Let us stipulate: the failure of Kamala Harris to thrive in the race for the Democratic nomination for President was not because Democratic voters are racist or sexist. It is because she was a lousy candidate from the beginning. Checking off boxes is never enough, thank heaven. She is a woman, “of color,” a lawyer and a Senator from a large and powerful state. To top it all off, Harris is relatively young, and attractive. Perfect!
Except it was easy to see that she was an empty suit with a penchant for saying stupid things, often things she couldn’t possibly believe and that contracdicted her record as a prosecutor. She said that it was “outrageous” that the Trump administration wanted to deport illegal immigrants who had committed crimes. [Me: “It is not and cannot be “outrageous” to say that any illegal immigrant, criminal or not, qualifies for deportation. To maintain otherwise is to say that the United States cannot enforce its immigration laws, and not only that, it is “outrageous” to enforce the laws. Is that the position of the Democratic Party? “] She said that she supported legalizing pot because it brought people “joy.” You know, like heroin, rape, and child molesting. She said, when Joe Biden correctly pointed out that a President could not ban “assault weapons” by executive order, she responded, “Well, I mean, I would just say, hey, Joe, instead of saying, no, we can’t, let’s say yes, we can.” Horrified when she saw the exchange,, law prof Ann Althouse wrote, “The transcript cannot convey the feeling and expression in Kamala Harris’s [ response]. It is so awful, so lightweight and dismissive of constitutional law (and without any of the dignity of constitutional critique.”
There are plenty more catalogued here, and it is hardly exhaustive. Harris flopped because she proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was unqualified to be a Senator, much less a President. As if that wasn’t enough, she couldn’t manage her campaign, which had disintegrated into finger-pointing and defections. When Barack Obama was challenged in 2008 over his lack of leadership experience, he cited the success of his campaign. Slim indeed, but Harris couldn’t even say that.
As the writing on the wall began to be undeniable, Harris stooped to race- and gender baiting, expressing doubts as to whether a “woman of color” could be elected President (in such a racist, sexist nation, she implied.) No, Senator it’s just that you can’t be elected.
Her polling in free-fall, Harris dropped out today. What was the reaction of the Left’s pundits? Why, outrage over that racism and sexism of the public, of course:
- “Obviously I’m no centrist but it’s downright effed up that smart, compelling, *very* experienced, centrist Democratic candidates of color are floundering while a smart but wildly inexperienced, centrist white mayor of teeny tiny city is surging,” liberal writer Sally Kohn wrote in a tweet. “Bad look, Democrats.”
No, the “bad look” was all Harris’s, who looked like a floundering, pandering, amateur at best. Well, Kohn looks like a racist, so there’s that.
- Left-wing commentator Lauren Duca commented that “all of the candidates who currently qualify for the December Democratic debate are white (Sanders, Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Steyer)….White supremacy is not just a Fox News problem, folks.”
I guess what we need is quotas and affirmative action for candidate debates, or we’re endorsing white supremacy.
- “Harris dropping out leaves the Democrats with an all-white debate stage for December — Biden, Sanders, Warren, Steyer, Buttigieg, Klobuchar,” complained left-wing writer Judd Legum. “The Democratic Party has created a process [that] includes Steyer but excludes Cory Booker.”
Go ahead, Judd, show me the fair process that guarantees a place on the stage for black and brown candidates who have failed to distinguish themselves or convince voters that they should be President. Booker, Harris, and Castro are weak. If they were white, they wouldn’t be running. Neither would Deval Patrick. The process is not the problem. The candidates are the problem.
- “It’s really fucked up that straight white male billionaires (plural) are going to qualify for the next debate while Kamala Harris is leaving the race. Like, immensely,” wrote Adam Peck, a staffer at the left-wing Center for American Progress.
Translation: If candidates fitting into our exalted demographic groups don’t succeed, regardless of their performance, everything must be rigged.
- “Very fitting that Kamala would drop out and the myriad of rich white dudes whose names people can’t even remember are staying in,” wrote Laura Bassett. Imani Gandy, an analyst at left-wing outlet Rewire News, wrote, “Kamala may not have been my number one candidate, but she belongs in the race. Now we’ve got rich white dudes papering the airwaves with their bullshit. It’s not right.”
Because anti-white racism is right…
- Finally, this gem from Al Sharpton, speaking of anti-white racists, on a MSNBC panel today: “Women are held to a different standard and black women especially.”
The problem, Al, is that Harris was held to any standards, none of which she could meet.
What are these people saying? Clearly, they are attributing to racism a result that had nothing to do with racism at all. It had to do with merit, or the lack of it. In a weak, extreme, inept field, Harris managed to come off as even less qualified than the rest. But this is the fantasy to which progressives have committed themselves. All failures of “persons of color” are not their fault, and they are not accountable. Racism is always the cause.
As for the selection of candidates on the debate stage in December, the scandal is not that Harris, Booker and Castro won’t be there. They are not going to be nominated to run for President, and they don’t deserve to be. The scandal is that the Democrats don’t have anyone better than the candidates who will be there, of any color.
57 thoughts on “Dear Progressives: The Failure Of Reality To Conform To Your Biases And Desires Does Not Make It Unethical”
They lost the only candidate that checked all their progressive and social justice boxes, she should have skated through to the nomination. Even though Harris is a political imbecile this is a huge failure for the extreme left and I believe it’s signature significant for their entire movement.
It’s probably time to start hearing Stacey Abrams on CNN and MSNBC.
Oh, I’m sure we will hear plenty from the “true governor of Georgia” in the coming months. (The electorate just failed to get the memo.) She is already being touted as a possible VP candidate. If possible, she is even less impressive than Harris.
The corollary to my comment in part 2 of the immediately preceding post in which I stated that columnist King’ s lack of objectivity with respect to Obama and Trump is based on a desire to protect the image of a black President because being objective could threaten the future viability of black Presidential candidates is one that requires racism or sexism to be used to explain the failings of minority candidates otherwise it is believed that calling out their actual inadequacies will tar all future candidates with the same inadequacies.
I believe that such strategies are short sighted and in fact detrimental to minority candidates seeking the highest office in the land
Of course they are. As was letting our one black POTUS know that he could do no wrong. He might have learned. He might have been better. But what was his motivation?
The motivation is ethnocentrism. Simply put.
If you get a Nobel Peace Prize for just winning an election, why bother trying?
All I heard following the announcement that Harris had bailed was about “who would get the black vote now”. This assumed that all black voters would vote for a black candidate, in spite of actual qualifications. And they were probably right in that regard based on prior performance. It didn’t take but a minute to recall the link Mrs Q provided yesterday to that essay by Thomas Sowell regarding “mascots”. [I can’t figure out the hot link thing so you will have to refer to her guest post for it. But definitely do it if you did not do so yesterday.] Comments about Stacy Abrams both then and now have relevance. How can anyone aspire to a leadership position of the status of POTUS or VPOTUS when you know you are only on the ticket because of your race, not your ability.
As a bit of a side note: The CA primary comes up early in the primary follies next year, and as things were shaping up there was a better than average chance that Harris would get smoked in that primary, “favorite daughter” or not. That would have been a terrible image for her to carry into her next political adventure. She saw the handwriting on the wall and dropped out to save face.
If Harris gets smoked in the California primary, that would be sweet indeed. Unfortunately, I can foresee somebody as awful as Gavin Newsom or Xavier Becerra getting the nod instead.
Certainly. When it comes to unethical pols and just plain jerks, California has a deep bench. There are most likely a few “dark horses” out there just waiting for a chance to become a household word.
Glad you read Sowell’s essay. Thanks for making the connection.
On, no… thank you. For posting it.
That guy is a gem, and knowing that he and I are of similar age, thinking society is moving closer to a great loss.
My only regret is that Tulsi won’t be there.
Non-white, woman, and with semi-centrist positions so we get to see everyone in the resistance turn themselves into pretzels trying to criticize or defend her.
Not that she deserves to be there, but at this point I’m only following the Democratic primary for entertainment value.
Tulsi did her job: she helped expose Harris, whom the media was trying to ram down voters’ throats. She was the Democrats 2019 version of the GOP’s Jeb Bush in 2015. All the alternatives now divide the party and make a big chunk of voters stay home. The Democrats are counting on fanatic Trump hate to carry the day. What was the last time a presidential run was based on hate? George Wallace in 1968? The Know-Nothings? Somehow I don’t think it’s a winning theme.
It worked for Trump. How many people held their noses and voted for him explicitly because they hated the idea of Clinton more than they hated the idea of Trump?
That was not based on hate, HT. It was based upon self interest, as any political contest boils down to.
Hillary ignored states full of people she and her party had been denigrating, and whose states have stagnated, despite supporting Democrats for decades. Trump at least offered hope in those places… which has since been validated in spades.
Of course, there was a large portion across the nation who voted for Trump as the only offered alternative to known corruption… but ascribing that to ‘hate’ is a bit strong. I mean, Hillary practically called us out for re-education camps under her administration. Self interest, and the knowledge that after 8 years of Obama, the progressive were serious about how they wanted fly over country treated.
We did not hate Trump. Our expectations have been so low the past few cycles (Romney, McCain…) that he was just more of the same, at worst.
He turned out to be SOOOO much better than expected.
I think that’s a distinction without meaning. If running a campaign that is substantively “Vote for me, I’m not the other guy” is not hate, then that has to also apply to the Democrats running against Trump. Whether you think the deep-seeded loathing against Trump or Clinton is more or less justifiable based on their actions is largely irrelevant, it’s still a negative campaign. Real talk here: Who is the last candidate who ran *primarily* on a message of: “Vote for me, I’m awesome” as opposed to measuring themselves against their opposition?
That explains it: your definition of ‘hate’ is different than mine.
Oh well, that is your prerogative. We have no substantive disagreement then.
She lost because her whole campaign was based upon her screechy assertion that “It’s time for a woman!” She was a failure as Secretary of State (Remember her lies about the motivation for the the murder of Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi?) and her totally untrustworthy behavior.
That may or may not be true, but I’d wager people in that category would be sticking with Trump this time around. Hilary was tame compared to some of these folks.
“What was the last time a presidential run was based on hate? George Wallace in 1968?”
Don’t need to go back that far:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
“Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.”
“I’m talking about Mexico is forcing people in that they don’t want, and they want us to take care of those people.”
“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering”
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on”
“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work—torture works. Half these guys say ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works.”
“I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a Mosque? Very sad that he did not go!”
“Lock your doors folks, OK? Lock your doors. No, it’s a big problem … . We have our incompetent government people letting ’em in by the thousands, and who knows, who knows, maybe it’s ISIS.”
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing.”
“Many of the thugs that attacked the peaceful Trump supporters in San Jose were illegals. They burned the American flag and laughed at police.”
“He is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine. But I say he’s got bias. … This judge has treated me very unfairly; he’s treated me in a hostile manner. And there’s something going on.”
“They’re trying to take over our children. …They’re pouring in and we don’t know what we’re doing.”
“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country.”
“That could be a Mexican plane up there. They’re getting ready to attack”
“Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?”
That’s nice partisan spin, but in truth, it’s based on multiple falsehoods. Mostly, it is attributing “hate” to reasonable policy arguments and statements of inconvenient truths.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” There’s no “hate” in this statement, which is factual. The context was illegal immigration, and Trump’s emphasis was that criminals come across the border along with non-criminals.
“Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.” How is that “hate”? It’s an impolitic suggestion of a conflict of interest. I suspect Trump might have been right. Jeb’s position on illegal immigration was certainly fatuous.
“I’m talking about Mexico is forcing people in that they don’t want, and they want us to take care of those people.” Again, there is nothing hateful about that statement. Criticism doesn’t mean hate. Who or what made you think otherwise? Or is it just another false construct to make people “hate” the President?
“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering” You really don’t know what hate means, do you? There is no question many anti-Americans somewhere were cheering 9/11. Trump’s statement was a lie, or a false memory, or stupid, but there was nothing hateful about it.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on” Again, not hateful. Sensible,
“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work—torture works. Half these guys say ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works.” Unethical, ignorant, un-American—not hateful. You do know you’re making the argument that Trump was runnig on hate, not that there are valid reasons to hate Trump?
“I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a Mosque? Very sad that he did not go!” Not only isn’t this hateful, I don’t know what the hell it’s supposed to mean.
“Lock your doors folks, OK? Lock your doors. No, it’s a big problem … . We have our incompetent government people letting ’em in by the thousands, and who knows, who knows, maybe it’s ISIS.” Maybe it is. Incompetent: true. By the thousands: true. Are people allowed to hate ISIS?
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing.” You are confounding ham-handed rhetoric with hate. There is every reason to oppose China’s trade cheating, as well as China itself.
“Many of the thugs that attacked the peaceful Trump supporters in San Jose were illegals. They burned the American flag and laughed at police.” Yup, the President think we shouldn’t pander to illegals. Not hateful. And he’s right and has always been right. The open borders advocates have always been wrong.(not hate).
“He is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine. But I say he’s got bias. … This judge has treated me very unfairly; he’s treated me in a hostile manner. And there’s something going on.” Kamala Harris argued that a Trump nominee judge was likely to be biased against abortion because she was a devout Christian. It’s the same (unfair) argument presumed bias theory Trump made against a Mexican judge. Neither was based on hate. However, if the judge agreed with you and felt opposing illegal immigration from Mexico was appealing to hate, then Trump may have had a point.
“They’re trying to take over our children. …They’re pouring in and we don’t know what we’re doing.” Can’t tell who “they” are. We don’t know what we’re doing, if the topic is illegal immigration. Not hate.
“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country.” Profiling works, and Trump is an extreme utilitarian. Profiling by the TSA would make sense, since extreme patdowns of 6 year old girls and 90 year olds in wheelchairs is idiotic and cruel. Anyway, this is a policy debate, not an expression of hate.
“That could be a Mexican plane up there. They’re getting ready to attack” That was a joke, in case you couldn’t figure that out. See, Trump had been critical of Mexico. This is signature significance in your case for over-reaching, but that was already obvious.
“Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?” I googled this, and I still couldn’t find out what it was about.
In sum, none of these quotes show that Trump was running his campaign on hate.”
So I ask again, “What was the last time a presidential run was based on hate? George Wallace in 1968?”
I didn’t even include the Hillary stuff. I chose those quotes to show one of the common threads that was central to his campaign. If you don’t understand that this constant drumbeat of identifying “others” that don’t belong and casually blurring the lines of criminality then I guess we do have a different idea of what hate is and how it’s propagated. Maybe watch some of his campaign rally videos and listen to not just what he says, but how he says it. Disgust and hate permeate those rallies. It’s even more evident if you watch videos of how some of those attendees react to his comments. I don’t think “Fuck those beaners” is a quote from a man primarily concerned about common sense immigration reform. I’m sure you understand how language can be used to stoke anger, fear and animosity – and yes, it’s increasingly done on the left too – this is the sad state of our politics. But to pretend then candidate Trump was not fueling his run on those emotions seems like tremendous perseverance in willful self-deception. A candidate hoping to communicate immigration reform as a cornerstone of his campaign can do so without using the language he used. He was appealing to emotion, and got an emotional response.
You accuse me of partisan spin, but are very quick to brush off Trump’s vitriol as mere “criticism” or “ham-handed rhetoric”. Seems like you want to have it both ways. Give me a quote from a current dem candidate that someone on the left couldn’t just as easily brush off as legitimate “criticism” of Trump’s corruption, demeanor, leadership style, etc.
It is criticism. It is often vitriol, but you didn’t pick many quotes that qualified as that. Again, objecting to illegal immigrants, terrorists and other legitimate problems isn’t hate, no matter how it’s expressed. Hate has meaning—devaluing it by overuse just makes the language useless. I know the drill: call Trump’s verbal excesses “hate speech,” and then, to those wanting to criminalize speech, he’s a criminal. I don’t hate illegal immigrants; I’m even sympathetic, but I don’t tolerate lawbreaking, and open borders is suicidal for any nation of culture. Trump talks like a 7th grade bully, but he’s essentailly saying teh same thing, Joey, and it isn’t hateful. Hateful is calling the President a Nazi or a “motherfucker.”
I’d reiterate that it’s not just specific words (though I do think his words are and have been reprehensible) that are important, but how they are said, the context in which they are said, and how often they are said. Is he a racist? I have no idea. Does he use precise language to stoke racially-based fear & animosity? Without a doubt. I can make a series of statements that, taken one by one, may not necessarily have any hateful words or connotation. But string them together, form a pattern of language, blur some lines…and pretty soon it will become clear that I am appealing to your implicit biases, your anger, your animosity for the purpose of stoking your emotions and taking advantage of the energy it creates.
And if the fact that some members of congress use coarse & extreme language to label a candidate is sufficient to qualify an entire campaign as hate-based, I’ve got some bad news for you about what Trump and other republicans have been saying when you weren’t listening.
The issue is hate. Trump is 12, and 12-year-old don’t hate the people they insult. He’s just a reflexive fighter. I doubt that he even hates Rosie O’Donnell. Everything is transactional. He’ll screw friends and say nice things about foes. He doesn’t hate Hillary, or Rubio, or anyone, and it’s pretty clear.
The Democrats, meanwhile, are running on pure hate of Trump as a person…not his policies, not not the conditions of the nation, which are generally better than the mess Obama left. Personal. Hatred of him.
Surely you see the distinction.
The distinction I see is you giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, and making sweeping generalizations about the left. It’s not a compelling argument as much as it’s a gut feeling. And who knows, better yet who cares if Trump truly hates his enemies – if his entire MO is to use the fear, anger and hatred of his base to motivate them, then his campaign is driven by hate – especially given your very loose standards – which as far as I can tell seems to be that if people say mean things and call other people names then they are driven by hate. Read the news, listen to the candidates – critique of his policies, corruption, and the conditions of the nation are everywhere you look!
Read the news, listen to the candidates – critique of his policies, corruption, and the conditions of the nation are everywhere you look!
Proving exactly nothing, and it all predicated on a detestation of Trump as a person, fueled by the Big Lies I have documented here. No objective comparison of the rhetoric used against Trump with the rhetoric he resorts to could find that he wins the hateful battle, unless you give him bonus points because he is President, and such rhetoric is corrosive and inappropriate. I agree that it is, but taht doesn’t make him a hater. Democrats have openly expressed glee at the prospect of the President dying, or being assassinated. The Big Lie accusations—racist, white supremacist, nazi, Hitler—are calibrated to create hate as a specific strategy. Horrible. It is blatant and obvious, as is its objective. Fortunately it is not working, and will not work, but that doesn’t change what it is. They cannot challenge Trump effectively on the condition of the economy, which is good, or employment, which is better than good. The racial divisions are being intentionally farmed by Democrats for electoral gain.They have nothing BUT hate to sell, and they are selling it. It has turned the party into one of bigots and cynics, from “Hope and Change” to that in just over 10 years. Amazing. But it is 100% their choice and their funeral. Anger can fuel a campaign—Trump tapped into legitimate anger in 2016—but not hate.
And let’s not forget that Trump’s rise to political prominence was primarily rooted in the racially-tinged conspiracy theory of birtherism!
The advent of Trump is a complex political and sociological — even a psychological — event. I could provide a kind of sketch, my interpretation, and it would be a *narrative picture* (a condensed, simplified picture) of what is going on in America right now that has brought forward a man like Trump (I have written of this often).
But I am curious — in the spirit of ecumenicalism! — to hear your description: What is going on in the United States right now, and why?
That would take all day. So riffing: tribalism, a 24 hour news cycle that only makes money when they have an angry, attentive audience, fear of the browning of the country, fear of secularism, using Christianity as a club to beat people with rather than a message of grace, personal salvation & repentance, young people not voting, numbing of intellect due to smart devices & an overabundance of distractions, partisan gerrymandering, and probably most of all: good ol’ fashioned greed in it’s many iterations and disguises.
Interesting. My view is that things began to go off the rails when the business class of the country inserted itself, far too powerfully, into the affair of government and democracy. I think I might even date this from right around the time of the Civil War and a bit afterward.
That ‘intervention’ (CW) and invasion began a series of events which can be traced. Too much power concentrated in a Federal entity (but these are areas I need to study more).
I think one could also focus on the legal machinations that allowed for corporations to gain the status of persons, and then the insane proliferation of business interests of that peculiar sort. In my view these corporate entities are faaaaarrrr too powerful and their power has extended way beyond anything the Founders conceived or could have imagined. I think citizens, in truth, have very little agency in their world. It might have been different, it *should* have been different. These corporations — beyond any doubt — made use of the military force and the population to gain very dubious goals of small benefit to the people, but few seem to understand this.
I am curious about the fear of browning observation. I would have to ask many questions to see what you think on the matter. But ‘browning’ in essence means ‘forced multiculturalism’ in essence, doesn’t it? Would you or could you allow for a strong resistance to forced multiculturalism?
I have other questions and comments but I will leave it with these for now.
It is wise to grasp that Trump’s supporters — many of them — are people who have been deeply affected by economic down-turn and job loss (automation, plant closing, ‘globalization’, and other factors). Obviously, he is a populist and is working in that rhetorical arena.
If you have doubts about *what Trump is doing* on a constructive level for the long-range welfare of his base, I share your doubt. The people that he has working in his cabinet — to put it quite openly — serve corporate power largely. I think this is true. I also think it true — as Steve Bannon has said — that the Republican Party has continually and substantially betrayed the class of people who generally support it. So, the vote for Trump was a sign of willingness to take a risk on a man with explosive rhetoric. A large part of his appeal is that he is (in their eyes) ‘telling truth to power’.
SlickWilly, who has posted in this thread, says that Trump as very much surpassed all expectations. But I am not at all sure myself if Trump is actually working in ways that will benefit, in the long run, the majority of the people who support him.
It is a very very unpopular idea to bring out — certainly on this Blog — but there is a racial/cultural component here. Trump does represent, even if he doesn’t see it or acknowledge it, his largely white constituency. And these people do feel they have been ‘sold out’. And there is a demographic battle going on which will, quite soon, reduce the political power of that white demographic even more than it has been reduced in the last 60 years.
However, what I notice among these people is not the kind of race-hatred that you would imagine might be there. Actually, they see people of other races and culture in similar situation to themselves and (I have noticed this often) express solidarity.
I doubt from what (little ) have read of you that you would not accept the ‘dispossession’ argument (See Wilmot Robertson’s The Dispossessed Majority) yet I read it cover to cover and he makes some generally good arguments.
If you understand the origins of the dissatisfaction, anger and also blind rage of the present, it does help to understand the larger picture and the nature of some parts of the conflicts.
What I notice — here and in many places — is that the full scope of the problem and the full picture is never brought out fully. Each person, with their party interest, brings out a part but not the *full picture*.
Agreed. And: “And there is a demographic battle going on which will, quite soon, reduce the political power of that white demographic even more than it has been reduced in the last 60 years.”
Should be amended to say “white Christian demographic”. Trump wouldn’t be where he is today had evangelicals not decided that fear of a largely exaggerated and mostly non-existent persecution superseded their belief that political leaders should be of strong moral fiber.
And yes, at the individual level, motivations are complex. But Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign has without a doubt brought fear, suspicion, anger and hatred of brown-skinned people to the forefront like we haven’t seen in years. Do many, perhaps even most of these people live with that cloud of “economic uncertainty” hanging over their heads every day? For sure. Does it help to have someone else to direct those feelings of anger & disenfranchisement towards? You bet it does.
That’s interesting. My impression — and I have tried to study the people who hold radical ideas — is that the ‘white Christians, especially perhaps the white Evangelicals, are largely unconcerned about race or background. In some senses — I have noticed this often in Latin America — they come to those regions of the brown people (for want of a better way to say it) to educate and convert people who are less educated, more malleable, and open to their message.
The ‘white Christians’ often have tremendous success because they are usually rather clear and dedicated people, free from vices, accomplished and capable in business, and they bring a whole group of desired and needed values and principles. People see this and wish to practice what they practice. The evangelical Christian church is expanding at astounding rates in Latin America, Africa and the ‘third world’ generally.
[I am one of those persons who does ‘believe in’ the so-called Great Replacement. And I think this has come about because of internal failures principally (moral and ethical failures within the country itself) and that the ‘replacement’ is a symptom and result.
I did not see that as much as the general ‘nationalist’ rhetoric, which has its place. And I also think he was elected by a disaffected base. But I do not believe that he (and those working under him) will actually improve things for that base, so I think there will be a disillusionment at one point or other.
The ‘anti-brown’ and ‘pro-white-well-being’ position I know quite well having studied it in relative depth. I do not think it is actually grounded in ‘hate’ as you seem to, but in a form of realism: replacement is a real thing and if it is real those affected have a right to be concerned. But, it is very hard to ground one’s concerns in a way that doesn’t appear exclusionary.
As you might guess I think the corruption of the country by (excessive) business penetration leads to a situation where that class does not care, and they desire to ‘open the gates’ as it were. Numerous libertarians seem to be of this mind (the Koch brothers are said to have such a social philosophy). I think that is a mistake.
“My impression — and I have tried to study the people who hold radical ideas — is that the ‘white Christians, especially perhaps the white Evangelicals, are largely unconcerned about race or background.”
My point on this was more that this giant amorphous group of Trump voters also have a subset of people overly concerned with and motivated by “religious persecution” and the rise of secularism. How evangelicals feel about immigrants is as varied as the country’s views in general. Being an evangelical myself, I know people that are in favor of opening the borders, people that are unapologetically and unquestionably racist, and everyone in between.
“I do not think it is actually grounded in ‘hate’ as you seem to, but in a form of realism: replacement is a real thing and if it is real those affected have a right to be concerned.”
Remember the wisdom of Yoda: Fear -> Anger -> Hate. Look at history – hate doesn’t spring out of the ground fully formed, it’s a process. And yes, some people are much further along in that process than others, and not all will let their fear evolve into something more insidious – but it won’t be for a lack of politicians, and one in particular in this case, trying to push for that evolution.
I don’t know if this thread will be the place where it can happen, but I would be interested in hearing and understanding better how you see things — from your evangelical perspective.
My view is that ‘secularism’ is indeed a danger and not a *good thing*. I think that we need to rediscover and make more real and vibrant our metaphysical understanding. Christianity is a metaphysical position, not a secular one. By its very nature it is ‘activist’ and even ‘intolerant’.
But I am suspicious of ‘political Christianity’ and certainly of Neo-Conservative political Christianity’.
Thanks for your comments!
“My view is that ‘secularism’ is indeed a danger and not a *good thing*.”
Not a good thing – agreed. My belief is that the best way to speed up the rise of secularism is to try and wield the force of the federal government against it, and by abandoning long-held moral beliefs in exchange for short-term political power and influence. I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic in saying that the church will suffer for years because of the Christian right’s embrace of the likes of Donald Trump. Their total embrace of Trump has made him the defacto face of the church – for the next generation when people think of Christianity, they will think of Donald Trump. That’s not a good thing. The lure of secularism is easy to combat when the alternative is living a happy life rooted in morality and spiritual growth. It’s not so easy when people look at you and only see anger & hypocrisy. The book “Immoral Majority” does a good job of discussing the cause of and implications of this Faustian bargain.
I responded here.
I think that Harris may have a chance as a demographically desirable VP running mate for the eventual nominee. She may even be viewed as necessary, given all the boxes she checks. As to whether she would accept a subservient position, particularly to a male politician, her background with Willie Brown certainly indicates that she is a gal who can go along to get along.
I’m now trying to think of a VP who flopped that badly seeking the nomination for the top spot.. She doesn’t bring a state with her, California will go blue if they run Muppet for President. She’s a #MeToo disgrace because of the Brown bit. She has no constituency.
Do you not think she would play well to people who don’t know her? Would the media detail her relationship with Brown? Or would it be spun as HER #MeToo background? Few voters are paying attention now, so her primary failure may not loom large. How redeeming for the candidate to choose her because she was “unfairly excluded”. Would Mike Pence eviscerate her in a debate, as Trump surely would?
I think a candidate would be taking a big risk to pick her.
As do I. It just seems like a political season for hail-Mary passes, and trying anything, ANYTHING, to defeat Trump.
Mike Pence pretty much trounced Tim Kaine in the 2016 VP debate by mostly keeping his mouth shut and letting Kaine sink his own ship. He would do the same with Kamala Harris. And because she appears to have two problems – 1) the inability to keep her mouth shut and 2) the inability to hide her true ideology – Pence would likely prevail in similar fashion.
What is the old saying? “When your enemy is busy making a mistake, get out of his way.”
Sadly, President Trump has never heard that saying.
I think it’s very likely that the eventual nominee will pick someone from outside the crop of Democratic presidential hopefuls when it comes time to pick a VP. They’ll pick someone relatively unknown from a swing state, likely a young up-and-comer who needs a big break, because we’ve all already seen too much of the current candidates. They’ve shown themselves to be a rather unimpressive group, so why pick one of them when you can generate at least a little excitement by throwing some fresh blood into the water?
I was trying to be nice, but you’re right. In the interest of accuracy and precision, I should have said, “They’ve shown themselves to be a fantastically unimpressive group, with perhaps the least collective appeal of any field of political candidates in human history. A group that would remain unfit for the office they seek if they were allowed to pool their meager talents into a single gray, formless, unexceptional composite of mediocrity.”
The left is loaded with way more racists than the right. They don’t have many that are hate filled racists, they are the much more pernicious types that look down their noses at minorities and see them as less than they are. That’s why they back programs like affirmative action – they do not think minorities are as capable so they must get special treatment to gain equal outcome.
The over, hate filled racists of the far right are easy to identify and avoid. Those racists of the left get a pass because they and those around them don’t recognize the racism for what it is. For whatever reason though, it appears that Harris didn’t get the pass that Obama did.
It is mathematically impossible to poll consistently in the single digits among likely Democratic voters without losing a majority of women and people of color, including a majority of women of color.
Here is something Kamala Harris had said.
“Local law enforcement must be able to use their discretion to determine
who can carry a concealed weapon,” said Kamala Harris, who was then the
California Attorney General.
I have always wondered how #BlackLivesMatter would view this. After all,
according to their narrative, cops are just Klansmen with badges who
habitually gun down unarmed black men. How could we trust such people with
discretion to determine who may carry a concealed weapon?
And yet, just yesterday, she tweeted this:
Today, we remember #MikeBrown and recommit to ensuring truth,
transparency, and trust in our criminal justice system. #BlackLivesMatter
So I wonder if any reporter from the network broadcast and print media would
ask her any of the following questions:
– If the reason that “[l]ocal law enforcement must be able to use their
discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon” is because they
are just Klansmen with badges, why shouldn’t the Stormfront White
Nationalist Community also get to decide who can carry a concealed weapon?
– If the reason that “[l]ocal law enforcement must be able to use their
discretion to determine who can carry a concealed weapon” is because they
habitually gun down unarmed black men, why shouldn’t the Crips also get to
decide who can carry a concealed weapon?
– Is more black men dead or in prison a worthy price to pay to make lawful
gun ownership more difficult?
– Is making lawful gun ownership more difficult a worthy price to pay to put
more black men in prison?
– Does some magical guardian fairy turn these Klansmen with badges into
freedom riders whenever they exercise their “discretion to determine who can
carry a concealed weapon”?
You nailed it. I have already said to a few people that the one thing I learned from Harris’ presidential campaign is that she should not be my senator.
I can think of no instance of the Federal government using force against secularism. Can you give an example?
You say “is to try and wield the force of the federal government against it [secularism], and by abandoning long-held moral beliefs in exchange for short-term political power and influence”. You seem to imply that it is the State that could abandon ‘long held moral beliefs’ — but the State cannot really have moral beliefs. The State is more often than not a kind of mechanism of power, and in America the State is often in rather obvious collusion with private power to achieve the ends of private enterprises.
I do not think it very wise to give much faith to the political class generally. Therefore it seems to me more or less a given that if morals have been corrupted, they are necessarily corrupted by power and its machinations.
You could be right. In my view, it seems a wiser and more realistic position to assume ‘general corruption’ of government. I mean by that that the State cannot be Christian or act Christian by its very nature. So, if people are putting their faith and hope in ‘moral government’ and certainly Christian government, they can only be deceived. (And now I think I understand what you must mean about the State trying to enforce Christian values: for example Christians like Pence (or Bush Jr) who seem to feel that the State, and what they do with the State, can be or is ‘Christian’ in some sense.
And yet I think it fair to say that many people do see Trump in some ways as a ‘hope’. Rather strange when you think about it. So perhaps I see your point: what the Christian Right should do is to remain outside of political machination and keep to the ‘higher moral road’.
It really is a problem: how Christian society and culture can and should influence government.
Yes, and sometimes it seems that the best choice is to get as far away from politics and the Culture Wars as is possible. That is, to retreat into smaller social spaces and let the world go by.
On the other hand . . . spiritual life, when disconnected from the affairs of the world . . . is somehow ingenuine.
And everyone has their idea of what spiritual life requires and how to carry out social and political engagement. I watched this conversation — by a man who certainly identifies as a Christian — and his profound critique of ‘the system’.