Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2


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Online Paul May

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2020, 04:32:55 PM »
America shuts down again -- choosing reality over Trump’s false claims
Stephen Collinson

While President Donald Trump obsesses about his reelection hopes in his White House bubble, state and local leaders are frantically reversing state reopenings that he demanded, which turned America into the world's biggest coronavirus hotspot.

As emergency rooms filled and the virus quickened its relentless march across southern and Western states, Trump stuck to the fiction that the worst is already over: "We had to close it down; now we're opening it up," the President said of the economy at the White House, patting himself on the back for saving "millions of lives."

As new cases of the disease reach 60,000 a day nationwide, many leaders, including those who supported Trump's aggressive approach, now have little choice but to prioritize science over politics, leaving the President looking out of touch with reality.

In Texas, Houston's Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner proposed a two-week shutdown, days after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott raised the possibility of more stringent measures after issuing a mask wearing mandate that offended conservative orthodoxy. West Virginia called time's up in bars in the worst-hit county.

In California, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of all indoor restaurants, wineries, movie theaters, zoos, museums and shut all bars. Los Angeles and San Diego said their kids would start the new school year online only. Oregon banned gatherings of more than 10 people inside because of an "alarming rise" of Covid-19 cases in the state. KFC encouraged franchises in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and California to stop dine-in service.

Florida, which on Saturday set the record for any state in single day data on new infections, now has more Covid-19 cases than all but eight entire countries.

The picture is of a nation that is beginning to shut down again in defiance of the President's triumphant but misleading claims that a "transition to greatness" is under way. Restrictions imposed on cities as large as Houston and Los Angeles could set back the surprising revival in the economy last month.

Modest job gains, trumpeted by the President, could turn into permanent job losses.

In remarks likely to further infuriate Trump, who is grousing about Dr. Anthony Fauci's press, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made what is unfortunately becoming an obvious point: fast openings have triggered a disaster.

"It is very clear -- and we know this from countries throughout the world -- that if you physically separate people, to the point of not allowing the virus to transmit ... we know that we can do that if we shut down," Fauci said on a Stanford School of Medicine webinar.

"We did not shut down entirely -- and that's the reason why, when we went up, we started to come down, and then we plateaued at a level that was really quite high -- about 20,000 infections a day," Fauci said. "Then, as we started to reopen, we're seeing the surges that we're seeing today, as we speak, in California ... in Arizona, in Texas, in Florida, and in several other states."

There are a few bright spots. For the first time in months, there were no Covid-19 deaths in New York City in a 24-hour period, a moment of deliverance that Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio called "striking and moving." Massachusetts announced that its seven-day average of positive tests had fallen to 1.7% -- down 94% since mid-April.

The lesson for the states now in the center of the storm -- that jumped ahead of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on safe reopening -- are sobering. New York and Massachusetts bought what may still be only a temporary truce with the coronavirus by weeks of lockdowns and a strict reopening process that waited for the curve of infections to be properly suppressed before restrictions were lifted. Even now, there's no guarantee the virus won't return at dangerous levels when normal life picks up.

None of this seems to have filtered through to Trump. As always, the President was fixated on what latest developments meant for him -- especially as he rammed home his demand for all children to get back to school despite having no plan for how to make their return safe.

In a fresh sign of self-absorption on Monday, he turned perhaps the most acute current social complication of the pandemic into a charge that his political enemies wanted to keep kids stuck at home to hurt him.

"I think they think they'll do better if they can keep the schools closed in the election. I don't think it's going to help them, frankly, but I think they feel that by keeping schools closed, that's a bad thing for the country and, therefore, that's a good thing for them," Trump said.

The President did something similar earlier in the day, when he highlighted a tweet by Chuck Woolery, the ex-host of dating show "Love Connection" who warned "everyone is lying" about the seriousness of the current crisis, just to "keep the "economy from coming back, which is about the election."

It's not at all clear that most Americans stuck in an endless national nightmare are most concerned about an election -- especially one that's faded into the background and is still more than three months away. Parents want to know if their kids can begin learning again. The unemployed want their jobs back. The country wants its pre-virus life back.

Trump's obsession with his own political prospects has been the driving force of his administration and is a recurrent theme. His domestic agenda is almost solely designed to reward his most loyal and radical voters and his foreign policy is geared to creating splashy photo ops with the President in the starring role.

It's an Achilles' heel that led him to the ignominy of becoming only the third President to be impeached, for abusing his power by trying to coerce a foreign nation -- Ukraine -- into interfering in the 2020 to damage his opponent.

But now it's possible that as he trails Biden in pre-election polls, the President's impatience to get the economy roaring again may turn into a fatal political flaw. And it's got the potential to doom his dreams of a second term since it made the situation much worse.

The reopening of schools is crucial to the return of the economy and to the impression that America has bounced back to normal life that Trump is trying to reshape into an election message of a "transition to greatness." Until kids are in school full-time, many parents with child care issues cannot return to work, depriving America's economic engine of its full capacity.

But characteristically, Trump is ignoring complicated questions -- such as how to ensure that a mass return to school doesn't supercharge the pandemic -- as he considers what's best for himself.

Asked on Monday what he thought about New York and Los Angeles delaying the start of a new school year and the death of an Arizona teacher who died from Covid-19 after teaching at summer school, Trump replied: "Yeah. Schools should be opened. Schools should be opened. ... You're losing a lot of lives by keeping things closed."



JFK Assassination Forum

Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2020, 04:32:55 PM »


Offline Royell Storing

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2020, 04:51:40 PM »
  As I continue to say, "Judge a pitcher by the Reaction of the hitter". That close to 8 Mill Jobs created in Only 2 Months has the Propaganda Machines and their PARROTS up and operating in Hyper Drive. Yeah, we continue hearing All about the SURVEYS and Trump being behind by 15 points, AND then in the face of that we see the PANIC REACTIONS like the above. My, My, My! Just LOOK at the Reaction of that shaking in his cleats hitter.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 04:53:00 PM by Royell Storing »

Online Paul May

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2020, 05:05:47 PM »
  As I continue to say, "Judge a pitcher by the Reaction of the hitter". That close to 8 Mill Jobs created in Only 2 Months has the Propaganda Machines and their PARROTS up and operating in Hyper Drive. Yeah, we continue hearing All about the SURVEYS and Trump being behind by 15 points, AND then in the face of that we see the PANIC REACTIONS like the above. My, My, My! Just LOOK at the Reaction of that shaking in his cleats hitter.

Damn right I’m shaking. Decent Americans are. Our democracy has been brought to its knees by the conman/grifter in the WH. Nothing he won’t do to corrupt the next election. As the pandemic rages through his base is dying. The military hates him. Educated white women wouldn’t spit on him. Yet, I’m scared. He’s so morally bankrupt, nothing is beyond him. And guess what, you’re no different. My guess, when Trump is history, so are you.

JFK Assassination Forum

Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2020, 05:05:47 PM »


Offline Royell Storing

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2020, 05:25:27 PM »
  See what I mean? Alleged 15 point lead and their peeing their pants. A select few KNOW, Most Don't.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 05:26:14 PM by Royell Storing »

Offline Ray Mitcham

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2020, 05:29:05 PM »
  See what I mean? Alleged 15 point lead and their peeing their pants. A select few KNOW, Most Don't.

Royell, your diaper needs changing again.

Offline John Tonkovich

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2020, 05:29:56 PM »
  As I continue to say, "Judge a pitcher by the Reaction of the hitter". That close to 8 Mill Jobs created in Only 2 Months has the Propaganda Machines and their PARROTS up and operating in Hyper Drive. Yeah, we continue hearing All about the SURVEYS and Trump being behind by 15 points, AND then in the face of that we see the PANIC REACTIONS like the above. My, My, My! Just LOOK at the Reaction of that shaking in his cleats hitter.
Hey. 135,000 people are dead.
And you are, predictably, talking about...politics. And Trump as ..victim of the media?
Once again, a Trump supporter espousing a conspiracy theory .
Hence, the title of this thread. : )

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2020, 05:29:56 PM »


Online Paul May

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2020, 06:03:03 PM »
Hey. 135,000 people are dead.
And you are, predictably, talking about...politics. And Trump as ..victim of the media?
Once again, a Trump supporter espousing a conspiracy theory .
Hence, the title of this thread. : )

Perfect.

Offline Tom Scully

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2020, 08:06:56 PM »
The "pandemic" is a mental health crisis aggravating the covid-19 virus spread, manifesting itself, "same as it ever was". Russia, Poland, Israel, the U.S., R.O.C., Brazil, Turkey, and the Phillipines, are plagued with citizens suffering the identical mental health issues experienced in the 1850s in the U.S. resulting in civil war, and in the rise of the Axis powers commencing with the Italian population in 1922 and climaxing in Germany ten years later.

Fascism is the consequence of mental health issues driving the politics, then and now.

Jeff Sessions and John Bolton, both appointed by Trump to key positions in his administration, will explain the symptoms of mental health crisis, aided by a christian college instructor who has studied evangelicals for 15 years, backed by Dr. Bandy X Lee's and Mary Trump, PhD's conclusions of the cause; developmentally damaged citizens, many unwittingly attracted to authoritarian personalities.

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The scholar Kristin Kobes Du Mez :
'Jesus And John Wayne' Explores Christian Manhood — And How Belief Can Bolster Trump

.....how he becomes this icon — and not just to evangelicals but to secular conservatives as well.

.....On John Wayne doing terrible things in movies but, often, for the protection of society or a greater good.

It's a very common theme in white evangelical writing on masculinity from the 1960s really to the present — that you need to have very tough, rugged men who can protect women and children, who can protect Christianity and who can protect the American nation. And for the sake of protecting these vulnerable things, these precious things, really, the ends will justify the means.

What's not to like, except for the associated "body count", whether a result of slavery fueled civil war, and in the 20th century, a U.S. burdened simultaneously with segregation and war against fascist Axis powers intent on world conquest.

Embracing their mental illness and acting out the symptoms of it was a priority higher than beating back the Axis tide threatening the world.:
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https://calendar.eji.org/racial-injustice/may/25
On this day May 25, 1943
White Workers Riot After Black Workers Promoted in Mobile, Alabama

...On May 25, 1943, a riot broke out at the Alabama Dry Dock Shipping Company after 12 African Americans were promoted to “highly powered” positions.

The Alabama Dry Dock and Shipping Company built and maintained U.S. Navy Ships during World War I and World War II. During World War II, the company was the largest employer in Mobile. In 1941, the company began hiring African American men in unskilled positions. By 1943, Mobile shipyards employed 50,000 workers and African American men and women held 7,000 of those jobs. Though small, this increase in black employees did not please white workers.

In the spring of 1943, in response to President Roosevelt's Fair Employment Practices Committee issuing directives to elevate African Americans to skilled positions, as well as years of pressure from local black leaders and the NAACP, the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company reluctantly agreed to promote twelve black workers to the role of welder -- a position previously reserved for white employees.

Shortly after the new welders finished their first shift, an estimated 4,000 white shipyard workers and community members armed with pipes, clubs, and other dangerous weapons attacked any black employee they could find. Two black men were thrown into the Mobile River by the mobs, while others jumped in to escape serious injury. The National Guard was called to restore order; although no one was killed, more than fifty people were seriously injured, and several weeks passed before African American workers could safely return to work.

Even after the attack, many white employees remained defiant and refused to return to work unless they received a guarantee that African Americans would no longer be hired. When the federal government intervened, the company created four segregated shipways where African Americans could hold any position with the exception of foreman. African Americans working on the rest of the shipyard were relegated to the low-paying, unskilled tasks they had historically performed.

Here is a link to a PBS video about the Alabama Dry Dock riots. ......

Cruelty is an irresistible element to the devolopmentally damaged. Gen. Mattis resigned in protest in reaction to Trump's attitude towards the Kurds who did the heavy lifting in the alliance resulting in the defeat of ISIS. It was only last October when Trump doubled down on unilateral withdrawal from the agreement controlling and monitoring Iran's nuclear development program, doubling down with another lesson to the world that the U.S. has become erratic, unpredictable and certainly not a partner any other nation can rely on a a partner or ally.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/24/most-tragic-story-john-boltons-book/
The most tragic story in John Bolton’s book
Opinion by  Josh Rogin Columnist
June 24, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

There are many disturbing stories of foreign policy malpractice in John Bolton’s tell-all book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” but it’s clear that what the former national security adviser reveals about the Trump administration’s actions regarding Syria stand out as the most grossly negligent, horribly dysfunctional and morally bankrupt.

We already knew the basic Trump story on Syria. We knew that President Trump, who publicly called Syria nothing but “sand and death,” wanted to remove the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in the country from day one, damn the consequences. We knew he wanted to declare victory over the Islamic State (prematurely), hand over the battlespace to anyone who would step in and declare a campaign promise fulfilled.

The book now provides not only gruesome details of how Trump misunderstood and mismanaged the United States’ Syria policy, but also the deep dysfunction inside his team. Most troubling is what Bolton’s book does not include — namely any honest attempt by the Trump administration to actually solve the Syrian crisis or protect Syrian civilians.

The president’s own quotes, if accurate, reveal even less comprehension and more disdain for Syria than previously known. Trump casually cut off $200 million of stabilization assistance to liberated but desperate areas of Syria, saying, “I want to build up our country, not others.” Trump didn’t believe the United States had a real interest in fighting the Islamic State at all. “We’re killing ISIS for countries that are our enemies,” he is quoted as saying. Privately, Trump revealed his true feelings about a U.S. allied force in Syria. “I don’t like the Kurds. They ran from the Iraqis, they ran from the Turks, the only time they don’t run is when we’re bombing all around them with F-18s,” he reportedly said.


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https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2020/6/24/boltons-book-and-why-trump-betrayed-the-kurds

..The two incidents Trump refers to were the October 2017 Iraqi military takeover of the disputed Kirkuk region from the Kurdish Peshmerga, and the Turkish incursions against Syrian Kurds in Afrin in early 2018 and northeast Syria in October 2019.

In both instances, the Trump administration did little to deter
https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2019/10/8/worse-than-1975-trumps-cynical-betrayal-of-the-kurds
or even dissuade either Iraq or Turkey from attacking key US allies in the fight against IS.

Trump's assertion that "the only time they don't run is when we're bombing all around them with F-18s" is particularly offensive. For one, no military force in the world would readily put their troops in harm's way unless it was first capable of giving them air support. The United States, in particular, has always striven to use its advantages in air power to overwhelm its adversaries and lessen any potential US troop casualties. ...

Trump’s decision to strike the Assad regime for the second time following chemical attacks against civilians occurred during Bolton’s first week as national security adviser. Bolton describes a completely broken process. He accuses then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis of using bureaucratic maneuvering to corner Trump into a smaller option, which Bolton then concludes was insufficient to “deter” Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons again. Trump tried to pull out at the last minute, after allies had signed on. “We’re knocking out nothing,” Trump said, admitting the strikes were pinpricks.

Trump’s December 2018 decision to announce a complete U.S. withdrawal from Syria and his interactions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan make up Bolton’s most troubling set of anecdotes. “This was a personal crisis for me,” Bolton wrote. But not because of what would happen in Syria. According to Bolton, “the big picture was stopping Iran.”

“Israel’s Ambassador Ron Dermer told me that this was the worst day he had experienced thus far in the Trump administration,” Bolton wrote.

Trump’s calls with Erdogan were an embarrassing mix of muddled messages and naive assumptions. Trump wanted Turkey to finish fighting the Islamic State and not attack the Kurds. (Later, Turkey directly attacked the Kurds while the Islamic State regrouped). Bolton has harsh words for Jim Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy for Syria, who Bolton said was pro-Turkey and attempted to map out which parts of Syria the Turks and Kurds would control, a futile effort the Turks ignored.

Bolton takes credit (along with Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time) for convincing Trump to leave “a couple of hundred” troops in northern Syria and not abandoning (for now) a southern Syrian base known as Tanf, where another 200 or so U.S. troops are stationed. When Trump again announced the complete U.S. withdrawal from Syria in October 2019, Bolton was already gone. Eventually, Trump partially walked back that announcement as well, another bureaucratic and diplomatic mess.

The president never had a realistic understanding of Syria. He believed Arab states would send troops into Syria and pay the United States to support them, an initiative Bolton actually attempted with zero results. Trump also believed European countries would commit more troops to Syria if the United States pulled out, which was never true.

Trump “constantly” wanted to call Assad to negotiate the return of at least six Americans believed to be in the regime’s custody, but the Syrian leader wouldn’t take the call, to Bolton’s relief. Over and over, Trump pointed to “my campaign” and “my base” as the reasons he wanted to get out. Trump constantly questioned aloud why we were there. ......

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https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/why-christians-support-trump/613669/
Jeff Sessions Explains Why Christians Support Trump
The former attorney general compared the president to a Middle Eastern strongman.

JUNE 30, 2020
David A. Graham
Staff writer at The Atlantic

“In Christ there is no east or west / In him no south or north, / But one great family bound by love / Throughout the whole wide earth,” goes the old hymn.

But in Donald Trump, there is division among American Christians. On one side are those who insist that the president is a Christian hero who is standing up for religious rights. On the other are critics who counter that white evangelical Christians have struck a corrupt but convenient bargain with an immoral leader whose inclinations are dictatorial, not religious.

Into this debate strides former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who, despite his excommunication from Trump’s good graces, remains a die-hard backer of the president and his ideological agenda. Yet in a masterful profile in The New York Times Magazine by Elaina Plott, he comes down solidly, if unwittingly, on the side of the skeptics. Sessions suggests that the president’s own religious convictions are irrelevant, compares him to the dictators Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Bashar al-Assad, and makes the case for choosing a strongman who can defend Christians over democratic politics.

Michael Gerson: Trump and the last temptation of the evangelicals :
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/04/the-last-temptation/554066/

This isn’t reading between the lines; Sessions makes his views quite clear. When Plott asked Sessions, who is now running an underdog campaign to return to his old U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, how Christians could support Trump, he replied with a reference to Egypt and el-Sisi.

“It’s not a democracy—he’s a strongman, tough man, but he promised to protect them. And they believed him, because they didn’t want the Muslim Brotherhood taking over Egypt. Because they knew they’d be vulnerable. They chose to support somebody that would protect them. And that’s basically what the Christians in the United States did. They felt they were under attack, and the strong guy promised to defend them. And he has.”

There are at least three astonishing elements of this answer. The first is Sessions’s favorable comparison of the U.S. to Egypt, even as he acknowledges that Egypt is not a democracy; it is, in fact, governed by a military junta that arose through a coup, and which now oversees a flawed regime. The second is the analogy between Christians in the U.S. and Egypt. Egypt’s Christians, most of whom are Copts, are a small and severely embattled minority, subject to political repression, terrorist attacks, and pogroms. Many American evangelicals believe they are also subjects of widespread discrimination. In 2017, the Public Religion Research Institute found that white evangelicals believe they face more discrimination than Muslims in America. The analogy to beleaguered Egyptian Christians underscores both the depth and the absurdity of that feeling.

Finally, the parallel between el-Sisi and Trump reveals a great deal about how Sessions sees Trump. El-Sisi is a Muslim, not a Christian, but has made some efforts to improve protections for the Christian minority since seizing power from an Islamist government. In this analogy, Trump’s religious views are neither relevant nor even the same as those of Christians; he’s useful as a protector, not as an exemplar.

This is not a single, ill-thought-out parallel. Sessions also praised the bloody Syrian dictator al-Assad, a member of the Alawite sect, for protecting Christians and fighting Muslim terror groups. “You know who we want to run Syria? Assad,” he said. “We are hoping that somehow he can get back in control. And there was no terrorism, no ISIS when he ran the place. He’d kill ’em. And if you didn’t cross him, he wouldn’t kill you. And he protected Christians; they were a part of his coalition.”

(As Plott notes, ISIS arose in Syria under Assad’s watch, but who’s keeping track?)
Read: White Evangelicals believe they face more discrimination than Muslims:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/perceptions-discrimination-muslims-christians/519135/

The yearning for order, and for ordering minorities, in particular, courses throughout Sessions’s worldview. When Sessions, as the attorney general, came under fire for separating migrant families at the U.S. border (including taking criticism from many evangelical leaders), he cited St. Paul’s admonition to “obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” (“I was right about that,” he told Plott. “I wish I’d fought it.”) The fact that such a person could serve as the country’s top lawman speaks to how hard it is to take seriously the sense of discrimination among evangelicals. Sessions also praised Trump’s disastrous photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., as a necessary step against “socialist leftists” and mocked those who questioned Trump’s motives.

Sessions’s view is telling because he is not merely a supporter of the president’s, but one of his clearest ideological antecedents, the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump’s 2016 presidential run, then his first attorney general. Trump eventually expelled Sessions from the administration because of tension over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference, and the president’s endorsement of Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn University head football coach, is a top reason why Sessions may lose a July 14 runoff. But Plott notes that Sessions’s fervor for the project of Trumpism has not cooled: “Even in his exile, perhaps no one is as eager as Sessions to hold forth on why he likes Trump, why his party—why the country—so desperately needs him.”

A huge majority of evangelical Christians has lined up behind Trump, as have white Catholics. (A May poll by PRRI showed the president’s standing slipping among both groups.) Trump has repaid them with devoted attention to issues such as abortion, school vouchers, and religious liberty. There’s little outward sign of any kind of religious devotion on Trump’s part, and seldom any indication of inward reflection on any topic by the president, but leading Christian figures, writers, and ministers, including Jerry Falwell Jr., Eric Metaxas, and Franklin Graham, have defended his Christian bona fides and insisted that he is not only an ally of evangelical Christian causes but also a true believer.

Peter Wehner: There is no Christian case for Trump

A few prominent, though isolated, evangelicals have been highly critical of the president. They argue that Trump shows none of the signs of Christian devotion or morality, and that Christians who align themselves with the president are making a crude bargain with a flawed man in an attempt to obtain safe harbor. Michael Gerson, in a 2018 Atlantic cover story, criticized the habit of “evangelicals regarding themselves, hysterically and with self-pity, as an oppressed minority that requires a strongman to rescue it. This is how Trump has invited evangelicals to view themselves. He has treated evangelicalism as an interest group in need of protection and preferences.”

Sessions, in effect, is saying he agrees with Gerson’s description—but thinks that what he identifies is a perfectly fine arrangement. “There’s a difference between freedom and democracy,” he told Plott. “You need to understand this.”

The yearning for a strongman doesn’t necessarily end with religious issues. Sessions also mused on his childhood in Camden, Alabama. “It was an idyllic period,” he said. “Sort of a window. End of an age.” His memory is that things were “ordered and disciplined,” Plott writes.


Of course, the idyll depends on who is living it, as does the judgment of whether the dying age was good or bad; some people get to enjoy order, while others bear the brunt of discipline. Sessions’s childhood came during the waning days of Jim Crow, in a deeply segregated community where African Americans were starving, disenfranchised, and physically threatened. For this minority, a group that experienced genuine, rather than merely perceived, discrimination, there was neither freedom nor democracy.

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https://www.npr.org:80/2020/06/23/881992622/jesus-and-john-wayne-explores-christian-manhood-and-how-belief-can-bolster-trump?refresh=true
AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
'Jesus And John Wayne' Explores Christian Manhood — And How Belief Can Bolster Trump
June 23, 20205:04 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
STEVE INSKEEP

What does it mean to be a Christian man?

The scholar Kristin Kobes Du Mez says the answer matters a lot. It influences how millions of Americans shape their lives and their politics. It even affects why so many white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump.

Her book — Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation — which explores the past and present of Christian manhood, takes its title from a Christian song by the Gaither Vocal Band called "Jesus and John Wayne."

The narrator in the song recalls trying to please both his gentle Christian mother and his tough-guy father. He feels the conflicting demands to be forgiving and combative, gentle and strong.

When researching her book, Kristin Kobes Du Mez — a history professor at Calvin University, which is a Christian college in Michigan — concluded that among many evangelicals, the John Wayne side of the argument has been winning.

"There are millions of copies of books that have been sold within evangelical circles on what does it mean to be a Christian man," she says. "And when I started reading these books, what struck me was there were only a few Bible verses kind of sprinkled here and there. But when they were looking for models of Christian manhood, they really looked to kind of secular heroes or mythical heroes — so warriors or soldiers or cowboys."

"Well, it's the man and the myth, really, with John Wayne. I think mostly his on-screen persona. So he is this rugged man who can bring order through violence, really. So whether he's, you know, on the frontiers of the Wild West or in the Second World War or on the battlefields of Vietnam, he can bring order through violence. And he can defend Christian America, really, and that's what really appeals to many evangelicals, how he becomes this icon — and not just to evangelicals but to secular conservatives as well.

But also, the man himself in his own life, he was really critical to the rise of right-wing conservatism in the 1960s, 1970s. And he would be speaking at events hosted by white evangelicals in Southern California, and he endorsed Ronald Reagan. And so he's very much a part of the political movement, and he's this — becomes this kind of icon of what true American and true Christian masculinity really looks like.

On John Wayne doing terrible things in movies but, often, for the protection of society or a greater good.

It's a very common theme in white evangelical writing on masculinity from the 1960s really to the present — that you need to have very tough, rugged men who can protect women and children, who can protect Christianity and who can protect the American nation. And for the sake of protecting these vulnerable things, these precious things, really, the ends will justify the means.

On beginning the book with an anecdote about Trump

I think that the last four years have been clarifying for many evangelicals, for many observers of evangelicalism. When Donald Trump was elected, white evangelicals were absolutely critical to his victory. And for a lot of observers and for some evangelicals themselves, this seemed contradictory. It seemed like evangelicals had betrayed their values. But if you look at this longer history of evangelical masculinity and militarism, then you see that this wasn't a betrayal. This isn't just hypocrisy that we're seeing; this is consistent with the sort of values that evangelicals have long held to.

On white evangelicals voting for Trump as a John Wayne figure

Not all evangelicals will say that. But there is this strong kind of justification for their vote for Donald Trump in terms of, he is a strongman. He is going to protect Christianity precisely because he is not constrained by traditional Christian virtues.

On whether these evangelicals believe this president is someone who is capable and competent

So there's a bit of wavering right now in the margins. And I think that people are unsettled in light of the pandemic. And at the same time, I think it's also important to realize that many evangelicals aren't necessarily listening to the same news reports as other Americans are. And so their news is being filtered in particular ways through Christian radio, also, you know, through Fox News and talk radio.

And so I think that this acknowledgment of incompetence isn't all that pronounced. And at the same time, this model of rugged and even reckless masculinity means that a lot of that kind of incompetence can actually be forgiven — right? — because you need aggressiveness to be a good leader and God gave men testosterone precisely for this reason. And, yeah, there are going to be certain side effects.

Quote
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/nyregion/mary-trump-book.html
The Inside Story of Why Mary Trump Wrote a Tell-All Book
7 days ago - Ms. Trump, a clinical psychologist, calls her grandfather — the president's father, Fred Trump Sr. — a “sociopath” who damaged his children. His ...
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/us/politics/donald-trump-mary-book.html
In New Book, Trump's Niece Describes Him as Still a Child ...
7 days ago - The release of Mary L. Trump's “Too Much and Never Enough” has ... father and who developed defenses of anger and distrust to mask his own ...

« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 08:30:24 PM by Tom Scully »

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
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