How to heal?

And just by the by, there’s been a tremendous effort on the part of rational-thinking America to understand and accommodate what has happened to the right. This effort can be felt in the way that ordinary Americans tolerate and interact with each other on a daily basis. It can be seen in an endless font of think pieces about “how we got here”.

It has manifested in rather inoffensive social media tags identifying suspect rhetoric and conspiracy theories. And perhaps most prominently of all, it culminated in the nomination of Joe Biden for President. The moderate candidate. The unity candidate. The candidate who would not offend the white identity politics of the midwest.

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Well, depends on what you mean by heal. I think Trump supporters and mainstream Democrats have fundamentally incompatible views.

Disenfranchised white men and the women who share their worldview feel like they have lost socioeconomic relevance and any means by which they could correct their situation by their own decisions. This has been brewing for decades, although the roots of the problem stretch back for centuries, so it’s not so easy to fix.

If you got rid of some preachers, the crowds would just appoint another preacher, deify the last preacher as a martyr, and then double down on using force to preserve their way of life. It’s a recipe for extremism.

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Have we, as a nation, run out of rope in this scenario?

Interesting article i just found:

"*Where does the hatred some of his supporters display come from? And what can we do to promote healing?

In Profile of a Nation, I outline the many causes that create his followership. But there is important psychological injury that arises from relative—not absolute—socioeconomic deprivation. Yes, there is great injury, anger and redirectable energy for hatred, which Trump harnessed and stoked for his manipulation and use. The emotional bonds he has created facilitate shared psychosis at a massive scale. It is a natural consequence of the conditions we have set up. For healing, I usually recommend three steps: (1) Removal of the offending agent (the influential person with severe symptoms). (2) Dismantling systems of thought control—common in advertising but now also heavily adopted by politics. And (3) fixing the socioeconomic conditions that give rise to poor collective mental health in the first place."

This author uses bigger words than I would, but this sounds a lot like hangings and UBI to me.

What CS has described is a prevailing theory among lots of scholars. White people are still richer on average than Americans at large. They’re definitely still overrepresented in government and likely in the media as well. But those gaps are closing.

For a lot of white people, it’s very important for them to be the dominant race in American society. This is a long running meme. A character is anxious about this in The Great Gatsby, and that book is 100 years old.

I’m a white guy, and it’s admittedly hard for me to understand these anxieties. I don’t care about my neighbors being white or my President being white. I don’t care if it’s Michael B. Jordan or Sylvester Stallone kicking ass in the movie I’m watching. I certainly don’t want to be subjugated by other races the way that whites have historically done in this country. But I also don’t think that’ll happen.

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There is a big overlap of evangelical whites and Trump boosters. Apparently, whether Q related or not, these folks take it as an article of faith that Trump is going to usher in the Kingdom of God. Note it is not all Christians, but the subset of those who have adopted charismatic/prophetic orders. Your example seems to be in this camp.

That’s relevant information, because no one can be convinced by evidence that their faith is misplaced. Faith is, more or less, the belief in something for which there is no proof. Logic will not affect them.

I don’t claim I understand it, not in a visceral sense.

Primarily, I think it comes back to money. Class inequity is on the rise, rural America is struggling, and I think you can make a fine argument that Democrats could have done more to try and address this, without soft-selling how truly Republican party has become, and how diabolically they’re taking advantage of the dynamic.

Having seen it play out in my own family, I also would caution against underestimating the impact of some truly satanic theology that evangelicals are shoveling out. Parishioners are encouraged to view the world through a very childish, black versus white, good-versus-evil lens. Once you drink that Kool-Aid, it’s basically a psychological necessity for you to start casting individual people, and by extension groups of people, as “evil.” I will leave it as an exercise for the reader how it came to be determined that Democrats were the “evil” side in the American version of this centuries-old ballet. In my opinion, I think it traces back in a pretty straight line to slavery and racism. But there’s room for a nuanced discussion around that.

This is a very interesting point.

I will point out that in my longer post above, I wasn’t talking about anything so specifically eschatological. I think that what you’re talking about is totally valid for a narrow subset of evangelicals. My post was meant to address a larger, more generalized dynamic that’s much more deeply embedded in American Evangelical Christianity at large, at least around these parts it is.

I haven’t had nearly as much experience with the hardcore doomsday Christians, so you may be more informed about that swath than I am.

I’ll throw this out there to facilitate discussion.

Note that a vote for Trump could be equally viewed as a vote against the Democratic Ticket.

And there is considerable fear out there of the US turning into a socialist state under Democratic control.

In the present system, voting 3rd party is generally viewed negatively; especially if the view of the “other ticket” is very unpalatable. That is, voting Green or Libertarian is essentially a vote for the party you’re actually against.

So I think a key part of the reform is a better system that allows at least one third party candidate to be viable (e.g., in their marketing and campaigning abilities) as either of the “primary party” candidate(s).

FTR, I think such modifiers in one’s post can go a long way to facilitate civil discourse.
:+1:t2:

I am sure control of wealth and power for White Americans is part of it, but also what is needed is for the BLM movement to find itself a true leader. A lot of Trump’s support is driven by protests turned violent and the frustration that cities are being burned over and over again, and Democrats struggle to distance themselves from that violence. If BLM had a leader that could consistently emphasize the peace, denounce the violence, and better organize the movement, it could lead to meaningful progress and less polarization around it.

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Again, I come back the point of fixing our education system. Because I think if we as a nation of rigorous training and logic, rhetoric, and propaganda avoidance, we would have a lot fewer people turn out so stupid, angry and loud as to think Democrats are more dangerous to our country than Trump.

What are you basing that assertion on? Is there a marked difference in Trump’s numbers before and after last year’s BLM protests?

I mean I get it, that BLM has become a big talking point for Republicans now. But I don’t see much to convince me that the same shitheads would support Trump any less without last summer’s activities.

In my opinion, right wingers have demonstrated, to a man, that they are not interested in any good-faith discussion about the merits and demerits of BLM. Not as a slogan, Not as a movement. I think we need to admit that there are a lot of people in this country that are genuinely upset by the idea that black lives actually do matter per se. And I don’t see entertaining their lies to be a productive to go down at this point.

I hear it from former Obama voters who were disgusted with what they saw over the summer. The protests turned violent at night are an easy target.

I do not disagree with a real need to fix the education system . . . most particularly, a revamping of the “No Child Left Behind” philosophy.

And I agree with the need for “propaganda avoidance” . . . but this will become a very slippery slope extremely fast. To answer the OP’s question about “How to heal?” . . . and more specifically, what should the “first steps” ought to be, this isn’t it. Both the education system and a “better trained” populace in the arena of critical thinking are long term goals, not immediate fixes. The latter specifically is a cultural problem, not an intellectual one.

However, my main point isn’t directed toward the current “Democratic Ticket” specifically so much as there is no alternative way to really vote if one is very much opposed to one party’s ticket other than voting for another viable party. In the present system, there will only be one such option.

Question related to this point: how many voted for Biden simply to vote against Trump (without really supporting the Dem Ticket)? And how many of these are viewed as being explicitly a vote primarily for the Democratic Agenda?

It was not idly dropped. I can only speak to what I know of course. I do feel like I know my corner of the Bible Belt pretty well.

But just to fully speak my truth: I’ve also read enough church history to know that it’s not just this peculiar little swamp of America at this peculiar point in history that’s to blame. In my opinion, the church itself is a giant mistake in human history, an unwanted, festering boil on our collective unconscious, and what I’ve experienced in my forty years down here in Jesusland is perfectly natural and predictable result of two thousand years of lies and poor thinking. Yes, I found the Methodists to be much more congenial to spend time with than my Baptist friends, and much more likely to land on the right side of basically any social issue. But that doesn’t mean that Methodists aren’t part of the problem, too.

You want to talk about dismantling the two party system, you won’t get any argument from me. That should probably be its own plank in the theoretical platform we’re constructing here. Good point, and shame on me for not considering it first.

I confess I haven’t heard that side of it at all. It might be relevant to point out that it was early last year that I radically reduced the number of social media platforms that I consume, so my not hearing it doesn’t mean it wasn’t being said.

I have to think that’s got to be a small number of people that would vote for Obama and then Trump based on BLM. But then again, I thought that Trump 2020 would get about 30 million votes, so what the fuck do I know

I hope you realize the poor thinking is necessary for many of those churches to exist, that the latter often encourages the former to happen.