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Obama explaining Trump’s success in 2008? inter alia

[ by Charles Cameron — and why white evangelicals feel Christians are discriminated against ]

An Atlantic headline yesterday read: White Evangelicals Believe They Face More Discrimination Than Muslims


That headline carried me back to Obama‘s “they cling to guns or religion” remarks —

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

— which now seem to me to be eerily prophetic of Trump‘s victory, and Hillary‘s very similar “basket of deplorables” —

We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?

The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now how 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric.

— both of which must make those who feel addressed — many of them “White Evangelicals” — sneered at.


If I felt personally slighted by such remarks — and aggrieved by many other small injuries to my faith, monuments carrying the Ten Commandments removed or statues of Baphomet erected to “balance” crosses or crucifixes, for example — I might well answer a question about who faces more discrimination on the basis of that sense that I and my ways are despised — whereas if I am mainline Protestant, Catholic, or unaffiliated, I am less liable to be carrying that sense of personal injury and more likely to answer in terms of the news, in which Muslims (and Jews, why weren’t Jews included in the poll?) are on the receiving end of more overt violence than Christians..

My explanation for the poll results, then, is that “White Evangelicals” have more to take personally than the other groups polled.

And Trump’s victory? Doesn’t that Obama quote tell us pretty much all we need to know?

3 Responses to “Obama explaining Trump’s success in 2008? inter alia”

  1. Grurray Says:

    Obama got it backwards. Culture is upstream of everything else, including jobs.
    The residents of those towns in Pennsylvania always clung to their guns, religion, and tribes from the moment they arrived there. It’s only when that social structure breaks down that their antipathy and frustration increases.

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Oh, as I read him, Obama knows that the guns and bibles were already there, he just uses the word “cling” to refer to the extra grip associated with getting “bitter” more recently. But that’s just my reading.. or am I missing your point?

  3. zen Says:

    Jews were not included because according to FBI statistics they are far and away the most frequent victims of hate-motivated violent crimesfrom a variety of actors with Muslims coming in a (very) distant second. This has been the case every year for decades and appears likely to continue into the future at an increased rate. 2017 appears to be particularly bad with bomb threats, assaults and vandalism

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