Revisiting the Kalam Cosmological Argument (3 of 3)

Revisiting the Kalam Cosmological Argument (3 of 3) November 7, 2016

Here is the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA):

1: Whatever begins to exist had a cause

2: The universe began to exist

3: Therefore, the universe had a cause

This post is the conclusion of a three-part series responding to a Christian defense of the KCA. Part 1 here.

Below, the skeptical argument is shown in bold and the Christian response in italics.

“8. There are non-theistic explanations that remain live possibilities.” Even if the universe has a beginning, there are possibilities besides God. If you’re thinking of aliens or the multiverse, that just pushes the problem back a step.

What is it with this obsession for an immediate answer? Can’t we just say, “I don’t know”? That approach has done well for science, because it puts the spotlight on interesting questions, which then tend to get answered.

Of course, it’s clear why apologists demand an answer right now. They know that science regularly replaces supernatural explanation with evidence-based explanations. Their time window is brief, and they want to score some points for “God did it!” before they have to move on to another unanswered scientific question and hope that everyone forgets the last one they embraced.

Some have argued that a computer simulation like the Matrix will eventually be no more difficult than a homework assignment. Given that, is it likelier that we’re in a simulation or reality? (I don’t know what I think of this option, but I wanted to throw it out there as yet another non-God alternative.)

The multiverse would indeed demand an explanation, but why imagine that God is it? God has never been the answer to anything. If God is the explanation, show that he exists first and then infer that he created the universe/multiverse. The Christian god who loves us and desires a relationship would be obvious, and the obtuse KCA wouldn’t be a way to find him. Every clue points to naturalism as the explanation for this and other unknown puzzles.

“9. Popular-level science teaches the universe had a beginning, but someone says the real science shows it doesn’t. We aren’t given any argument as to why it’s really the case that a potentially-successful model for the beginning of the universe shows no finite beginning. We’re simply to take someone’s word for it, when we actually have physicists and scientists admitting these theories don’t work.”

There’s not much to respond to here, but I include it for completeness. I’ll just note that cosmologist Sean Carroll’s list of proposed models for the universe (there are many) includes a beginning-less universe (more).

“10. The KCA relies entirely on current science, and science can change.” “First, simply because some claim remains open to change does not mean that claim cannot be accepted as true…. Of course we can claim it is true!”

As long as we remember that science can change (and overturn a previously held conclusion), I’m fine with science being used in an argument to support the KCA.

“Second, the KCA does not rely entirely on science. In fact, the second premise (“the universe began to exist”) can be defended solely on rational argumentation.”

I think we’ve found your problem: thinking that “rational argumentation” (can I call this “common sense”?) is reliable at the frontiers of physics (see claim #3 above). The origin of the universe is within the domain of quantum mechanics, remember? You check your common sense at the door.

QM has already defeated the first premise, “whatever begins to exist had a cause” (see claim #1 above).

11. Your first cause falls to the infinite regress problem. If God is your first cause, what created God? God didn’t begin to exist. The First Cause must logically precede all else. There simply can’t be, by definition, anything that came before.

Be cautious when a definition brings something into existence. Like the Ontological Argument, which just thinks God into existence, that may be too good to be true.

You didn’t say this, but let me just add the caution that apologists shouldn’t respond to a scientific question with a theological claim. “My religion says that God was uncreated” is no answer in the real world.

You say that God didn’t have a cause … just because? That’s magic, and I need evidence. Why does God not need a cause if everything else does? Why is God eternal, but nothing else is? How did God create something out of nothing? How can he create the universe when he was outside of time—doesn’t deciding and acting require time?

The most charitable view is that you’ve resolved “What caused the universe?” with God, but you now have these new questions about God. You’ve simply repackaged the question, not answered it.

And if God can exist eternally, maybe that’s true for the universe (or the multiverse).

Conclusion

The author concludes:

Each objection has been dealt with by providing an answer. This means that each Christian, and each person, is rationally justified in accepting the KCA. If that is true, then it seems that the KCA’s truth implies God–not just any God, but the God of the Bible!

Nope. My original post is intact. I leveled five attacks on the first premise and three on the second. None of those were addressed in this article. No, rational people are not justified in accepting the Kalam Kosmological Argument.

You’ve probably seen the famous Sidney Harris cartoon where one scientist points to an involved equation on the blackboard and says to his colleague, “I think you should be more explicit here in step two,” where step two says, “Then a miracle occurs.” God is the step two—the implausible savior of Christians’ apologetic arguments.

The universe that we observe
has precisely the properties we should expect
if there is, at bottom,
no design, no purpose,
no evil, and no good,
nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
— Richard Dawkins

I feel like I’m diagonally parked
in a parallel universe.
— seen on the internet

Image credit: NASA


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  • Jason K.

    The most charitable view is that you’ve resolved “What caused the
    universe?” with God, but you now have these new questions about God.
    You’ve simply repackaged the question, not answered it.

    Another question is the “how.” How does an incorporeal ghost create matter? What are the mechanisms of God’s “power?” The bible only says God spoke the Word, and then everything popped into existence. Is that supposed to be like a magic spell? What are the rules of this magic? How does it operate?

    When Christians say that God made the Universe, they are only answering the “who.” They haven’t begun to explain the “how,” so I don’t understand why they think God is an explanation to the question of how we got here. They’ve explained exactly nothing.

    How can he create the universe when he was outside of time—doesn’t deciding and acting require time?

    I’ve always wondered this myself. And what motivated God to create at the moment he did? Why, after existing in a perfect state for His entire eternal existence, did God suddenly decide to make a Universe? How could a perfect, timeless, unchanging being possibly act spontaneously?

    • Greg G.

      How does an incorporeal ghost create matter?

      How can a cause acting on nothing have an effect?

      How could a perfect, timeless, unchanging being possibly act spontaneously?

      Yes. For a timeless being, there is no difference between a decision to do the thing and a post hoc rationalization for doing the thing.

    • Without Malice

      Good points. It seems to me that a perfect being (God) would do nothing that was non intrinsic to its nature. So if he created the universe it can only be that the act of creation is intrinsic to his character. And if the act of creation is intrinsic to his very nature then he would have been involved in the act of creation for as long as he has existed, so there would never be a time when he was not in the act of creation and his creation would have existed alongside himself for all eternity.

      • Greg G.

        If universe creation was intrinsic to his nature and the god was omnipotent, would he make one and only one universe?

        • Without Malice

          No, it would mean the number of universes is infinite but that they can all be thought of as one ongoing creative act.

      • Jason K.

        Hmm, unless, as Hindus believe, God creates because he is dreaming, and everything shall vanish once he awakes. We can’t rule out the possibility that creation is an unconscious or unintentional act.

        Also, we know the Universe began approximately 18.8 billion years ago, which means any god responsible for generating it could have only began existing/ fell asleep that long ago.

        • Michael Neville

          Mana Yood Sushai from Lord Dunsany’s The Gods of Pegana (illustration by Sydney Sime)

          The primordial god who created the universe and all the
          lesser deities. After the act of creation Mana Yood Sushai rested. No god may disturb him and no mortals may pray to him. He will take no further part in the affairs of the cosmos until the day he awakens from his rest, and when that day arrives all of creation will come to an end, the lesser gods included. Mana Yood Sushai will laugh at the futility of gods and men as he destroys everything that is.

          If any mortal dares to pray to Mana Yood Sushai they not only are erased from the world but no one ever even remembers that they existed in the first place. That is why none of the people who sinned in that way can be referred to by name.

          Skarl is the god who sits beside the slumbering Mana Yood Sushai and perpetually beats on his drums. The beating of Skarl’s drums soothes Mana Yood Sushai and helps him rest. Skarl has been beating his drums since he was created. When the day comes when he at last ceases the silence will awaken Mana Yood Sushai, ushering in the end of the universe.

    • Michael Neville

      I read your first paragraph and was reminded of Isaac Asimov’s short story “The Last Question”.

    • That was a classical counterargument to such a being from the ancient Epicurueans. A perfect being has no reason for creating anything, since they need nothing to begin with.

      • TheNuszAbides

        does a perfect being have an excuse for any act or thought? seems like perfect beings are useless outside of themselves. enter the “God is everything, we are all part of a perfect being” mush.

    • TheNuszAbides

      re-reading this post has got me looking for a discussion i vaguely recall that tries to tease out one of the various “talking past each other” problems: the common refrain is “Why are we here?” and from there two types of minds branch two very different ways. the people more comfortable with just-so stories and/or absolute or imposed/revealed-from-‘beyond’ morality/meaning (i.e. mostly theists) are asking “what is the purpose of our existence”, and the people more comfortable with analyzing, engineering, reverse-engineering, scrutinizing, etc. (i.e. mostly the scientifically literate) are the only ones who mean “how”–i.e. “what are the mechanisms at play, and how did they generate all this stuff, including/especially us”.

  • eric

    I think the skeptical critiques of #8 and #11 are very closely related, even more than you show here. IMO when skeptics point out that there are possible non-theistic answers, what they are saying is that there are things that could be uncaused causers that are not gods. The theist response to #8 really misses the point, which is that all the various ‘unmoved mover’ arguments don’t logically imply sentience, omnipotence, benevolence, concern for humans, or incarnation in the form of Jesus 2000 years ago. Sure, theologians have tried to make these things logically necessary properties of a first cause, but (IMO) they’ve been largely unsuccessful at convincing anyone who wasn’t already a believer.
    An okay (I won’t say good) example candidate for ‘unmoved mover’ would be the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Since it requires fluctuations in energy in any non-infinite space, the moment you have some sort of space, it requires that space have a non-zero energy. Once there is spacetime, it says ‘let there be photons.’ 🙂

  • Sophia Sadek

    Aristotle’s prime mover is still effective at getting the old bowels to move.

    • epicurus

      New from Kellogg’s Cereal, Aristotle’s All Bran!

      • Sophia Sadek

        The competition is working on Plato’s Puffs.

    • epeeist

      Aristotle’s prime mover

      Arises from an outmoded physics and a redundant theory of causality. Its justification disappears when Newton developed Galileo’s ideas on inertia.

      • Sophia Sadek

        Galileo took far more flak for his attacks on Aristotle than for his ridicule of the Church.

        • TheNuszAbides

          somewhere out there is a Thomist who wants us to believe that they would have let G. go on and on and on if only he had not insulted the pope.

  • Robert Karma

    The problem for Christian apologists is that they are satisfied as using “God” an an answer for anything and everything in understanding the Cosmos and our place in it. When you actually think through their arguments, you get excellent, thought-provoking articles like this 3 in a series about the Kalam Cosmological Argument, that illustrate how using “God” is not an answer to any serious question about our existence or the universe. It is difficult to study these questions and realize that we currently don’t have any absolute answers on how our universe came to be. I can live with this uncertainty and it doesn’t bother me one bit. I think that uncertainty troubles many people of faith who require certainty in their worldview. It is much easier for them to accept that their specific version of “God” created everything and runs the show rather than face the uncertainty of our brief existence. A very enjoyable and enlightening read on the KCA Mr. Seidensticker.

  • From a simple man’s point of view, his corollary from the KCA proof — that God caused the universe — is not self-evident. Yet he passes it off as such. Here’s how I interpret the augment:
    1: Whatever begins to exist had a cause
    2: The universe began to exist
    3: Therefore, the universe had a cause
    4: Corollary: God was that cause

    For those that don’t just believe in a god, assuming the base KCA logic is complete, there seems to be a whole lot missing between 3 and 4. The only corollary that one can logically conclude — again, assuming the base KCA is complete — is that our understanding is incomplete. Could it be a god? Maybe. But there’s nothing provided in the argument that would logically lead to that conclusion.

    But let’s say the argument’s logic is complete, including the corollary. How does one go on to draw the conclusion that the god that caused the universe is the same god that he believes in? I’d like to see him prove that one out, using science and logic. It would probably go something like this:
    1: The Bible says he is the true God
    2: God inspired the Bible
    3: Therefore, the God of the Bible is the god that caused the universe

    • Michael Neville

      Could it be a god? Maybe.

      Or maybe not. There’s nothing in the KCA which requires a god to be the universe’s cause, the argument just says the universe was caused.

      1: The Bible says he is the true God
      2: God inspired the Bible

      This is circular reasoning. The Bible is the word of God because the Bible says it’s the word of God. The Quran makes similar noises about Allah’s word. Why should we disregard the Quran and accept the Bible? Both of them make the same argument about being the word of God or Allah. For that matter, the Vedas claim to be inspired as well. Hindus claim the Vedas are inspired in a different way than the Bible and Quran but the claim is still made. Baha’is claim the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is inspired. Buddhists consider the Tripitaka (Pali Canon), Mahayana Sutras and the Tibetan Book of the Dead to be sacred. The Word o’ God™ books are a dime a dozen.

      • They try to claim that the Bible is true due to fulfilled prophecies and recorded miracles, etc. However as we know (and Bob pointed out in other posts) this doesn’t hold up. Muslims claim the Quran is the best book ever, and thus it’s Allah’s dictate (most even say it existed eternally with him). If you don’t agree, well, then I guess they just say you’re in denial.

      • Kevin K

        The Kalaam was actually proposed by a Muslim to prove the existence of Allah…so, there’s that.

    • yes, most apologists gloss over the fact that the KCA and most other popular arguments today (fine tuning, design, moral, Teleological, Ontological, etc.) are all deist arguments. If they convinced you, you’d be quite far from specifics about what deity(s) created the universe, how to please them, if they care about humans, etc.

    • epeeist

      3: Therefore, the universe had a cause

      http://newenergytimes.com/v2/news/2010/35/35img/HarrisCopyrightImage.jpg

      4: Corollary: God was that cause

      You do realise that this a complete non sequitur don’t you? It introduces a new term and has no connectives to the previous elements in the syllogism.

    • TheNuszAbides

      I’d like to see him prove that one out, using science and logic.

      indeed, we’re all [still] waiting with bated breath. wouldn’t it be something?

      It would probably go something like this:
      1: The Bible says he is the true God
      2: God inspired the Bible
      3: Therefore, the God of the Bible is the god that caused the universe

      this immediately follows the previous quoted sentence. by “It”, do you mean “his non-logical, non-scientific pretense of an attempt” or “his actual use of science and logic”? if the former, yes, we’ve already seen that circularity from countless apologists and wannabes, but it’s not consistent with the previous sentence unless you meant “try to prove” or “pretend to prove”; if the latter, just no.

  • MNb

    “the second premise (“the universe began to exist”) can be defended solely on rational argumentation.”
    This is self-contradicting. If the second premise can be defende that way it ceases to be a premise and the apologist, if intellectually honest, should specifically mention the premises of the additional rational argumentation. Without any way to check the validity of those new premises (science has been ruled out) they can be rejected at will.

    “God didn’t begin to exist. The First Cause must logically precede all else. There simply can’t be, by definition, anything that came before.”
    Shrug. Quantum fields didn’t begin to exist. This First Cause (in a probabilistic meaning) logically precedes all else. There simply can’t be, by definition, anything that came before (not in the chronological meaning of the word, but in the logical meaning). And quantum fields are testable, while god isn’t.
    This rebuttal actually argues against god.

  • Doubting Thomas

    “Second, the KCA does not rely entirely on science. In fact, the
    second premise (“the universe began to exist”) can be defended solely on
    rational argumentation.”

    We have thousands of scientist using satellites and telescopes the size of football fields and atomic colliders spanning numerous countries and supercomputers the size of semi-trucks all to try to figure out how and if the universe began.

    And yet the theist already knows. How do they know. They just thought about it.

    The delusion of religious humility.

  • Doubting Thomas

    There simply can’t be, by definition, anything that came before.

    And if I change the definition of a pig to include “…having wings…” then pigs can fly. I guess this type of argument is persuasive to people who already believe words have magical powers.

    • TheNuszAbides

      they inflate the utility of Recorded Thought into a mystical transcendent woo-force. hence (for example) killing/enslaving/brainwashing people over the defense/enforcement of mere books.

  • They argue that there can’t be an infinite regress of causes, and thus a first cause would be necessary. As you note however, this does not by itself establish that this first cause must be a being. We can agree with the argument, actually, without even admitting it proves what they think. Most arguments like this are useless by themselves. You need a bunch of them together to even attempt proving God, and even then of course I don’t think it does.

    • Greg G.

      If there cannot be an infinite regress, as WLC, has noted, and God has always existed, what was his first thought? (from a Dan Barker debate)

      • Michael Neville

        “I’m bored. I think I’ll create something.”

        • Kodie

          Eternity is boring.

        • MNb

          Forever and ever.

        • Greg G.

          If eternity bores God, why would anybody want it?

        • Zeta

          Christians of course want eternal life but they will have to constantly sing praises to their vain god for all eternity. This is unending psychological torture.

        • Kodie

          I don’t really think they think too much about it. Popular culture leans toward the comfortable retirement and leisure model of heaven. I don’t think they think about how long eternity is, but they tend to believe “eternity” is equivalent to “meaning”, and they’re obsessed with meaning, and depressed by the meaninglessness of existing only to disappear forever, and no matter what heaven is like, as long as eternity is something they’re betting on, they’d prefer serving whatever purpose god wanted to the burning in hell option.

        • MNb

          I suspect something only can has meaning exactly because it’s temporary. I’m not sure though.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i am absolutely, transcendentally certain that ‘eternity’ and ‘perfection’ disspate all meaning and significance if any attempt is made to draw them out of pure abstraction and consider them relative to any comprehensible component of physical reality. (the transcendental part is just so i don’t have to do any rigorous work to back up my assertion.)

        • MNb

          I’m not.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i do think either word has useful application in poetry and prose, just not in philosophy or science (or even *cough*metaphysics). the closest practical use i can think of is the verb ‘perfect’ which tends to mean “improve upon” rather than “make flawless”.

        • Kids get bored on a rainy Sunday when they can’t go outside, and God is supposed to keep himself entertained without time and forever? You knew this had to happen at some point.

      • How would we know? Is that significant?

      • TheNuszAbides

        why would a ‘perfect’ thingy ever even need/bother to ‘think’?

  • Kevin K

    Even if we concede the entire KCA as true, it does not prove the existence of a god. Not even a little bit. As Hitchens once opined, “all your work is still ahead of you.”

    It doesn’t even make it more plausible than an all-natural, no-god-needed “cause” ( a very fuzzy word that I object to).

    The correct answer, at present, to the question of how the universe came into existence is “I don’t know and neither do you.”

    If pressed, I would point to several models proposed by actual and real cosmologists that have nothing to do with supernatural behaviors. Because any one of them is far, far, far, far, far, far, far…more likely than any supernatural explanation.

    A supernatural explanation is the least likely of all possible outcomes.

  • Myna

    Off topic. I had to stop watching the election results, and if I’m not to have an apoplectic fit that a referendum of hate and ignorance appealed to 50% of my fellow citizens, I must take a deep breath and beg your indulgence.

    https://youtu.be/buqtdpuZxvk

    • Yep. Pretty depressing.

      If this fetish-ization of blastocysts didn’t exist, Trump would’ve lost.

      • MNb

        Depressing indeed, but I don’t think that that fetish-ization has made The Donald win. The Great Blonde Führer has a very good chance to win the next Dutch elections.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84V9NtujhQE

        • epeeist

          Depressing indeed, but I don’t think that that fetish-ization has made The Donald win.

          The frightening thing is that once the appointments to the Supreme Court are in then he will have control over the executive, legislature and judiciary.

          And when he gets bored with the day to day stuff and decides to delegate it then we will have a Christianist in charge whose wet dream is of America as a theocracy.

        • How many evangelicals are one-issue voters? If they weren’t violently anti-abortion, they might’ve voted differently.

        • MNb

          Don’t think so. You don’t need to be anti-abortion to be anti political establishment. That’s what made The Donald win; that’s what made the Brexiteers win and that’s what will make Wilders win.
          If the evangelicals weren’t anti-abortion they still would be anti political establishment. The anti political establishment image is what makes the cork of populism float.
          If anti-abortion was the decisive issue The Donald never would have become the Republican candidate.

        • I agree that there were other buttons that Trump pushed. I’m simply saying that he had a near-monopoly on this one button, the “Vote for me if you’re pro-life!” button.

          If “pro-life” were converted from the rabid, unthinking anti-abortion stance to something more nuanced (for example: “if you must get an abortion, get it ASAP” or “the key to reducing abortion is to reduce unwanted pregnancies”), that would’ve given those voters the option to not vote for someone that they probably disliked.

        • MNb

          And I’m simply saying that this particular button was far from decisive.
          Those voters still would have had that option because they still would have been rabid and unthinking and still would have voted for the anti-establishment candidate. Plus you forget that The Donald was somewhat ambiguous. Had his voters been pro legalized abortion he would have been as well and he still would have appealed to them for the reason I already gave. The Donald is a populist. He says what his voters want to hear, no matter what that is and no matter if what he says is coherent, is consistent or makes sense. And what lots of voters want to hear in the western democracies these days is “Politics is a mess and politicians are incompentent so I’m going to clean up those Augeas stables, so that our country will be great again”. Just check the media.

        • You could be right. You have a lot more confidence in your crystal ball than I have in mine.

          As I understand it, there were many evangelicals who held their nose and voted for Trump because they had to vote for the pro-life candidate. If they didn’t feel this requirement, they would’ve been free to vote for Hillary or no one.

          Aside: Trump IMO is the quantum superposition of all possible position of all issues. Like the Bible, you can mine his statements over the decades to find just about whatever position you want. We’ll have to wait for Trump to decohere on any issue to find out what he says/thinks (at that moment, anyway). Who knows what he really thinks about abortion.

        • MNb

          Not exactly a crystal ball – since Mussolini populism has been heavily analyzed, at least in Europe. Plus I’ve seen populism on the rise since the 1980’s:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joerg_Haider

          Plus of course since almost 15 years our very own Geert Wilders. The similarities are striking.

          “If they didn’t feel this requirement, they would’ve been free to vote for Hillary.”
          If they didn’t feel this requirement

          1. and thus the pro forced birth movement hadn’t been an important political factor Trump would not have been half-heartedly anti legalized abortion, but simply not talked about it all, just like his European counterparts;
          2. they still had voted for The Donald due to their despise of the political elite.

          “they would’ve been free to vote for Hillary”
          and would have used that freedom to still vote for The Donald.

          Unless you think the USA so exceptional that populism in your country is an entirely different beast. In that case I’d like to see your evidence. Mine is that a) the American electorate, including evangelicals, has a strong distrust, even dispise of politicians and b) the non-politician The Donald spend lots of more time swearing at politicians than talking about abortion.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism

          I don’t see why the first few sentences wouldn’t apply to American evangelicals.

          “Who knows what he really thinks about abortion.”
          If I’m right he doesn’t care. Power and self-image are an end in itself for him. He will mainly react to what triggers him. So it will depend on how loud mouthed the pro-forced-birth movement will be.
          That’s a key difference with fascists – they actually have a political agenda.
          The key similarity is the need for a scapegoat. From his point of view The Donald has a good starting position: he has already had so many rows and scandals with regular Republicans that he can always blame the Senators and Representatives for his failures. Plus few blacks have voted for him. So I predict they face a hard time in terms of police violence.

        • TheNuszAbides

          a strong distrust, even dispise of politicians

          *puts on Semantic Pedant hat*
          despise is a somewhat poetic/scriptural verb, whereas despite is curiously none of those things (at least these days). i think the closest thing that fits would be ‘spitefulness’.

        • wtfwjtd

          “Pro-life” has become much like “Pro-gun” . You are either a purist, or you are excommunicated from the group. No reasonable positions or nuance is allowed; it’s all or nothing.

          I often wonder if the Pro-choice crowd is making their argument as effective as it could be. Instead of framing their argument in moral terms, I think their argument would be more effective in legal terms. As in, pointing out that extending current bans of elective late-term abortion to include criminalizing all early abortion wouldn’t end it, as many on the pro-life side claim. It would merely force it underground. Sort of like prohibition; criminalizing alcohol didn’t end drunkenness, in many ways it only made things worse.
          I think a more effective argument could be made for keeping elective early-term abortion legal by framing the argument in those terms.
          Anecdotally, my mom is one of those voters to whom politics is all about criminalizing all abortion period, and nothing else. She was an “undecided” voter up until maybe a week or so before the election. Not undecided about whom to vote for, but whether she would vote for president at all. At more or less the last minute she decided that holding her nose and voting for the candidate that gave lip service to the idea of criminalizing all abortion was a worthy cause, and nothing else about that candidate mattered.
          It was this and a few other anecdotal events that I should have recognized as a precursor to what could happen on election night.

        • “Pro-life” has become much like “Pro-gun” . You are either a purist, or you are excommunicated from the group. No reasonable positions or nuance is allowed; it’s all or nothing.

          True, and that’s their weakness. Their position is brittle. They can’t stand any crack in their absolutist position. As soon as someone considers nuance, the edifice crumbles and they become reasonable.

        • wtfwjtd

          A majority of Americans, myself included, consider the compromise of Roe v Wade to be a reasonable one. That decision actually allows states to ban third-term non-elective abortion, and many states do so. Emphasizing this aspect would help to undercut much of the “baby killer” nonsense that the anti-choice crowd pushes. When they are talking about late-term abortions, as though there are no restrictions on them, this bait-and-switch needs to be called out for what it is–a lie. Late-term non-elective abortions *are* illegal in about 42 states, and by trying to bring up this point they are only emphasizing that their argument that all abortion can be eliminated by criminalization is false one.

        • TheNuszAbides

          this ‘weakness’ is irrelevant for as long as their strengths are in numbers and/or lack of pause for [relevant] rational thought.

        • Pofarmer

          I think one thing that also needs to be pointed out, is that “Pro-choice” doesn’t mean all abortions all the time. I think that it needs to be pointed out the the “Pro-life” solution simply doesn’t work to reduce abortions. If we really want to reduce abortions, and I don’t think anyone would really consider reducing abortions as a bad outcome. Then we need to be doing things that actually, ya know, reduce abortions.

        • wtfwjtd

          And the argument must be advanced that we simply can’t eliminate abortion by legislative action; it simply can’t be done, and it’s a bad idea to pretend that we can, for a variety of reasons.. If only we lived in a perfect world where pregnancies didn’t develop complications, or unplanned or unwanted pregnancy didn’t happen, and so forth. But we don’t live in that world, and the best we can do is advocate for candidates and policies that reduce their number as much as we reasonably can. You’d think that everyone would be able to agree on this, but…for some reason, no.

          I prefer to compare the idea of eliminating abortion via legislative action to the idea behind prohibition, that is, criminalizing alcohol in the attempt to eliminate drunkenness. It just didn’t work, and had some rather horrific consequences, some of which we are still dealing with today.

        • Pofarmer

          I leave links all over facebook and Disqus to Libby Annes excellent Piece. “How I lost faith in the Pro-life movement.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html I also leave links to the St. Louis Contraception and Abortion study. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html

          I just hope that it starts some people.

        • MNb

          I hope it with you, but am rather pessimistic.

        • Susan

          I hope it with you, but am rather pessimistic.

          Sometimes, I’m pessimistic about most people but I think Po is right that it can start some people.

          And changing some minds can eventually change more minds.

          If nothing else, it’s important to not let bullshit about important topics go unanswered.

        • MNb

          My pessimism is no reason to do nothing, only a remedy against disappointment.

        • MNb

          That blogpost by Libby Anne told me nothing new but one thing: the pro-forced-birthers are even bigger liars than I already thought.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s really not for folks like you.

        • MNb

          “I think that it needs to be pointed out the the “Pro-life” solution simply doesn’t work to reduce abortions.”
          Ah, my dear Po, you forget the apologist methodology.
          You think that a theory should be dismissed if evidence (eg for prohibiting abortions doesn’t work to reduce abortions) contradicts it.
          The apologist thinks evidence should be dismissed if dogma contradicts it.
          Hence arguments like “abstination is the best contraception possible, because it guarantees a 100% result by definition”.

        • Pofarmer

          True enough, but what else is there but to beat on the facts?

        • Kodie

          My assessment is that people have built up such a hate for Hillary Clinton that they would vote for literally anyone else, even if it was Hitler, which is what they did. It was hard for me to get excited about her myself. Her run for NY Senate after leaving the White House after Bill’s presidency was exciting and invigorating. Everything that happened after that didn’t feel like it was getting better. Her experience didn’t feel like a plus. I might have to say it is about personality, but I think that’s true for men too. I’m not just singling out her personality, because I felt the same about Al Gore and John Kerry, who both lost to a guy with a personality, and Bob Dole and John McCain and Mitt Romney lost to a guy with a personality. I really think that makes more of a difference in the outcome, I could be wrong, but it seems so far in my life since I’ve been able to vote for Michael Dukakis, it comes down to who seems more personable, even given that Donald Trump doesn’t seem personable to a lot of the demographic groups, his salesmanship and presentations won the hearts of the people whose hearts he won, over the sensible and boring choice.

          I mean, I don’t really think it came down to establishment, since a lot of states were close but went to Trump, to me, it was a combination of a built-up hatred of the woman herself since the first time she’s been in the public eye, and the lack of a compelling reason to vote for her. I don’t think most voters are informed at all. They are either party line, or they are basically coin-flippers who find one candidate more appealing personally than the other. They listen to the inflections and look at the gestures. Every time Donald Trump says “believe me” after making an outrageous claim, people feel more and more comfortable about it. They are suckers. They are not even going to get mad when he disappoints them, they’ll double down.

          “I love the poorly educated.” – Donald Trump said that, and I knew we were totally screwed. People who aren’t well-educated want to be recognized and not feel left out by what seems elitist, but they’re so poorly educated, they didn’t hear what he really meant by it. “I love that you’re so stupid that you don’t realize how shallow and meaningless and dishonest I am.”

          If there was any “single-issue” people voted for in this election, it was not abortion. Terrorism and healthcare and immigration were much more prominent issues.

        • Myna

          You make a good point. Charisma, for the good or the ill, matters.

          “I love the poorly educated.” – Donald Trump said that, and I knew we were totally screwed. People who aren’t well-educated want to be recognized and not feel left out by what seems elitist, but they’re so poorly educated, they didn’t hear what he really meant by it. “I love that you’re so stupid that you don’t realize how shallow and meaningless and dishonest I am.”

          And that’s the tragedy of this entire event…in a nutshell.

        • I wonder if there were many protest voters for Trump–that is, people who voted for Trump but didn’t expect him to win. (I’m thinking here about another parallel with Brexit.)

          If so, I wonder what they’re thinking today.

        • adam

          “If so, I wonder what they’re thinking today.”

          Here they are saying better a lying Trump than a lying Hillary.

        • MNb

          “people have built up such a hate for Hillary Clinton”
          Correct. And the main reason they did is that Clinton very much is part of the political establishment.

          “I really think that makes more of a difference in the outcome”
          Assuming you largely mean with personality as what Macchiavelli meant with public image you say the same as the great Florentine.

          “I don’t think most voters are informed at all.”
          Of course not. If they were well informed the image of a politician would be almost the same as who he/she really is. What they don’t (want to) see is that Trump’s image is fake. I predict lots of “just wait, you’re going to see what Trump is going to fix and all!” from his fans the next few weeks.

          “They are not even going to get mad when he disappoints them, they’ll double down.”
          Not as long as he manages to maintain his anti establishment image. If he fails to do that they will leave him, looking for the next populist. His starting point is good though (for him, not for benevolent people). All the rows and scandals with the Rep. Party work in his favour from now on. When things don’t go well he always can blame them for working against him. Plus he has a scapegoat ready: the blacks. It’s going to be hard for them next four years, especially in terms of police violence.

          “Terrorism and healthcare and immigration were much more prominent issues.”
          I don’t know about healthcare, but obviously he connected terrorism with foreigners in exactly the same way as has been done many times before. I’m not saying that Trump is a fascist (that word has been overabused) but his populism is largely the same as Mussolini’s and Hitler’s.

        • adam

          “What they don’t (want to) see is that Trump’s image is fake.”

          They have biblical “faith” that Trump is what they wish he was, as opposed to what he really is.

          “”They are not even going to get mad when he disappoints them, they’ll double down.””

          As do the ‘faith’ful when when their ‘prayers’ are not answered.

        • Kodie

          I think the main reason they didn’t like Clinton is they’ve been calling her a murderer for over two decades. Her public image is, like, when people see her, they think she is evil. On the other hand, I think they think of Trump’s persona built over decades is that he’s someone successful at business. He’s only recently in the political spotlight become a complete buffoon, which just either isn’t obvious to them, is suppressed through cognitive dissonance, or reflects them*. There were too many Republican candidates during the primaries, and other than Ted Cruz, none really stood out or rose above the others, and he was different. On the democrat side, Hillary was the establishment, and I think people felt like she was their best shot. Like I said, I didn’t feel excited to vote for her just because she wasn’t Trump, and I do think this crazy election was people feeling pretty sick about both candidates and then picking whichever one they picked with a lot of reservations. Most of the swing (or “battleground”) states barely voted for Trump.

          *I think it was you I had the conversation with about Gregory House from House, a show a lot of people liked a lot because he said whatever he wanted and didn’t seem to face any consequences (at least at the beginning). I feel like a lot of people feel like they’ve been holding in all their farts, and now Trump makes them feel like they’re permitted to say the ugly things they think secretly. Everyone imagined they’d be friends with House instead of be a target of his disdain.

          As for “personality”, I guess I mean animated. I don’t think of Trump as warm, per se, like Obama, but he’s a salesman. Hillary Clinton is professional by contrast, but stiff. Al Gore and John Kerry were stiff, so yeah, I guess that can seem like “establishment” and is, but elections seem to go to the warmer and more animated “real” guy. I don’t think most people choose this way, but the undecideds and independents seem to shift that way over the years, rather than by issues or policies. A lot of people, but not enough, liked Bernie Sanders, but switched to Trump, the complete opposite in every way. I don’t think they care about any issues. It’s hard for me to believe they do.

          The problem with Trump, like I said, he’s a salesman. He is the exemplar of a politician who tells you whatever you want to hear, as long as he closes the sale. Which he did. Because people are suckers. They think he’s being “real”, he says what he thinks without censoring or worrying what people think, and that seems genuine in a way, that they fucking bought it. I didn’t think anything would change with Hillary, but I don’t know what is so bad that it needs to change (given the choices we had), as long as it doesn’t get worse. “More of the same”, for now, was alright.

        • MNb

          “I feel like a lot of people feel like they’ve been holding in all their farts, and now Trump makes them feel like they’re permitted to say the ugly things they think secretly. Everyone imagined they’d be friends with House instead of be a target of his disdain.”
          Spot on.

          “the complete opposite in every way”
          Except on one important point: they both appeal to the worries and fears of many voters and promise to do something about it.

        • Kodie

          It doesn’t make any sense if Sanders appealed to someone’s worries and fears, that after he was finished, then Trump was the second best thing to address those issues. His solutions and attitudes are the complete opposite. I mean, if people want everything to change but don’t care how as long as they change? Vs. vote for the candidate their candidate supports?

        • MNb

          “His solutions and attitudes are the complete opposite.”
          Clinton offered no solutions at all.
          That said, I’d like to know how many Sanders voters actually voted for Trump or stayed home. Assuming largely the latter the people with those worries and fears were divided – and the Sanders voters who stayed home could have made a decisive difference.
          Like I already wrote assuming the first is very possible too. Something similar has happened in The Netherlands: SP voters (Socialist Party – far more radical than Sanders) have been known to switch to PVV (the one man party of islamophobe populist Geert Wilders). Don’t ask me how that makes sense – I couldn’t tell you at gunpoint.
          In both cases Clinton missed the boat in the same way the traditional political parties in The Netherlands have missed it. She made the mistake to think that those who voted for Sanders automatically would vote for her no matter what. I thought that risky from the very beginning and the risk became obvious to me after she picked her running mate. Just after the pussy grabbing scandal I warned on Mano Singham’s blog that The Donald still might have a chance if he managed to return to the same strategy that worked so well in the primaries, though even Tuesday I still would have put my money on Clinton. What I hadn’t taken into account is the peculiar voting system.

        • wtfwjtd

          I’d like to know how many Sanders voters actually voted for Trump or stayed home.

          I think it was Ann Selzer who said that around 1 in 10 Millennials who did show up voted 3rd party. In the under-45 age group, Clinton only won by about 10 points, whereas Obama carried this group by 20.
          I doubt many Bern Bro’s voted for Trump, but staying home or voting 3rd party still made enough of a difference this time to change the outcome. Many of this group literally saw no difference between Trump and Clinton, they viewed her as a corporate stooge and the ultimate insider. And as I’ve said before, I know from personal experience living here in the midwest that Clinton Fatigue is a real thing.

          One of the warning signs this year should have been the unusually high number of “undecideds” in most polls, even (especially) up to the very end. One would guess that under normal circumstances that if one was “undecided” very late in the game, they wouldn’t be voting at all, but for a number of reasons this year I’d say that bit of conventional wisdom was wrong. Many were Republicans who decided to hold their nose at the last minute and vote for Trump; I’d also say that there were a fair number of Bernie fans that, if they voted at all, eventually voted 3rd party, or maybe even for Trump.
          IIRC, a high number of undecideds was also visible in many late “Brexit” polls. Under such circumstances, the only safe bet is not to assume *anything* about the outcome, all such polls can really tell you is that the electorate is still fluid enough that the outcome could go either way.

        • a lot of people feel like they’ve been holding in all their farts, and now Trump makes them feel like they’re permitted to say the ugly things they think secretly

          I may have to use that comparison.

        • Kodie

          Go right ahead.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’m not saying that Trump is a fascist (that word has been overabused)

          it has (much like ‘liberal’, mostly by people who couldn’t define the term if their life depended on it), but what actually makes that shoe not fit? subtlety?

        • adam

          “I might have to say it is about personality,”

          Now it is about a Cult of Personality…

        • adam

          “My assessment is that people have built up such a hate for Hillary Clinton that they would vote for literally anyone else, even if it was Hitler,”

          Funny, because they used the same thing Hitler used – Propaganda.

          Propaganda based on emotion, aimed towards the ignorant and uneducated. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e8cbb3bb67b1db61cd16d3fe1493428c2c3a0bcb9c1ee89eb1b376690a952ebe.jpg

        • TheNuszAbides

          I don’t think most voters are informed at all.

          terribly likely. the curse of democracy [in the world as we currently know it, with crass commercialism and tribalistic bigotry more widespread than critical thinking]. and exactly why Idiocracy was as frightening as it was amusing.

        • Myna

          In my view, the Democrats made a fatal mistake when pushing out Sanders.

        • MNb

          Agreed. And Clinton made a mistake not asking him to become his running mate or to give him another important role in her campaign.
          Due to polarization many people (I’m not saying you) tend to forget that right wing populism has a few important things in common with old school socialism/ social democracy: recognizing what the problems of the common voters are and offering a solution.
          I would like to know how many voters for Sanders now voted for Trump. In The Netherlands political researchers have found that quite a few voters for socialist SP switch to right wing populist PVV (Wilders) and back.

        • adam

          The real mistake was in picking Hillary who has been subjected to intensive demonization over the last 3 decades, and failing to see how effective that demonization was.

          She didnt poll that well even during the primaries..

        • One does wonder if we’d be celebrating president-elect Sanders if he’d been the candidate.

        • Myna

          Certainly there would have been a far greater chance, and I would have trusted Sanders to pick a much stronger VP as well. I think the booby-elect would have been forced to defend his own rhetoric during the election cycle with a stronger, more coherent opposition. I have vowed to refer to the arrogant fool as Premier Nasty Man come January.

        • In honor of the meme below, I plan on saying, “Thanks Trump” frequently.

          http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/small/000/489/998/c27.jpg

        • James

          That’s a good question – in hindsight, we know the voters who Sanders mobilized in the primaries didn’t bother show up for the general, despite decades of hard-earned progress being on the line. A good argument could be made that the reverse wouldn’t have happened – Clinton voters would have shown up to support Sanders, given they were motivated more by a fear of Trump and the preservation of progress than they were of anything new Clinton had to offer.

          The Republicans figured that formula out years ago it seems; there’s method to the madness of the pursuit of ideological purity, of the will to place idealism above pragmatic reality. Anytime prior to Tuesday night, and I would have said the exact opposite – that the majority of Democratic voters are to Sander’s right and given the choice between the far right and the far left, too many key demographics would choose right or third-party. Also in hindsight, I think Clinton made a crucial mistake after she’d won the nomination by choosing Kaine over more progressive options such as Sanders or Warren, who perhaps could have unified the two factions. She also put far too much effort into reaching out to the center-right; that strategy repelled the left who were already skeptical of her and far more persuadable.

          The GOP, it seems, never liked or trusted Trump, but proved itself all too willing to hitch a ride on his train once they realized their own voters were revolting from traditional Republican strategies. The big question now is, who is worse? The traditional troglodytes or the deplorables? Given the divisions within the GOP, and given Trump’s manifest unfitness to serve and his many pending lawsuits, there’s a real possibility the GOP may impeach him and replace him with their much preferred candidate, Mike Pence. Should that occur, they’ll need Democratic votes. The question then becomes, who is the lesser of two evils?

        • wtfwjtd

          “…in hindsight, I think Clinton made a crucial mistake after she’d won the nomination by choosing Kaine over more progressive options such as Sanders or Warren,…”

          Yes, I wondered about this myself. It’s easy to see now what McCain was trying to do in ’08 by choosing Palin, as an experienced Pol his instincts were telling him that he needed some charisma–and fast–to give him any kind of chance at beating Obama. Like Clinton this year, he was facing the stiff headwind of his own party having been in charge for the previous 8 years, and it’s really, really hard to buck that, even in best of times. Clinton’s pick of dull-as-ditch-water Kaine was certainly a safe choice–but it may, just may, have been a big blunder, one that cost her the win. We’ll never really know.

          To Trump’s credit, his yielding to his inner circle and picking Mike Pence as his running mate is looking, well, kinda brilliant right now. Choosing a running mate is the first major executive decision a candidate makes, and frankly, Trump did a pretty good job with this one.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Clinton made a crucial mistake after she’d won the nomination by choosing Kaine over more progressive options such as Sanders or Warren, who perhaps could have unified the two factions. She also put far too much effort into reaching out to the center-right; that strategy repelled the left who were already skeptical of her and far more persuadable.

          to me the final result indicated that the ongoing majority of non-voters were exactly the sort who wouldn’t bother to vote because they are so centrist. to a fault, even.

        • That is a strange situation–don’t bother expanding your popularity, instead focus on getting out the vote. Strange to me, anyway.

        • epeeist

          In my view, the Democrats made a fatal mistake when pushing out Sanders.

          Who would have had the same level of vilification, but as a communist rather than as a part of the “liberal elite”.

          Without wanting to Godwin the thread, this election (and Brexit) was won by the use of the Goebbels big lie.

        • MNb

          Yes. Göbbels excelled in populism. Have you ever read his post Stalingrad speech? It’s a masterpiece.

          http://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/goeb36.htm

          However Sanders unlike Clinton would have had a story that appeals to some Trump and non-voters; maybe enough, especially if they had had a joined campaign.

        • Myna

          There would be the same level of vilification, I agree, but I think (or maybe just want to believe) the strength of the candidate’s push-back can be effective in having it stick less as a talking point. Bill Clinton was good at using this strategy during both his campaigns, but the punditry has gotten more acerbic and the propaganda even more perfected, hence more effective, since then. I saw a clip of Van Jones putting a forceful stop to a guest’s continual attempt to talk over him on the panel at CNN this evening, by firmly and directly saying, “No, you will not talk over me this time.” He was then able to get his point out and acknowledge both the agreement and disagreement with the guest.

          Please forgive me that I have rambled. I am very tired and my greatest concern is that half this country has just voted in a useful idiot.

        • wtfwjtd

          Not quite half–47 per cent. Where were the Democrats this year? I guess Clinton just didn’t inspire them like Obama did. His coalitions delivered 70+ million votes to him in ’08, and something like 66 million in ’12. Clinton will clear around 60 million, a substantial drop.
          Also note, the aging Republican coalition didn’t grow this year, as the number of raw votes for the Republican has been about the same for the last 3 presidential elections. But they always show up, and this year they showed up in just the right places.

        • Myna

          It would be my guess that protest (by refusal to vote/voting alternate party) and premature media projections that placed Clinton as almost a sure bet contributed (which would be the percentage of lazy non-voters) on the part of democrats. The choice was not easy for voters. Status quo with tiresome baggage v. charismatic buffoon. I am stunned, but in contrast, not surprised (now that I have had time to think about it). My concern is the absence of experience by the present office-elect. Never underestimate the power of celebrity, even one dripping with foul infamy.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Not quite half–47 per cent

          … of voters. practically always a minority to begin with.

        • adam
        • adam

          “Without wanting to Godwin the thread, this election (and Brexit) was won by the use of the Goebbels big lie.”

          Backed by DECADES of unsubstantiated propaganda against Hillary.

        • TheNuszAbides

          wtf would “wanting to Godwin the thread” even mean? gratuitously making an irrelevant comparison (clearly not at all what you actually did) for the sake of confirming his law (which you practically did anyway)? who actually does that? outside of 4chan, i mean.

        • I believe by “Godwin the thread,” he meant: make a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.

        • TheNuszAbides

          so he was making the Goebbels comparison without “wanting” to? it’s just a pet peeve, i never expect a coherent defense of the phrase from anyone.

        • TheNuszAbides

          put another way, i can’t think of anyone who’s aware of what Godwin’s law actually is/means who would shy away from apt/relevant comparisons or wince when making them. epeeist in particular doesn’t strike me as someone who (a) would reference Godwin’s law without comprehending it, (b) would give a damn if someone started whining about how the thread “got Godwinned”. so it hardly even qualifies as a cheeky comment, let alone a sensible one (and epeeist’s have been consistently sensible).

        • I agree that epeeist is a high-quality commenter.

        • TheNuszAbides

          indeed, the fact that i didn’t even bother to agree with the entirety of the remainder of the is evidence of just how knee-jerk my Godwin’s law pet peeve is.

        • wtfwjtd

          Unfortunately, we’ll never know. But what we can say definitively is this–after parsing through the results from the upper mid-west, that is, WI, MI, PA, OH, and others, it’s crystal-clear that the coalition that came together to elect Obama didn’t show up on election day for Hillary. Trump pretty much matched numbers from Romney and McCain, but Hils under-performed Obama by a pretty good margin, especially in Ohio. If the numbers of people who showed up to vote for Obama in 2012 would have showed up in 2016, Hils would be our president.
          I think it’s safe to say that Clinton fatigue is a real thing, and as a mid-westerner I can affirm that. It will be interesting in the coming days to figure out just who didn’t show up for Hillary–millennials, perhaps?
          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-09/what-this-election-taught-us-about-millennial-voters

        • wtfwjtd

          There’s a lot of irony with this election result, starting with the fact there are many Republicans who are horrified that they now have to deal with this. Having Hillary to kick around was a much preferable result for many of them, and in the long run would likely be better in many ways for their party.. Now that they have Trump, and also pull all the levers of power in DC, they’ll have to own what happens up there. They’ll have to start with that mountain of promises that Trump made to the base, and that’s not going to be easy. Getting elected was the easy part, actually delivering on what your candidate promised is going to be the hard part.

        • You forget Trump’s secret weapon: he’s a liar. What you think of as “promises” might be just media distortions if they’re inconvenient.

          Hopefully, it won’t be quite as bad as in Orwell’s 1984.

          There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy.

        • wtfwjtd

          Whether a lie is a lie depends entirely whether a candidate has a “D” or an “R” behind their name, apparently. To my Trump-loving family, Hillary was a liar when she exaggerated something; when Trump looked in the camera and told a whopper, he was speaking in hyperbole, and it’s the same thing. Or so I’m told.
          Kind of like Jesus, you know–when Jesus says you must hate your family before you can follow him, for example, he didn’t *really* mean it. Or something.

        • adam

          ” You don’t need to be anti-abortion to be anti political establishment.”

          Of course not, but he could not win without the evangelical vote.

          “Christians who described themselves as evangelical and born-again gave
          Trump 81 percent of their votes, …. Democratic
          presidential nominee Hillary Clinton garnered 16 percent of their votes.” http://religionnews.com/2016/11/09/white-evangelicals-white-catholics-and-mormons-voted-decisively-for-trump/

          His only draw to evangelicals was his promise to put anti-abortion Supreme Court justices in.

        • MNb

          “Of course not, but he could not win without the evangelical vote.”
          Of course not, but BobS makes the mistake of reversing cause and effect. The evangelicals didn’t vote for The Donald because he is anti legalized abortion. The Donald is anti legalized abortion – and half heartedly so – because he needed the evangelical vote. Had the evangelicals been pro legalized abortion (BobS’ speculation) or even indifferent The Donald would have been as well and they still largely would have voted for him.

      • Myna

        How could this country elect a man of such high intelligence, ideals and integrity like Barack Obama for two terms only to turn around and vote in a self-aggrandizing, intellectually lazy, misogynist, and all that is base, whose only vision is to be the ultimate CEO of the planet?? He’ll play the useful idiot and we’ll have the Eddie Munster of Wisconsin (P. Ryan), a deranged majority in the Congress and Senate enforcing their own madness on the rest of us. We’ll all pay the price. Even the tools that voted him into his narcissistic vision of his butt sitting in the chair in the oval office.

        I hope there is a Lincoln specter in the white house and that it menaces his wretched ass day and night.

        • First president-elect with zero government or military experience. Another important milestone. Or not.

          It’s been another Brexit. There will be some small consolation in saying, “I told you so” when conservatives or Christians become disappointed at his actions.

        • TheNuszAbides

          i somehow expect (inner optimism hoping i’m wrong, of course) that by the time they express their disappointment it will already be in terms of how he’s being obstructed by Dems/demons/establishment/etc.

    • wtfwjtd

      I must confess, in the absence of my discovery of any other over-arching cosmic meaning or purpose in life, there are (frequent) times I have a nagging suspicion that the Hokey-Pokey really is what it’s all about.

      “You put your left foot in, you pull your left foot out, you put your left foot in,and you shake it all about…”

      • Myna

        LoL!!!

    • Tony D’Arcy

      Or the more updated version with Stephen Hawking:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfcC6FYyL4U

  • Tony D’Arcy

    “Well, that just about wraps it it up for God.” (Douglas Adams).