Now You Know

Post 1,032

Maybe you remember the early days of the Republican War Against America, like during the reign of Saint Ronny I, when he bamboozled the nation with his “trickle-down” voodoo economics scheme to send your money to the 1%. We used to wonder why otherwise sensible people would vote against their own interests. Since Trump came on the scene they have not only voted against their own interests, but they  appear to have abandoned their claimed bedrock values. They follow like sheep. Or lemmings.

There are many reasons for this, some explored in these posts, like striking out at “The Man,” and fear/hatred of others. A part that had eluded me was why evangelicals, people who see themselves as Christians (as in: following Jesus) would flock to an amoral, non-religious violator of pretty much everything they declare they believe in. A recent Sheila Markin post provides clarity.

“In his recent Apple podcast interview with Shumita Basu [Tim Alberta] talks about the two word phrase you hear over and over again from evangelicals today that helps us to understand their shift to the extreme right.

“The two words are ‘under siege.’

“Evangelicals believe they are under siege and ‘the barbarians are at the gates.’ A wicked, godless, hostile culture connected to secular government is coming to get them. This persecution, which they really believe is coming for them, is predicted to intensify. Evangelical pastors are also getting into the act by pushing this “replacement” idea and proclaiming Trump as their savior. Literally. Evangelicals are told they must vote for Trump because he will save them from the barbarians. As Tim Alberta points out, if you feel your culture and faith are about to be obliterated you are more willing to bend your beliefs to accommodate someone as morally bereft as Trump and think of him as your savior. It is remarkable that Trump, a man without religious faith or ethics, a man who is more of an antichrist than a second coming of Christ, has been anointed as the blessed savior of a culture that Trump could not care less about. Trump is simply using the evangelical base as his get out of jail free pass. He needs them to vote for him so he can avoid going to prison.”

Now you know why evangelical extremists do what they do. I’m referring to extremists like:

self-professed uber-Christians

the “Believe as I believe or there’s no God for you” absolutists*

the self-deluded moral high ground grabbers

the Jesus freaks who don’t follow Jesus

the people who want the Ten Commandments posted and recited in schools and courthouses but who don’t believe Trump has to follow them and maybe they don’t have to follow them either

the Fahrenheit 451 mob

the ones who so quickly believe violent lies and embrace racist taunts

the people who wrongly believe this nation was intended by the Founders to be a Christian nation and that non-believers should be expelled from our shores

the ones who so easily sell out themselves and are eager to sell out you and our country, too, all in the name of some imagined purity

These people actually believe they are “under siege” and so, too, is their White privilege. They are frightened and they let the Great Manipulators turn them to hatred.

That’s why Iowa voted for Trump. That plus only 110,298 out of 2,083,979 registered voters (5.3%) bothered to show up at the caucuses.

The evangelicals and the other deluded ignorants are very much afraid, so they are reliable voters who will check the boxes next to the names of the BS spouters.

Many millions of Americans are clamoring for autocracy. Some think they’re in the special, favored group and will gain vast power for themselves by stealing it from you. They want to control what people can say and even what they are allowed to think.

They want a strongman leading an autocracy to fix all the ills that they imagine rain down on them like the plagues on Egypt. It’s that “under siege” thing. They imagine under the leadership of a strongman they will be protected from those unwashed, unwelcome “others,” the “vermin” who are “poisoning our blood” and that at last life will be made right. There’s just one thing.

Autocracy doesn’t work that way. However they begin, they always become brutal and oppressive and they create massive suffering.

The Axis powers of WW II are too easy to name as examples. How about the ancient Roman autocracy? How’d that work out for early Christians or for the people of any of the conquered lands or for their own Plebeians and slaves?

How’d that work out in the Spanish Inquisition, which tortured and murdered tens of thousands of people? Or Pol Pot’s Cambodia (over 2 million killed) or the Balkan Wars (over 120,000 Albanians killed) or Milosevic’s Czechoslovakia (200,000 dead in Bosnia, 2 million homeless and 800,000 Albanians ethnically cleansed). How’d that work out in Stalin’s Russia (over 6 million murdered – over 28 million by the communists 1917 – 1987) or for the Uyghurs in China right now or in any of the ethnic cleansing atrocities like Darfur (over 400,000 dead).

The hoped-for nirvana via strongman/autocracy never appeared for people on those murderous trips into autocracy. They never will.

It’s often said by Americans needing validation that the United States is exceptional and it surely is in some respects. But there is no reason we should expect autocracy in the U.S. to be better in any way than it has been anywhere else throughout history. Indeed, we are already exceptionally good at anger, violence, discrimination and at fooling ourselves.

Dan Rather wrote a piece about Trump in his post of January 23, 2024 and how he has changed us.

“He has changed what was until recently considered unacceptable behavior for our leaders. He has normalized bigotry, misogyny, racism, ageism, ableism, sexism.”

“He has changed our relationships with facts. Now there are phony “alternative facts.” .  .  .  Rational discourse is a thing of the past, because how can you argue with someone who, in effect, refuses to accept that two plus two makes four. [sic]”

“He has changed how we show our discontent, unleashing long-held furies and granting permission to behave badly.”

Be clear that Trump didn’t do that change thing by himself. Millions of Americans cheered for his 2 + 2 = 5 nonsense because the anger made them feel powerful or they felt like Crusader champions or like delusional super patriots or even holy.

Go. Read Rather’s post. Bring with you the understanding that Trump and his lies, his brutish cruelty and his hatred has given permission for people who consider themselves to be good Christians to unleash their long-held furies and to behave badly. He does it, so they do it, too.

Regardless of rants by evangelicals or anyone else, Trump wasn’t sent by God.** Watch this from The Lincoln Project.

Now you know.


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Our existential charge is to Stop Hateful Idiocy Today. You work out the acronym.


* From a quote by C.S. Lewis, declaring that he wasn’t of that crowd.

** Said by a woman being interviewed by a reporter outside a polling place in New Hampshire on primary election day:

“Trump is a divine intervention from God. I really believe that.”

I wonder how she justifies her belief, knowing that Trump thinks he can grab women by their private parts; that he can rape them, then defame them; and that he can do all that to her.

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