Thursday, June 21, 2018

Racial Anxiety-- Not Economic Anxiety-- Drove 80% Of White Evangelicals To Support Trump

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Can you imagine Blue America working with an evangelical group? Stretch your mind. We found one-- or rather, they found us. A few weeks ago Ted Lieu and I had dinner with some evangelical pastors and some of their supporters to discuss their plans for the 2018 election. They feel that evangelicals have been key to Trump's support and they would like to help progressive Democrats and progressive evangelicals connect before the midterms. The organization is Vote Common Good, and the Executive Director is Doug Pagitt, Minneapolis' leading progressive pastor. Today he told us that "We firmly believe that true Christians realize that Trumpism is completely antithetical to anything that Jesus actually stood for. Quoting scripture to justify inhumane policies is not Christianity. We also know that we have the infrastructure and capability to reach this incredibly large portion of the population that the Republican Party has chosen to take for granted and the Democratic Party has decided to ignore. We seek to transcend identity and partisan politics and direct our members to vote for the Common Good."

The Washington Post ran a disturbing piece by Janelle Wong Sunday, Racial Fear Is Key to Trump’s Support Among Evangelicals. (It's not economic anxiety.) The media has been getting it all wrong, obsessing over white evangelicals’ unmovable support for Donald Trump. But Wong's new book, Immigrants, Evangelicals and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change, shows white evangelicals are more conservative than other whites on policy issues including welfare, climate change and immigration. Their conservative reaction to demographic change is at the heart of their political agenda and perhaps a response to increasing racial diversity within their own religious community.

[A]ccording to Election Day exit polls, 80 percent of white evangelicals supported Donald Trump. Among all other-- nonevangelical-- whites, 59 percent voted for Hillary Clinton.

That is true in part because white evangelicals are more conservative on a range of issues. According to our survey, for example, 27 percent of white evangelicals don’t believe the federal government should pass laws to combat climate change-- while 20 percent of other whites hold that position. More than 25 percent of white evangelicals oppose more federal spending on the poor, while that is true for about 14 percent of all nonevangelical whites. And about 50 percent of all white evangelicals believe immigration is bad for the economy, compared with about 33 percent of other, nonevangelical whites.

Even among evangelicals, there are wide racial divides on political positions. It is true evangelicals of all racial backgrounds hold more conservative views on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage than does the general U.S. population.

Aside from these issues, evangelicals are very politically different by race. White evangelicals are markedly more conservative than Latino, Asian American and, perhaps not surprisingly, black evangelicals on climate change, federal funding to aid the poor and taxing the wealthy.

White evangelicals are more than twice as likely as any other group of evangelicals to oppose government funding to combat climate change or policies to tax the wealthy. No more than 10 percent of black, Asian American or Latino evangelicals oppose government regulation to combat climate change. Less than 15 percent of any of these groups oppose a tax increase on the wealthy, compared with about 30 percent of white evangelicals. White evangelicals are also more conservative on racial issues, whether those are attitudes about Black Lives Matter or the U.S. apologizing for slavery.

White evangelicals are much more conservative on immigration than nonwhite evangelicals. Fully 50 percent of white evangelicals in our survey agree that “immigrants hurt the economy,” compared with 22 percent of black evangelicals, 25 percent of Latino evangelicals  and 21 percent of Asian American evangelicals.

...Rank-and-file white evangelicals have the most negative attitudes toward immigrants of all U.S. religious groups. That’s true despite the fact that conservative white evangelical leaders strongly favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

My research indicates white evangelical conservatism correlates strongly with their perceptions anti-white discrimination, even after taking into account economic status, party, age and region. Fully 50 percent of white evangelical respondents to our 2016 survey reported feeling they face discrimination that’s comparable to, or even higher than, the discrimination they believe Muslim Americans face. Those who hold this perception are more likely to hold conservative attitudes on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, tax policy and health-care reform.

Here’s what is not behind these beliefs: economic anxiety. Like PRRI and political scientist Diana Mutz, I find economic anxiety isn’t a primary reason for supporting Trump. Rather, white evangelicals fear losing racial status. White evangelicals’ perceptions they’re the targets of discrimination-- more so than other groups-- influence far more than simply their votes for Trump.

Yes, 80 percent of white evangelicals supported Donald Trump in 2016. And the racial fears and anxieties that underlie their support for the president will probably remain the driver in their political views long after he leaves office.

Stephen Miller's great grandfather flunked his citizenship test in November of 1932 for "ignorance." The apple hasn't fallen far from the street, as Stephen Miller, a neo-Nazi, has proclaimed himself the architect of Trump's policy of kidnapping and abusing immigrant children, an all out anti-Christian agenda. Frank Schaeffer's father, Francis Schaeffer, was one of the founders of the "religious right" and Frank, a friend of mine, grew up in that environment. He left it long ago. After reading Wong's Washington Post article yesterday, he wrote this for us:
The public image of the leaders of the religious right I met with so many times in the 1970s and '80s contrasted with who they really were. In public they maintained an image that was usually quite smooth. In private they ranged from unreconstructed bigot reactionaries like Jerry Falwell, to Dr. Dobson, the most power-hungry and ambitious person I have ever met, to Billy Graham, a very weird man indeed who lived an oddly sheltered life in a celebrity/ministry cocoon, to actual madmen like Pat Robertson who, in any other line of work (where hearing voices is not part of the job description), would have been institutionalized.

They were all white. And with the exception of Graham had never been on the side of the civil rights movement. Falwell was an outspoken segregationist who only dropped public bigotry against blacks because he feared for his college’s accreditation.

Falwell disliked blacks and in private I was told used the N-word. He knew my father was against racial bigotry so never spoke that way to us. But when it came to gay rights and gays Jerry got personal. Dad and I were sitting in Falwell’s study just after Dad spoke at Jerry’s church. (Later I preached there too, endorsed Falwell, and also gave a talk to the whole student body.) Out of the blue Jerry brought up the gay issue. Dad said something about it being complicated and Jerry replied: “If I had a dog that did what they do I’d shoot him!”

The off-hand remark came from nowhere. Jerry wasn’t smiling. He was serious and just tossed his hatred out there the way gang members throw down hand signals.  Dad looked nonplussed but didn’t say anything, though later he growled, “That man is really disgusting.” Later still Dad commented, “You can be co-belligerents but don’t have to be allies.”

Make no mistake: white evangelicalism equals bigotry, racial hatred is par for the course. Look, if closing the border and separating migrant families wasn’t about race then evangelicals wouldn’t support Trump. Proof? The brown people coming north are Pentecostal Christians and conservative Roman Catholics. If they were Muslims or Hindus it could be argued that arresting them and deporting hem was about protecting our “Christian nation.”  But these ARE conservative Christians who share the white evangelical’s theology passionately! The only thing they don’t share with Trump’s evangelical supporters is a white skin.
A new Gallup poll finds that a record-high 75% of Americans, including majorities of all party groups, think immigration is a good thing for the U.S.-- up slightly from 71% last year. Just 19% of the public considers immigration a bad thing. A record-low number of Americans-- 29%-- saying that immigration into the U.S. should be decreased. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, 35% think immigration should be kept at its current level, 20% would like it increased and 42% say decreased.

Our friend, Harper Thorpe has written an alternative-- let's say updated-- version of Pete Seeger's "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" The new song is "Where Have All The Children Gone?"



Where have all the children gone, all I’m asking?
Where have frightened toddlers gone, where did they go?
Where have our brown babies gone?
Picture cages everyone.
Oh, when will they be returned?
Oh, why aren’t you all concerned?

What can’t all the pictures shield, cruel harrassing?
What have all the tales revealed, what do we know?
What’s the story still concealed?
There’s no plan to bring them home.
Ivanka acts concerned,
What if my brand is spurned?

How come there’s no return plan, Kirstjen Nielsen?
How can you defend this man, his heartless show?
Think your mother’s still your fan?
Mother’s gone, but she looks on.
Think when she held you tight
And thanked the lord you’re white

Where have all the mothers gone, those trespassing?
Where have all the husbands gone, the human flow?
Where have all their children gone?
Trump pawns each and everyone
Are Mitch and Paul concerned?
Don’t want their guys mid-termed.

Where have Trump enablers gone, aura basking?
Senate, House, Republican, where did they go?
Cabinet and spokesmen gone?
Failed, jailed everyone.
Time they get what they’ve earned.
Enough of humans churned.


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6 Comments:

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeshua the Nazarene would not be kind to these hypocrites. They wouldn't, for example, recognize him because he's not a Caucasian European.

 
At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Yes, we now know that Trump's appeal was all about racism, plain and simple. And disgusting. Not an economic issue at all. The economic slant was actually ay too kind for Trump supporters.

We have always had racism in our country, it has never quite gone away since slavery, but things had improved so much. We had Obama! A well spoken, intelligent, decent human being who cared about our country and the American people. Trump was a back lash. He is ruining us. Just like Hitler, it is happening very quickly. He is dismantling all of our institutions and protections. The bald eagles are now dying from the pesticides. They were banned for a reason!! But money is all to Trump and his ilk.

Now everyone knows just what a racist anti-humanitarian Trump is, and who Trump supporters really are. He is a despicable person. And so is Melania, another racist sociopath. She should not get any sympathy ever. Her jacket, worn on her visit to Texas, reflects her stance. She does not care.

 
At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:07, then why all those portraits of him looking like Clapton back in '72?

It takes a little thinking to realize that if he was born a jew in Palestine back then, he's look a lot more like Arafat than Clapton. All these morons know is due to Christian PR for 2 centuries.

You all can take it from me. I've lived my entire 6+ decades among white evangelicals. They are racist, elitist, greedy, STUPID assholes. 80% is probably low. American white evangelicals are identical to the animals who became the nazi gestapo.

Probably the only reason the us hadn't sunk to this depth a century ago is that Lincoln was a republican. After the EP, all southern whites became democrats... and FDR was a democrat who used their support, derived from simple racism, to make America great.

Once the democrats ceded the south back to the Nazis by passing Voter and Civil Rights reform, all it took was time. The fact that the democraps became nearly as horrible has hastened it.

Here we are. And here we'll be until the white evangelical vote can be outnumbered by everyone else... who must be smarter than the Nazis. In '16 there wasn't a viable opponent... and probably won't be ever unless those 'smarter than the nazis' wake the fuck up and find a true left movement to fuel.

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:07, hate to break it to you, but there WAS NO yeshua the Nazarene.

What idiot gawd would leave only a 'paint by numbers' book with which primordial dipshits create truly ghastly images painted in their own image?

What fucking omnipotentate would waste a visit to earth, one of maybe a trillion inhabited planets in all the universes, to leave primordial dipshits with nothing they could make sense out of?

what compassionate omniscience would possibly create such a guaranteed cluster fuck of hate and misery?

Stating that the god of the Nazis would look askance at what the Nazis do is oxymoronic in the extreme. It is your hallucination of your god of which YOU speak. Their god will canonize them for it.

Their vision is just as legitimate as yours. You are both deadly wrong.

 
At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not the one you have to convince, 11:42. I worked out long ago that the story of the resurrection was completely false, and so is the religion based upon it.

It's the fools to blindly believe that you need to reach.

 
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