Monday, July 03, 2017

"A War For the Future Of the Republic." Trump's Christian Caliphate.

If Donald Trump has his way, America's Christian right can have their way.

Earlier in the month, the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference brought Religious Right activists to Washington, D.C. The atmosphere was triumphalist, almost giddy, in sharp contrast to previous years’ complaints about Barack Obama and dire warnings about a potential Hillary Clinton presidency. Religious Right leaders had hitched the movement’s wagon to the Trump train, and they had already begun reaping the rewards.

Candidate Trump had overcome conservative Christians’ qualms about his character with a set of too-good-to-resist promises. He said he’d give them the Supreme Court of their dreams and he pledged to make them more politically powerful by doing away with restrictions on churches’ political activities. He won their trust by making one of their own, Mike Pence, his running mate.
Religious Right leaders pulled out all the stops to help Trump rack up a massive margin of victory among white evangelicals.

Faith and Freedom’s founder, political operative Ralph Reed, was happy to reel off numbers that he said represented the group’s outreach: 1.2 million doors knocked, 10 million phone calls, 22 million pieces of mail, 30 million voter guides.

Republican leaders’ gratitude was evidenced by their extraordinary participation at Road to Majority. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows all spoke at some point during the three-day event, along with other right-wing luminaries like Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. So much for perennial predictions of the Religious Right’s political demise.

Trump spoke at the event’s opening luncheon, where Reed declared, “We love him because he is our friend.” Trump in turn told the conservative Christian activists, “You didn’t let me down and I will never, ever let you down, you know that.” And, offering a subtle olive branch toward activists who were disappointed that last month’s executive order on religious liberty did not include sweeping exemptions for anti-LGBT discrimination in the name of religion, Trump assured them, “Believe me, we’re not finished yet.”


Sort of like Sharia law, only different.

Religious Right leaders have a half-century long grudge against the Supreme Court over rulings on church-state separation, the right to privacy, legal equality for LGBT Americans, and more. Religious Right leaders were thrilled when Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch. They rallied support for his nomination and celebrated when he was confirmed. They made it clear that they are counting on him to undermine the separation between church and state. National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown saw in him the first step toward overturning the Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage equality ruling. Anti-abortion activists are dreaming of the day that Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

But today’s conservative evangelicals are interested in far more than abolishing legal abortion and reversing civil rights gains for LGBTQ Americans. Much of the Religious Right is also fully committed to the Tea Party’s radically restrictive view of the proper role of the federal government. At Road to Majority, Trump adviser Steven Moore said the government should get out of education and health care. That stance draws on both a right-wing ideological view of the Constitution and a Christian Reconstructionist worldview that God did not grant government the authority to be involved in education or the alleviation of poverty, jobs that they believe He assigned to the church and family.

It shouldn't be too long before Trump announces his choices for America's first Mullahs. He knows how badly he's faring in the polls. He knows how badly he needs these fundamentalist extremists. He knows he can't afford not to do their bidding. And he knows he really doesn't give a shit.


In keeping with this theme, bonehead extraordinaire and climate change denier, Florida governor, Rick Scott, has given the age of darkness a leg up by signing into law a provision that allows any parent to challenge how evolution or climate change are taught in schools.

The statute, which went into effect on July 1, forces school boards to hire an “unbiased hearing officer” who will look into complaints about instructional materials, according to a report by The Washington Post. The main proponents of the law, a group called the Florida Citizens Alliance, have argued that state-approved textbooks are “too liberal.”

“Purchased at taxpayer expense, these materials teach our children that European Socialism is better than free markets and that the government is the answer to every problem,” the group complains on its website.

Although the guidelines single out material that parents believe may be “pornographic” or “is not suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented, or is inappropriate for the grade level and age group,” affidavits filed by the law’s backers indicate that they will take shots at science education. One complainant filed an affidavit complaining that creationism wasn’t taught alongside evolution even though “the two main theories on the origin of man are the theory of evolution and creationism.” Another argued that global warming and evolution shouldn’t be taught as “reality.”


Anonymous said...

The "robber barons" (if you will) are delighted with the conforming non-conformance of America. Sell 'em the old saw on rugged individualism and after decades we end up with the less bright among them regurgitating rubbish that pits various members of society against others, rather than coming together to form a bond against exploitation of the population at large.

Unions are reviled and the end result is people working underpaid jobs, often several at once, just to get by. Why pay a penny more for labour than you can get away with? Yet Americans stand up on their hind legs essentially proclaiming the lack of common bonds as natural, which situation instead promotes individualism as just natural market forces at work and therefore wonderful. Socialists are for Europe, yessir, not here.

Americans simply fail to recognize the tactic employed against them to reduce the chance that any given peon can see through the haze, and recognize he/she has been had and actually do something concrete about it. No it's all sold as patriotism and individualism at work, the way America should be by natural law. It's also utter bullshit.

American companies sent business overseas, primarily to China, and Trump at least recognized the incoherent pain of people living in flyover country living in reduced circumstances. Thus, with typical American bombast (since it hates all foreigners due to living in "the best country in the world") and solid hucksterism, Trump managed to blame China rather than American industrialists for the loss of jobs and be believed by huge numbers of dimwits anxious to blame someone.

Thus aggrieved and bereft of applying logic due to the rah rah American patriotism and poor schooling they receive, one ends up with a populace which blames everyone else but American capitalists themselves for the dire situation they find themselves in. Hate of all kinds is thus possible in these straitened circumstances because the belief that some outside force is responsible for the state of the nation leaves many identifiable groups susceptible to discrimination for being unAmerican or some other similar twaddle dreamt up by pulpit/dais rabble rousers, carnival barkers and people fond of their own voices. So low wages remain. Oh how Americans like to be led by some inspiring force, and a demagogue will do if nothing better is available.

Quite the snow job the USA has received from its rich oligarchs, apparently almost entirely accomplished under the radar. Anti-intellectualism soars when thinkers proclaim the real reasons for decline, or promote environmentalism or actual science, none of which puts burgers and fries on the table of the average person. Societal rot from within due to lack of focus against the real enemy, their own super-rich. But of course, it's really all them Russians and Chinese plus Blacks, Muslims and haters of America so far as the average US dolt is concerned. Lashing out at the world is the result, because, well, they're not American.

Yup it's a mess, and won't improve. You cannot use logic on people whose minds are already made up.

Speaking of which, Canada seems bent on a similar road. We were beset by commercials this year about our country being the best place in the world to live, with logic a bright ten year old could see through. All on the federal government dime promoting Canada 150. If this country is regarded by its denizens as overpoweringly wonderful, any complaints will diminish or be pooh-poohed by the brainwashed, or so believe the movers and shakers in charge. It worked in the US, so why not here. Be proud of that career as a Tim Hortons coffee pourer and bagel toaster!


The Mound of Sound said...

BM, really. Tim Horton's sources temporary foreign labour. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Anyong....Both Harper, historians and Trudeau are trumpeting how Canada became a country due to Vimy Ridge. It was a darn disaster.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Some of Canada's best "first jobs" (with apologies to McDonalds) going to TFWs? That's enough of that. Wait another minute. Let's make the whole damned bunch of them "first jobs", all subsidized for as long as possible by the pension of someone from the previous generation who managed, at some point when they were still to be had, to land a job that wasn't just the next "first job".