JT EBERHARD (atheist blogger, What Would JT Do?): Hey homies! Who’s watching the DNC?
MARK SANDLIN (Presbyterian minister, blogger at The God Article): Turning it on as we speak.
JT: Pretty sure the DNC sees that Trump is counting entirely on the Evangelical vote, so the DNC is pouring on the religion super. Fucking. Thick. Thicker than a pricey milkshake.
JASON MANKEY (Pagan blogger, Raise the Horns): I thought they were appealing to the “we are not completely fucking insane” vote. At least that’s how Bloomberg came across last night.
JT: Today it’s everywhere. Opened with a prayer to the same god that drowned the earth to imbue us with mercy and compassion. I suspect the next step is asking McDonald’s for weight loss advice. Sorry, frustration talking. <3 Mark.
Mark: I am actually sick and tired of both sides co-opting Christianity and turning it into a tool for manipulating the public. Just one of the “wonderful” things about religion, huh?
JT: Let me go get a drink so I can toast you on that.
Jason: At least the DNC shows a few Muslim and Jewish faces now and then. I’m still waiting for the “Pagan Moment” where they show a young lady wearing a pentagram.
JT: We need a bet, Jason. Will a major party directly appeal to Pagans or atheists first? If it’s atheists I’ll…um…yeah, it’ll be atheists first. Christians are scared out of their ever-lovin minds of “Pagans.”
Jason: Gary Johnson did try to appeal to us once. There’s a sizable (yet still small) number of Pagan libertarians out there. He might try again this cycle, what’s he got to lose?
Mark: Are there a lot of CONSERVATIVE pagans?
Jason: I don’t think there are a lot, but they exist. We tend to lean leftwards, but I know a few who like Sarah Palin and even Donald Trump. Pagans are Americans, with all the different views that entails.
JT (watching the convention): Ugh, this is so dishonest. “Trump thinks women are pigs! Disgusting!” No, he’s used those as insults, which isn’t great, but that’s not proof that that’s what he thinks of women. I hate it when my own side does this shit. And yeah, I think atheists before Pagans too. You can come live in my castle of acceptance, Jason.
Jason: I’ve always assumed it would be atheists. You all are seen as intelligent or principled, we get cast in the role of “joke” most often. When we offer political commentary or whatever at Patheos, it doesn’t go outside of our community. I see plenty of Pagans linking to atheist stuff.
Mark: I thought the Castle of Acceptance was in Liberal Heaven? I’m confused. 😉
JT: Ok, so we have the refrain down: “It’s better when we stand together.” Heard this from multiple speakers. Almost all of them suggest we need their god in order to be better in the very same breath. LJASD;FLKJASDLFJK;ASLDKJF;LSAJKDF;LASJDKF;LSAJDF;LSAJKDF; YJHUMY H JUJHY Those last three were my head striking the keyboard.
Jason: Is it just me, or have you ever seen a convention try so hard to placate the losers of a primary?
Mark: I think you are right. He’s the most influential “loser” ever in a convention.
Jason: What do you think about the Bernie or Bust folks? Are they worth this much effort? I’m not sure they are.
Mark: I tend to agree with you. The press seems to be over-hyping them. I’m not sure they are a large enough group to make a particularly impactful influence on the election.
Jason: It’s in the best interest of the media to present conflict, they think it’s what’s best for ratings, and maybe they are. I think the media often made Bernie seem more competitive than he was towards the end of the primary. This is the exact opposite of the narrative presented by some of them that the media “ignored” Sanders.
If this sounds like I’m ripping on Sanders, I don’t mean it, really. I think he’s been great this convention.
JT: Whoa, the Internet went out here for a few minutes. Perhaps there is a merciful god.
Oh, you want to know what I think of Bernie or Busters? Let me oblige. I think they’re mostly white middle class first-timer voters who don’t stand to lose much of anything if Trump gets elected. They think morality can include turning a blind eye to the well-being over shitloads of people so they don’t even consider the SCOTUS angle and get offended when you mention it. Gays back to not serving in the military, adopting, getting fired from their jobs, unable to marry? Oh well, try again in 40 years. But hey, you can tell them about the brave stand you took, for which they must pay.
I think they’re petulant political neophytes. They’re literally the sorest losers and the oldest children in the history of politics. “Brats” doesn’t begin to describe them.
Mark: They are people who live privileged lives. They think Trump would be a bump in the road for their lives — they are fooling themselves about that too.
Jason: I think some of it comes down to this new idea that there should be “purity” in politics. We saw it first with the Tea Partiers, a group that refuses to compromise, and new there’s a strain of this on the left. I don’t really mind if my friends in California want to vote for the unqualified Jill Stein or whatever.
Mark: I can’t give anyone a pass this year. I’m not a Clinton fan, but I’ll be voting for her because… Trump.
JT: I would prefer Jill Stein…if she were a realistic option…which she isn’t. “Oh, but if everybody who was fed up would just vote for her…” Yeah, and if everybody would pitch in, children wouldn’t starve. But there comes a time when you have to distinguish the awesomeness of a hypothetical world and what people, on the whole, actually fucking do. Stop this “if it ain’t perfect I don’t want it” horse shit. “But the two party system sucks.” Yeah, it does. And how, exactly, will handing Trump and the GOP this election fix that, dipshit?
Jason: She’s not even on the ballot in all 50 states, and I don’t think she has anywhere near the experience needed to be a credible Presidential candidate. Why not run for mayor before trying to become President? Besides, the Greens will only grow as a party if they start at the bottom and work their way up.
Mark: As Gandhi said, a nation’s greatness is measured by how they treat their poorest citizens. It makes me ask how will our poorest be treated in a Trump presidency? We CANNOT let him be elected.
Jason: I’m actually one of those weird people who was completely in the Clinton camp before the primaries began. She’s smart, hardworking, a realist. There’s no way she fucks it up once she gets into office.
JT: I’m with Jason. I supported Bernie, but Clinton’s great. Perfect? No, but a damn good candidate.
Mark: Don’t get me wrong. I think she is the one of the most qualified people to run for president in modern times. I’m just VERY uncomfortable with her relationship to Wall Street, Big Oil and the War Machine.
Jason: War Machine died, at least in the comics. Hopefully not in the movies. I like Don Cheadle too much for that.
Mark: Agreed – and he just NAILS the role.
Jason: She has been a traditional politician, meaning she’s somewhat close to those institutions you describe. But I don’t think Hillary is going to hang us out to dry after being elected. And again, too smart to get into a war.
Mark: We will be in a small war within 2 years of her election. I’d bet on it. And, again, I AM voting for her.
Jason: If we send over 1000 ground troops into a Middle Eastern country under Hillary, I’ll go to the church of your choice for one Sunday Mark, even during football season.
JT: ^^ I’m in on that bet.
Mark: During football season?!?! Hey man, I’m not an asshole. I’d never do that to you.
I also doubt that the continued regulations needed on Wall Street will increase. And Big Oil will continue getting massive tax breaks and the favor of the US Gov even in the face of disasters.
Jason: I’ll admit to agreeing with you on those last two. We are still going to have a GOP led House, probably not Senate. But it will be enough to make sure no new legislation is passed. Of course it wouldn’t have changed with Bernie in the White House either. Perhaps that’s part of why the Bernie or Bust people drive me crazy, Presidents don’t get a magick wand to wave and fix everything. Not even we Witches get those those sorts of things.
Mark: I actually am very excited about where the social programs will be going under Clinton. Good stuff is going to happen in that arena.
JT: Honestly, I don’t give a shit about any of that. Not because they don’t need change, they definitely do. But it’s because the President won’t have much influence there. The Dems will likely block too much Wall Street/Big Oil stuff in the Senate. Anything else on Hillary’s end will get stonewalled by the House, and that won’t change until the next census in 2020, thanks gerrymandering. If it’s Trump, he’ll need a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and he won’t even have a majority. But the SCOTUS? There’s where your change comes from. That’s what matters. And maybe Hillary won’t appoint Justices that will overturn Citizens United. But she sure as shit won’t appoint any that will overturn Obergefell.
Jason: This is where I think Bernie remaining in the Senate will make a HUGE difference. He will shame Democrats into taking the more liberal path, and make waves about so-so-moderate judges on SCOTUS. And if his followers stay with him, they can make a huge difference there.
Mark: Hey, transgender American addressing a major national party at their convention for the first time – as we speak. Big historical moment. Love it!
JT: ^^ Yeah, badass.
Jason: The response she’s getting right now is really heartening too! And the gerrymandered districts will continue because the Democratic Coalition doesn’t vote in off-year elections. We screw ourselves.
Mark: The gerrymandering is shameful and is severely damaging any chance at a democratic system.
JT: Ayup. And I worry that even in an on-year election we won’t get out because the Bernie crowd is making the whole process such a sluggish pain in the ass.
Hey, did you all see that “The Voice of God” just entered the room? It’s like Dad is now watching the conversation, makes me nervous.
Voice of God: I TRIED TO TIPTOE. IT’S THESE DAMN SHOES.
Mark: Quick! Everybody look busy.
JT: *starts groveling* Just like those miserable Psalms, they’re so depressing.
Mark: And there was much gnashing of teeth and wearing of uncomfortable clothes.
Voice of God: ALL RIGHT, ENOUGH. I HEARD YOU MENTION MY CANDIDATE.
JT: Bernie? No, we’re talking about his most fevered maniacs. Bernie’s great.
Voice of God: NO, NOT BERNIE! I HEARD HE IS AN ATHEIST ANYWAY.
Bernie Sanders: I am not an atheist.
Bernie Sanders: Too? I’m not an atheist!!
JT: FIRST ATHEIST PRESIDENT INCOMING! SUCK A DICK, DUMB SHITS!
Voice of God: LANGUAGE! AND STOP WITH THE UPPER CASE, THAT’S MINE.
JT: Yes, LORD! We were chatting about the misguided Bernie-brethren.
Mark: The Bernie-or-Busters.
Voice of God: THEY DISPLEASE ME GREATLY.
JT: I knew it! I knew there was a reason a good and loving god created hell.
Mark: Dammit! I didn’t think there WAS a Hell! This is all very confusing. I need another beer.
Voice of God: STILL HAVEN’T GUESSED MY CANDIDATE. DOESN’T ANYONE READ REVELATION ANYMORE?
JT: …Jesus? Is Jesus your candidate?
Mark: Trump – the seven-headed dragon?
Voice of God: OF COURSE TRUMP! HE SPEAKS HIS MIND, IT’S SO REFRESHING. AND HE SEEMS TO BE PRO-SMITING.
Jason: Trump has been on the rise in the polls? Should I be worried?
Voice of God: HOW SHOULD I KNOW?
JT: Okay, he got a post-convention bounce that was slightly smaller than average. Hillary will get the same. The DNC leaks thing (which is being totally misrepresented by pretty much everybody) hurt her a bit, but the odds-makers in Vegas still have Hillary at about the same odds — around 65% last I checked — and I think that will go up after each debate.
Mark: And I think she’ll get a much bigger post convention bump than Trump did.
Jason: I agree about the debates, Hillary is pretty good in those, especially if you like policy and ideas. But how will that play in Peoria (a city I used to live in)? We are such a soundbite culture these days.
Voice of God: MY UBER IS HERE. TIME TO FORSAKE THEE. [Exits.]
Mark: Well folks, the Voice of God walked out on us. I think it may be quittin’ time. It was fun as always, friends. See you next time!
Jason: See ya then!