Why Trump is winning on the religious right

What if I had told you two years ago that the initial front-runner in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination would be a New Jersey Casino mogul who had been divorced three times, bankrupted four times, and had avidly defended single-payer health care, abortion rights, and Planned Parenthood? And what if I had told you that he received enthusiastic support from religious fundamentalists?

Though no one anticipated it, the situation we find ourselves in isn’t as illogical as it sounds. Trump has built his polling lead on a single pressing issue – ‘Murica for ‘Muricans. That’s it. Nevermind abortion or gay marriage, among a large bloc of fundamentalists, that simple Trumpian formula is a perfect distillation of their most deeply-held views.

So far, polling indicates that Trump is the leading candidate among Republicans who consider themselves evangelicals. That popularity is reflected among fundamentalist activists and pundits. As a commentator on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network explained, “Donald Trump and evangelicals are breaking bread together because there is this common bond.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has described Trump as a “breath of fresh air.” David Lane, the activist who helped organize the massive political prayer rally that launched Rick Perry’s 2012 campaign, issued this bizarre statement without a hint of irony, “America is starving for moral, principled leadership. I hope that Donald Trump brings that.”

Bob Van der Plaats whose fundamentalist outfit acts as a kingmaker in Iowa, described Trump this way, “I do believe Iowans and Americans are sending a clear message through Mr. Trump. That message is this: heartfelt, non-scripted leadership that is bold and courageous is what we want.” And Phyllis Schlafly, the pearl-clutching prude who wrote the book on modern fundamentalist activism, gushed with praise at the “plainspoken truth” of Trump’s “refreshing” immigration platform.

Some of the same people who expressed concern that maybe Obama isn’t authentically Christian are fawning over a guy who claims that he hasn’t “sought forgiveness” because he hasn’t done anything wrong. He has described communion as “when I drink my little wine and have my cracker.” Just last week he forcefully defended Planned Parenthood, explaining that “we have to look at the positives.”

Phyllis Schlafly is sufficiently undiplomatic to lay bare the ugly logic of the religious right. While flattering Donald Trump for his courageous stand against immigrants, she explains her main objection to Sen. Marco Rubio:

“Rubio’s statement [on immigration reform] was made in Spanish on the Spanish-language network Univision, which is reason enough to eliminate him from serious consideration. When somebody is running for president of the United States, why should we have to get somebody to translate his remarks into English?”

Take a look at her quote and identify what was “reason enough to eliminate him.” It was not his alleged softness on abortion or prayer or evolution or any other apparently religious matter. Schlafly and others like her are being moved by the culture war issue that looms above all others – preserving a culture of white supremacy.

In case any ambiguity remains, Ann Coulter, the Andy Kaufman of politics, repeats out loud what the nasty voices in Republicans’ heads are whispering. Coulter was riffing on the exciting possibility of becoming Trump’s Homeland Security Director when she dropped this gem:

“There will be no celebration of Cinco de Mayo, there will be no Ramadan, in fact there won’t even be a Feast of the Immaculate Conception – we are an Anglo-Protestant country, and you will learn about the Battle of Valley Forge.”

For a significant block of fundamentalists, the real meaning of social conservatism can be reduced to Coulter’s formula: We are an Anglo-Protestant country. That’s the only context in which the Tea Party’s ‘take back America’ chant makes sense. Christian nationalism and white supremacy overlap to an extent that few people inside or outside the fundamentalist movement are willing to openly acknowledge.

There are prominent social conservatives who are deeply hostile to Trump’s campaign. Almost all of them object to Trump solely on the basis on their prior commitments to other, more orthodox fundamentalist candidates. Very few have expressed the slightest discomfort with Trump’s racist blather, limiting their criticism to his religious bona fides.

In fact the main fundamentalist candidates in the race, Cruz, Carson, and Huckabee, have all been cheerfully friendly to Trump. They are each jockeying to win the votes turned loose when and if his campaign implodes.

There is some principled opposition emerging from elite Catholic conservatives and the thin intellectual tier of the evangelical movement. Unfortunately, these two groups are small and mostly distant from grassroots political activism. In advance of the first Presidential debate, New York’s Cardinal Dolan issued a blistering criticism of Trump’s “nativist” policies, equating them with anti-Catholic bigotry from the mid-19th century. His comments earned heated scorn from Catholic conservatives.

Trump may be an Easter Sunday Christian with scant reverence for his little wine and cracker, but he nonetheless fits squarely in the center of America’s fundamentalist tradition. At the heart of religious fundamentalism, whether the believer is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or Jedi, are these two ideas:

1) The culture I have inherited comes from sacred, revealed truth and is the only way to live righteously.

2) Nothing I discover, learn or observe about the world must be allowed to modify the assumptions of that culture in any manner.

In other words, the central defining feature of religious fundamentalism is bigotry endorsed by God. Nothing in that formula could be remotely friendly to cultural outsiders. Those two foundational beliefs have put religious conservatives consistently on the wrong side of every movement for Civil Rights in the nation’s history. In that context, Trump’s manner, methods, and policies are a perfect fit for today’s religious right.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Election 2016
132 comments on “Why Trump is winning on the religious right
  1. 1mime says:

    Who says money doesn’t make a difference in campaigns? The GOP intends to test this hypothesis to hold the Senate in ’16. If money ‘does’ tip the scales for the GOP, does this indicate a whole new ballgame in how politics is waged? Should we be surprised or simply affirmed in the impact of C.U.?


  2. flypusher says:

    What further proof does any God-fearin’ ‘Muricun need that the Donald is indeed the chosen one of The Lord?

    Move over, Jesus and Mary:


    • 1mime says:

      Let’s see, how does a “real” Christian live his/her life? Despite all the criticism about his foreign policy from the GOP candidates (at the same time Carter shared his serious cancer issues….what absolute jerks!), there are others who see a man who exited the Presidency and continued to give of himself. From The Weekly Sift:

      “Carter has been the best ex-president ever. Humble, caring, active for human rights and democracy, and never just cashing in on his fame and former influence … he’s consistently been out there trying to do the right thing as he saw it, without a lot of ego getting in the way.

      All in all, I think Carter makes a better advertisement for Christianity than just about any of the high-profile Christian leaders I can think of.”

      Of course, some of the pseudo-Christians running for President might disagree…They should know, right? All-knowing, never erring, humble men all…

      • flypusher says:

        You could say that Carter has had a nice, long, successful run on this earth, especially considering all the cancer that runs in his family. But I still have this gut reaction of “That is so not fair!!” because his has been such an exemplary human being. I read elsewhere that he has a wish to see the Guinea worn eradicated before he dies; I will 2nd that.

        He was the speaker for my grad school commencement- pretty cool!

      • 1mime says:

        Gosh, Fly! You have had an opportunity to hear some outstanding commencement speakers! Who are some of your favorites?

  3. Griffin says:

    I was just thinking about how weird it is that the religious right kept it together as well as they did, by which I mean that they managed not to break the act that their primary concern was white identity politics for so long. Yeah I know it was pretty transparent to everyone else but a lot of these figures aren’t, as Ladd puts it, the most “diplomatic” people (I would just say they aren’t terribly bright) as they tend to relish in saying overtly offensive lowbrow opinions. It’s honestly shocking they were as tactful as they were for so long (the leaders at least).

    I wonder if it started off as an excuse to keep to keep white supremacy intact and it went on for so long they started to “believe their own propoganda” to the point where religious issues really did become a primary concern even though racial ones were always in the back of their minds and Trumps overtness has kind of reminded them what it was all about, if that makes any sense.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Hypocrisy is the name of the game. Just like how “birtherism” was simply racism dressed up as constitutional integrity.

      Ironically, Cruz actually IS what they accuses Obama of for so many years (born in a foreign country to an American mother). Since Obamas mother was also American, even if he WAS born in Kenya (he wasnt) his presidency would still be completely valid, from a constitutional standpoint.

      The lack of outcry from these same players, even though Cruz demonstrably IS what Obama was long accused of being, seems to strongly suggest that the REAL issue was something else.

      Some other reason for why they hated Obama. Hmmmm…..what could it possibly be?

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, is there any documentation at all of anyone making the “birther” claim against Cruz? Anyone? Would be a great question to put to the Don, don’t you think…What is the difference between Cruz and Obama’s birth constitutionality, Mr. Trump?

      • flypusher says:

        For those who are curious, the SCOTUS case that settled birthright citizenship. In this case, the ugly racism had been directed at a person of Chinese ancestry born in CA:


        The dissenting opinion is quite cringeworthy. God forbid someone who parents came from MONGOLIA actually be eligible to run for President!!

        (And dogs and cats living together!!!!!)

      • 1mime says:

        From the dissent by Justice Fuller:

        “the rule in respect of citizenship of the United States prior to the Fourteenth Amendment differed from the English common law rule in vital particulars, and, among others, in that it did not recognize allegiance as indelible, and in that it did recognize an essential difference between birth during temporary, and birth during permanent, residence. If children born in the United States were deemed presumptively and generally citizens, this was not so when they were born of aliens whose residence was merely temporary, either in fact or in point of law.”

        I guess the twenty years that the plaintiff, Wong Ark lived in the US was just not long enough.


    • flypusher says:

      ‘Christie said that we have the “weakest” president on foreign policy, and that, “[Obama] makes Jimmy Carter look strong,” while addressing an Iowa State Fair crowd soapbox. ‘

      I think “weak” is the wrong metric here. I prefer “FUBAR-ed”. It covers all the bases. One can indeed FUBAR on foreign policy by being weak and indecisive. But one can also FUBAR by being stupidly aggressive. So W gets that prize. His foreign policy fails were epic and the unintended consequences are still playing out.

    • 1mime says:

      The only man who is classy in this trio is Carter. Surely, somehow, there will be consequences for these men who lack so grace and humility


    • 1mime says:

      The photographer may have gotten the best shot of the 2016 Pres. campaign and the last laugh.

  4. Griffin says:

    Interesting article comparing and contrasting the styles of Trump vs Sanders: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-2016-rallies-121637.html#.VdoqgPlViko

  5. 1mime says:

    Several commentators here have spoken out against incarceration from different vantages – morality of imprisonment for profit, staggering incarceration rates in U.S., abuses within jails, rights of detainees, racial make-up of prisoners, changes in laws for minor offenses, and so on. This San Antonio Express article(reprinted in today’s Houston Chronicle) looks at the issue from the vantage of commercialization of the prison industry and the accompanying advent of private for profit prisons in America, most specifically, in Texas. It’s damning, not only for all of the concerns listed above, but also because it is now a harsh economic liability. Reduced numbers of illegal immigrants, less severe sentencing (still bad but better?), increased capacity at state and county prisons in tandem with construction of many new private prison facilities have created new problems. Among them: over-capacity. Bonds floated by counties to build prison facilities (many of which were then contracted out to private entities who could walk away when the venture was no longer profitable) are now struggling to fund these under-utilized or shuttered facilities creating a negative cash flow problem for local budgets.

    While fewer prison beds in use is not necessarily a “bad” thing, it does raise the question as to whether the TX example is representative of a similar problem nationwide. Given America’s staggeringly high incarceration rates even as measured internationally, this issue is one that fairness, cost, and equality should prompt action. It also speaks to the thorny issue of whether incarceration and associated services should ever be privatized. Does the profit motive bear on sentencing, incarceration, best use of tax revenue? We know this revenue motive has led to over-policing especially in small, or minority populated communities. Why would we think this same motivation is not being applied more broadly? To that extent, I hope this issue is somehow touched upon in the 2016 Presidential debates.


  6. Rob Ambrose says:

    Dunno if this has been talked about before, and it’s just more of the same “and seriously, THIS guy is the GOP front runner?” stuff.

    But seriously……THIS guy is the GOP front runner?


    After a pair of “true patriots” beat and urinated on a homeless Latino man, in his name, Trumps initial response was “well, that would be a shame. But what can you do? My supporters are very passionate.”

    Seriously. This guy. Is the GOP. Front runner.

  7. BigWilly says:

    I think I’m addicted to blogging. I keep coming back here even though I know it will probably be unpleasant (if not outright blasphemous). Sorry dudes. I don’t like the thought of twisting off your pointy little commie heads and sh*tt8nk down your neck.

    I thought this was a good place for mild mannered, button down, traditional conservatives. It ain’t. So, like I said, it’s unhealthy for me.

    Good luck. Hell can be beautiful in the Spring they say, but you know what they say about what they say.

    • 1mime says:

      May the force be with you, BW!

    • texan5142 says:

      We love you Big! Peace be the journey.

    • goplifer says:

      Get some help William. No foolin around. Seriously. This situation needs attention.

    • Doug says:

      It might help if you bought a RaceLens®. If you look at the world through one, this blog makes more sense.

    • objv says:


      Noooo ….. don’t leave. I enjoy your posts and I’m almost to the point where I’m beginning to understand them. (That’s a little scary, I’ll admit.)

      Have a little compassion. Most of the people here have been feeding almost exclusively on an unhealthy diet of RawStory, Daily Beast, Mediate, Jezebel and other assorted left-wing junk. They are like deprived inner city kids without access to good, brain-healthy nutrition. That is why they have become bloated and obese with pointy heads and commie tendencies. Show a little mercy.

      If you must leave, God bless you and move on. Being addicted to something is not good and I wish you all the best.

      Lifer talks like being crazy is a bad. I like crazy.

      “You may be right
      I may be crazy
      But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
      Turn out the light
      Don’t try to save me
      You may be wrong for all I know
      But you may be right.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        “I told you dirty jokes until you smiiiiled … And you said that only proves that I’m insaaane … “

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I think someone has hijacked Willy’s handle, or he’s been playing Devil’s Advocate purely out of boredom, to fill the Far Right void, to take on the Far Right voice, the foil that some people need in order to have something to debate against. That’s why many members of this blog have moved back to the Chron, in search of their usual sparring partners. Same cast of characters — just a different stage.

      • 1mime says:

        Same blog on Chron, Tutta?

      • RightonRush says:

        I’m curious Tutt, who has moved back to Chron except Sternn?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        JohnGalt, GG, Owl

        I’m not saying they are there exclusively.

        They may post here as well but they seem to more active over there.

      • objv says:

        Good to know, Tutta. Hopefully, our fine feathered friend is behaving himself/herself. Give my best to Cap.

        I haven’t been to the Chron in quite awhile. In fact, I haven’t been active on this blog lately. My son was home for a month and my family and I have been hiking and camping in Colorado.

        It made me laugh when you wrote that Big William had taken on the Far Right’s voice. I’ve noticed that his comments were becoming more specific over time, but he still defies analyzation. I was half expecting him to come back with a final F you after my farewell comment. 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, you and Unarmed must live in beautiful places if your icon is representative of your vistas.

      • objv says:

        Mime, It’s said that Farmington, NM is “not far from pretty.” The area where I live is not considered particularly beautiful, but many national parks and forests are just a short drive away. 🙂

      • objv says:

        The avatar photo was taken on a drive to Silverton last September.

      • 1mime says:

        I’d enjoy sitting on a porch with a cool one enjoying that view, OB.

    • rightonrush says:

      BW has been around since Desperado’s old blog. He’s cray-cray but has never threatened to twist off the heads and poop down the neck of anyone that doesn’t agree with his religious dogma. I agree with Chris, it’s time for an intervention.

      • rightonrush says:

        Thanks Tutt, I must have missed them. I check the chron site at least once a day but haven’t seen anyone but Sternn.

      • 1mime says:

        Is there a particular blog you follow through Chron.com, RR? I couldn’t find GOPLifer so assume you and Tutta are following someone else? I have always enjoyed Owl, Jg and GG’s comments.

      • objv says:


        Tutt, tthor, owl, I and some of the others used to post comments on the editorial and opinion pages of the chron.com. We had to stop when the chron changed its format and closed those pages to comments. The pages eventually opened up again, but by that time most of the regulars had moved on.

        I’m assuming that the editorials would be the best place to check. Tutt, help me out here. Sadly, I’ve lost my interest in Houston news since I moved to NM and I rarely visit the Chronicle site.

      • RightonRush says:

        I don’t follow any blog on Chron Mime. This is the only blog I read daily. Des had a great blog some years ago but it became so hate filled with
        trolls that he stopped. I do read the free articles on the Chron, but rarely look at the comment section. However, if Owl, GG, and JohnGalt are posting I’ll pay more attention.

      • 1mime says:

        Thanks, RR. This morning will be paying attention to the NYSE…down over 900 points at the open! Anyone who has doubt about how interconnected our world has become, tune into CNBC. It’s especially nerve-wracking for retirees to watch savings vanish….I wonder if any of our Pres. candidates will deviate from their scripts to discuss this – a *real* problem.

  8. Turtles Run says:

    While Trump is doing his best to alienate monorities, Jeb has now morphed from a White man to a registered Hispanic voter whose left hand has joined the BLM movement.


    Seriously Chris, is this the best the GOP has to offer. Where is that strong bench we heard so much about?

    • goplifer says:

      You’ve heard nothing from me about a “strong bench.” The party is bankrupt intellectually and in human resources terms. The way things are going it may be actually, legally bankrupt in another couple of years.

      • Turtles Run says:

        That is true. I will make sure and point out it has been the media and GOP pundits that have been talking up the strong GOP bench. I will add that the Democratic bench is nothing to write home about.

      • 1mime says:

        Turtles, I agree with you on the GOP bench. Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with a friend who is a staunch Republican. She is highly motivated on matters of faith and morality (“life”; creationism, integrity ! etc.) and thinks Dr. Carson is a great candidate. She lauded the Republican Party for the sheer number of strong (?!) GOP Presidential candidates vs the paltry few the Dems are fielding, and feels this is an indicator of how much stronger the Republican Party is than the Democratic Party…..I countered, quality, not quantity is key….My argument fell on deaf ears, naturally. It doesn’t help that their six adult children (all very successful)complain to their parents about how much the ACA is costing them in their businesses. (Which begs the question, of course, if faith and morality is of such importance to this family, why wouldn’t they want to help their employees have access to better health care as a Christian prerogative as well as reward them for helping make their businesses profitable?) I guess that’s too progressive an idea.

        I do believe Dems have a big problem with their bench, most critically at the local and state level. I posted a very interesting article about this (in a prior Lifer topic) that was extremely well researched. It pointed out how much more effective the GOP has been in building their local and state candidate pool. Gerrymandering has been a critical part of their plan but strong recruitment is another. Safe districts costs the candidates and the party less money and effort and makes it easier to secure the seat for the long term. (unless you are primaried (-: ) Ironically, it can also make it difficult to remove weak or undesirable office holders.) Dems have a lot of work to do in this regard. A great topic would be an analysis of the two parties recruitment effort beginning at the ground level and how that contributes to a stronger national party. This may be an area where PAK money offers a terrific advantage.

      • 1mime says:

        Turtles, this Politico article speaks directly to your point about the Democrat’s bench. It makes the Blue Wall theory look fragile. The work Republicans have done plus the money they have invested in building their grassroots team is paying off for them. Their RedState plan was very successful in the 2014 campaign and will certainly be the recipient of a great deal more money and talent. If the Democratic Party is to survive, it will have to take a lesson from the GOP playbook. As you read the paragraph below, note that the political consequences evident in today’s politics is accurately described. Plenty of blame to pass around.

        “The political consequences of the grass-roots Democratic weakness are clear. State control means a determined party can enact laws that severely weaken the opposition. Gerrymandering is just one example. If newly Republican legislatures undo a series of laws to make voting easier—no more same-day registration, fewer early-voting days, more stringent voter ID laws—the impact will be felt most among likely Democratic voters. If states like Wisconsin weaken the power of public employee unions, or free public and private workers from paying union dues, it will mean fewer union dollars and fewer union foot soldiers for future Democratic campaigns. Politics, however, is only part of the story—and not the most important. Republican domination of state legislatures and state houses means an approach to tax policy, corporate regulation, education, the environment and abortion that is at least as consequential as the proclaimed views of a future Democratic president.”

        Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/democratic-blues-121561_Page2.html#ixzz3jgTP9Tpj

    • 1mime says:

      That’s funny, Turtles! Do you think it was accidental? That left hand looks pretty dark..

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      Quantity in no way means quality

  9. 1mime says:

    The significance of money in campaigns comes up frequently in this forum. The GOP mega-field of Presidential candidates are benefiting from Pak money which allows them, among other benefits, to “stay the course” much longer than they would have in the past, before C.U.
    (The “cross-over” campaign benefits allow Paks to fund campaign functions that previously would have been direct campaign costs. Now, candidates with Paks simply tap into a different bucket of money.)

    “In the past you’d get out because you run out of money. That’s changed,” O’Connell said. “Now you just need a small strike force of five or 10 people and enough money to book a coach ticket on Southwest. You can sit back and rely on the super-PAC to land the haymaker.”


  10. flypusher says:

    This is good, there are specific and doable things on this list:


    • 1mime says:

      Excellent. Now, this is smart. This platform offers a tangible list that can be used in debates, to question candidates’ positions, and to pursue substantive change in the respective policies targeted.

      The article was unclear as to how much participation and support the BLM group had in drafting this platform, but, if they are smart, they will get on board. This is how you use the system to address specific problems and generate support for solutions. Very impressive. I’m going to FB the article.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      In a discussion I heard on radio, Cincinnati made progress in this area. One thing that impressed me in the discussion is this:

      In Cincinnati, police ask what is it about that location that’s causing crime? Cleanup crews are called in. Workers install new lighting and teach landlords to select better tenants. People started noticing a difference,….


      And this:

      Changing policing is an enormous feat, particularly when it’s done following a long period of strained relationships, race riots and a DOJ investigation. Most cops initially viewed the changes – things like getting at the root cause of the crime to avoid making more arrests, or asking for community input on ways to police – as barriers to doing their jobs. Their job, as they saw it, was to arrest the bad guys. But now the focus now was on tackling the root causes of crime to reduce the need for arrests.


      • 1mime says:

        Amen, Bobo. It’s called: getting at the root of the problem. Caring. Noticing. Changing for the better. Building trust and understanding. Great posts!

  11. Rob Ambrose says:

    Ol Sam Brownback and his Kansas experiment just can’t catch a break.


    The latest jobs numbers are an epic disaster. Meanwhile, neighbouring Missouri has gained tens of thousands of job since the tax cuts (while Kansas has act lost a few thousand ). And Missouri didn’t blow a massive hole in their budget in order to make sure millionaires pay less tax.

    Just more ofnthe same. Pay lip service to stuff you don’t actually care about (gay marriage, abortion etc) and the rubes will give you their vote that you can then do the things you ACTUALLY care about (slashing taxes on the rich, gutting social spending) even though these things directly are at odds with the rubes best interests.

  12. objv says:

    Trumps appeal on illegal immigration might not be limited to white Republicans. Here is an African-American woman who loses it at a city council meeting over the hiring of two illegal immigrants.

    In the video the woman’s anger escalates quickly because of the disparate treatment of blacks and illegal aliens under the law. In a nutshell, she says “my people” break the law and they get sent to jail. Illegal immigrants break the law and they get amnesty. She felt that immigration is a choice. Being brought to the country as a slave was not a choice for her ancestors.

    I wonder if Trump’s position on illegal immigrants might actually attract some black voters. The Black Lives Matter movement indicates that African-Americans feel that their situation is being ignored because Democrats are sure of their votes.

    • Griffin says:

      Surely if anything is representative of the entire black population it’s a single person. Thought I’d just leave this here: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/05/01/180413665/poll-most-african-americans-support-immigration-reform

      And immigration appears to be a minor concern to the black community whereas economic issues, such as their support for expanding social security and Medicare, rank much higher in concern: http://www.demos.org/blog/6/3/15/black-and-latino-voters-are-actually-very-concerned-about-economic-issues

    • 1mime says:

      Ob, Did you read the FB post I llinked in one of Lifer’s blogs by the principle of BLM stating why their group chose the Sanders’ rallies to make their statement? If you can’t find it, I will re-link for you. It will clarify BLM thinking on the Democratic Party. No vote should be taken for granted for any candidate of either party. Votes should be earned. The lone angry Black woman you cited made the point that many white laboring class members have made about Mexicans taking their jobs. It’s crowded at the bottom of the ladder for jobs. These people are poor. They want to work. They need jobs. Charles Krauthammer had an interesting op-ed on the GOP and Immigration in today’s Chronicle. Here’s the link.


      Just last week, in the Houston Chronicle, page one, there was a big article about a CA strawberry farmer who could not get anyone to pick his crop even offering $15/hr and the fruit rotted in the field. It is back-breaking work and not too many Americans are willing to do it. Last year in AL and GA the farmers experienced the same problem trying to bring in their crops. Net immigration into the U.S. is almost zeroed out and crop harvesting, road construction, and residential construction are dominated by Mexicans who work incredibly hard under very difficult circumstances. America needs a temporary agricultural immigration visa like Canada where Mexicans come in , do the job, get paid (and not hassled), and go back to Mexico. Simple. We need George W. Bush’ “Pathway to Citizenship”. It is inhumane to send young Hispanic people back to a country they didn’t grow up in when America is the only home they know. Krauthammer goes into more detail on this point.

      Democrats need to do more to help Black people in a number of ways, but their record of assisting Black people stands head and shoulders above anything the Republican Party has done. More has to be done. That was the point of the BLM rally. It won’t be long before there will be a HLM (Hispanic Lives Matter). They need jobs too.

    • flypusher says:


      “That’s one of the reasons we have a Constitution in the first place: because there are some things so fundamental that we don’t want the majority to be able to vote them away.”

      The ironic thing is, birthright citizenship is an actual example of American exceptionalism.

    • objv says:

      I take your point, but I did not mean that African-Americans would suddenly decide to vote Republican en masse or even that most would want to end birthright citizenship. I’m merely pointing out that Trump’s position on illegal immigrants might resonate with some black voters. Some of the others may just stay home on election day since immigration is not an issue that would get them to the voting booth.

      The election of the first black President was something that got African-Americans out in high numbers, but I’m not sure how big a motivation a Hillary presidency might be. Trump isn’t really thought of as a Republican. Perhaps, Trump’s business expertise and promise of getting the economy back in shape might draw some voters since blacks have not shared in the recovery and are still suffering.

      By way of background, the woman in the video, had lost her job because she did not speak Spanish. She became angry when two illegal immigrants were hired as consultants. It was another way in which she thought that blacks and Hispanics got different treatment since employers focused on meeting Hispanic needs at the cost of jobs for Americans.

      • 1mime says:

        The Black lady protesting at the meeting who lost her job because she couldn’t speak Spanish was correct about this much: Blacks and Hispanics DO get treated differently. Another point is that this election will be the first in which the BLM and the broader coalition seeking changes specifically on the issue of police violence, will have an opportunity to vote. Might that offer greater incentive to go to the polls?

  13. SirMagpieDeCrow says:

    People, and I mean specifically social/religious conservatives, really need to stop listening to Tony Perkins. He’s praise of Donald Trump as a “breath of fresh air” should give traditional values advocates pause.

    Remember a former lobbyist for Perkins’s Family Research Council named Josh Duggar? He’s that reality TV show star who was revealed to be an incestuous, child molesting, porn-addicted, homophobic, hypocritical adulator.

    Before all that yucky-ness he was the guy Tony Perkins and his crew picked to represent FRC in Washington to influence some of the most powerful politicians in the country to pass legislation upholding Christian values or block legislation that would harm the “children”.

    Sounds nutty, right?

    So would anyone here care to wager how long it will take for Tony Perkins to repudiate Donald Trump just like he finally repudiated Josh “Megan’s Law” Duggar in the wake of his Ashley Madison imbroglio?


    In other news, in a previous post I alluded to the fact Scott Walker was becoming more supportive of Trump’s nascent drive to eliminate birthright citizenship… apparently things have changed.

    When recently asked about his position on birthright citizenship he offered this statement to clarify things.

    “I’m not taking a position one way or the other,”



    At this point I feel I should introduce Scott Walker to his new roommate at the University of Politically Irrelevant & Mocked Social Conservatives. That roommate’s name is Rick Perry.

    • 1mime says:


      • SirMagpieDeCrow says:

        Oops, exactly.

        Bonus video of the day!

        If you want a 3 minute video that touches on the beautiful incoherence of the sexual mores of social conservatives and the spiraling absurdity of men in power check out this video. It truly has it all. References to child molestation, Jesus, TV reality shows, the Pentagon, adultery, the Dark Web, hacktivist groups and the Muppets.

        Thanks Fox (Faux) News.

      • 1mime says:

        Me thinks the gentleman doth protest too much……Lotsa glass houses out there….comes with the territory, I guess. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…..It must be hard living such a pure life…..

  14. SirMagpieDeCrow says:

    It always surprises me that I can find sometimes a kernel of truth or great wisdom randomly from the works of people I don’t always agree with or think of as experts on subjects they don’t consistently address in their writings.

    But sometimes I am truly amazed that some people can write a few lines here, a couple of sentences there, to articulate my feelings on a subject that would take me pages to convey.

    Here is a recent example by RollingStone writer Matt Taibbi in the aftermath of the awful homeless hispanic beating by two Trump supporters in his hometown:

    “Trump is probably too dumb to realize it, or maybe he isn’t, but he doesn’t need to win anything to become the most dangerous person in America. He can do plenty of damage just by encouraging people to be as uninhibited in their stupidity as he is.”

  15. SirMagpieDeCrow says:

    The one thing I don’t understand about some Republicans and social conservatives who are either turning around and supporting Trump’s position on overturning birthright citizenship (I’m looking at you Scott Walker) is my bafflement that they don’t realize the wider political implications of what they are doing.

    How can they not appreciate that between now and the election those people born on American soil who are at least 18 years old come November 2016 can still vote. Even if you could retroactively overturn the American citizenship of these people they can still vote or work to have you voted out of office until they lose the right (hypothetically) to stay in the country as full citizens.

    How many Latino voters, even second generation Latino voters who are conservative, would support such a thing? Don’t these ideologues realize that in states with sizable and growing blocks of Latino voters, this targeted demographic is going to conclude that if the Republican Party is an imminent threat to the legitimacy and integrity of their community they “must” vote hard against the party 2016? In places like the the Southwest or in potential swing states in the Southeast that could be devastating to the party.

    This reminds me of the recent Confederate flag debate. The party was for many years in fear of alienating those who supported the flag, but when the nation actually saw those who were willing to express their public support of keeping the Confederate Flag in South Carolina they were revealed to be a rather small and almost pitiable political minority.

    Hell, now even Lynyrd Skynyrd will no longer have a Confederate flag banner at their concerts!

    Yes, the nativist faction of the party is probably a lot bigger than the almost comical Neo-Confederates but I still think their true strength is similarly being overestimated in the upcoming national election. I have to think Latinos, children of Latinos, spouses of Latinos (that are not Lou Dobbs), African-Americans (who originally benefited from the 14th amendment), gays alienated by Republicans over the gay marriage/rights issue and Asian voters (who are also an important immigrant community) will probably vote against the party on this.

    That has to be a numerically larger group than the type of Trump voters who would… you know… randomly beat the sh*t out of a homeless hispanic man in the streets of Boston.


  16. GG says:

    I’ve posted this before but here goes again. This little routine encapsulates the tea party and fundamentalists state of mind perfectly (fear of the “other”) and was prophetic. Nicole Sullivan is a gem.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      It’s not all that surprising. I don’t think most evangelicals think Trump is a Christian and I don’t think they care.

      They didn’t care that Romney wasn’t a Christian either.

      According to them, Romney is going to burn in hell just the same as Trump. Believe it or not, many evangelicals think even Mother Theresa is in hell (being catholic, she would have never asked Jesus to come into her heart and be her personal lord and savior, a non negotiable requirement for entry to heaven).

      They don’t really care what Trump IS, as long as they think hes going to address their political concerns. Which he won’t, of course, he literally could not care less about what’s important to them.

      But they don’t know that yet.

  17. texan5142 says:

    Trump like the religious right are both morally bankrupt. A match made in heaven.

    • rightonrush says:

      IMO both consider Money as their GOD.

    • BigWilly says:

      Heaven’s not bankrupt, hell is.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Do you think Trump is going to your heaven with you?

        Serious question.

      • BigWilly says:

        Trump doesn’t strike me as being christian.

        1 Timothy 6:10 [Full Chapter]
        For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        On this we can agree. Trump doesn’t look like any sort of Christian that I’m familiar with.

      • texan5142 says:

        There is no hell, except for the hell that we make for ourselves, or propagated by others who would deny civil rights to someone because of their personal beliefs.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors unless they go into chapter 11.

    • 1mime says:

      Trump and the religious right…..normally one would say “opposites attract”, but they sure are looking like they’re reading from the same script.

  18. Brent Uzzell says:

    I appreciated Creigh’s pointing to Scott Adams. I’m not at all sure what to make of his analysis as I haven’t studied media, persuasion or advertising but I thought his reference to “anchors” in negotiation and other use of empty language interesting.

    Related to this is a thought provoking article by George Monbiot in the Guardian. He states in slightly different guise what linguist George Lakoff demonstrates in his book “Metaphors We Live By”. A read I recommend BTW.

    Here’s Monbiot’s article: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/oct/11/left-values-progressive-self-interest

    • flypusher says:

      Honestly, I don’t agree with Adams here, and I’m not impressed with Trump’s response. All he’s doing is tossing a big red herring (Look! Over there!! Scary ISIS is coming to kill you and live in your nice buildings!!!!) in response to the Pope’s inconvenient truth, that too much concentration of wealth/power will fatally undermine a society. Like many things made by humans, Capitalism in and of itself is neither good nor evil. The morality is in how you operate it, and the Pope is doing his job right in calling out the bad applications. But I don’t expect Trump to give any reasoned, intelligent answer here; that’s not how he rolls.

      • Creigh says:

        Well if you don’t believe Scott Adams, how about H. L. Mencken:

        “When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand….We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” (Prejudices: A Selection)

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      “The acceptance of policies that counteract our interests is the pervasive mystery of the 21st century. In the US blue-collar workers angrily demand that they be left without healthcare, and insist that millionaires pay less tax. ”

      Pretty much.

  19. vikinghou says:

    Part of Trump’s appeal may be that mainstream GOP candidates pay lip service to the fundies’ agenda, but in the end tend to do as little as possible to further the agenda. Trump offers a new approach that they’re betting will work out better.

    • johngalt says:

      Maybe, but looking at Trump’s past positions and his general demeanor one cannot seriously think he is going to expend political capital on right-to-life issues, or any of the other hot button things.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        I don’t think Trump is politically sophisticated enough to even understand the concept of “political capital”.

        Coming from his ultra capitalist background, I assume he thinks that, as president, there’s no reason he cannot unilaterally dictate his complete will on every issue.

  20. johngalt says:

    Of all the bizarre aspects to Trump’s campaign, his support from evangelicals is the strangest. Eventually, though, the other candidates will learn to play this game and voters will start to see through his vapid, content-free, nonsense. Donald Trump will not be the GOP nominee.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Isn’t that happening now. The so-called Hispanic friendly candidate Jeb Bush has taken to using the term “Anchor Baby” to describing the US born children of undocumented immigrants. He claims it is not an offensive term though it is not one he choses to use….you know unless he does chose to use it.

      Trump is at the wheel of the GOP clowncar and the others are more than willing to let him drive off the cliff.

      How exactly would a Jeb Bush or Scott Walker defend their comments in the general election? Barring pictures of Hillary Clinton eating a live baby I really cannot see how she could lose the election if she is the Democratic candidate.


  21. flypusher says:

    More playing to the WASP base:


    I’m pretty sure the Pope has heard about ISIS.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      How ironic, that the tea party, which started as a populist movement in response to the sub prime crisis (I. E. Unfettered and unregulated capitalism at its worst) would now consider an extreme capitalist who espouses almost the exact opposite values to be it’s savior

  22. Creigh says:

    Anyone interested in the Trump phenomenon MUST read Scott Adams’ (Dilbert cartoonist) take on Trump. After reading that, it’s easy to believe that campaigning will never be the same.


    • Creigh says:

      This lines up exactly with Lifer’s point about money being less important than ever. Trump boasts about his money, but as far as I know he hasn’t spent a penny on advertising. Why would he, he’s getting literally priceless publicity without it.

    • 1mime says:

      There are some lessons here, but I wonder if it is the messenger or the audience that should be the focus. After all, Trump is merely saying what his audience wants. Lifer was correct that the religious right’s drooling over a man who represents everything that they have railed about as sinful, merely proves that it’s really all about their deepest beliefs in maintaining white supremacy. Trump may be flawed, but he’s their flawed savior.

      Interesting read, Creigh.

    • EJ says:

      What a fuckin’ Gertrude. I’ve been disappointed in Adams for a while now but this is just pathetic.

    • Robert Potts says:

      I stopped paying any attention to Scott Adams when he said he would be voting for Romney because he didn’t like how the Obama administration was handling marijuana prosecutions. http://blog.dilbert.com/post/102964867891/firing-offense

  23. Stephen says:

    Read the Good Samaritan story that Jesus told and you will find out nothing is new under the sun. Intolerance, hate and cruelty justified by religion is very old. Never mind that Jesus was a Semitic Jew (quite dark) and from a middle east culture ignorant bigots want to make God into their image. And justify their ungodly behavior through religion. In Jesus’s day they were called pharisees. Jesus was quite harsh with them.

    I collect Black religious art (Jesus, saints and angels are black) because this shows the tendency to make God into your image is so innate to humanity.They are closer to how Jesus actually looked.

    Trump’s positions would turn the country into a police state, are cruel and not constitutional. The 14th amendment was to prevent people in power from disenfranchised a minority group and make second class citizens of them. The same crowd is at it again. At least Trump has brought the ugly truth into the open. This great grandson of a confederate war veteran is disgusted with the whole gaggle of Republicans running for President. I wonder if the party has gotten so mess up it is beyond salvage.

    This country is going to become a minority majority nation soon. My home town over the last forty years has changed from deep south to a diverse minority majority town. People are people and it ain’t so bad. Rather than fighting this trend , you will lose, join it and share power. If the Republican party cannot figure this out they deserve to go the way of the Wigs.

  24. 1mime says:

    Gee, Fly, you think it would be THAT good?

  25. Rob Ambrose says:

    Excellent post.

    Ann Coulter and those who think like her are the dogshit stuck to the bottom America’s shoe.

  26. 1mime says:

    This is only a Gravis poll, and it is from Arizona, but it is current.


    • Shiro17 says:

      Looks like they’re ready to primary out John McCain. The key point about McCain, though, isn’t necessarily that he’s a rational, moderate Republican, it’s that he’s a Republican that isn’t afraid to be friends with his Democratic counterparts. It’s my theory that the biggest obstacle to getting things done nowadays in Congress isn’t so much the huge ideological disparity, it’s the extreme levels of unfriendliness and distrust between the two sides now. If you don’t trust the other side to hold up their end of the bargain, or even believe that, in their own way, they have the best interests of the country at heart, then it becomes impossible to work together to get anything done besides the bare essentials.

      One of my favorite comedians, Lewis Black, had a routine where he described the old way of getting things done: “Two politicians, one Republican and one Democrat, argue about an issue until they’re blue in the face. Then, that evening, they get s&^%-faced at a bar together, become best friends, and come to an agreement. ‘Oh, yorrre teh bessht!’ ‘Nooo, yerr ideya wash ta besssh!’ “

      • 1mime says:

        Shiro, I believe that ideological disparity is the main driver and the communication divide merely the result. And, I am not certain that all of those on the right who profess such a staunch ideological belief actually live it. It’s what they do to pander and keep their jobs in D.C.

      • EJ says:

        The real issue, to my mind, is that everyone is more scared of their supporters’ disapproval than of the consequences of failed government; and therefore legislatures have become places to pose to show your supporters how admirable you are, not places to get your hands dirty with compromises.

        Otto von Bismarck said that anyone who likes laws or sausages should never enquire too deeply into how either of them are made. This, then, is the flip side of what that great man meant: if everyone is watching you and demanding that you stay spotless, you can make neither law or sausage.

      • 1mime says:

        What an apt observation, EJ, “more afraid of their constituents than failed government. ” That nails it. Statesmanship requires risk – and work. I have always wondered if the very benefits that conservatives so often criticize for others is the very incentive for staying in Congress. That, and they like the aura of power. One wonders if the majority of these people could succeed in private business. Lifer’s observation that the next GOP President would be either a governor or businessman is on the mark. How very sad for America that the best we can do is elect a bunch of people who are more interested in staying in office than serving in office.

      • Ivar says:

        “What an apt observation, EJ, “more afraid of their constituents than failed government. ” That nails it. Statesmanship requires risk – and work. I have always wondered if the very benefits that conservatives so often criticize for others is the very incentive for staying in Congress.”

        What better way to prove that government doesn’t work than to get elected and make it not work.

      • 1mime says:

        You are correct, Ivar. The same principle is at work by the Republican majority….Use the power of the budget process to cut funding for divisions you don’t want to succeed (IRS, DOE, EPA, Consumer Affairs, USPS, etc) to the point that they can’t be effective, thus providing the justification for their elimination….Meanwhile, our Defense Budget is the largest in the world and still growing at the same time that Americans are clearly indicating they do not want the U.S. to be the world’s protector (unless it is Iran…bomb the SOBs)… so logical, so selective…In a perfect conservative world, what kind of government framework would merit approval? Defense?

  27. lomamonster says:

    Trump, the Anti-Christ pretender, will be the first to fall from Coulter’s house of cards.

  28. flypusher says:

    “There will be no celebration of Cinco de Mayo, there will be no Ramadan, in fact there won’t even be a Feast of the Immaculate Conception – we are an Anglo-Protestant country, and you will learn about the Battle of Valley Forge.”

    F-off Coulter. The Spanish/Mexican culture infusion makes Texas a much more interesting place.

    I’m 1/4 Anglo. That would give me what, 3rd-class status with these people?

    • way2gosassy says:

      Only if you are very lucky, but you will always first class in my book!

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      But, we would continue to have St. Patty’s day…he was White.

      • way2gosassy says:

        But they be Catholic so no that’s out too.

      • 1mime says:

        A great story,”barely” made me smile (-: Keep ’em coming, Sassy!

      • Turtles Run says:

        Ask Abbot he got in a little trouble for bringing his catholic side out in public.

      • 1mime says:

        Scratch Labor Day and Mardis Gras and Halloween, too!

      • way2gosassy says:

        Oh no Mime! just “barely”? I have to try harder.

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, it was a “bear” pun (-: I loved the story.

      • Rob Ambrose says:

        Sassy – but catholics are mainly white. So they’re fine.

        The protestants only hated catholics when the vast majority of Americans were all white. Once the brown ppl became.much more numerous, they joined forces with the catholics in order to hate all non whites

    • Turtles Run says:

      Carp, I am full messican. I guess I will pack my bags tonight.

    • Glandu says:

      Those people can’t count. If one of them is 1% white, and 99% something else, he would still be a good white. OTOH, if someone who does not think as them is 100% white, they’d assume he’s something else anyways.

      Words have no sense, they’ve only got a usage. Good or bad are usually used for “we” and “them”. “White protestants” is another form of “good”, ergo “we”, when used by then.

      It’s just a continuation of tribal wars, when our ancestors were living off the ground, scavenging berries and occasionally hunting some proteins, and the idea was already that the nearby tribe was occupying a juicy territory, with juicy berries, and nice game to hunt. Dehumanization of the nearby tribe was a common practice in those times, and the loser had to flee very far – or be exterminated.

      The very basis of civilisation is to find common grounds between different groups, so that neighbourhood does not mean permanent war, and permanent risk of genocide. Coming back to the tribal way of thinking is clearly, to my eyes, a setback of civilization. Berries & game have changed, but not the mindset.

      • 1mime says:

        Glandu, you do realize that many right wing conservatives don’t believe in evolution? For them, creationism trumps (ooh, sorreee) evolution. I don’t know if they “get” the whole *hunter/gatherer* stage in human development. I realize this is not the point of your analogy, but selective information gathering just kind of slides over those aspects of the development of civilization that don’t fit their construct. It’s too logical and an inconvenient truth.

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