Trump Trumps God in 2016

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An August 2007 article in The Economist titled Is America Turning Left? gave a historical draw on the role of the right, especially the Christian right, in shaping American politics. It started off by stating:

            The most conservative president [George W. Bush] in recent history, a man who sought to turn his  victories of 2000 and 2004 into a Republican hegemony, may well end up driving the Western world’s most impressive political machine off a cliff.

In 2004, the Republican Party aimed to distract voters from a slipping United States economy and two foreign wars by making faith a part of its platform. That year many states put issues such as gay marriage on the ballot, urging faith-based voters to cast a vote defining marriage between a man and a woman. Such 2004 right-wing fervor still exist in politics and churches, but the post-Barack Obama era appears to have weakened the base of Christian-Republicans. Traditional Republican candidates quickly dissipated in this past election season. And though Donald Trump promises to appoint conservative judges to the bench, many suspect this is a ploy to maintain Christian Republicans.

If one turned their television to a religious station or attended a church service, they might hear how America is moving down an immoral path to being the next Sodom and Gomorrah. Trump, however, has placed distanced from such language in electing to use nationalism over religion, as noted by his campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again”.

Trump’s jingoistic language differs from the Puritanical faith-based thinking of past, which has garnered historical attention for centuries, starting with Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, movers of the First Great Awakening, which also cemented the South as the Bible Belt. Starting in the late 1970s, those who supported Barry Goldwater in 1964, unified to shape mass politics. Goldwater was the standard-bearer of the New Right Republican Party. Goldwater engineered a disgruntled white Conservative population fearing the United States was becoming too liberal. This emerging Republican population consisted of conservative ideologues, fundamentalist Christians, and populist voters who deplored the liberal social, political, and economic trends of the 1960s and hoped to change it. Many of them were against the civil rights legislation, arguing that they were unconstitutional as they undermined states’ rights.

Just like the First and Second Great Awakening of the 18th and 19th century, evangelical leaders were content to combat what they called the forces of Satan, by asking all believers to join in an attempt to save the souls of the lost. This action took place during religious crusades and revivals. By the Fourth Great Awakening, there was no need to rally the troops at revival camp meetings. A quick hit of a TV button had the religious right advocating for political candidates and against what they saw as the sins of liberalism. It was Richard Viguerie, a right-wing publicist, who marshaled the power of the computerized direct-mail advertising as a New Right unifier. This, as well as the message of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, served as an impetus to fighting leftism.

Yet in 2016 the religious right has given their soul to Trump – not God. As I recently noted, Evangelical Christians in America must decide if they really value religious freedom or just the religious freedom of Jesus. If they value the latter — there will be a generational rebellion against them, and thus their purpose of Jesus sharing will die, as far too many right-wing Christian evangelicals have not sided with the love and empathy of Christ, but identity politics.

Trump and White Privilege

I want to be clear that I am making a generalization here about white privilege. White men — who are the most powerful actors in this country, claiming they are the victim. Folks (women and people of color) like me are perceived to be a threat to their hegemony. And we are. A recent study found that white men hire white men from similar backgrounds. Hence — societal inequalities are grand. What a great example of how white men perpetuate white supremacy. Hey — just look at the private school world or major industries.

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Black Memory

This is a fantastic essay by a colleague writing for the African American Intellectual History Society. I have worked very hard seeking to avoid my use of terms such as Uncle Tom or Sellout, when discussing black republicans or wealthy black folks who have abandon us. But, it is a constant struggle. This essay points to a post-racial myth often promulgated by white and black liberals, and consumed under conservative ideology. As noted here, “What has driven these Black folk out of their minds? Two words: racist ideas. They have consumed the racist idea of post-racialism that claims dysfunctional Black people are to blame for persisting racial disparities since racial discrimination no longer exists. They have consumed the racist idea that angry Black people are more violently reckless with colorblind police officers and that’s why they are being disproportionately killed.”

Is the Party Racist?

This piece has gone around the blogsphere since last week. As I noted on another blog, Powell is being honest and on the mark. I feel and have felt this way about the Republican Party since high school. I disagree with Powell regarding his notion that the party has changed; I think it has been this way dating back to the 1980s when it sought to garner the attention of white religious conservative Americans; the party has expanded its agenda in that — as noted by Powell — it is now way farther to the right regarding economic and social policy (Tea Party). But with the Tea Party all but dead, as noted in the last election, Republicans might seek to move back to the right — that is from the far right; I do not think it is a reactionary party. With the Democrats taking a strong victory during the November elections, the Cold War Republican Party might seek to regain its identity with the likes of a Colin Powell.

Targeting People

From what I am reading across the country from other bloggers, people are wearing star of David badges and showcasing fascist’s symbols to protest the state of Arizona.

I have spoken to a number of Hispanics, and all of them will tell you that they do not favor illegal immigration; in essence, it works against the plight of legals. But, to enact legislation empowering the state to ask people for their papers due to race, is borderline Fascism.

I hear all too often that people do not want too much federal government intervention, but the governor of Arizona stated herself that states such as hers have no choice due to the inactivity of the federal government. I think Ms. Brewer is about to get her wish; I suspect the Obama administration will act quickly to usurp that of states by enacting comprehensive immigration reform. As a black American, I tend not to trust the notion of states’ rights. Historically, states have discriminated  against minority populations. Thanks to Interstate Commerce, the federal government used various tactics to remove Jim Crow. This does not mean the federal government does not discriminate. The United States has a history of implementing immigration acts and quotas against various groups: Southern and Eastern Europeans, Asians, and Jews.

As noted in The Huffington Post:

Arizona lawmakers approved a sweeping immigration bill Monday intended to ramp up law enforcement efforts even as critics complained it could lead to racial profiling and other abuse.The state Senate voted 17-11 nearly along party lines to send the bill to Gov. Jan Brewer, who has not taken a position on the measure championed by fellow Republicans. The House approved the bill April 13.

An Objective Look at the Bush Presidency by Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan is a a junior at HCHS; he is a frequent reader of the Professor and has written posts here before. Feel free to leave a comment addressing his thoughts on the Bush epoch.

George W Bush

There is no doubt on my mind that almost every citizen of America today has their own views about the way that George Bush handled his term of presidency from January 20, 2001, to today, January 20, 2009. While each person has the right to their own opinion about how Bush acted during his tenure as the Commander-in-Chief (and the right to share these views with others), it has always been my theory that third party, non-biased historical accounts are what truly define the way that people think because it allows the reader to synthesize their own opinions and possibly even allows that reader to consider ways of improving ideas that may have been glossed over in a positive light in more biased historical accounts (ex: The New Deal). Perhaps it is my right brained tendencies that lead to my preference of objectivity over subjectivity. However, it has been increasingly difficult to come up with a definitive historical account of the Bush presidency that was free from the bias that our media has so readily embraced over the past decade. The following article was written by a historical idol of mine named Andrew Roberts, the writer of many books about the subject of warfare and the leaders therein. I found his article about how the Bush Presidency will someday be remembered to be very well written while also incorporating a minimal amount of bias and so thought that I would share it with you. Here is the link if you want to read some of the numerous comments that readers have left for him.

Here are a few examples:

In the avalanche of abuse and ridicule that we are witnessing in the media assessments of President Bush’s legacy, there are factors that need to be borne in mind if we are to come to a judgment that is not warped by the kind of partisan hysteria that has characterised this issue on both sides of the Atlantic.

The first is that history, by looking at the key facts rather than being distracted by the loud ambient noise of the 24-hour news cycle, will probably hand down a far more positive judgment on Mr Bush’s presidency than the immediate, knee-jerk loathing of the American and European elites.

At the time of 9/11, which will forever rightly be regarded as the defining moment of the presidency, history will look in vain for anyone predicting that the Americans murdered that day would be the very last ones to die at the hands of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in the US from that day to this. The decisions taken by Mr Bush in the immediate aftermath of that ghastly moment will be pored over by historians for the rest of our lifetimes. One thing they will doubtless conclude is that the measures he took to lock down America’s borders, scrutinise travellers to and from the United States, eavesdrop upon terrorist suspects, work closely with international intelligence agencies and take the war to the enemy has foiled dozens, perhaps scores of would-be murderous attacks on America. There are Americans alive today who would not be if it had not been for the passing of the Patriot Act. There are 3,000 people who would have died in the August 2005 airline conspiracy if it had not been for the superb inter-agency co-operation demanded by Bushafter 9/11.
The next factor that will be seen in its proper historical context in years to come will be the true reasons for invading Afghanistan in October 2001 and Iraq in April 2003. The conspiracy theories believed by many (generally, but not always) stupid people – that it was “all about oil”, or the securing of contracts for the US-based Halliburton corporation, etc – will slip into the obscurity from which they should never have emerged had it not been for comedian-filmmakers such as Michael Moore.

Instead, the obvious fact that there was a good case for invading Iraq based on 14 spurned UN resolutions, massive human rights abuses and unfinished business following the interrupted invasion of 1991 will be recalled.

Similarly, the cold light of history will absolve Bush of the worst conspiracy-theory accusation: that he knew there were no WMDs in Iraq. History will show that, in common with the rest of his administration, the British Government, Saddam’s own generals, the French, Chinese, Israeli and Russian intelligence agencies, and of course SIS and the CIA, everyone assumed that a murderous dictator does not voluntarily destroy the WMD arsenal he has used against his own people. And if he does, he does not then expel the UN weapons inspectorate looking for proof of it, as he did in 1998 and again in 2001.

Mr Bush assumed that the Coalition forces would find mass graves, torture chambers, evidence for the gross abuse of the UN’s food-for-oil programme, but also WMDs. He was right about each but the last, and history will place him in the mainstream of Western, Eastern and Arab thinking on the matter.

History will probably, assuming it is researched and written objectively, congratulate Mr Bush on the fact that whereas in 2000 Libya was an active and vicious member of what he was accurately to describe as an “axis of evil” of rogue states willing to employ terrorism to gain its ends, four years later Colonel Gaddafi’s WMD programme was sitting behind glass in a museum in Oakridge, Tennessee.
With his characteristic openness and at times almost self-defeating honesty, Mr Bush has been the first to acknowledge his mistakes – for example, tardiness over Hurricane Katrina – but there are some he made not because he was a ranting Right-winger, but because he was too keen to win bipartisan support. The invasion of Iraq should probably have taken place months earlier, but was held up by the attempt to find support from UN security council members, such as Jacques Chirac’s France, that had ties to Iraq and hostility towards the Anglo-Americans.