Thursday, January 19, 2017

Holding the Moral Center As Trump Takes Office: "We Must Resist. There Are No Sidelines. There Is No Middle Ground."

Majorities expect the wealthy to gain influence – and the poor to lose influence – with Trump as president

Pew Research Center, 18 January 2017, reporting on a poll asking Americans what they expect to happen as Donald Trump takes office: 

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say wealthy people will gain influence in Washington when Trump takes office. Just 8% say they will lose influence, while 27% expect the wealthy will not be affected. 
In addition, about half of the public thinks whites (51%), men (51%) and conservative Christians (52%) will gain influence. Relatively small shares (no more than 15%) think any of these groups will lose clout in a Trump administration. 
The national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted Jan. 4-9 among 1,502 adults, finds that majorities think Hispanics (56%), poor people (55%) and gays and lesbians (54%) will lose influence in Washington during Trump’s presidency. And far more say that blacks and women will lose influence than gain influence (48% to 19% for blacks, 46% to 23% for women).

Rev. Dr. Michael Waters, "How the Trump Presidency Will Change America"

Kalli Holloway reporting on the findings of a just-released Washington Post/ABC poll

White people are the only group that have a favorable view of Trump at anything near 50 percent. 
Trump spent the long Martin Luther King weekend tweeting racialized insults at civil rights icon John Lewis, who was marching and getting mercilessly beaten by racist cops back when Trump was racking up Vietnam war deferments because his feet hurt until the moment the war ended. That was fully in character with the guy whose entire presidential run was launched by assuming the role of birther-in-chief, and who spent 18 months co-signing his angry followers' ludicrous belief that Muslims, blacks and immigrants are stealing a country that rightfully belongs to them. It follows that just 17 percent of African Americans, 24 percent of Hispanics and 21 percent non-whites polled overall rated Trump favorably. In contrast, a whole 50 percent of whites think Trump is pretty cool.

Andy Campbell and Willa Freyj at Huffington Post, 18 Jan. 2017

The Nation editorializing yesterday, 18 Jan. 2017: 

Whatever plan Donald Trump and Paul Ryan produce will surely include an aggressive cut to the economic safety net we've fought to maintain since 1965. Ryan has spent his public life crusading against the poor, and his recent apology for years of poor-shaming rhetoric should not lull us into complacency about his agenda. Before Trump was promising to make America great again, Ryan was warning of a moral "tipping point" in which America will become a country of "takers, not makers."

My response to the too little, too late warning bell the American Catholic bishops now choose to ring (the report is by David Gibson) as the incoming administration announces it will remove healthcare from millions of poor citizens and rip up social safety nets long in place for many other citizens: 

They have fiercely attacked the ACA for years now. They lied about it being a Trojan horse for federal funding of abortion. They lied about contraceptives, especially the morning-after pill, being abortifacients. 
They have idolized and fawned over Paul Ryan as he attacks the poor. 
They laid the groundwork for Democrats to be swept out of office in 2014. They paved the path to Trump. Under their abominable pastoral and moral leadership, 3 in 5 white Catholics chose to elect Trump. 
And now that the ugly evil inherent in their so-called "pro-life" crusade is about to be exposed as an administration they led white Catholics to elect is about to rip up healthcare coverage for millions of Americans, they want to blow a whistle? Why? So people will not see that their "pro-life" crusade has never been about protecting human life and that, as moral and pastoral leaders, they're an abomination? 
Too little. Too late.

Kristin Du Mez on why white evangelicals adore Strongman Trump (and Strongman Putin): 

The truth is, many evangelicals long ago replaced the suffering servant of Christ with an image that more closely resembles Donald Trump than many would care to admit. They’ve traded a faith that privileges humility and elevates the least of these for one that derides gentleness as the province of wusses. Having replaced the Jesus of the gospels with an idol of machismo, it’s no wonder many have come to think of Trump himself as the nation's savior. 
Indeed, white evangelical support for Trump can be seen as the culmination of a decades-long embrace of militant masculinity, a masculinity that has enshrined patriarchal authority, condoned a callous display of power at home and abroad, and functioned as a linchpin in the political and social worldviews of conservative white evangelicals. In the end, many evangelicals did not vote for Trump despite their beliefs, but because of them.

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