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Trump and the Social Conservatives

LordJesus-609x330One of the more curious, interesting, and unexpected (to me, anyway) aspects of Donald Trump’s current political fortunes is the degree to which he has secured a not insignificant amount of support from evangelical social conservatives. Indeed, one of the reasons that I expected a fade for Trump in the polling as we got to about this point was that I thought it unlikely he could capture and sustain support from religious conservatives. Trump, after all, is the walking embodiment of at least three of the seven deadly sins:  lust, greed, and pride (and one could probably throw in gluttony and wrath if one were so inclined).

Beyond that, however, Trump is a recent convert to the pro-life position, is a known adulterer, is twice divorced, and is a major player in the gambling industry.    For Trump to be getting, therefore, the public support of people like like Jerry Falwell, Jr. (of Liberty University) and Robert Jeffress (of First Baptist Dallas) is remarkable (especially since there are plenty of candidates to choose from).  Of course, this support says a lot about the individuals giving it and their relative dedication to their own moral positions versus their attraction to power.

It is not just a select number of evangelical elites who are swooning for The Donald, it is a lot of potential voters (via Time):

In a recent New York Times/CBS Newssurvey, the Republican frontrunner earned the support of 42% of evangelicals, far outpacing the rest of the GOP field, including his top rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who garnered 25%. A January NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll also showed Trump with the deepest support among white evangelicals, at 33%.

Now, one can surely discuss (and even mock, I suspect) the inherent hypocrisy of both the elites and the masses who are supporting Trump while claiming to adhere to a social conservative set of values, but that isn’t the most significant or interesting aspect of this story.  What I find noteworthy here is first the practical implication that if Trump can gain a substantial number of social conservative voters (voters you would think he would alienate), then he does have a real chance of winning the nomination.  Second, this raises the question of what is it about these voters, and their collective identities/preferences that lead them to support a candidate who seemingly is at odds with their moral preferences?

Setting aside my already publicly stated distaste for Trump, we have moved beyond the point of the whole thing being a novelty act to the point of trying to figure out exactly what his support means about a segment of the US populations.  One element of this puzzle is this issue if religion and certain religious values which were supposedly the main determinant of the political preferences of, to use a term made famous by Falwell senior, the “moral majority.”  If there are factors (likely a mix of racial self-identity and economics) that can trump (yes, I said it) the religious self-image of these voters, then it is a potent force indeed.  I do not presume, however, to be able to explain it in this blog post, but rather think it is worth raising.

Now, it is true that this support is not universal.  For example, Russell Moore (president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention) wrote at NRO:

Trump can win only in the sort of celebrity-focused mobocracy that Neil Postman warned us about years ago, in which sound moral judgments are displaced by a narcissistic pursuit of power combined with promises of “winning” for the masses. Social and religious conservatives have always seen this tendency as decadent and deviant. For them to view it any other way now would be for them to lose their soul.

Also, via Politico:  Social conservative leaders seek to halt Trump’s momentum

In an open letter sent to Iowa voters on Tuesday, a number of those leaders, including Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, and former congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, write, “As pro-life women leaders from Iowa and across the nation, we urge Republican caucus-goers and voters to support anyone but Donald Trump.

See also:  Christian leaders balk at Falwell’s Trump endorsement.

By the way, if there are any self-identified social conservatives/evangelicals in the audience who are also Trump supporters, I would be sincerely interested in hearing how you reconcile your position.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    From what I’ve read, Trump’s promise to “build the wall” trumps everything else. It’s that simple. Ann Coulter, who purports to believe firmly that abortion is murder, said that she didn’t care if Trump performed abortions in the White House in view of his immigration policy.

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  2. Pch101 says:

    Right-wing populism is invariably based upon hate, resentment and a sense that their group is under siege by another group. This is true in the US and it is true abroad, as we have seen with the BNP in the UK, Front National in France, Vlaams Blok in Belgium, One Nation in Australia and elsewhere.

    The details are just cosmetic. When there is a religious element, then it’s just part of the excuse to justify the self-righteousness. Whether or not it is hypocritical or inconsistent makes no difference – the core of the ideology is always motivated by fear and hate and a desire for simple answers that divide the world neatly into good and evil.

    One reason that right-wing nutjobs like to yammer on about their god and/or their misinterpretations of the Constitution is their desire to claim a monopoly on both authority and tradition. It has nothing to do with the content of those works but everything to do with their status.

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  3. humanoid.panda says:

    Well, I am surely not a social conservative, but I think you would do well to check out Rod Dreher’s place to see how the dynamic of his support works among social conservatives. Many of Dreher’s readers at Trumpists, and he himself is leaning that way, for a mixture of 4 reasons
    1. Anger at Republican establishment for letting the gays and heathens win.
    2. A nihilistic hatred of what America had become, and kinda wishing Trump would just burn it to the ground.
    3. A feeling that Trump and they share a set of enemies: the dread SJWs.
    4. And most importnatly, I think for these people, Christianity is intrisically connected to their White identity. Therefore, they conceive of immigration and rise of minorities as an assault on Christianity.

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  4. @humanoid.panda: I think this notion of being under assault is very much part of the issue. Likewise, I think it is rooted in identity.

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  5. Ron Beasley says:

    @Pch101: “Right-wing populism is invariably based upon hate, resentment and a sense that their group is under siege by another group”
    For the most part I agree with this but it has nearly always been the case. What is rarely reported in history is that Mohamed went to Rome because he wanted his people to become Christians – the church of Rome had no interest. The Passion Play in Bavaria is not even subtle about it’s antisemitism long before Hitler.
    The militants in SE Oregon are largely Mormons who think they are continuing the holy work of Joseph Smith. .

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  6. Tyrell says:

    Trump hit celebrity status in the late 1980’s. I recently watched some of the talk show interviews he did back then: Letterman, Oprah. He talked mostly about the trade deals (which sunk a lot of industry in the US). Big D became the man to go to if you needed something done. I remember the ice rink overhaul in NYC that he took on and got straightened out.
    Back then Trump seemed more positive, pragmatic, middle of the road, reasonable, and amenable.
    I don’t think that Trump’s huge support today is related to hatred or any sort of prejudicial views. People seem to want someone now who stands out from the rest.

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  7. edmondo says:

    By the way, if there are any self-identified social conservatives/evangelicals in the audience who are also Trump supporters, I would be sincerely interested in hearing how you reconcile your position.

    Probably the same way that those Democrats who are seeking a better deal for their families are vocally supporting the Wall Street suck up who wants to wage perpetual wars by “reasoning” with the GOP in Congress. The delusions are bipartisan.

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  8. Cal American says:

    Once again I am reminded of the the brilliance of our Founding Fathers. They understood.

    The current Republican Party has now become the poster child for why you separate church and state.

    The absolutism of religion does not mix with the real world compromises of social democracies.

    You’d think we would have learned this by now.

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  9. gVOR08 says:

    If there are factors (likely a mix of racial self-identity and economics) that can trump (yes, I said it) the religious self-image of these voters, then it is a potent force indeed.

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Likewise, I think it is rooted in identity.

    Yes. Religion is not about religion, religion is about tribal identity. Remember gVOR’s First Law of Politics. For conservatives nothing is ever about what it’s about.

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  10. grumpy realist says:

    @humanoid.panda: I wouldn’t say Rod Dreher is leaning towards supporting Trump. He’s appalled and fascinated at how Trump has been able to rip out the heart of the Republican Party (or demonstrate that it never had one.) He’s squeamishly attracted to covering the cataclysm–but not supporting it. And he’s fascinated by how evangelicals can support Trump.

    (My own suggestion is that none of the other candidates express the rage that Trump has. Cruz has it as well, which is why the other candidate that attracts interest from the evangelicals is Cruz. But Huckabee and Santorum? Totally ignored.)

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  11. JKB says:

    @Cal American: The absolutism of religion does not mix with the real world compromises of social democracies.

    That may be why America was constituted as a republic of republics. One where no religious sect was permitted to dominate. But since morality comes from God, there is a certain amount of absolutism when it comes to good and evil.

    Not to mention we get a ringside seat to the suicidal compromises of social democracies when confronted by an absolutist religion in Europe.

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  12. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Yeah, well after inspecting Europe’s religious wars the only thing I can think is “let’s not do that again, mmkay?”

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  13. Gustopher says:

    @edmondo:

    Probably the same way that those Democrats who are seeking a better deal for their families are vocally supporting the Wall Street suck up who wants to wage perpetual wars by “reasoning” with the GOP in Congress. The delusions are bipartisan.

    I think a lot of people supporting Clinton don’t know what a Wall Street Suckup she is — it isn’t something that comes up in every appearance. She seems either pragmatic or without convictions, depending on your initial view of her.

    I find it hard to believe that Trump doesn’t come across as wildly inauthentic on social conservative issues, because people keep bringing it up. He oozes hate and narcissism. But, social conservatives believe in a very different Jesus than the one I don’t believe in.

    (And, I “support” Clinton because I think America will not elect a socialist, and I expect the nomination to be settled before my state caucuses)

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  14. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    But since morality comes from God, there is a certain amount of absolutism when it comes to good and evil.

    “… since morality comes from God …”
    It does?

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  15. Argon says:

    This is a stark example of the observation:
    Q: What do you get when you mix religion and politics?
    A: Politics.

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  16. Mark says:

    The core of American social conservatism is white superiority, not Christianity.

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  17. jd says:

    One analysis says the common trait that predicts support of Trump is authoritarianism. Sounds about right. How does a 1%-er or a pro-lifer or an evangelical or a gay-basher or a racist get what they want without being able to force their view on others?

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  18. george says:

    @Pch101:

    Right-wing populism is invariably based upon hate, resentment and a sense that their group is under siege by another group. This is true in the US and it is true abroad, as we have seen with the BNP in the UK, Front National in France, Vlaams Blok in Belgium, One Nation in Australia and elsewhere.

    You forgot to mention Merkel in Germany – she’s right wing there.

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  19. humanoid.panda says:

    @george: Christian Democrats are not a right wing populist party. They’re kinda the exact opposite of a right wing populist party.

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  20. Tony W says:

    Gotta go with the crowd here. The Venn diagram showing the universe of Trump supporters and the universe of ‘evangelicals’ has a huge overlap – but it’s coincidental, they both hate the ‘other’ – a flexible designation which can be defined as people who speak other languages, have brownish skin, worship different invisible friends, etc.

    Fortunately for Trump self-awareness has never been a strong suit of the evangelical wing. In a rational world a candidate like Cruz, who clearly makes up his own facts, would go down in flames.

    Instead these guys are just shiny victims of the mean, mean liberal media.

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  21. Mikey says:

    @humanoid.panda: Did Merkel jump to the NPD when we weren’t looking? 😉

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  22. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell:..I don’t think that Trump’s huge support today is related to hatred or any sort of prejudicial views.

    Now we all know where you live…Honkeytown!

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  23. Gustopher says:

    @al-Ameda: if you believe in a God that supplies morality, then of course morality comes from God. Morality, like the platypus, and antibiotic resistant bacteria all come from God.

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  24. grumpy realist says:

    @Gustopher: If the platypus was designed by God, either He had a really BAD hangover or was a committee….

    (Read Terry Pratchett’s take on the origins of the platypus.)

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  25. steve says:

    I grew up in an evangelical, Bircher household. It is what I live with when I go back for family reunions. For years, there has been a large segment of the evangelical population that relies heavily upon an us against them mindset. “Them” has been gays of late, but Trump has really tapped into the anti-immigrant, nativist part of the evangelical movement that makes up a good deal of the GOP red meat base. They are really motivated by what they hate, not any aspect of their faith when it comes to politics. (Of note, there are also some evangelicals, the non-angry ones, who try to live up to their beliefs. Some those have been supportive of immigrants and reaching out to the poor rather than cutting taxes for the wealthy. They just aren’t as prominent and are smaller in number.)

    Steve

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  26. @steve:

    an us against them mindset

    I know exactly what you are referring to. I just find it curious that Trump is seen as the answer to that problem from the POV of an evangelical.

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  27. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    Not all right-wingers are populists.

    Not all populists are right-wingers.

    Merkel is not a right-wing populist.

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  28. Pch101 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    The hatred and fear are more important than the religion

    More to the point, the religion is just a tool to justify the hatred and fear. It really has nothing to do with the religion per se, but with tribal identity.

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  29. PJ says:

    @george:
    While sane right-wing politicians in the US have been hunted to near extinction by their feral and more right-wing relatives, they are still roaming free in Europe.
    Merkel is one of them.

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  30. humanoid.panda says:

    @Pch101: Simplest example of this is I think abortion. Does anyone think that people like JKB, Jenos or JAck would be pro-life if pro-choice wasn’t the liberal position?

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  31. Pch101 says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    I suspect that has more to do with their desire for men — specifically, white men — to be in charge.

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  32. Kylopod says:

    It isn’t news that many evangelical voters seem to place fealty to right-wing politics–particularly race and identity politics–above religious principles. (See Newt Gingrich’s win in South Carolina in 2012.) But I wonder if there isn’t another factor explaining Falwell’s endorsement of Trump: the desire to appear as kingmaker toward a candidate he sees as inevitable. It’s similar to why Pat Robertson in 2007 endorsed Rudy Giuliani, a philandering, divorced, pro-choice Catholic, among a field full of candidates lacking at least one of those qualities, including one actual Baptist minister with unimpeachable pro-life bona fides (Mike Huckabee).

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  33. David M says:

    It is kind of difficult to understand how the group that’s obsessed with the personal religiosity and moral character of politicians is supporting Trump. Especially after seeing them oppose Obama for almost an entire decade.

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  34. grumpy realist says:

    @Pch101: We’re going to see an interesting question about “ethics we can afford” down in Brazil and the whole Zika problem. I didn’t know it, but it turns out that what really pushed the legalization of abortion over the top in the US was the rubella epidemic and the accompanying wave of deformed infants. It’s one thing when abortion is being demanded by “those sluts”. It’s another thing when it’s demanded by a bunch of upper-middle class women who are carrying severely deformed fetuses.

    They’re now predicting that Brazil will have over 50,000 infants born with microcephaly before Zika gets under control. Babies requiring special and intensive care, born to women who quite often are poor and already have 7-8 children. And in a medical system already strained to its limit.

    Not good.

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  35. de stijl says:

    @gVOR08:

    Religion is not about religion, religion is about tribal identity.

    Likewise, politics is not about policy. Politics is also about tribal identity as others have noted.

    (Granted, there are a wonkish few who actually care about the specifics of policy, but in the main politics is cultural affiliation. And religion is a much more “inheritable” trait than is politics.)

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  36. dazedandconfused says:

    @grumpy realist:

    “ethics we can afford”

    Bullseye. The social conservatives are largely the working poor. There is a growing panic within the demographic as the third-worldization of the US has become harder and harder to deny. Check out the revenue the government is raking in from early withdrawals from IRAs. At a certain point even Jesus became intensely concerned with bread and fishes. The People have begun the search for a government which will save them from their condition, and Congress itself is not viewed with any respect. A hankerin’ for the accountability and power to affect change of dictatorship has commenced in some parts, and Trump calls Congress stupid. All Congressmen are politicians and they are ALWAYS ruined by Washington, according to Trump. He knows his audience.

    It’s brave new ground from the respect our past dictator’s public comments of the institution. Lincoln. FDR, even Washington were all respectful in their rhetoric. Worrisome.

    That said, Fallwell Jr.? “Any preacher with more than two suits….” The social conservatives love that joke too.

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  37. André Kenji De Sousa says:

    @grumpy realist: mosquitoes and mosquitoes related diseases(Specially Dengue fever) are a huge issue in Brazil, but I think that the foreign media is exaggerating the problems related to the zika virus.

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  38. Kari Q says:

    This article makes it simple. The people supporting Trump may be evangelical Christian, but their economic fears are more important than the personal values of the candidate they support. They support Trump because they believe that he will stop immigration, which they believe is undermining their personal economic security.

    Their concerns are completely reasonable, even though I think they are completely wrong about the causes. Their standard of living is stagnant or declining. Their children will probably do no better than they did, and quite likely worse. Job security is gone. Pensions are gone. College is out of reach for their children. Everything their parents took for granted is gone. They are angry because they have reason to be.

    It’s not that complicated. Stop over-thinking it.

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  39. André Kenji De Sousa says:

    I’m so glad that I don’t vote in the United States. Having to choose between Hillary Clinton (that voted for the Iraq war resolution) and Donald Trump would be a horrible dilemma.

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  40. george says:

    @PJ:

    That was my point. Right wing in the United States isn’t the same as right wing in much of the rest of the world. Right wing in most of Europe (and Canada) is to the left of the Democratic party (well, to the left of Clinton and Obama if not Sanders).

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  41. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Argon: Wa! I like that! Can I use it?

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  42. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Mark: I would identify the core of social conservatism as White Christian hegemony, but your observation is probably close enough and more fair to Christians a non-monolithic entity (as is true of most, if not all, other groups, too).

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  43. Franklin says:

    @JKB:

    But since morality comes from God, there is a certain amount of absolutism when it comes to good and evil.

    I know, I know, a deliberately provocative statement that I shouldn’t even be responding to. But if you want to convince anybody of your position, you have to root the arguments in something that can be demonstrated. Since there is no proof for or against any supernatural being, it’s best to leave such beings out of any argument.

    Also, I disagree with both parts of your sentence.

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  44. charon says:

    @Gustopher:

    if you believe in a God that supplies morality, then of course morality comes from God.

    Tautology. AKA, circular reasoning.

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  45. PJ says:

    @André Kenji De Sousa:

    mosquitoes and mosquitoes related diseases(Specially Dengue fever) are a huge issue in Brazil, but I think that the foreign media is exaggerating the problems related to the zika virus.

    Not sure what is being exaggerated.

    The Ministry of Health in Brazil reports that there were 3174 reported cases of microcephaly in 2015. There were about 150 cases in 2014.

    Considering when the outbreak started, only about ten months ago, there will most likely be _a lot more_ cases in 2016 than there were in 2015.

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  46. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    But since morality comes from God, there is a certain amount of absolutism when it comes to good and evil.

    One of the things that annoys me about American evangelicals is just how ignorant they are of the history of their own religion. When God tells you to behave a certain way, does he tell you to behave that way because it is moral, or is it moral because God commands it? The debate has been raging for at least a thousand years, and both positions lead inexorably to beliefs that your average American fundie would find abhorrent.

    If morality is an external standard that God perfectly embodies, then it is not true that morality comes from God. If morality is whatever God ordains, with no regard to any external standard, then it is arbitrary and God could just as easily require human sacrifice, ritual torture, and disco music. Quoting from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on “Theological Voluntarism”:

    There are good reasons to reject the claim that all normative notions are to be understood in relation to God’s will. The main reason is that, as we will see below, it is important that there be items with normative statuses independent of God’s will in order to explain how God’s will, even if free, is not arbitrary.

    Duns Scotus and Aquinas argued this back and forth for decades, with no winner declared. Their Scholastic successors kept it up for hundreds of years, and the argument continues to this day.

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  47. Mikey says:

    @DrDaveT:

    The debate has been raging for at least a thousand years

    Plato posed the question in Euthyphro, 2400 years ago. “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?”

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  48. humanoid.panda says:

    @Kari Q:

    It’s not that complicated. Stop over-thinking it.

    The question is not why are they angry. The question is why they are expressing their anger by supporting Trump, and not doing a myriad more productive things.

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  49. DrDaveT says:

    @Mikey:

    Plato posed the question in Euthyphro, 2400 years ago.

    Oh, absolutely. But your basic American evangelical thinks Plato was an irrelevant heathen, or possibly a non-toxic modeling clay.

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  50. de stijl says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    I would identify the core of social conservatism as White Christian hegemony

    And the freak-out we’ve seen is a reaction to the loss of white privilege and Christian privilege.

    When they are in the clear and unquestioned majority, to those on the inside of the bubble, othering and privilege are like water to fish. Un-noticeable. Part and parcel of normal human existence.

    When the privilege is challenged, or the majority is in decline – watch out. Some people do not know how to process guilt or remorse or repentance when they believe that they have done nothing wrong personally. Class or group guilt is for Them, not for Us. It has always been so. We are a grouping of independent but like-minded individuals beavering each in our own way to improve society; They are an undifferentiated mass who wish to destroy society and civilization as we know it just for the lulz.

    When the privilege is rejected without social consequence or lost because the majority is no longer the majority, those who used to live in the nice soft, un-knowing fish-in-water bubble basically panic.

    The loss of control – the loss of the privilege you did not know you had up until the point it evaporated – can be overwhelming. There is no pissed like the secretly contrite, privately conflicted, publicly defiant brand of pissed.

    America *is* exceptional. Seriously, backing a braggart buffoon for President is probably the least provocative and negative thing they could could do. When confronted with the loss of privilege our Olds and our Whites decided to vote for a short fingered vulgarian and failed real estate developer as the Republican Presidential nominee. It’s like there’s this limiter on destructive behavior; like, let’s do the least damage we can can while simultaneously sending the loudest message we can.

    Losing the general election by 200+ electoral votes and screwing your Party’s future election chances is acceptable because they sent the right message.

    We are not to be trifled with! We will nominate unelectable loud-mouthed belligerent bellicose buffoons until the cows come home! My unjustified resentment will be noted and will be mollified, or I swear to God I will refuse to do something and / or promise to something really ineffectual.

    America is exceptional. Our proto-fascists are markedly lame.

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  51. de stijl says:

    @DrDaveT:

    possibly a non-toxic modeling clay

    Non-toxic, yes, but very throwupable. Personal experience – colored modeling clay maintains its form in an acidic environment even after being forcibly ejected from said acidic environment. For two hours at least.

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  52. sam says:

    @DrDaveT:

    The debate has been raging for at least a thousand years

    More like 2500 years, see Plato, Euthyphro, where the dilemma was first articulated.

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  53. bill says:

    @Pch101: yeah, and dems continue to bring up slavery, jim crow laws and voter supression ( all things they started btw) when trying to scare the dimwits who usually vote for them.

    and let’s not forget who the most religious voting bloc is- hint, they aren’t “white”. so let’s not insult blacks in here…….

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  54. grumpy realist says:

    @André Kenji De Sousa: It’s not just the foreign media. The World Health Organization is also pretty worried, by all accounts.

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  55. grumpy realist says:

    @bill: Don’t forget that the Republicans and the Democratic Party basically swapped places.

    Or are you gullible enough to believe that it’s the Democratic Party that’s insisting on Voter ID that can only be supplied by DMV offices out in the middle of nowhere for people who don’t have cars?

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  56. MBunge says:

    Morality can, of course, exist without God but a non-theistic morality would, necessarily, be radically different. Pretty much all Western atheists just take Judeo-Christian morality and subtract God from the equation, which is like building a sand castle on the beach. The tide will eventually come in and wipe it all away.

    Mike

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  57. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: by the way, I was wondering where you screen name comes from. What’s a gVOR?

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  58. MBunge says:

    If you want to know why social conservatives are supporting Trump, look at the last three GOP candidates for President. Bush, a supposed true believing Christian who turned out to be a disaster. McCain, a man with no real connection to the evangelical movement. Romney, a member of a heretical sect who ran for political office in Massachusets as effectively a social liberal.

    At some point, people get tired of beating their heads against the wall.

    Mike

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  59. James Pearce says:

    @Pch101:

    I suspect that has more to do with their desire for men — specifically, white men — to be in charge.

    Yeah, that’s it.

    @Kylopod:

    “the desire to appear as kingmaker”

    While I do think we’re dealing with a Junior trying to make a name for himself, if he’s crowning kings, he’s doing it for access to the throne.

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  60. grumpy realist says:

    Did anyone know that Trump wanted to line one of his planes with marble until he was told it would make it too heavy to fly?

    Lord help us. How stupid do you have to get?

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  61. humanoid.panda says:

    @de stijl:
    +1,000!

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  62. Pch101 says:

    @bill:

    There’s a website called Google. Use it to find out why Strom Thurmond and other southern Democrats switched to the Republican party.

    Once you’ve done that, find out about Kevin Phillips and the Southern Strategy.

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  63. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    That was one of the ways in which he managed to put the Eastern Airlines Shuttle (renamed the Trump Shuttle) out of business.

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  64. DrDaveT says:

    @sam:

    More like 2500 years

    As noted to Mikey, I should have been more specific. I mean the debate within Christianity, not the general philosophical question. Evangelical Christians don’t care what non-Christians thought.

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  65. sam says:

    Hmm. I asked that be deleted since Mikey had already cited it.

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  66. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: gVOR08 means nothing. Hate to ruin any small mystery, but it’s just a secure user name I happened to have been using when I first started commenting on political blogs. Commenting under my real name would be highly unwise at my place of work. (And conservatives think they’re subject to political correctness.) Now I’m used to it, and perhaps have some small, local reputation, good or bad. I thought about changing to Grover Cincinnati, and may if Facebook accepts it, now that so many sites use Facebook for login.

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  67. Kari Q says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    As I said in my post:

    They support Trump because they believe that he will stop immigration, which they believe is undermining their personal economic security.

    Other candidates do not take the strong rhetorical stand against immigration that he does. Again, it’s not that complicated. Trump says he will stop immigration, and that’s what they want to hear.

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  68. Andre Kenji says:

    @grumpy realist: .

    The World Health Organization is also pretty worried, by all accounts.

    The WHO has a pretty horrible record of overstating all kinds of potential epidemics. Countries that have problems with malaria and dengue fever(That excludes the United States) should take preventive measures, but that should be done with calm and care.

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  69. Grewgills says:

    @Andre Kenji:
    There is an outbreak of dengue in Hawai’i right now. So far it is localized to Hawai’i island, but they are having a time trying to contain it.

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  70. PJ says:

    @Andre Kenji:
    Potential epidemics?

    There have been an estimated 1.5 million cases of Zika fever in Brazil.
    I’d call that an epidemic.

    It has already led to an 20 fold increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly in Brazil. And there will be a lot more in 2016.

    Women in Brazil are being advised to not get pregnant.

    The WHO should be overstating this (even if it currently isn’t.)

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  71. Kari Q says:

    I keep thinking about this and I really can’t understand why you are all having trouble with this. It’s so incredibly simple.

    Trump supporters believe immigration is destroying America. They are sure it is destroying their way of life.

    ALL immigration. Not just illegal immigration. Not just Muslims. Not just Hispanics and Latinos. Not just Mexicans. All immigration is bad and it must be stopped. Every immigrant is harming the United States.

    Only Trump is saying he will. Listen to the other GOP candidates, and you don’t hear it. You hear them talk about ISIS and Syrian refugees. You hear them talk about illegal immigration and no path to citizenship. You do not hear them say “No more immigrants! Close the borders! Send those already here home!”

    Only Trump says this, so they support him. Why does this puzzle you all?

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  72. Cal American says:

    @gVOR08:

    I always thought it was a shortening of “Go-For-It”!

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  73. ernieyeball says:

    @bill:..and let’s not forget who the most religious voting bloc is…

    So you have some sort of scale that measures how religious a voter is?

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  74. Blue Galangal says:

    @Cal American:

    @gVOR08:

    I always thought it was a shortening of “Go-For-It”!

    I thought it was a play on tergiversate. Heh.

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