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Buckeye Jones

The US Evangelical Vote

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Peter just posted a link on Facebook to this fascinating article. It's interesting to hear the Cuban-born Jewish lady talk about her distrust of Muslims and illegal immigrants. The article describes the diversity of Trump's Florida campaign office:

For a campaign frequently depicted as offering a rallying point for the white working class, the people volunteering to help Mr. Trump here are noteworthy for their ethnic diversity. They include a young woman who recently arrived from Peru; an immigrant from the Philippines; a 70-year-old Lakota Indian; a teenage son of Russian immigrants; a Mexican-American.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/14/us/donald-trumps-tampa-office-is-an-unlikely-melting-pot.html?_r=0

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My contention from earlier held in Ohio.  Evangelicals are not voting for Trump at any significantly higher rate that they do for any other single candidate.  Those evangelicals that do vote for Trump are doing so for other reasons beyond their faith/religious heritage.  

 

trump.JPG

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So Trump is going to be the nominee without an uncontested convention after all.   Alissa Wilkinson from CT was making the reverse argument than me on Twitter; Trump is winning due to evangelical support.  While evangelicals are voting for him, and mostly voting for him more than they vote for any other candidate, I still consider that support is not driven by their evangelicalism but by other factors; compare with Cruz, whose supporters were voting for him because of their evangelical identity.

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I learned today that my mom is now on the Trump train--I think she was a Cruz supporter before. 

I'm going to state it here for the record.  I think Trump wins this thing in November.  I'm shocked that I can even write it, but I think it happens.

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7 hours ago, Buckeye Jones said:

I learned today that my mom is now on the Trump train--I think she was a Cruz supporter before. 

I'm going to state it here for the record.  I think Trump wins this thing in November.  I'm shocked that I can even write it, but I think it happens.

I've got a couple of Christian/Evangelical FB friends who have started banging the "Yeah, Trump's this but what is Hillary?" drum (including one who said "Better a racist than a liar and a murderer"). My parents, fortunately, don't seem to be among them, but it's disheartening all the same.

And events like the shooting in Orlando yesterday don't give me much hope. Beyond the fact that it was a catastrophic loss of life--I'm reading that it's the worst terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11 and the worst mass shooting ever--events like the Pulse massacre are exactly the sort of thing that pushes people toward strong-man leaders like Trump. Especially if, as seems to be the case, the murderer had a self-declared allegiance to the Islamic State. 

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I hope you're wrong, Nathanael.  

Both my dad and his long-time girlfriend are evangelical conservative Republicans.  I was relieved to learn during a recent visit that they despise Trump.  His girlfriend grew up in Nazi Germany and saw troubling parallels between Hitler's and Trump's rises to prominence.

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I'm not too worried about Trump becoming president. The electoral map is really tricky even for strong Republican candidates; for a guy who is actively, aggressively alienating women and minorities, it's almost impossible. The only scenario where I see him winning is if England leave the EU, China's slowdown turns into a depression, and the entire developed world takes a fascist turn. Good times!

This does worry me, though: several people I know linked last week to Alan Noble's anti-Trump piece on Vox. I don't know Alan but I engaged with him a bit on Twitter about what I think is a major failing of the essay. In nearly 2,700 words, his entire justification for not voting for Clinton was the emails and her stance on abortion and LGBT equality. He took it as a given that evangelicals can't "in good conscience" vote for Hillary. As I told him, every vote is a compromise, so I'm wary of anyone who stakes out the high moral ground. There's nothing pure in politics; all of us view the issues through a partisan lens. I'm encouraging my GOP friends to vote the party line except for the top of the ticket. If they want to send a message to their party leaders, they should help rout Trump and begin preparing for 2020. I worry many good evangelicals won't be able to vote for Clinton simply because they have 25 years of experience hating her (often for unexamined reasons) and want to avoid the discomfort of breaking routine.

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I think (or want to think) that Darren's right: the electoral map is difficult for a strong GOP candidate, and Trump has already isolated and offended too many voting blocks to win. And furthermore, the whole #neverTrump movement has been primarily started and run by conservatives who despise him. If he's dividing the republican party that badly, his chances should be non-existent.

And yet, what genuinely frightens me is that Trump's supporters are much more enthusiastic about him than any Hillary supporters (I know) are about her. It's never a good sign when a large portion of your base despises you (which is true for both candidates), but the enthusiasm of Trump supporters might give him an advantage.

And I'm pretty sure my parents will be voting for Trump, because something-something have to stop Hillary at all costs. I hope I'm wrong, but last time I talked to them, that seemed to be their position, so I hope I can convince them to vote third party between now and November.

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1 hour ago, Darren H said:

This does worry me, though: several people I know linked last week to Alan Noble's anti-Trump piece on Vox. I don't know Alan but I engaged with him a bit on Twitter about what I think is a major failing of the essay. In nearly 2,700 words, his entire justification for not voting for Clinton was the emails and her stance on abortion and LGBT equality. He took it as a given that evangelicals can't "in good conscience" vote for Hillary. As I told him, every vote is a compromise, so I'm wary of anyone who stakes out the high moral ground. There's nothing pure in politics; all of us view the issues through a partisan lens. I'm encouraging my GOP friends to vote the party line except for the top of the ticket. If they want to send a message to their party leaders, they should help rout Trump and begin preparing for 2020. I worry many good evangelicals won't be able to vote for Clinton simply because they have 25 years of experience hating her (often for unexamined reasons) and want to avoid the discomfort of breaking routine.

My impression is that many Evangelicals today (and--let me be clear--people on the Left as well, including Progressive Christians) have an impoverished understanding of how politics work. I mean, yeah, this goes way back in American history (anyone who has any an inkling of the controversies going on in the '30s and '40s, to say nothing of the 19th C will recognize this fact), but it seems especially acute today in the era of Twitter and hot-takes (and in the aftermath of the so-called Moral Majority and the Southern Strategy).

The proliferation of stories indicating how so-and-so shut down such-and-such with "one perfect tweet" or "one perfect response" indicates that people are hungry for simple answers (again, on all sides, though our topic here is Evangelicals and Trump); the endless rounds of argument following every mass shooting, regurgitating the same facts/figures/arguments, never advancing beyond entrenching both sides in their own confidence in being right, suggests that for many of us purity is to be desired over effectiveness, as if effectiveness by means of compromise--the bedrock of democracy--somehow taints whatever is done. And it doesn't help that Evangelicals, in particular, have adopted by and large a politically Manichean rhetoric vis-a-vis politics, "culture wars," and so on (and theology, actually; the stark way in which heaven and hell are contrasted, the focus--in some Evangelical circles--on "spiritual warfare," etc etc etc).*  [Someone--not me--could probably read all of this through Weber and his understanding of Protestantism]. Trump, with his us-versus-them rhetoric, would be very attractive to a group that's already used to thinking in those terms.

I indicated on FB the other day that both sides (or--let me be properly nuanced here--all sides) would do well to read Moral Man and Immoral Society. Would do well, actually, to read lots of Niebuhr [and Fromm, for that matter, whose Escape from Freedom I just read and--yeah. Prescient doesn't cover it).

----

*To be clear, Leftists do this too. I'm confining my remarks based on the thread title, not based on some sort of dichotomous argument.

Edited by NBooth

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I would be very happy to be wrong about Trump, though I am less than thrilled at yet another Clinton presidency.  To think that the presidency was dominated for over 30 years by members of two families with only 1 interloper is a pretty amazing look at an institution created in some part in reaction to dynastic monarchy.  10% or more of US presidencies within a 32 year span controlled by the House of Bush or the House of Clinton.  There's some really interesting thing here.

But I've seen the same maps as Darren, and I said there was no way Trump wins the GOP, and I hold what I "know" to be true against what happened (and I see the aggressive anti-trumpism of places like Slate.com), and I think he wins despite the map, the math, the common sense.  I hope I'm wrong.

 

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I think he wins despite the map, the math, the common sense.

The general race is a completely different animal. Who knows how Orlando will affect the numbers (don't assume it will help Trump), but by last Friday, after only one week of attacks from a more unified Democratic party (Clinton, Obama, and Warren all gave great speeches) and one week of sustained challenges to his lies from the press (Jake Tapper's interview, especially), Trump lost six points in a Fox News head-to-head poll. Clinton also has major advantages in her organization. Last I heard, she had more than 700 people on staff, Trump had around 70. By every indication, Trump either isn't being fed data-driven strategy or is willfully ignoring it. That stuff matters when it's time to get out the vote.

Again, unless there is a major, world-historical event in the next few months, I think a Clinton electoral landslide is more likely than a Trump win.

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NBooth wrote:
: . . . events like the Pulse massacre are exactly the sort of thing that pushes people toward strong-man leaders like Trump.

That's fascinating, NBooth. Rod Dreher has been writing that the Pulse massacre may serve as a "Reichstag fire" that benefits *the Left*, because they will seize on this to demonize conservative religious people of *all* stripes, particularly Christian (even though the shooter wasn't a Christian).

Buckeye Jones wrote:
: To think that the presidency was dominated for over 30 years by members of two families with only 1 interloper is a pretty amazing look at an institution created in some part in reaction to dynastic monarchy.  

There's probably a connection here to the revival of interest in noted elitist Alexander Hamilton.

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2 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

NBooth wrote:
: . . . events like the Pulse massacre are exactly the sort of thing that pushes people toward strong-man leaders like Trump.

That's fascinating, NBooth. Rod Dreher has been writing that the Pulse massacre may serve as a "Reichstag fire" that benefits *the Left*, because they will seize on this to demonize conservative religious people of *all* stripes, particularly Christian (even though the shooter wasn't a Christian).

Dreher's connection to reality is tenuous, at best. :)

EDIT: Then again, mine might not be too hot, either.

Edited by NBooth

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51 minutes ago, NBooth said:

Dreher's connection to reality is tenuous, at best. :)

EDIT: Then again, mine might not be too hot, either.

I would say if the Orlando shooting affects the election at all, it will depend what people view as the primary cause. i.e. if the general public views it as a Muslim problem - advantage Trump; if they view it as a gun problem - advantage Hillary.

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NBooth wrote:
: Dreher's connection to reality is tenuous, at best. :)

I dunno, he's certainly a Chicken Little at the best of times, but his "Law of Merited Impossibility" ("It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it") seems spot-on, at least. As they say, just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

: EDIT: Then again, mine might not be too hot, either.

Wow, that's an unflattering picture. Makes the headline sound like a threat.

-

Rather than write a new post and bump this thread, I'll just revise this post that I wrote eight hours ago.

Here's a key excerpt from one of Dreher's 'Reichstag fire' posts:

I don’t know how widely shared Ford’s view is among the LGBT community and its allies, but I suspect it is general, and it is sincere. What Ford and those who agree with him are doing is demanding that we give up what we believe to be true, or nothing we say about love, respect, and the rest of it matters.

I believe this will be the line that emerges out of Orlando. And the campaign will happen because it’s in the playbook. GLSEN has over the years managed to get its teaching programs mainstreamed in schools under the guise of stopping bullying and making schools “safe.” The stated theory is that if you really want to stop bullying, you will teach children that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality, transgenderism, etc. That is to say, it’s not enough that kids be taught respect and tolerance; kids must be taught that what orthodox Christianity says is not only wrong, but by implication makes schools unsafe.

It has been an extraordinarily successful campaign. And we are about to see it scaled up to the national level. Any Republican politician, and any religious leader, who opposes what the LGBT activists and their allies in the Democratic Party want is going to be tarred as having the blood of Orlando victims on their hands.

I anticipate the comments to this post: “How dare you worry about how this is going to affect your community when we haven’t even buried the victims yet?!” And that reaction, however inadvertently, is part of the campaign. Zack Ford, Rep. Beyer, Bishop Lynch and others are using the Orlando atrocity to advance goals, political and religious. I don’t doubt their sincerity. Nor do I doubt, not for one second, how effective they are going to be.

I don't find Dreher's connection to reality on *this* point particularly tenuous, given everything we have seen over the last few years. The last quoted paragraph, in particular, echoes a point I made in another thread earlier today.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Trump met with nearly 1000 evangelicals today and announced an evangelical advisory board:

Quote

The Evangelical Executive Advisory Board will convene regularly to “provide advisory support to Mr. Trump on those issues important to Evangelicals and other people of the faith in America,” the campaign said in a statement.

It also will lead a Faith and Cultural Advisory Committee that will be announced later in June.

First on the list is former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Shortly before announcing her own bid for the presidency in 2012, Bachmann withdrew from Salem Lutheran Church after 10 years as a member and moved to a nearby evangelical church.

The list also includes Johnnie Moore — national spokesperson for My Faith Votes, one of the organizers of Tuesday’s largely evangelical meeting — and the Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University. Falwell had hailed Trump in the meeting: “Mr. Trump is a bold and fearless leader who will take the fight to our enemies and to the radical Islamic terrorists.”

 

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"It's a great board. The best board. You people are gonna love this board, and they're going to teach me how to pander to you people even better than I pander to those dumb rednecks. I love the poorly educated!" 

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ClgGBxaUgAASj-9.jpg

 

Trump's advisory board includes some veterans of the Religious Right as covered by Daniel K. William's God's Own Party, in particular James Dobson, Richard Land, James Robison and Ralph Reed. Interestingly, Land was formerly the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's ERLC, a post now occupied by Russell Moore who is certainly not Trump's pal. Also of interest are the Copelands and Paula White; I believe it was Time who had a fascinating article a few months ago how some of Trump's biggest "evangelical" supporters were those predisposed to the prosperity gospel and the convergence of that theology with Trump's own financial success.

 

Edited by winter shaker

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I just got a chance to read through the board members.  I am disappointed to see a few names, and not surprised to see a bunch of the names.  But that photo above is spectacular, especially as you can tell that Trump is the only one of the three who's genuinely smiling.  Bllech.

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On 6/12/2016 at 10:56 PM, Buckeye Jones said:

I learned today that my mom is now on the Trump train--I think she was a Cruz supporter before. 

I'm going to state it here for the record.  I think Trump wins this thing in November.  I'm shocked that I can even write it, but I think it happens.

Holy crap

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I skipped my theology class tonight so I could watch the US election and learn about total depravity.

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Quote

Americans who attend religious services weekly also favored Trump, but by a narrower 56 percent to 40 percent margin over Clinton. Monthly worshipers also broke for Trump more narrowly, 49 percent to 46 percent.

From CT's article this morning.  The self identified evangelical vote was 4:1 for Trump.  To me this continues to suggest that the demographers have their work cut out for them in understanding how to parse the understanding of religious groups in America.   And that while it's easy to call oneself a born-again or Evangelical Christian in the US, I'm reminded that you'll truly know a tree by its fruits.

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I think the biggest issue in this election was Bernie. Regardless of who turned out for Trump, the turnout for Hillary was anemic, she had less women, less African Americans, etc. than Obama. Bernie had a true grassroots movement going and it was stolen from him by the machinations of the DNC. A lot of people eventually got on board with Hillary, but many did not. The wounds over the rigged nomination process were deep. I'm not saying they all voted for Trump, but they sure as hell didn't vote for Hillary. Probably 3rd party or no one.

There's plenty of blame to go around for what's about to happen. :(

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As much as I try to avoid reductionism, I think it is as simple as more people hate Hillary than hate Trump. Additionally, more people hate Hillary more, than the people who hate Trump, and I think that includes others who normally vote Democrat. I don't think it had anything to do with candidate positions or policy or political correctness or other intellectualizations. How do you lose against Trump? How do you win if you are Hillary?

I got nothin' to much say about the evangelical vote for Trump. Makes no sense to me. Either people are lying to us or lying to themselves. Either way, people are lying about something, and not just the candidates.

Joe

Edited by jfutral

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