good steward of its money, so there are criteria for assistance, and she asks whether people attend church regularly.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Matthew 5:42-47

White Plains Baptist Church… A painting can be seen above their baptismal pool.
That looks just like the painting behind the baptismal pool of the Baptist Church my primary school was attached to. It's hard to judge scale in the picture, but ours was mural sized, so you were supposed to have the feeling that you were being immersed and a life-sized river. It was always curtained off during chapel, but it was our backstage area for pageants and things so it was always dimly-lit back there which only helped the illusion. Getting serious flashbacks here.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:49 AM on March 31, 2018 [5 favorites]


Nazis & white nationalists dont just appear out of thin air.

THe quote "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag & bearing a cross" is of disputed provenance. Doeesn't make it any less accurate.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:02 AM on March 31, 2018 [24 favorites]


As a Christian, you as a human being can forgive another human being's sins being actively committed against you. You are not God. Unfortunately for the sinner, God requires repentance of those sins before forgiving them. A come to Jesus moment is all about this. You don't waltz your way into the Christian heaven having died in the middle of murdering someone who forgave you.
posted by smallerdemon at 11:47 AM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


"Has anyone written an article exploring Trump as the anti-Christ of Revelations and Evangelical support as intentionally bringing on the Second Coming in the optimistic view that they'll be among the chosen? (yes, I know there's fiction that's trodden that ground)"

I doubt this. For to think Trump is the anti-Christ, they would essentially have to be supporting him, which would probably not support going to heaven.

It's not an unreasonable line of inquiry, however, as some of them have explicately supported policies that are referenced in the book of Revelations (supporting the state of Israel, hoping to see the Temple of Solomon rebuilt, etc).

Also, they are happy to use Anti-Christ rhetoric when referring to political opponents (Hilary, Obama, etc), but not generally the politicians they support (even if there might be a better fit there).
posted by el io at 4:09 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


I was never Christian, but I do get it.

It's deeper than tribalism. Everyone wants to believe they are a unique and special human being with a variety of characteristics that distinguish them from others. It's your identity, it's how you express yourself. For most of us here, it's our job, but it could be your education, your general knowledge, your hobbies, or some combination. Whatever YOU are that isn't just Generic Human Being.

So what do you do when you and your spouse have unfulfilling jobs that are basically the same as everyone else's, and not enough time to engage in meaningful fulfilling hobbies? When everyone's house is basically the same, everyone's car is basically the same, and everyone's watching the same TV and eating at the same chain restaurants and ordering the same consumer goods online?

I believe that in that situation, people latch on to whatever is left: their race, their nationality, their language, their citizenship, and their religion. Things they were born with, instead of things they've done.

Send each Middle American family art supplies and radical music and obscure books and crazy clothes. Start ultra-local TV stations and unique weird restaurants on every corner. Get people gardening, and writing, and playing sports again. Give everyone a way to be unique and autonomous and different, and they won't need to depend on their race and religion to define themselves.
posted by miyabo at 4:20 PM on March 31, 2018 [15 favorites]


Everyone wants to believe they are a unique and special human being with a variety of characteristics that distinguish them from others.

Not necessarily. American individualism says that being unique is vitally important; in many cultures, a person's sense of self-worth is tied to the community, not to whatever unique traits they have. They are content and confident when they feel connected to the people around them; acting different is considered risky. Change is considered more likely to be destructive than advantageous.

American white evangelism draws a lot on those tropes: everyone is supposed to know their place in the world and in society, assigned by deity and interpreted by Wise Men Who Understand Deity. Even questioning that, never mind actually picking a different path, opens up the whole community to unknown dangers.

Note, especially, the number of women involved in traditional white evangelical communities. The system doesn't put them on top - they're supposed to be polite, complacent, and subservient to men. And they're often willing to put up with that, to have their individuality stifled, in exchange for the security of knowing what everyone's roles are. They don't want individuality; they want the assurance that following the rules will stave off hardships.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:17 PM on March 31, 2018 [19 favorites]


So - I think I heard someone say this once w/r/t Trump.

Basically they referred to Trump as a King Cyrus/Koresh. In the sense of being this messianic figure, but who is not part of their group, and further, acknowledging the moral gulf issue, excuse it by claiming Trump as "an agent of God" in the same way God used Cyrus was a sort of messiah figure liberating the Jewish people to Jerusalem.

And I thought I bet that's it. That's their theological justification - "the greater good" / "ends justify the means".
posted by symbioid at 5:45 PM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


Here's the full Forbes post that Artw's post references, which was subsequently taken down: Why White Evangelicalism is So Cruel.
posted by BartonFink at 7:19 PM on March 31, 2018 [5 favorites]


Nazis & white nationalists dont just appear out of thin air.

From Deutsche Welle's Reporter (video, in English), sort of a mirror universe going on in Germany: Right-wing extremists have always been anticlerical (direct .mp4 link)
posted by XMLicious at 7:19 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


in many cultures, a person's sense of self-worth is tied to the community, not to whatever unique traits they have

I asked my Chinese professor why China's government insists that they are a country of 56 distinct ethnicities (which is constantly emphasized on state TV and in schools and such), when of course more than 90% of the population and 100% of the leaders are Han Chinese. My professor said this: "Without the minorities, there would be no Han." The government made the Han a tribe, by emphasizing the existence of the people who aren't in the tribe (even though there are not very many of them).

If we're not careful, that may happen (by accident) to white people in America.
posted by miyabo at 7:42 PM on March 31, 2018 [7 favorites]


Minor derail, but how is the post's title in Greek while the URL is in English? Mod edit?
posted by Rhaomi at 7:48 PM on March 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


This is supported behaviour on the posting page (I think, I only previewed my test). You can even mix different alphabets in the title field.
posted by Mitheral at 7:54 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


Christianity has been claiming persecution since at least my grandmother's day. [...] It's like they can still smell the Romans and lions.

Shocking, isn’t it, that people whose theology holds that being persecuted for your faith is a token of righteousness will keep finding reasons to see themselves as being persecuted for their faith.

Note, especially, the number of women involved in traditional white evangelical communities. The system doesn't put them on top - they're supposed to be polite, complacent, and subservient to men. And they're often willing to put up with that, to have their individuality stifled, in exchange for the security of knowing what everyone's roles are. They don't want individuality; they want the assurance that following the rules will stave off hardships.

They also tend to seriously resent the hell out of (as much as, if not more than, their male counterparts) those women who refuse to go along with the patriarchal program.
posted by non canadian guy at 8:14 PM on March 31, 2018 [5 favorites]


To blame Clinton's defeat (yes yes, I know) on Russia, Race, and Sexism plays well with the corporate base, but it flies in the face of one grand sweeping impossible to ignore fact, pretty much everyone in America, liberal and conservative both, thinks America's trade policies favor the 1% over the 99% and Democrats must nominate a Presidential candidate who position on trade mirrors that of most Americans or we risk getting a second term of Trump.

Are you "yes, yes I know" handwaveing the fact that Clinton won the popular vote? That 2.8M more people voted for her than Trump? That Trump is president because the electoral collage weighs some votes more heavily than others? Because since your argument seems to be about how to win elections, then the fact that one candidate was in fact, more popular than the other, isn't a reasonable thing to wave away.

There is zero evidence that anybody gives a shit about trade policies. It's not a credible conclusion to draw from exit polling, candidate messaging, voter behavior or interviews.

In fact, the only thing that has changed on trade policy since the 2016 election is that Trump has done a bunch of stuff to pander to this mythically important out of work white male steelworker. And yet in like 10 recent special elections in Midwestern, Southern and Republican leaning states, Democrats are getting swings of +15 to +60 points.

So Trumps pandering doesn't matter. Democratic pandering wouldn't matter. It would just be one more way to make everything all about a small, and getting smaller, segment of the white vote.

But in fact voters of the party that is out of power are always fired up when they're out of power, and more so when they really hate the party actually in power. That's why it's rare for a president to come from the same party as the previous party. That's why we're not seeing Tea Party rallies, but leftist rallies. That's why Democrats are turning out to special elections at 80% of general election turnout and Republicans are turning out at 50%.

Pushing the one party that has ever proved itself capable of increasing spending on social services and taxes on the wealthy away from its base (women and POC) to chase after the same, what 70,000 white dudes in the Midwest, is a recipe for disaster.
posted by mrmurbles at 8:36 PM on March 31, 2018 [24 favorites]


Mitheral: "This is supported behaviour on the posting page (I think, I only previewed my test). You can even mix different alphabets in the title field."

Sorry, didn't phrase it clearly -- I meant the difference between the "τάφοις κεκονιαμένοις" at the top of the page and the "whitewashed-tombs" in the page's URL. I ended up using the Contact form -- according to cortex, it's something the mods add on their end for SEO purposes whenever somebody submits a non-text title. Mystery solved!
posted by Rhaomi at 9:17 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also, we've had RSS problems with special characters in titles, plus just not being able to see the title of the page in the address. (like this page on Rhaomi's last comment would just show as "https://www.metafilter.com/173294#7361955" without the fix)
posted by taz at 1:06 AM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


Generation Z Is Less Religious Than Ever, and Evangelicals Don't Know Why

Internet.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:03 AM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


The internet is also responsible for New Atheism, which is the alt-right with a smear of logic, so there's that.
posted by Yowser at 7:33 AM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


Canvasser hears him yell back, “We’re votin’ for the n***er!” Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: “We’re voting for the n***er.”

Jesus. Were they canvassing in Rock Ridge?
posted by haileris23 at 1:01 PM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


FFS Clinton won the election, but was thwarted by the electoral college. Democrats had an election winning platform. The long term solution is either to introduce truly democratic elections for President, or for the Democratic Party to better target its pandering to a few low information voters in certain midwestern states. I’m not holding my breath for the former outcome.
posted by monotreme at 10:15 PM on April 1, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think it's extremely unhelpful to try and to reduce an incredibly complicated question like why millions of people voted a certain way to one silver bullet, like there's One Weird Trick for electing a semi-coherent populist reality TV star. Yes, it's racism, yes, it's the economy, yes it's sexism and Comey and a long legacy of anti-Hillary sentiment. It is all those things. I will note that economic populism is at least a potential non-terrible direction to point ourselves in as far as messaging for future Democratic candidates goes.

If we decide that racism was the one and only reason that we're in this horrible mess, I'm not sure how we move forward. Getting out the vote is important, but we still need to change some people's minds. Explanations like racism and sexism may be compelling, but if we start from the assumption that Trump voters are de facto racist, they're just going to hear "deplorable."
posted by zeusianfog at 11:33 AM on April 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


It's not racism; it's not sexism; it's not anti-intellectualism; it's people whose happiness depends on knowing someone else is miserable.

And that often gets expressed as some form of -ism, because they can justify their sadism by claiming that "other" group of people don't deserve full rights, aren't full people, need to know their place - which is to accept whatever garbage the ruling class throws at them.

However, as mentioned, this doesn't make a good talking point for Democratic candidates; they can't effectively campaign on, "we're against those people who don't care how bad things get as long as someone else has it worse." But they also don't need to win over "deplorable" voters - they need to get progressive voters to the polls. Persuading the decent people who get caught up in the deplorable rhetoric is a separate activity, not directly connected to campaigning. That's a long, slow, hearts-and-minds process, and it includes electing progressives who can tackle the education system and media regulation.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 11:50 AM on April 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


"FFS Clinton won the election, but was thwarted by the electoral college."

This is certainly off topic, but NO SHE DIDN'T. She did not win the election. She won the popular vote. But in the US the election isn't determined by the popular vote. The constitution clearly states how elections are won, and thinking otherwise is being a 'low information' voter.
posted by el io at 12:10 PM on April 2, 2018 [5 favorites]


it's people whose happiness depends on knowing someone else is miserable.

It is more complicated and more intractable than that. There's a lot of social science research on happiness that shows people's perception of their own comfort is largely dependent on their perception of relative comfort compared to others. And I think it's wrong to view that as a mean-spirited 'thank god those people have it worse' so much as the fact that humans are social creatures and social status matters to them.

(I think there are also problems with how advertising and media interact with this: even TV shows supposedly about 'normal people' have houses about three times the size of what people with those professions can afford and designer clothes beyond the grasp of most.)

The problem is more, as I see it: knowing that humans gain satisfaction from perceived social status, how do you structure a society such that it can be hierarchical while still being somewhat fair? And that - in a way - is one thing we're shifting to now, or at least the rumblings of it. Reputational status, where you gain social status by how you treat others and lose social status by how poorly you treat others, is a thing you can see struggling to be born. But it's going to involve an enormous amount of loss, as people who were previously on the top in social status will find themselves on the bottom, and those on the middle will find themselves falling as well. And it's going to involve a lot of turmoil - the reputational status of tomorrow is not the reputational status of yesterday, which means it's less transmissional. Like - there's almost no stigma against babies born 'out of wedlock' these days, which is great! But it also means that people who previously gained status for having babies inside the confines of marriage lose status in a relative sense, as do the children who previously had the 'good' status of being born to married parents.

But that is definitely far too complicated for any politician to talk about.
posted by corb at 12:12 PM on April 2, 2018 [1 favorite]




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