Over the last week, a number of political thoughts have been swirling around my head. I think it is time to get them out:
- While on a drive recently, I was binge-listening to the latest season of the Start Up Podcast on Church Planting. They had a very interesting episode on theology of evangelical churches. One standard position is “complementarianism”, which is the view that women is complementary to man, and that they should never have a leadership position. For the evangelicals, this may have been an unspoken reason why Hillary was unacceptable, and why there is so much hatred of her assuming leadership. But that’s the past. What is the lesson here? Namely, a man of any color is more acceptable to them than a woman would be. If our goal is to retake the White House — which is a must in 2020 if not before — we need to keep this in mind when choosing candidates. We must take care to not needlessly shoot ourselves in the foot.
- In fact, it would be astute of us to understand exactly why Evangelicals support Trump, despite all his faults. Here’s a good explanation. Here’s a real telling quote: “They want the return of Protestant privilege in American culture. The loss of Protestant privilege, and the reality of religious plurality, is driving them crazy.” For all their protestations about Sharia law, they want a Christian nation where Christians have the privilege, and those who are not are second class citizens. I’m not sure there is a way to turn these folks around, unless they can believe there is a different anointed candidate that will press their goals. What is the lesson here? We must work on the non-evangelical Christians — those who believe in what Christ actually said and did, as opposed to evangelical beliefs, and demonstrate how Trump is not building a better world.
- Trump is also using fear to bring his supporters to the polls, implying that Liberals will use violence to overturn all he has done for the evangelical community. We know that is not the reality, but fear is a powerful motivator. What is the lesson here? We must work to counter that, and use all means necessary to turn out the vote: get people registered, help them get to the polls, and get all those who have been sitting on their hands not voting to get out and vote and make a difference.
- We need to learn how Trump voters see themselves, and see the Liberals. Here, the name Dinesh D’Souza is critical. D’Souza’s latest movie, Death of a Nation, compares Donald Trump to Abraham Lincoln, and his Democratic opponents to Nazis. Yes, you’ve read that right. I have friends on FB that believe it — and this is what feeds into the fear of AntiFa. They don’t recognize the party ideological swap that occurred in the mid-1960s as a result of the Southern Strategy. What is the lesson here? We must continue to demonstrably counter — with patience — their view of Liberals. We need to demonstrate there isn’t a unified thought, and just as with Conservatives, there is a broad spectrum of views.
- We’ve all commented on how many Trump supporters seem to have drunk the Kool-Aide, and think whatever he does will benefit them. I know many such supporters who are on limited means who have partaken that beverage. Yet he is making life more expensive. His tariffs on imported vehicles and parts will make even US made vehicles more expensive, and the new trade deal with Mexico will make them even more expensive. Will this awaken them? Probably not. What is the lesson here? We must keep hammering home how Trump’s policies are making things more expensive, and how wages are not increasing enough to compensate, making the economic condition of lower and middle classes worse (while the rich are getting richer).
- One thing I’ve noted from many Trump supporters is an attitude of … not quite hate, but of “get off my lawn”. They seemingly are angry at everything: liberals, taxes, other people, society. Trump speaks to them because he reflects anger — his whole “schtick” is to intentionally do things that piss off the people he does not like, and to revel in their reactions. What is the lesson here? As Liberals, what must our response be to this? First, we must not react with anger in return, for that is the reaction that they want. We must learn to deflect that anger, and infuriate them even more by being nice and reasonable in response. Remember: Don’t feed the trolls. Set the example, and attract the moderates who are tired of the anger.
- We’ve seen lately how Trump is angry at Google for returning more negative results about him. Setting aside the question of why the President is bothering to search himself online (narcissist, me thinks), what he doesn’t understand is that it is just an algorithm, one that returns what is out there on the web, and giving priority to links on sites that have proven themselves over time to be trustworthy. Algorithms can only return what is out there, and there is much less on the web that is positive about Trump, and the sites that are positive about Trump get much less links. What is the lesson here? If you have a blog, link to reputable articles only. If you are on Facebook, share reputable articles. Help the algorithms find the truth, simply by posting the truth.