I’ve been wondering whether or not to write this post, and some words from a friend (which were difficult to hear) helped me realize that I need to write this. In addition, I have seen multiple friends and acquaintances - and their kids - be the targets of harassment and hate.
I have already made it clear my feelings about politics, and I have written some about certain candidates before. As before, my concern isn’t so much with politics: candidates and parties come and go. I do not believe our hope lies in political power anyway. But politics says things about us and who we are, and it is that which I address in this post.
I had a series of conversations a few years back that went like this:
Liberal Atheist Acquaintances: The GOP is deeply racist at heart, and given a chance, they will vote for a David Duke.
Me: No way. I know my tribe better than that. They’re not like that. They’re generally decent people.
Liberal Atheist Acquaintances: Yes way. Not only that, but your Christian friends will vote for anyone who promises to end abortion. They’d vote for David Duke. They’d vote for anyone. And defend his worst behavior.
Me: You’re kidding me, right? We have standards, believe me.
[2016 Election occurs]
Me: Oh crap. They were right.
This election has shaken me like nothing else. A lot of people I know were not who I thought they were, and I cannot look at them the same way ever again. And some institutions have proven that their critics were indeed correct on many points. (Here’s looking at you, GOP and Evangelical leaders…)
Let me start with a story.
A Tale of a Hate Crime
A couple of weeks ago, there was an incident in my hometown of Bakersfield. Balmeet Singh is a young man in our community, a realtor and health clinic administrator. He was born in Ohio, but grew up here, attended local schools, and now lives and works in his hometown.
He also wears a turban.
Two weeks ago, he was accosted outside a restaurant where he was going for a family event. The man who assaulted him threw his soda over him, and threatened his life, saying, “You blow up this country!”
For Mr. Singh, the worst was not that a vile man poured out his hate. It was that as he was being threatened and assaulted, he scanned the faces of the other patrons, looking for assistance or someone who would at least meet his eye and show support. And everyone looked away.
[Note: Yes I know the difference between Muslims and Sikhs. No, it doesn't matter in this context.]
[Note: Yes I know the difference between Muslims and Sikhs. No, it doesn't matter in this context.]
This is about the most embarrassing thing that my fellow Bakersfieldians could have done. Would anyone defend against hate? Perhaps not. That’s sad.
After the fact, many did come forward in support, which is heartening. And our local law enforcement did the right thing by charging the perpetrator. But that doesn’t kill the sting of what happened.
The bottom line is, a prejudiced person assaulted and threatened someone because of who they were, where their ancestors came from, and their religion.
And everyone else there just stood by and watched.
Mr. Singh would be fully justified in concluding that he could not count on our community to defend him if he ever needed it. I would like to think I would have stood up and helped. (I have defended people who were being bullied before.) But I also realized that I need to get out of my seat and stand up in another situation.
That bigots exist is not surprising. That bigots go unchallenged and given tacet support is the problem.
This story is true, and it is just one of many incidents nationwide. In the times we live in, there are people who will inflict their bigotry on unpopular groups.
However, these small-scale incidents just synecdoche. They are everyday examples of what is happening on a national basis.
There is a person running for the highest office in our nation who is the man who assaulted Balmeet Singh. His entire campaign is based on fear and hatred of other groups. He rose to prominence and built his support on the basis of this fear and hatred.
If one could sum up his message, it is this:
Our country was great before the brown skinned people, within and without, ruined it for the “real” (white) Americans. I will make it great again by removing and excluding and harassing and blaming the brown skinned people like we used to.
He said, “You blow up our country!” to Muslims. He called for excluding them from our country, terminating their constitutional rights to freedom of religion and freedom from unreasonable searches, subjecting them to government surveillance. He blamed them for the crimes of anyone sharing their religion or national origin.
There are roughly 3.3 million Muslims in the United States. This person has for all intents and purposes upended his drink on them, threatened to use the power of the government against them, and blamed them for our nation’s problems.
There is a person running for the highest office in our nation who has said to Latinos, “You blow up our country!” He has accused them of being rapists, drug dealers, leaches. (And maybe a few good people.) He has said that having Mexican ancestors prevents one from being a fair judge. He has called for the mass expulsion of 11 million people. This would be called an ethnic cleansing if another nation was doing it. He has built his campaign around the promise to build a “YUGE” wall to keep Hispanics out of our country. He has blamed Hispanics for our nation’s problems.
There is a person running for the highest office in our nation who has said to African Americans, “You blow up our country!” He has said their neighborhoods are worse than war zones, and that they (“other communities - you know who I am talking about”) will be stealing the election. As with Muslims and Hispanics, he blames African Americans for our nation’s problems.
This is what his campaign was founded on. It is what built his support. It is the one defining belief he has (other than self-aggrandizement) - the one “value” that dates back his entire life. (One laughable claim was that nobody accused him of being racist before the election. You mean other than that Justice Department lawsuit? Or the overwhelming proof that he systematically refused to rent to African Americans?)
How did he end up in politics in the first place? By claiming despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that our current President isn’t American, but Kenyan. GOP candidates John McCain and Ted Cruz were indisputably born overseas, a fact that never bothered GOP voters, apparently. Which is a pretty good indication that “Kenyan” is a shorthand for “Black Democrat.”
How did he build his campaign? With a call for the expulsion of 11 million brown-skinned people from the United States and the exclusion of other brown skinned people from the country. That is what he ran on, what he continues to run on, and the one constant in his campaign from start to finish. “You blow up our country!” is what his campaign is about. He has essentially tossed his drink all over the Muslims, Hispanics, and African Americans - anybody not White, really - and stands there screaming “YOU ruined our country, and YOU are the reason we have problems.” And the way to fix the problems is to “take our country back” from all the brown skinned people by excluding, expelling, and blaming them. “Make America Great Again,” the way it was before the brown skinned people ruined it.
And as he does his screaming on national television, we watch.
And, like the people in our local restaurant, there is a huge group of people who are sitting there, refusing to make eye contact, refusing to help, refusing to tell the angry hateful bigot to go home and sober up.
Worse than that, they are the single most reliable group voting for this bigot.
This group is White Evangelicals, who appear poised to vote for Donald Trump to the tune of 94%.
In fact, there are two factors that correlate with support for Trump among Whites more than any others.
The first is education. Specifically, the lack thereof. Uneducated whites support Trump by a large percentage.
But the other, every bit as strongly correlated, is religion. If you are White and Evangelical, the vast majority of you are voting for Trump. Not everyone, obviously. There is the five percent, and I know some of them. And I applaud. But there is a problem still:
Even those Evangelical leaders who have broken with the rest - Phillip Yancy, Russell Moore, Ray Comfort - they have not been willing to mention Trump’s racism. Sure, they mention his insults to women, to disabled people, his general lack of morality. But they won’t mention the elephant in the room - the reason people voted for Trump in the primaries! - his promise to expel, exclude, and blame brown skinned people.
You know what this says about you, Yancy, Moore, Comfort, and a few others? That if Trump wasn’t demeaning to women, the disabled, and veterans, then his racism wouldn’t be an obstacle to your endorsement.
And this holds for those (very few) Evangelical friends and family who are refusing to vote Trump. I have heard a lot about his atrocious treatment of women (which is certainly a problem) but very, very little about his racism.
As Evangelicals sit there and refuse to make eye contact with the Muslims, Latinos, and African Americans that Trump has insulted and threatened and blamed, what should we conclude?
I see only three possibilities:
- Evangelicals are cowards. They don’t like the racism, but are too chicken to get out of their seats, and stand alongside Muslims, Hispanics, and African Americans and tell Trump to go home and sober up. The embarrassment of voting outside of their party or facing their friends and family and being called a traitor for breaking rank may just be too much to face. This is shameful. I refuse to be one of these.
- Evangelicals don’t give a crap about racism. Not really. They believe that racism is a secondary issue at best, and that White Nationalism is not a deal breaker. I see this in the way that they change the topic to abortion every time someone like me focuses on the racism of Trump’s campaign. (This could be a topic for another post: how the utopian vision that reversing Roe v. Wade would effectively end abortion allows Evangelicals to support and embrace evil - and the harm of others - and still feel good about themselves…) This is like sitting in that Bakersfield restaurant and saying, “I’d like to defend you, but the bigot that just assaulted you promised to give $20.00 to Right to Life this year, and, well…”
- White Evangelicals agree with Trump’s racism. And this is the one that scares me most, because I have seen increasing evidence that this is very, very true about a significant majority of White Evangelicals. The things they have said this election cycle have far too often mirrored the Trump platform - and look nothing like the Jesus Christ I was taught about as a child. I cannot unsee what they have posted. I cannot unhear what they have said. And you know what? There is a pattern. I had a conversation with an African American friend of mine, and she agreed that the hateful, racist stuff we see posted is coming from self-proclaimed devout Evangelicals. It isn’t our atheist friends. It isn’t our Buddhist friends. It’s Evangelicals. As she put it, there are people that we may not unfriend, but that we really cannot continue to have significant personal and professional contact with after this.
Just like it has been puzzling to me that, outside of a few elites, the GOP seems unconcerned that it stands to lose several generations of Latino voters like it did with African American voters after the Goldwater debacle; so also it has been puzzling to me that white Evangelicals right now seem unconcerned that they are alienating pretty much every non-white with their behavior right now.
This is more consistent with Evangelicalism really being a social club for white people, concerned with the preservation of white power and cultural dominance than with actually, I don’t know, following Christ or loving one’s neighbor, or anything like that. Should it grieve us deeply that our fellow humans are being grossly slandered because of their religion, national origin, and skin color? Doesn’t that bother us at all?
Let me go even further here. White Evangelicals, we are being watched right now by a whole lot of people. Hispanics are watching to see if we really accept them as Christians and as Americans. Do we have their back, or would we really prefer to see a whole lot fewer of them around? African Americans are watching. Are we going to blame them - again - for our nation’s problems? Are we going to respond to our own fears by more police harassment yet again? Muslim Americans are watching too. Will they be welcomed into our society, or is ISIS right that their only hope is violence against us? Refugees are watching. Will the United States see their peril and help? Will we fulfil what we say we stand for? Or are we just as tribalist as the evil they are fleeing? Are we really pro-life? Or only when it doesn’t ask anything of us?
And I want the voting core of White Evangelicalism - those over age 50, who are the strongest Trump supporters - to realize this too: we younger people are watching too. And we are not just deciding if we will vote GOP now and in the future. Chances are, if the statistics are any indication, we won’t be. And you and your behavior are the prime reason why not. But we are making other decisions as well, particularly the Millennials:
Is Christianity in general, and Evangelicalism in particular, an ethically justifiable group to belong too, or is it as morally bankrupt as it looks right now?
Because I’ll admit it. What has tried my faith more than anything over the last few years is that Evangelicalism - particularly the organizations - seems completely uninterested in living out the command to love our neighbor, and far too cozy with White Supremacy. (Also the obsession with sexuality and gender roles - but I’ve posted about that before - and the racism is getting impossible to ignore.)
This isn’t an intellectual struggle over specific beliefs. This is a moral struggle: can I still be a moral and ethical person and associate with Evangelicalism? I’m not sure anymore, and I am troubled.
And I am not the only one. I have had a number of discussions with friends and acquaintances, and many of us are horrified to discover how racist friends and family are in many cases. We are horrified that after everything we were taught during the Clinton years about morality, all that went out the window as soon as the person had an (R) after the name. It appears that in the end, the only thing that matters to most Evangelicals is political power.
Is maintaining political power really worth losing the next few generations?
As I said above, I don’t care about the GOP. It can go to hell for all I care at this point. Same with the Dems. I loathe our current politics. I still care about Evangelicalism, though, and it deeply troubles me how quickly and thoroughly it chose to throw its lot in with White Nationalism - and how it doesn’t seem to care!
I’ll be blunt.
I have no reason right now to trust Evangelicalism or most Evangelicals about any moral issue whatsoever. You just sacrificed all of your moral credibility this election. You sold your soul.
You can’t just excuse bad behavior of all sorts - but specifically racism and the appeal to racial hatred as the core of the campaign - and expect that people will consider you to be moral. You have just proven that your “moral” core consists of lust for power and tribalism toward anyone outside of your group.
I’d say I’m sorry for being harsh, but I’m not. White Evangelicals have had ample opportunity to prove me wrong this election, and at every turn, they have made things worse.
There has been ample time to say “No! This is not okay and we will not support this!” There has been ample opportunity to call hate and racism what they are. But the silence has been deafening. And that is why I wrote this post. I cannot remain silent and live with my own conscience.
So, perhaps as the best summary here: Some stink never comes off.
What is left at this point is a question: Is the stink from embracing a skunk, or from being a skunk. We’re watching. Choose this day which it will be.
This election, Evangelicals have stood by and supported someone who threw a lot of racist crap everywhere. My children and grandchildren will be the ones having to clean up this crap long after the white Baby Boomers are dead and gone. The damage you have done to their world is far more than you realize. If you want your religious tradition to continue, maybe you could stop lecturing us about voting Republican and stop spreading the crap. Maybe even grab a shovel and help us clean up after you. Just saying.
Pollster Nate Silver’s sports and culture website, 538.com, is a surprisingly good source for helpful information on political issues. He and his staff tend to link to good primary sources, and clarify the issues.
This article gives the data showing that for whites, religion is THE MOST predictive variable. More so than education, income, or even gender.
Also interesting is this Politico article written during the primary, before Trump became the GOP nominee. The trait that characterized Trump supporters was a support for Authoritarianism. If you look closely, there is a strong racist bent to this, as it is about restoring the prior racial order. It also manifests in other ways, such as the theocratic tendency among Evangelicals and a belief in the subordination of women.
The most consistent voices from within Evangelicalism condemning Trump - and willing to say “racism” - are coming from women. Some, like Rachel Held Evans, have been pretty much kicked out the door already by the powers that be. (This after being harassed by notorious White Supremacist Doug Wilson.)
This article, which a female friend posted, is another voice from a younger, female Evangelical. I don’t agree with everything, and I am again troubled by the writer’s failure to mention race. But I think she is focusing not on the candidate, but on why Boomers are losing credibility. On that score she is correct. I also made the following comment regarding this article:
There is a lot I agree with here. Particularly the ones about expecting us to swallow lies and not fact check stuff. Here are a few I might add for myself:
1. You would have a lot more credibility when you talk about Hillary Clinton if you hadn’t said the exact same things (and often worse) about President Obama. Eight years of conspiracy theories about someone who, regardless of whether you like his politics, has proven to be a genuinely decent person.
2. On a related note, whenever you talk about things like the end of the 2nd Amendment, I all hear is the 8 years of fear mongering that Obama would take away our guns. As the author points out, Fox News and Breitbart do not overrule reality.
3. White Boomers have in the course of this election revealed some very disturbing things about themselves. (Not all, but a large majority.) These have been revealed through what they have said when we discuss issues. And the most disturbing is this: At best, overt racism is not a deal breaker for Boomers. And for far too many, it is what attracts them to Trump and the GOP. The worst and most hateful things I have heard on race all came from Evangelicals this year. And most was from Boomers. You have a problem, folks, and you will have no credibility with us until you fix it.
4. We’re tired of pretending that the only Supreme Court issues that matter are abortion and gay marriage. We don’t want a Roy Moore on the Supreme Court. We don’t want a Sheriff Joe as AG either. We also care about our 4th Amendment rights – and we are disturbed when police brutality is excused. We see the effect that “stop and frisk” laws have on our friends of color. We care about voting rights, and recent attempts to disenfranchise African American voters disturbs us. We care about ending sexual harassment. We don’t think corporations need even more power. These issues matter too, and are very much about the powerful getting their way. Many of us believe that the kind of justices you want will also tend to side with the powerful on these issues.
5. I’m further to the left than this author, and left the GOP after the latest government shutdown. It became obvious at that time that “Christianity” apparently meant “no Obamacare.” If that is a core Christian belief (and I don’t believe it is), explain to me exactly why you think your religion is about Jesus Christ, and not just about politics.
6. I don’t think Boomers have really realized what is at stake here. Politics and politicians come and go, and most of us Gen Xers don’t exactly trust any of it. But right now, many of us have been forced by what you have said and done regarding this election to reconsider if we can remain in Evangelicalism without having to compromise our morality. I see very little of Christ in Evangelicalism right now, and a whole lot of Trump. Do you realize that? I really don’t care about what happens to the GOP. Or the Democratic Party for that matter. But when a political battle like this leaves me questioning my faith like this, doesn’t that disturb you? You keep bemoaning the fact that Xers and Millennials are leaving the church. Why might this be so? It isn’t the lack of hipness. It’s the moral bankruptcy of your politics.
I’ll add that one of the other responses was from a Trump supporter trumpeting that it was (in the commenter’s view) younger people from the Alt-Right - an expressly White Supremacist movement - that were the backbone of Trump’s support. As if this were something to be proud of.
I also think a few articles by Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie are helpful. (Again, White Evangelicals need to get their heads out of the Breitbart and Fox News quicksand and read voices outside the white conservative bubble.)
First is this one, which recounts the Goldwater debacle, and the risk to the GOP of alienating Latinos for generations.
And for those Republicans who don’t want Trump or Trumpism? It may be too late. The thing about a lily-white Republican Party is that it doesn’t have the diversity it needs to resist white resentment and white rage. Republicans crossed a point of no return. Raw ethnonationalism is their future, even if they don’t want it.
The same applies to Evangelicalism - except with greater spiritual consequences.
The second article captures my horror at what the GOP has been willing to tolerate in order to maintain political power. I will say it again: this applies in exactly the same way to Evangelicalism.
There’s a logic here, and it’s not hard to see. When it comes to voting, it doesn’t matter to Republicans that Trump is anathema to nonwhites and religious minorities. Neither black Americans nor Latinos nor Muslim Americans are going to vote for the GOP in significant numbers, and the party as a result is unresponsive to those communities, if not openly contemptuous of their concerns.
For the last year, through Donald Trump, Republicans have shown what they can live with. And what they can live with is a nominee whose chief appeal is his overt, unapologetic racism, and whose plans would remake America into a whites-only country, with suspicion and hostility for those on the other side of the color divide.
Again, replace the word “Republicans” with “Evangelicals” and it remains every bit as true - except with greater spiritual consequences.
On the political side: Conservative Max Boot questions whether he can even be a Republican anymore.
Am I still a Republican? I’m not sure, because I don’t know what the Republican Party stands for anymore. Is it still the party of principled conservatism, promoting freedom at home and abroad, or has it permanently become the party of conspiracy-mongering, authoritarianism, and white power? I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that question.
Again, replace “Republican Party” with “Evangelicals” and that is what I am feeling. It’s the same question - except with greater spiritual consequences.
Dang, I wanted Krugman to be wrong about this. But he has been proven right.
This one is from a blogger (The Ferrett) that an acquaintance posted.
To My Moderate Conservative Friends:
This is a tough time for you. For years, I’ve said “The Republican party is saturated with racist jerks who’d like to raze the Constitution to the ground,” and you said, “No, no, that’s not who we are, we believe in firm laws and equality.”
Then you wake up to discover that your official candidate’s a guy who literally doesn’t know how many articles the Constitution has, and David Duke is so thrilled by Trump’s candidacy he’s come out of the woodwork. You’re not a racist – I wouldn’t be friends with you if you were – but you’re realizing that Trump is representing an ignorant, anti-science, pro-white wing of the party that you tried very hard to convince me didn’t exist.
Worse, those people you claimed didn’t exist (or were just background noise) are, in fact, dominant.
That is a moment for soul-searching. And from what I see, y’all are doing it. And I commend you for that. And a lot of you are refusing to vote for Trump, as is correct.
However, while you’re soul-searching, take a moment to reflect deeper.
Because the party elders tried very hard to convince you that all of your fellow Republicans were as upstanding as you were – because they knew you might leave the party if you actually understood a lot of the people who stood with you were racists waiting for an excuse to stand back up again. This uncomfortable dissonance you’re feeling right now is because they knowingly suckered you into believing that your reasonable concerns were what most Republicans felt – and now you’re seeing that yeah, maybe not all, but a lot of Republicans are pulling that lever out of nationalistic white pride and foreign hatred.
You’ve been suckered already. This is a fact. It’s not shameful unless you refuse to learn from it.
Again, replace “Republican Party” with “Evangelicalism.” This is why I have left the GOP, and have no intention of ever going back. At least while it contains the same voters. The hardest part was to realize how many white Evangelicals I know are indeed deeply racist. It’s pretty obvious White Nationalism is dominating the GOP right now. Is it dominating white Evangelicalism? I’m fearing it might be. Please prove me wrong.
One final one. Some have bemoaned the fact that this election is (supposedly) not about the issues. I have believed from the beginning that it is ALL about the issues. Just not the “usual” issues. This election is a referendum on perhaps the greatest issue in the United States. The one nobody wants to talk about honestly. It is about whether we should return to a past of racism and misogyny and xenophobia. This election has brought that clarity to me, and I can no longer deny that the simmering issue under the surface of the other “issues” so dear to many is really that. Should women and brown skinned people be subordinate to powerful white males? That so many are ready to vote yes is profoundly disturbing to me.
I want to end on a more positive note. Sixty years ago, our country was in the throes of a similar convulsion. Jim Crow had finally come to an end, and the forces of Reactionaryism were out in full force. White anxiety was at a similar high, and the successes of the Civil Rights Movement were largely resented by a familiar group: uneducated, middle class, religious whites. Goldwater would run for President in 1964, followed by notorious Segregationist George Wallace in 1968.
Now, I’m no big fan of the Kennedy family, particularly Ted, but John and Robert had some very good traits in their political lives.
A friend posted an excerpt from one of Robert Kennedy’s speeches in 1968, which led me to read the entire speech. Remember that this was during George Wallace’s run on a White Nationalist platform, deliberately catering to racial resentment and hate. I urge you to read the entire thing, because it seems as though it could have been written in our own time, about a new demagogue seeking to blame minorities for our ills. Here is the best of it:
Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear; violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleaning of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.
For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.
This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all. I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies - to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered.
We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear - only a common desire to retreat from each other - only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this there are no final answers.
Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens...he question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of human purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.
We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of all. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.
Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution.
But we can perhaps remember - even if only for a time - that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek - as we do - nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
This a dream that I can embrace, one where “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” is the focus, not a clinging to political power and embrace of evil and hate toward our neighbors who look different from us. My hope is that after this election, American Evangelicalism will wake up from its fever dream and look with horror on what it has become and what it has embraced. My hope is small. Please prove to me that you are better than this.
Please read my comment policy before commenting. For purposes of this post, I want to be clear about these additional things:
- I will delete any and all posts attempting to prove that Trump isn’t racist or that his campaign isn’t based on stirring up racial hatred. Been there, heard that. A good bit of the problem with Evangelicalism is its deep, deep denial regarding this issue. Trump’s platform mirrors the White Nationalist movement’s platform, and he regularly re-posts from White Supremacist and Alt-Right groups. If you still think Trump isn’t racist, then we have no common experience of reality upon which to base a discussion. Also, I have yet to have a fruitful discussion on this issue with someone like that. People like this do not appear to have any interest in understanding perspectives outside their tribe.
- I am not interested in discussing whether Evangelicals have moral credibility. Respect of that sort is earned. Arguing about whether others perceive you correctly is fruitless. If you want respect, earn it. If you have sacrificed your credibility for political power, then stop pretending you haven’t. Just STFU.
- I’m not going to argue about abortion. Perhaps your time would be better spent researching Evangelical positions on abortion before the issue was intentionally claimed as a way to unite the Religious Right. (Google Paul Weyrich and abortion.) Also good would be to research abortion rates by country. I think you might be surprised at what actually reduces abortions, and what doesn’t. And then ask yourself why your tribe opposes all of the things that actually reduce abortion rates. And then consider if the point isn’t really abortion, but guaranteeing a political vote. Just saying.
- Obviously, anything racist or hateful will be deleted. Go comment on Stormfront or something. Likewise, accusing me of being "elitist" will get you deleted. I'm guessing this is the new epithet to replace "liberal" or "libtard" on Fox News or something, because it suddenly is everywhere. To quote the philosopher Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that means what you think it means." A significant element of my journey away from the GOP has been the realization that being a Christian means I cannot only seek the good of those who are part of my tribe. That's the opposite of elitism.