Team Because vs. Team Despite

My framework for viewing Donald Trump’s campaign in the 2016 general election involves seeing his supporters in two distinct groups: Despite and Because. Some people are still supporting Trump despite all the awful things he has said and done. But it was the Because voters who carried Trump through the primaries, and those voters — the ones who love him because of all the awful things he says and does — are the ones Donald Trump intends to serve as president. [Read more…]

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The Salt Lake Remonstrance: Mormons are out-Baptist-ing Baptists (in a good way)

Mormons identify as a people who value missions, religious liberty, and sexual morality. And they are condemning Donald Trump and distancing themselves from him because they value missions, religious liberty, and sexual morality. Southern Baptists identify as a people who value all those things, but we’re not seeing any evidence of that. [Read more…]

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‘We must love one another or die’

Moral obligation — love, solidarity — is boundless and universal. It is also, always, particular and differentiated. Those two things are not in conflict. Those two things have never been in conflict. Pretending that they are in conflict always leaves a trail of bodies. [Read more…]

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‘To keep oneself unstained by the world’

Purity is the main thing here, after all — retaining the unsullied perfection of our undefiled religion. The whole orphans and widows bit is really just thrown in there as an afterthought for those who feel kind of weird just sitting around, avoiding the world, stayin’ pure and undefiled. But clearly it’s optional. Extra-credit, maybe, but not required. And really it’s just too dangerous to risk it. [Read more…]

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Every word of this is true, urgent, and necessary

“And unfortunately, there are people like that. And [Donald Trump] has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to have only 11,000 people — now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric.” Where is the lie? [Read more…]

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A red traffic light: This election is about one idea

Donald Trump is not a single-issue candidate, he’s a single-idea candidate. That single idea is all that matters to him and all that animates him. To the extent that Trump has policy priorities or positions on issues, it’s all in service of that single idea. This is clarifying. [Read more…]

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Postcards from the culture wars (8.24)

“Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.” [Read more…]

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Good morning Britain

I’m sure not everyone in the UK who just voted to set fire to the bedsheets shared all of the ugly racism of UKIP supporters. Others apparently just thought it might be fun to swing the wrecking ball and see what happens. We could think of such people as Jesse Ventura Voters or as Arnold Schwarzenegger Voters or as Assholes Who Don’t Care If Vulnerable People Suffer Just As Long As They, Personally, Are Entertained. [Read more…]

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