Are we Doomed to live in Polarization?

Are we Doomed to live in Polarization? January 3, 2020

When Donald Trump came down that escalator in 2015, I had nothing but contempt for the man. I had heard him a couple of times delivering “political” commentary on FOX news and soon learned to go turn the channel to CNN or MSNBC as soon as he came on their shows (I watch news across the political spectrum). I had heard of his show “The Apprentice” which also did not inspire much respect for him. Admittedly, I never watched the show but how much talent does it take to say “you’re fired.”? I figured, like many people, that he would be the candidate of the week for the Republicans and then we would get to the more serious candidates.

As his lead persisted in the Republican party, I became more worried. I wanted two viable candidates for president. I used my facebook page to deride him and tried to convince some of my more conservative friends to not support him. When he won the nomination, it was disheartening to think that one of the major political parties would have such an incompetent candidate. I assumed he would lose, but wanted to discourage my Christian friends from voting for him as much as possible. I even placed articles in The Stream, a conservative Christian online magazine that is largely favorable to Trump, to discourage Christians from supporting him. I knew my effort would have little influence, but I wanted to be able to tell my kids years from now that I did my part in stopping Trump from becoming president.

But of course, candidate Trump did turn into President Trump. The shock of that event led me into thinking about what happened. I still wonder why such a crude, incompetent, race-baiting, sexist could win the presidency of our country. What is his attraction? I still grapple with that question. And wrestling with that question has made me consider issues that I had not previously noticed. I still do not completely understand the love for this president, and perhaps I never will fully understand it. But I am a little closer than I was in 2016.

As I consider our political landscape, I decided a while ago that I am not going to work so hard at defeating Trump as I did in 2016. I came to that decision for two reasons. First, I doubt I would have even the little impact I had a few years ago. My friends who support him are psychologically locked into that support and my arguments are doomed to go nowhere. But more importantly, second, he is a symptom of a much bigger problem. I fear if we do not heed the meaning of his election, then we will not deal with that problem until it is too late. There is a deep polarization in our society that made a Trump presidency possible and will continue to poison us. Just removing Trump will not solve this problem. We must think more long term than the next election cycle.

For this reason, my efforts with my conservative friends will not be to talk them out of voting for Trump. I seriously doubt that I can do that anyway. Rather I will look to influence them to move away from the nearly unconditional acceptance of Trump so many of them seem to have. For example, a couple of months ago on facebook, I had long discussion with some of them about the race baiting done by Trump. I encouraged them to condemn those statements even if they are going to vote for him. Yet, there is a powerful level of denial among them about the racist statements Trump makes from time to time. If they are going to vote for Trump anyway, I want them at the very least to admit that he engages in the race-baiting that encourages white nationalists and the alt-right, but so many of them failed to do even that.

It has been quite frustrating dealing with the double talk and denial among some, but to be fair not all, of my conservative friends. If they acknowledge his sexism, pettiness and other troublesome qualities, then perhaps conservatives will not be so tied to Trump as to defend him in his failings. They may become less open to seeing those who oppose him in dehumanizing ways and understand why Trump scares us. Perhaps with such an attitude, we can even find some compromises in our government from time to time since they do not have to defend Trump at every turn. It is clearly a humbler goal than discouraging my friends from voting for Trump, but given the degree to which so many of them are blindly supporting their political ally without thinking of the consequences of that support, I will take this limited goal at this point in time. I have blogged to challenge Christians before on this topic, and in time I hope to blog more to challenge political and religious conservatives hoping that more of them move from an automatic reflexive support of our president to a more conditional support that can work towards holding him more accountable.

But let’s be honest. Reflexive support of a political party and demonizing of the opposition is not merely a problem on the right. Progressives also are guilty of such outsized loyalty and outgrouping. Progressives talk about Trump supporters as motivated almost purely by racism and hatred. Of course there are racist Trump supporters, but do we really have enough overt racists to elect a president? Are there not real problems that have been neglected which allowed Trump to win the Republican nomination and then the presidency? Clearly the answer to that last question is yes. Trump is the hypothetical answer to certain problems that have been neglected. The problem with conservatives is that they think Trump can solve those problems. But the problem for progressives is that they do not even acknowledge those problems exist, much less attempt to address them.

A couple of examples should suffice. There is a suicide rate among white middle age men that is quite frightening. It has been growing since 2000 and yet until recently it has received little attention. Trump has no answer for this problem, but he at least appears to care about the plight of these men. What has the left offered? Another lecture on white privilege by a student attending an elite university? Being called deplorable by the Democrat president candidate? Assurances that once we have socialism that the government will meet all these men’s needs? Have they talked to these white men to find out why they feel so alienated that they are killing themselves and is anyone asking them what they need? If so, how have progressives reflected the concerns of these men in their agenda? Somehow, in ways I do not fully understand, Trump connects with these people. But then he would not have to try very hard to connect more than the efforts I have seen from progressives.

Or consider the issue I have done research on in Christianophobia. I forget the number of times I had a Christian tell me that they hate Trump, but at least Trump will leave them alone. I think they are wrong about supporting Trump, and that this support will make the problem, in the long-run, even worse. But I cannot deny the problems of Christianophobia they are concerned about. I know that many individuals deny that it is an issue. I am but one researcher, but I have already documented the effects of Christianophobia in academia and the press. Imagine how much evidence we would have if the same number of researchers looking for evidence of Islamophobia also sought evidence of Christianophobia. Denial of the issue does not make the issue go away, and indeed helps to drive some Christians to look for answers in the arms of a man who I believe does not have their best interests at heart.

The unquestioning loyalty of some progressives to a certain political agenda has led them to ignore these issues and set our country up to be led by someone like Donald Trump. This loyalty has also led them to create outgroups of conservatives and their attempts to stigmatize those conservatives do not serve our society well. Okay I already hear the objections of false equivalence being shaped in the minds of certain progressives. It is the argument they use when they do not want to confront the degree to which they too formulate hatred and even inspire violence (ex. the shooting of Steve Scalise) with their rhetoric. But a recent study puts a lie to this charge. It shows that Democrats are at least as likely to wish that large numbers of their political opponents would die, and justify violence if they lose the 2020 election as Republicans. Denying that there is a problem among the left with violence and hatred will not solve these problems.

This brings to me to one of my major theories of why we have the most unqualified president in our history. Our polarization has developed to such an extent that we no longer care about qualifications. We only want someone who will fight for us and our team. Forget trying to seek out compromises so that we can have some sense of unity in our society. Provide us with a candidate who fights. That attitude won Trump the nomination, and I do not see a unifying candidate among the major Democratic challengers for the presidency right now. Even among them I see the desire to find someone who fights, rather than someone who brings us together. As I have argued before, our polarization prevents us from solving important problems such as gun violence. And if we do not confront these attitudes, then whoever wins in 2020 will not be seen as legitimate. Can we have a peaceful transfer of power when the level of polarization has increased so much during Trump’s administration? I guess we will find out later this year.

So what is the solution? What way can we back away from this civil war that seems to be brewing in our society? Just as I have challenged my conservative friends to be mindful of the problems associated with Trump, I also feel the need to challenge progressives to engage in their own introspection. There are those who do not feel that a progressive agenda is honest or fair. Can progressives be willing to listen to those they have looked upon in the past with contempt? Can they recognize that some of their ideas surrounding identity politics have gone too far and threaten the common good? If my experience with dealing with my conservative friends are any indication, there will be progressives who do see some of the excesses in their political philosophy, but most progressives will reject the idea that they bear any responsibility for the polarization and hatred in our society. Perhaps with the few on the right and the left who are willing to admit to the shortcomings of those in their political in-group is where we must start.

Even though ultimately Trump did win the presidency, I was able to convince some of my Christian friends to not vote for him. They respected what I had to say because of the work I have done documenting Christianophobia. In other words, they saw me as one of them (and I am one of them in my Christian faith) and that allowed them to consider my arguments. I also hope that I can convince some of them to take seriously the problems of Trump. I know that my insider status will be a factor in helping me to do this. This indicates an important factor as we think about the polarization in our society. We are going to be most effective when talking to those on our side of the ideological spectrum and least effective when talking to those on the other side. Our efforts to reduce our polarization should reflect this reality.

So if you are a political conservative and concerned about these trends to polarization, then most of your efforts should be towards other political conservatives. Of course, you should point out some of the problems you see on the left, if for no other reason so that concerned individuals on the left have an opportunity to reflect on those issues. But if you do not put at least as much effort in convincing other conservatives to not dehumanize progressives as you are critiquing progressives, then you are part of the problem. Progressives can fairly argue that you are more concerned with gaining an upper hand than trying to make peace. Of course, this critique also applies to progressives who spend more time attacking the incivility of conservatives and do not appear to worry about the dehumanizing trends found among progressives.

The way out of this polarization is to engage in the introspection necessary to address these issues within our own communities. That is going to be difficult given how much dehumanization that is already taking place in our political circles today. Many of our political allies will question our loyalty. As a political independent, I have been there and done that. I heard questions of my loyalty from conservatives who assumed I was with them and from progressives who assumed I was with them. But it is the right approach if we want to deal with this division. The alternative is to stay in our political bunkers and lob ammunition at each other with the hopes that one side can eventually wipe out the other. Is that what we really want or can we turn into a nation where we can have peaceful disagreement? That is a question we really need to ask as we head towards what promises to be one of the most polarizing presidential elections ever.


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  • chemical

    But of course, candidate Trump did turn into President Trump. The shock of that event led me into thinking about what happened. I still wonder why such a crude, incompetent, race-baiting, sexist could win the presidency of our country. What is his attraction?

    In one word: Power.

    There are two groups of Trump supporters, and I want to be very careful here about not confusing the two. Group #1 are The Deplorables. People with explicitly racist, far-right viewpoints and hate anybody who isn’t white and Christian. Group #2 are your everyday, general purpose conservatives, who don’t really like Trump (and may even resent him), but they also don’t like the Democratic party, either. I know some conservatives latched on to Clinton’s deplorables comment, and took it as “All conservatives bad!” but I think this is more of what she actually said here.

    This is the way I see things right now: Group #1 is the considerably smaller group, but they’re much louder, and they consistently bully Group #2 into doing things their way. Group #2 goes along with it because they would rather stick with the devil they know, plus they know if they alienate Group #1 then they start losing elections due to various demographic / political shifts in American society. So you end up with this Deal with the Devil.

    Likewise, the Democratic party is a coalition party with several sub-groups: Progressives, anti-racist activists, labor activists, socialists, and environmentalists. Not all of these groups agree with each other on all issues, and there are frequent intra-party debates on the issues. In my opinion, the biggest subgroup (anti-racists) doesn’t really understand the divisions in the GOP itself so your average rank-and-file Democrat will scream at a rank-and-file conservative for being a seething racist, even if that rank-and-file conservative doesn’t actually buy in to the more horrible Trump policies and comments.

    My advice for any Group #2 conservatives out there who are tired of the race-baiting misogyny out of Trump is vote Dems. Join the party, and vote for a candidate in the primary. I know a lot of Democrats and other liberal activists would like to go back to the days where everybody argued in good faith and politics wasn’t a series of gotcha moments and silly power games (which is why Biden is currently leading the primary). You’ll get that within the Democratic party itself. Not that everybody will agree with you on everything, but at least you’ll get an honest debate and you won’t have to appease people with racist, far-right viewpoints.

    • Alan Drake

      I can concur. I was a registered Republican from age 18 till GWB cured me. (Note: George Wallace D was Governor when I registered).

      My conversion and conservative influenced viewpoint were respectfully considered (currently involved with a potentially major Climate initiative). Many progressives remarked how they missed responsible conservatives. I have found it startlingly easy to influence progressives with reasoned calm arguments.

      Recently I contradicted a “Climate Warrior” who was boasting how strident his protest was & how it made others uncomfortable. I argued for consensus generating actions, using France’s Grenelle as an example.

      Come over – the water is fine !

      PS: Demographic & social change is so rapid now, that Trump Republicans will become a permanent & shrinking minority very soon. More in another post on that.

      • chemical

        Same here, except since I’m a bit younger, Dubya was the 1st president I voted for (I’m too young to have voted for Clinton).

        Since Bush, my voting record has been solidly blue. I kind of feel bad for the GOP at times, since they nominated two solid candidates before Trump. Especially McCain. He wasn’t winning anything having that (R) after his name in 2008. Personally I think he could have been president, but his main problem was that he was in the wrong party, and had he run as a Democrat then he’d be either the 43rd or 44th president.

        Being progressive myself, I’d probably grumble a bit at a potential President McCain or Romney, but I’d feel the country is in stable, capable hands at least.

        • McCain and Romney lost because conservative GOP stayed home. Both had proudly fought their on party for decades. As you wrote, they should have been in the Democrat party. We Tea Partiers were tired of the bate and switch where candidates campaigned as conservatives then legislated as Democrats so we didn’t vote for them. To some degree the choice of Trump for us was our signal to the establishment that we were tired of their bate and switch games.

          • Alan Drake

            Demographically & socially, the Tea Party/MAGAfolk days are now past. See my post on that soon.

          • Christiane Smith

            the alt-right scene if rife with neo-this and neo-that . . . . torch parades, hate rallies, destruction of ‘norms’ etc. . . .

            one hopes for a return to sanity

          • We’ve always been small

          • Alan Drake

            If you are talking white evangelical Christians – they were utterly dominant in both numbers & power when I grew up in Alabama. And a force against civil rights for AA back then.

            As for extreme right wing, they still control a number of legislatures – although the number is shrinking. US House and Virginia are recently redeemed for example.

          • Yes, you’ve always been small… in all the ways that count.
            Tiny worldview, shrunken minds, closed loop of tail-chasing ideology.

          • Pennybird

            But they are elected to govern all the people, and as such must compromise. Having policies shoved down our throats is what leads to the polarization in the first place – we all begin to believe the stakes are far too high to lose, when in fact they don’t have to be.

          • That’s unavoidable when socialists have expanded the state to the degree that it intrudes into every corner of life. Avoiding polarization is possible only if we limit the state to its God-given function of punishing evil doers who violate the rights to life, liberty and property of others. When the state is a large as it is, it’s like an 800 lb gorilla in a studio apartment. Everyone who lives there will fight over its every move.

          • Pennybird

            Almost all Americans, liberal and conservative, benefited mightily in the heady socialist days of mid-century, what with all those cheap home loans facilitated by the GI Bill, the good public education, modern infrastructure, medicare, social security, etc.

            When you throw around loaded words like socialism, designed to scare people* you do nothing to alleviate polarization.

            *few of us shudder while reminiscing what we had back then, especially while comparing it to our third world conditions today. Spreading the wealth may be socialism, but it is also civilization.

          • That’s Marxist propaganda. I don’t “throw around” the word “socialist” to scare people but use it in a very technical sense to describe people who hold to specific principles. Economic science and history show only one way for standards of living to rise – invest in more and better tools to raise productivity, i.e., capitalism. Socialism has always made people poorer wherever it has been tried throughout history. If greater socialism didn’t impoverish the US, it was only because the freedom remaining was strong enough to overcome the negative outcomes of socialist policies.

          • fractal

            Tell that to Scandinavia.

          • Pennybird

            Now it’s Marxism. To review, name calling is no way to alleviate polarization.

            “If greater socialism didn’t impoverish the US, it was only because the freedom remaining was strong enough to overcome the negative outcomes of socialist policies.” Then what are you afraid of? Don’t we still have freedom?

          • I’m not name calling. I’m accurately categorizing your ideas. No, we have much less freedom and our economic problems result from greater socialism

          • Pennybird

            There’s little freedom for people who can’t keep up with their bills – something that is ensured by our gross income inequality.
            Do a quick comparison of high tax blue states vs low tax red states and take a look at quality of life. Almost across the board the high tax states have better education and less need for social services than the red states do. In fact, blue states subsidize the red states whose conservative policies have left the population high and dry.

          • Have fun creating your own police, fire and health departments. Don’t bother to use ours. Make your own roads and schools, too… your own currency while you are at it.
            Don’t call for help; nobody will come.
            If you encounter a legal problem, solve it yourself.
            Hope you never need surgery or medicine, as those are highly regulated.
            Best of luck.

          • Lauren Greene

            He should give some thought to a postal service as well.

          • Quite right. Oh, and haircuts. Never again visit a barber. Or a dentist… yuck.
            Don’t come up into a grocery store looking to buy food.
            All regulated by those 800 lb gorillas.

          • Lauren Greene

            He’s the typical, garden-variety regressive who is frightened by words he does not understand and thinks other people should be frightened because of ignorance as well. These gullible people don’t bother to research and demagogues love them for it.

          • fractal

            No meat inspections by the FDA for you!

          • Fine with me! Hundreds die each year from ecoli thanks to the FDA.

          • fractal

            Yes,

            Reagan dumbed down the FDA until it was a shadow of its former self.
            Something about how the meat packing industry was quite capable of “policing itself”.

            Whenever Conservatives come into power, the rich get richer, and the poor die sooner.

          • fractal

            Pretty absurd statement, when it is the Right that wants to control everything that happens in the bedroom and between the legs—straight men excluded, of course…

    • swbarnes2

      Group #2 are your everyday, general purpose conservatives, who don’t really like Trump (and may even resent him), but they also don’t like the Democratic party, either.

      Polls of Republicans do not show huge numbers of Republicans who disapprove of Trump.

      https://news.gallup.com/poll/203198/presidential-approval-ratings-donald-trump.aspx

      But keep lying about how conservatives feel about Trump. We understand your Christians witness demands nothing less from you.

      • Chari McCauley

        They seem to forget the part about how, during end times, everything that was kept in secret will be brought out into the light. It is the response to this that will count.

        Do we repent from what we see, and know, or do we pretend it isn’t really true.
        Jeremiah is a book that makes The Father’s idea of bad pretty clear. He even covers the abuse of the land, in that book.

      • chemical

        I’m an atheist, and a liberal progressive. I’m not in either Group 1 or Group 2. The last time I was anything close to conservative was around 2003. Bush 43 is the the first and last Republican I’ll vote for, considering how far right the GOP went since I started voting.

        My goal here was to show the people who are still Republican, but not necessarily supportive of Trump’s racist and misogynist policies, how they have been duped in to supporting a far right extremist political agenda.

        Given the amount of downvotes I received on my previous post, I think I struck a nerve. Perhaps I was wrong to appease to conservatives’ better nature.

  • Joslyn Renfrey

    “A couple of examples should suffice. There is a suicide rate among white middle age men that is quite frightening. It has been
    growing since 2000 and yet until recently it has received little attention. Trump has no answer for this problem, but he at least appears to care about the plight of these men. What has the left offered?”

    A platform of public healthcare including mental health services for the poor?
    A deconstruction of the isolating culture of masculinity that denies expressions of emotion as feminine?
    Parasocial relationships with a man more than 500 miles away does not make for good mental health.

    • georgeyancey

      Yes. I am certain that talking about toxic masculinity is going to meet their needs.

      • Joslyn Renfrey

        Is it not clear that traditional masculine ideals are not attainable for today’s men in a world where they can’t afford to own their house and women are more likely to be wage earners of a houshold and therefore that may be expected to take on the role of caregiver for their children? A world where greater automation has minimized blue-collar work that has been seen as traditionally masculine?

        You do realize there is no way back to the world as it was before, right? We can’t be expected to maintain an illusion that men can stay the way they were.

        • georgeyancey

          Sounds like blaming the victim to me. I thought the woke got away from all that culture of poverty stuff. Be nice if you spend like 10 seconds listening to these folks without trying to force them into your feminist framework. You might learn from a perspective that is not your own.

          • Joslyn Renfrey

            Does it sound like I’ve cast automation, greater presence of women in the workplace, and rising house prices as a self-inflicted problem for the common man? Do you think that my being forced to present as male, not for 10 seconds, but for 24 years, does not give me perspective into the problems facing men?

          • Hi. Keep up the good fight.

          • We aren’t going back into the box, georgeyancey.
            Just try and make us.

          • fractal

            Men have been the sole wielders of power for many thousands of years.
            They may be victims, but they caused their own problems.

            Perhaps the cure is women taking the reins of power for a while, and cleaning up the mess men have made of things.
            Personally, I think men will be better off with women making decisions for their welfare, than if they continue to let other men make decisions for them.

          • Wow, Fractal. Color me surprised.

          • fractal

            Really?

            Part of being “spiritual” is owning your truth, even when it is offbeat, iconoclastic or cynical.

            And I admit to thinking that perhaps testosterone plus the frontal cortex don’t always make the best combination, if your goal is planetary health and the evolution of humanity.

          • No, i am surprised that you agreed with me on something. Last time i saw you, you were condemning me for having the audacity to host temporarily homeless friends instead of snatching random people off the street to live with my young children. Good to know that you have some humanity after all.

          • fractal

            No,

            I was condemning your view that all charity SHOULD be tribal.

            There is nothing more beautiful than loving the stranger, who is bereft of home, friends, resources and familiarity.

            Someday, you too may be forced to flee for your life, and be dependent on the good will of strangers.
            Then you will see.

          • My original statement was nothing of the sort, and you know it.
            On the contrary, I was encouraging people to start at home with their acquaintances who need help, if they aren’t comfortable taking in total strangers.
            Every “stranger” is the friend or relative of someone, after all.
            I don’t know why you insisted on making an enemy of me on that score.
            We have so much in common… oh well.
            Enjoy your feeling of superiority.

          • Pennybird

            Agreed, but I would add capitalism as a big part of the problem in our own country. Our leaders are not allowed to make any decisions that adversely affect any profit making whatsoever, regardless of the good it does to society as a whole.

            I especially agree it’s long past time for women to take the reins. At least many of us have been trained to look beyond our wallets in problem solving.

          • fractal

            True enough.

            But I think raging capitalism is a man’s game, largely.
            When women together make decisions for community, it is to support the community, not at the expense of community.

          • DDRLSGC

            When you look at the current record of female business leaders and politicas, like Megan Whitman Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi, Nikki Haley, Carly Fiorina, Condoleezza Rice, and Joni Ernst, I am not impress that women can make decisions for their own welfare if they make bad decisions for the people that are under their command. and are unable or unwilling to clean up the mess that both they and the men have created.

          • fractal

            Typical male response.

            Women inserting themselves into a male-dominated political structure, will NECESSARILY behave quite differently than when working with a woman dominated structure.

            And of course, not every woman will vote the way you or I want them to, all the time.

            However, Social Psychology experiments show that women together tend to be more cooperative, less hierarchical, listen better, research more, and come to a consensus easier than groups of men do.

          • DDRLSGC

            Typical female response. Wouldn’t admit that women can act like just as badly as men.

          • fractal

            Did I say that?
            Nope.
            Not even close.

            Perhaps it is just your reading comprehension which is lacking?

          • Medalcollector

            No, your reading comprehension is lacking

          • Lauren Greene

            No evidence. Just wishful thinking on your part in the absence of a valid argument.

          • Medalcollector

            No, you don’t have any evidence. Just wishful bias thinking on your part in the absence of a valid argument.

          • Lauren Greene

            There is zero evidence of your claim that the commenter lacked reading comprehension skills. No amount of elementary school level remarks from you will change that.

          • Medalcollector

            You and the commenter have zero evidence of lack reading comprehension skills. No amount of remarks from you will change that.

          • Lauren Greene

            I see. Your only form of argument is to parrot others due to lack of critical thinking skills. Carry on, son – have the last word. Your emotional immaturity won’t allow you to act any better. I’ll sit here and laugh at the image of you flopping around on the keyboard like a dying fish.

          • Medalcollector

            Wrong, again. You are the one that is lacking of critical thinking skills. and it is your emotional immaturity won’t allow you to act any better.

          • Lauren Greene

            Thanks for not letting me down! I KNEW you’d be back to put your emotional immaturity on display for us all again! Lol. You’re too easy, sweetie. Many people say so.

          • Medalcollector

            Wrong, you let yourself down and I knew you would be back to put your emotional immaturity on display for us all again! You are so, so easy. Where are all the people who say so? I don’t see their comments or voting me down.

          • Lauren Greene
          • Medalcollector

            No that is for you.

          • Lauren Greene
          • Medalcollector

            Again, that is for you, little girl.

          • Lauren Greene

            He’s quite resistant to facts, isn’t he? I pity any woman unfortunate enough that has to share space with a misogynistic, insecure little man-child.

          • Medalcollector

            I pity any guy unfortunate that has to share space with misandry, insecure women child and I have seen plenty of misandry insecure women.

          • Lauren Greene

            Your fragile male ego holds you back from being the best you can be.

          • Medalcollector

            No it is you fragile female that hold you back.

          • Lauren Greene

            I notice you are barely literate, too. That isn’t uncommon for your kind.

          • Medalcollector

            No, you are the one that is barely literate and I have notice that among women of your kind.

          • Lauren Greene

            I knew your emotional immaturity would compel you to dig that hole even deeper. Come back and parrot more st00pid chit.

          • Eww, you really will stoop to anything in order to insult a woman. Your ego won’t allow you to cede any points to someone like Lauren Greene or myself. What a sad little man…
            You time of dominion is at an end.
            You are dismissed.

          • Lauren Greene

            He seems rather upset knowing he’s irrelevant.

          • Medalcollector

            No, it is women like you and Greene really will stoop to anything in order to insult a man and Your ego won’t allow you to cede any points to someone like me. You are a sad little woman.

          • Lauren Greene

            How about some generic tissues for those irrelevant tears?

          • Medalcollector

            And the point of your irrelevant statement along with your irrelevant tears?

          • Lauren Greene

            He thinks of himself as a man?

            Lololololololololol!!!

          • fractal

            Is that REALLY the best ya got?

          • Medalcollector

            Really, is that the best you got?

          • Medalcollector

            No, it is your reading comprehension which is lacking.

          • fractal

            The research is out there on women and their style of leadership, sharing authority, group dynamics etc…

            Google is your friend.

          • Medalcollector

            Yeah, and there are many surveys that women don’t want to work with other women because too many women act like the male bosses that they are complaining about. Furthermore, I have seen groups of women turn on each other when there are no men around

          • fractal

            Surveys are not scientific research.
            Neither are your personal observations relevant.
            You are just lookin’ for something to whine about.

          • Lauren Greene

            He has the recipe for weak incel sauce down to perfection.

          • Medalcollector

            Your personal observations are not relevant and you are looking for something to whine about.

          • fractal

            Troll.

          • Lauren Greene

            …and not a very good one at that.

          • Medalcollector

            Neither are you.

          • Medalcollector

            Right back at you.

          • Lauren Greene

            I’m not sure it’s a lack of reading comprehension as much as it is an immature child lacking in original thought.

          • Pennybird

            I read Joslyn’s comment as victim acknowledgement, not blaming. Why do you read it as blame? Joslyn isn’t forcing anyone into a framework but is describing the problem. Everything in her first paragraph is objectively and verifiably true, regardless of one’s political viewpoints. There’s no way to begin solving the problem unless we can address the true causes.

            Americans today are victims of economic policies that favors the wealthy over all others, and business leaders who only consider balance sheets in making decisions that affect lives and communities. As Christiane indicated above, we are all victimized by the liars who tell underemployed men that women, POC and immigrants are the cause of their problems and encouraging them to turn their anger in the wrong direction. And it isn’t just men, but men are the ones who grew up expecting the same opportunities and lifestyle of their fathers and have had watched it go up in smoke.

      • BernankeIsGlutenFree

        You don’t think that destigmatizing genuine emotional expression in men or seeking treatment for mental health problems or defanging a culture that tells men they’re only valuable as people insofar as they’re able to be a sole, exceptionally good provider for their family would help alleviate the mental health burden on men? Wow. How can you justify that belief?

      • Christiane Smith

        The dignity of the human person is based on the belief that we are all formed in the image of God . . . so when one portion of our human kind lifts itself up above the others and claims superiority, we have to step back and look at the damage that will come from that great sin of pride.

        and what terrible damage came . . . any time one group practices mistreating another group, it also begins to suffer in the process, so that the evil of discrimination hurts everyone involved and weighs down the society where that hatred and mean-spiritedness is tolerated.
        So a ‘toxic’ masculinity that treats women as second class citizens and lesser beings will eventually rot in its own pridefulness . . . same with other forms of discrimination.

        Unless we return to RESPECTING the full dignity of all human persons, we will continue to wound ourselves. In disrespecting other human persons, we disrespect their Creator also.

        • georgeyancey

          You assume that these lower to middle class men have so much power. The college students and professor who blame them for their own problems have a good deal more. If you really want to make sure groups are not mistreated you might want to consider that these guys can be victims too and not just in a blaming the victim approach.

          • Christiane Smith

            your comment doesn’t seem to apply to what I wrote . . . . can you explain your comment and how what I wrote prompted it?

          • fractal

            Generally, men had power over the women in their lives.
            And these women provided an outlet for their class frustrations—a convenient scapegoat and whipping-girl.

            Now that women aren’t gonna take it anymore, men are going into meltdown, consumed by a frustration they don’t understand and cannot safely vent.

            Exactly why men DO need to talk about their toxic masculinity, in order to see its darkness, and become more able to focus on their real problems.

          • DDRLSGC

            I agreed that lower to middle class men don’t have much power; however, they were the ones that keep backing up the political, social, and economic status quo while not realising or failing to admit that they are being taken for suckers by the wealthy people and the CEOs.

    • The idea that joblessness leads to addiction is the result of the atheist/socialist fallacy that people are born good and turn bad only because of oppression. The Bible is clear that people are born with a tendency toward evil so that even if all had their ideal jobs they would still do evil things.

      On the statistical analysis side, correlation is not causation. There are statistical tests to indicate whether a particular correlation suggests causation, but few in the social sciences know about it. Aside from it, the statisticians would have to include all possible causes of suicide in their models to see which had the stronger correlation with suicides. I doubt joblessness would be one of the top ones because the rate of unemployment varies from very high during recessions to very low during expansions while suicide rates don’t change rapidly. In other words, something that is as volatile as unemployment cant logically be the cause of something that varies little but follows an upward trend. More likely the rising rate of suicide is due to a decline in Christianity.

      • Joslyn Renfrey

        TLDR: “social scientists are wrong about the connection between depression and substance addiction, because I, an economist with no insight into the field, think they don’t know how to do science. No, substance addiction happens because I think people deep down are evil inside.”

        Amusing that a christian can be such a misanthrope- or maybe its because your god is really the dollar, not Jesus “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God” Christ.

  • Garden of Love

    Like many people, I held my nose and voted for Trump, because I considered Hillary to be a much worse choice. Given her graceless behavior since her defeat, and her inability to accept the defeat, I have no regrets.

    As I recall, I voted for Cruz in the primary, but I honestly did not think he could win against Hillary. In fact, I don’t think anyone else but Trump could have. There was an air of inevitability about her, the feeling that she was fated to be First Woman President just as Obama was fated to be the First Black President. Her smugness, and her stated contempt for deplorables, were her undoing. It appears she is impervious to the truth: that millions of Americans do not like her, that she comes across as elitist and emotionally cold, and possesses none of the charm of her husband, and believes the country “owed” her a presidency. Trump can be boorish, blunt, and tactless, but millions of Americans were willing to tolerate those flaws because they found them less offensive than Hillary’s elitism and lack of warmth and charisma. For a woman who has been lauded for her intelligence, she seems oblivious to her lack of appealing qualities. The choice came down to Trump, the bull in the china shop, vs the kind of frosty, vindictive woman no man wants to be married to.

    I hope to see a woman president in my lifetime, but one who is nothing like Hillary.

    • Patricia Brandt

      Why is it the a strong woman needs to be “appealing” but a man does not.

      • Chari McCauley

        Trump must be the ultimate in appealing/s/.

        But, I do have a question. What does The Lord mean, when He refers to swine; because, who, among the just as flawed, can judge who exactly to consider swine?

        • so… y’all can judge Hillary but we cannot judge Trump now?
          Cool, cool…

          • Chari McCauley

            ??Where did you get that??

          • You just said, “What does The Lord mean, when He refers to swine; because, who, among the just as flawed, can judge who exactly to consider swine?.”
            It’s funny that our judgement of Trump by his “fruits” is thrown into doubt by use of that verse… as if we don’t see what he is plain as day.
            Nobody ever puts a moratorium on “judging” when Hillary haters chant “lock her up.”
            I am pointing out the double standard.
            It is a double standard that women are accustomed to. Now I’ve shown it to you.

          • Christiane Smith

            Hillary has been exonerated of all the accusations.

            The Russians encouraged slandering her on our American social network, in order to benefit Trump.

            It’s time people started thinking for themselves in this country . . . . when you end up with puppet of Putin in the Oval Office, you know we haven’t done our homework as a nation.

          • Lauren Greene

            Are you genuinely perplexed or a blatant hypocrite?

          • Chari McCauley

            Wow, the comment was about how women must be appealing, you know as opposed to men. My comment was about how awesomely appealing Trump must be, with a /s at the end. I mean wow.

            Now, who amongst the experts can explain who are the swine we are not to cast pearls in front of, but, really you guys need to read better.

          • Lauren Greene

            I took your comment to mean no one is in a position to judge tRump because of scripture. You have my apologies if I misunderstood your meaning.

          • ocosio

            MAGA. You just have a big case of TDS. Dbag.

          • Lauren Greene

            I’m sure that must be it, stable jenius.

          • Lauren Greene

            I’m sure that must be it.

          • Chari McCauley

            For your information, it was Hillary that said, It takes a village to raise a child; I remember that about her while she was First Lady.
            And, Trump is far, far from appealing.

    • Pennybird

      Wait. She has had graceless behavior since the election, but Trump has not? The qualities you decry in Hillary are the ones on full display every time Trump takes to twitter. He is the sorest winner America has ever seen. His namesake son, has Hillary Clinton’s face behind bars engraved on his automatic weapon, so let’s not hear about her inability to accept defeat when they seem unable to accept victory (ok, most of the rest of us do too). Did Fox news report that graceless unpleasantry, btw?

      millions of Americans do not like her, that she comes across as elitist and emotionally cold, and possesses none of the charm of her husband, and believes the country “owed” her a presidency. Trump can be boorish, blunt, and tactless, but millions of Americans were willing to tolerate those flawsbecause they found them less offensive…”

      Your post is breathtaking in its sexism.

      • Garden of Love

        If you don’t like my comments, use the Block feature.

        • Lauren Greene

          If you can’t handle opposing views then don’t comment publicly.

          • Garden of Love

            Sorry, I don’t obey orders.

            Get over yourself, you malicious harpy.

          • Lauren Greene

            Just giving you back what you dished out but like a typical regressive and your snowflake neon orange god, you’re a delicate little flower and can’t handle it.

          • Garden of Love

            An insult from your type is nothing important.

            You sound like a very lonely woman.

          • Lauren Greene

            Translation: “I have no reasonable rebuttal to your arguments so I’ll comfort myself by imagining you are a moldy old cobwebbed bacteria culture like myself who masturbates to images of the quasi-literate, ferret-wearing, orange shitgibbon from a Cheeto stained beanbag chair.”

          • fractal

            AMEN!

          • fractal

            HAH.

            Garden of Insults just accused me of being “single and lonely”.
            Typical put-down a guy directs at women.

            Because women secretly KNOW how wonderful it is to be single!

          • fractal

            You sure sound like a guy.
            I don’t think I’ve ever heard a woman call another woman a HARPY.

            That is a typical male insult.
            Perhaps you would also like to insult our vaginas?

          • Garden of Love

            Blocked. Goodbye.

          • Lauren Greene

            Coward.

          • fractal

            Guy in disguise.

            They think we won’t figure it out, because of their icon or name.
            But Righty men do it regularly.

            Perhaps I should make a new account as a MAN, and then spread the word of gender equality.

          • Lauren Greene

            It goes to show just how desperate they are.

          • fractal

            And how little they appreciate actual civil discourse.

            Their real goal is to spread confusion and chaos, making real discussion impossible—great move if what you want is a Monarch to bow down to…

            Isn’t it interesting that they configure their God to be a Monarch!
            King of Kings and all that jazz.

            No wonder they can’t handle a government that is by the People…

          • Lauren Greene

            Psychological studies have shown that regressives need to be ruled rather than governed. They’re a pathetic lot.

          • Lauren Greene

            Your concession has been duly noted.

          • BLOCK MEEEEEEEE

          • Lauren Greene

            Again?

          • Lauren Greene

            Whoever it is, they’re not too bright.

          • Lauren Greene

            Liar. If you support liar tRump you need to be ruled, not governed.

    • fractal

      Your comment is laced with sexism.
      Perhaps someday you will see it; do you have a daughter?
      She may be labeled the same as Hillary by her professional enemies—it is a common tactic.

      All this nonsense about Hillary being frosty and vindictive is just propaganda that your ilk bought into, because deep down inside y’all want a Butch Monarch leading a White Theocratic revolution.

      Given your statement that you don’t regret your vote for this nightmare of a president, I would say you are worse than “deplorable”.

      You are a gender-traitor.

      • Garden of Love

        My children are none of your business.

        If you’re a left-wing male claiming to speak for ALL women, I can assure you that you do not speak for me, so your opinions are completely worthless.

        • fractal

          Touchy, aren’t ya.
          Why don’t you show this to your daughter, and see what she has to say about it.
          After all, if she doesn’t become a breeding sow for the Church, she will have to deal with sexism in the workplace—the same sexism you propagate against Hillary.

          Now, if you really wanted to be informed, you could look at my past comments and quickly see I am a woman.
          Unlike Gender Traitor deplorables, I don’t hide my words behind the PRIVATE button.
          Perhaps you do because you are ashamed of yourself.

          • Garden of Love

            You must be single and lonely.

          • fractal

            I thought you BLOCKED me, sugar.
            Right after I assessed that you are a red-pill guy pretending to be a woman.

          • Lauren Greene

            You can’t block because you’re desperation compels you to see what people say about you, dear.

          • THIS again!!!
            Haha, i just cannot fathom that this is the end result of all your conservative think-tank meanderings: women who disagree with you are lonely and unloved old slags.

            Whatever tiny fascist little hole you inhabit, I’m sure you have earned it.
            Enjoy smelling your own farts forever.

          • Lauren Greene

            Translation: I have no reasonable rebuttal to your arguments so I’ll comfort myself by imagining you as single and lonely.

      • Lauren Greene

        It’s sad to see women abandon their dignity and self-respect for that sexist, misogynistic pos.

        • fractal

          I don’t think s/he is a woman.

          Ever notice how many righty comments are men pretending to be women, so as to make us think that woman just luv being submissive cows?

          • Lauren Greene

            It would appear that we have another man-child posing as a female who, judging by the apparent resentment he has for you, has possibly been on the losing end of a battle of wits with you.

    • Lauren Greene

      “It appears she is impervious to the truth…”

      It never ceases to amaze me when a regressive talks about truth while supporting a well-known pathological lying con man. The irony…

      • Garden of Love

        Fine, whatever.

        • Lauren Greene

          Nice comeback.

          /s

          • Garden of Love

            Listen, you don’t speak for all women.

            You need to get out of your bubble, women are a very diverse group, and we don’t think in herds like livestock. I certainly would not wish to be the typical angry, hate-filled feminists that you represent.

            Hate fills an emotional hole in certain people’s lives. You sound like a very unloved and unloving person. Old age is not going to be kind to you.

          • Lauren Greene

            Projection isn’t a good shade on you and pretending to be a female isn’t working out for you.

          • Lauren Greene

            “Old age is not going to be kind to you.”

            By most standards, I am considered to be old now and life is good. So, continue to sit behind your keyboard and pretend to know the lives of strangers on the internet – that’s all you seem to have in the absence of common sense and a valid argument.

          • When it comes to Lauren Greene, all i can say is, I’ll be a cow in her field of discourse anytime.
            MOOOOOOOOOOO.

            signed,
            a woman

          • Lauren Greene

            Thank you. The feeling is mutual.

          • Anjasha Freed

            Garden of Love, you are not talking to rational people here.

            Go look for any debate on Patheos that involves fractal. They all go the same way. Strawman arguments and ad hominum attacks. He/she makes stuff up and then hopes that you will answer.

            Here is the process for dealing with such people: bafflement—>disgust—>pity

            There are two atheist blogs on Patheos that cultivate this style of commenter. The blog posts are generally designed to elicit waves of abusive commentary from the audience, who all compete to be as obscene and contemptuous as possible.

            These blogs are descendents of a blog called Pharyngula.

            One atheist commented: “…one cannot conclude this parade without mentioning P.Z. Myers, who has risen to fame because of a blog [Pharyngula] where the level of nastiness (both by the host and by his readers) is rarely matched anywhere else on the Internet…”

          • Lauren Greene

            Such a delicate little flower, aren’t you dear? Are you another in a long line of weak, insecure man-babies who feel threatened by strong women? And are you another garden-variety kkkrist-stain who thinks people who don’t believe in your Middle-Eastern death cult nonsense aren’t as rational and intelligent as you?

          • Anjasha Freed

            My point exactly!

            Who opened the cage door and let you out of the Friendly Atheist comment section, Lauren?

          • Lauren Greene

            Free thinkers do not live in cages, little one.

          • Anjasha Freed

            There’s not many free thinkers out there, Lauren. Your ideas come from the media and your social bubble. Your media and social bubble get their ideas from academia and think tanks.

            I don’t see any original thoughts coming out of your keyboard. If you have one, then why not share it with the group here?

          • Lauren Greene

            “There’s not many free thinkers out there, Lauren.”

            You need to expand your horizons.

            “Your ideas come from the media and your social bubble.”

            When people sit behind their keyboard and pretend to know the lives of strangers on the internet they unwittingly reveal a certain level of desperation and dishonesty and, in effect, prove they lack a valid argument.

            “I don’t see any original thoughts coming out of your keyboard.”

            I couldn’t care less about your opinion of me, son.

          • Anjasha Freed

            I’m not male and I’m not your son.

            We’re talking about whether you’re a free thinker. I’m asking you to come up with some idea that is not derived from someone else or at least shows some original interpretation of others’ ideas.

            If you think you’re a free thinker because you spew creative insults at people who disagree with you, then you are sadly mistaken. And that’s about all I see you doing here. And your insults are not very creative, to be honest.

          • Lauren Greene

            You poor child. There is no polite way to put this – you are unworthy of any further attention from me. I understand your emotional immaturity will prevent you from accepting that and insecurities about your manhood will drive your desperate need to have the last word. I’m okay with that.

          • ocosio

            fuckherinthea$$ AF her dad did.

          • Lauren Greene

            Just because your hero liar tRump molested his daughter does not mean you should be thinking about your sister that way.

          • “I’m asking you to come up with some idea that is not derived from someone else or at least shows some original interpretation of others’ ideas.”

            Oh, it’s the old rhetorical chestnut called “prove to me that you have the ability to think by telling me something I like.”

          • Lauren Greene

            It’s rather ironic coming from a cult member.

          • fractal

            Spoken like a red-pill guy…

    • Oh dearie me. We cannot have a frosty woman as President. We like em SMOKING HOTTTTTTT.
      Right? You have standards, so that’s why you voted for Trump.
      LOLOL.

  • Alan Drake

    Two related points. The most important one first.

    In 2009, 59% of Millennials claimed to be Christian. In 2019, that dropped to 43% (vs 40% “Nones”). In just ten years, more than 1 in 4 Millennials renounced their Christianity !

    These ten years covered the Tea Party & Trump years. My personal conclusion, supported by personal experience, is that white evangelicals are making a strong & effective witness AGAINST Christianity. That is why there is such a wholesale renunciation of Christianity by those that previously claimed to be Christians.

    To use a Trump value, “They are bad for the brand”. All denominations appear to be affected.

    A slower and less significant fact is about 8% of 2016 Trump voters cannot vote in 2020 because they will be dead or senile then. There will be @ 18.5 million new eligible voters in 2020. 15.5 million turn 18 and 3 million naturalized citizens. Few of these will replace the dead/senile Trump voters.

    Socially, we may polarized in the future – majority vs minority. But politically, Trump supporters will be out numbered & out voted to an ever increasing degree.

    Note for the Future. This year is the first year when less than half of American children will be non-Hispanic white.
    The GOP freshman in the US House in 2019 were 28 non-Hispanic white men, one white non-Hispanic woman and one white man with a Hispanic mother.

    • fractal

      You simply presented facts—-and look at the downvotes!!!

      Fundigelicals sure are triggered by demographics…
      Which is why I am afraid that they will choose conservationism and Fundamentalism over Democracy, and attempt to eviscerate our democratic institutions during our next election cycle.

      They have already closed thousands of voting places and are trying to pass wacko voter ID laws.
      Let’s watch closely what happens next.

      • Alan Drake

        I was surprised at the down votes but without any reply except yours.

        It is difficult to contest the facts, but I thought some would reject my stated cause – that white evangelicals are an effective witness against Christianity.

        I am curious about what other reasons people believe caused 1 in 4 Millennials to renounce their Christianity in just a decade. This is a dramatic wholesale rejection – Why is it happening ?

        I think I know why – but are there any other viable hypotheses?

    • Josh Renfrey

      My goodness

      • Alan Drake

        The social and cultural norms that you grew up with (especially in the Bible Belt etc.) will not be the norms of the future.

        There has been significant social & cultural change from 1962 to date. I personally expect those changes to accelerate.

        • Mike Stidham

          I’d have to submit, Alan, that this later reason you posted here is the more accurate explanation of the decline of Christianity in American culture. Those social and cultural norms are changing much faster than many of us in the “OK Boomer” generation can keep up. Like you, I don’t see that trend slowing down any.

  • Flint8ball

    I’m hopeful that political moderates still exist in significant numbers… just waiting and watching patiently. Polarization sells, and is spreading, but I hope this is just a phase and we come away wiser in the future. I’m a Libertarian, but I think the platform of Mayor Pete is a breath of fresh, common sense air.

  • annie56

    I’m a little nuts but I distinctly remember Obama pledging allegiance to the Muslims. I also remember feeling “race-baited” during his term in office. In his support for blacks he made everyone else feel like it was totally a problem of black oppression by whites. Wow, could he ever get the black community riled up! I agree that Trump is rather crude at times & sure wish he’d think before he spoke but he sure has gotten some stuff done! For the record, I do believe he is a Christian. He may not be main-stream, but he’s a believer.

    • Patricia Brandt

      As our bases are being bombed and we move closer to WWIII. Yes, he has certainly gotten some things done.

    • dscootermama

      i’m part of “everyone” and President Obama didn’t make me feel like “it was totally a problem of black oppression by whites.” speak for yourself.

    • Nanaverm

      Trump may be a “confessing Christian” but he surely has not been a “practicing Christian”. If God is love, and attributes of love are listed in 1st Cor. Chapt. 13, Trump’s actions are not to be seen. He is prideful and has not repented from his sins. You can also look at any of the Fruits of the Spirit and check whether Trump looks familiar there. I therefore disclaim him as being Christian.

    • Alan Drake

      You are a little nuts is you remember something that NEVER HAPPENED !
      Obama never pledged allegiance to Muslims.

      Your racial views are askew as well.

    • “Wow, could he ever get the black community riled up!”
      Wow, are you ever pining away for the good old days of 1900!
      Maybe keep wishing and dreaming, and we can all go back to the time in history when stepping on a nail meant a slow death from lockjaw… but also women and minorities knew their place, by golly!

    • Pennybird

      I lived through the entire Obama administration and don’t recall a single thing you cite. Help me out here with some links, please.

    • fractal

      Dearest,

      Faux News isn’t your friend.
      Expand your horizons.
      The only thing our current president “believes” in, is $$$ and p***y you can grab.

    • Lauren Greene

      As a woman, when did you lose your dignity and self-respect?

      • Garden of Love

        All women don’t think just like you, thank God.

        You are not very tolerant of others’ opinions.

        I’m an individual, I don’t think as part of a herd.

        • Lauren Greene

          You just broke the irony meter.

        • Booo hoo, I’m not being ToLeRaTeD

          • Lauren Greene

            Waah! She won’t tolerate my intolerance!

    • fractal

      STILL waiting for those links, annie56, where Obama pledged allegiance to the Muslims…

      And you wittle feewings that you were “racebaited” has a lot more to do with your flaming amygdala, than reality.
      Look it up.

  • Chari McCauley

    Not if The Father and His Son have anything to do with it. The Father’s goal is to save every last child, including the first to fall. His Son, watching His Father, and His Mother (Genesis 1:26, Romans 1:20) grieve, picked up that goal to help His Father, and volunteered to put Himself into our skin, and come talk to us. His Father did NOT deny His Son the chance, nor send Him unprepared.

    The Father, and His Son ARE ONE; They both have the same goal! They are on “the same team”; Father is NOT all alone, in truth. It is about individuals uniting for the SAME GOAL. Is that not to have enough to live a content life? Father provides that, however He does not prevent the consequences….anymore….when WE mess up. We have to “see for ourselves” like kids do. The young always think their bad attitudes can be “magically” fixed without their own effort.

  • Christiane Smith

    as for those trapped in racial discrimination, I strongly suggest the book ‘All That Rises Must Converge’ by Flannery O’Connor

    you don’t have to be ‘white’ or ‘African American’ or male or female or non-Catholic or Catholic to see into this book and the tragedy of a woman who couldn’t escape from her own deeply-entrenched racism . . .

    maybe, in the end, we are doomed to work our way out of racism one generation at a time, but oh, the wasted lives, the suffering and utter lack of humanity in the evil that is called racism

    • Mr. James Parson

      So how do atheists deserve to be treated?

      • Christiane Smith

        in my religion, atheists would be treated respectfully, as they have the same dignity as any other human person

        • Mr. James Parson

          TY

        • fractal

          Notice that Garden of Love downvoted this comment!

          Sooooooooooooo loving…

  • bill wald

    President Trump is our first pro-American president since President Reagan. All the rest were pro-United Nations presidents who put the welfare of other nations ahead of the welfare of the USA.

  • TL;DR: People of goodwill must bend to the ill will of those on the far right in order to bridge the gap created by the far right. cool, cool…
    So, do you care that your whole essay an exercise in false equivalency or… are we like nah?

    • Lauren Greene

      Your reaction to the troll with the initials AF would be interesting.

  • fractal

    Nope.

    It’s not just about racism.
    It’s even more about misogyny.

    Men have always had women as their metaphorical “Ole’ Shep” to kick when frustrated.
    They have consolidated their power thru violence and they maintained it with war, asserting that they were the only thing standing between “their women” and enslavement by “those other men”.

    Men are terrified of having to treat women as equals; no wonder some of them are committing suicide—they simply cannot cope with changing gender roles and their bruised pride demands victim-hood status.

    • Lauren Greene

      I’m interested in your take on a troll here with the initials AF. The child had plenty to say about you but curiously enough, did not address you directly.

      • fractal

        If AF wants agreement, she should stick to the comment boards that reject comments from heathens like me—mostly the Fundigelical authors on Pathos.

        Anyone is welcome to peruse my comments.
        A lot of them on Pathos are about experiencing Divinity directly, instead of using belief and doctrine to guide one’s spiritual path.

        And of course, that is going to make the Fundigelicals foam at the mouth—no matter how politely you phrase your personal experience. Mysticism scares them because there is no Big Daddy Directives to obey, and no groveling for “salvation”, whatever that means.

        They get sarcastic, misogynistic, launch dire warnings, accuse me of being in league with Satan…
        And I get snarky back—especially if I’ve had a bit of caffeine recently.

        So, I end up supporting the Atheists/Agnostics on comment boards sometimes, though I am not one. Incidentally, a lot of the Atheists are just as close minded as the fundamentalists, and despise the fact that I suggest there are other ways of “knowing” than deductive reasoning. Their Materialism belief doctrines don’t really gel with new physics, but they are so angry at “religion” that they cannot even entertain ideas outside their scientific method paradigm.

        She has her views, and I have mine.
        But I wish she would stop thinking that differing POV’s = Trolling.
        That is reactionary and Fascist.

        • Lauren Greene

          I was simply curious if the two of you had history. She seems bitter toward you and hesitant to confront you, except in a passive-aggressive manner.

          • fractal

            Heck,

            I don’t remember—and I sometimes get commentors mixed up, so don’t want to say for sure.
            Since she has her comments blacked out as PRIVATE, no way to look at them and see if we have some recent history.

  • J_Bob

    “When Donald Trump came down that escalator in 2015, I had nothing but contempt for the man.”.

    Your opening statement should answer your question on polarization. Contempt for another opinion, especially if it conflicts with yours.

    • pretty sure that contempt was earned honestly.

      • J_Bob

        Is your opinion formed by 1st hand knowledge, a single source, a variety of sources with the same view, or a variety of sources with different views?

        I prefer the latter.

        • It’s not my fault if you don’t ever open a newspaper or listen to a broadcast. The information on Trump’s behavior is up to your neck.

          • J_Bob

            You mean record low unemployment of blacks & latinos, and increased income of low end workers.

            Sounds like your reading, an listening is rather limited, so take the beam out of your eye 1st.

          • You cannot with a straight face tell me that Trump’s policies have improved lives for immigrants or minorities. I’ll just accept the fact that you are somehow beholden to him because you think he is anointed by God. At least that makes some kind of sense if one is a theocratic fascist.

          • J_Bob

            The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta does not share your view.

            Watching CNN to much?

          • Lauren Greene

            This f00l doesn’t know the difference between to and too but would have us believe he’s an expert on politics.

          • Lauren Greene

            All he has are lame right-wing talking points. Demagogues love people like him.

      • Lauren Greene

        Clearly, we can see what his opinion is about a pathological lying grifter who preys on women and children. He’s okay with it.

  • DDRLSGC

    The CEOs of America and the Republican Party made the determination that they were going to have complete control of the political, social, and economic power and purge any moderates out of their ranks plus use any methods to do so.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    Polarization is a mental degeneration wherein we lose the ability to see the common and only can detect the difference. This most often manifests in under-educated people who cling to “Tribe” as a source of security; childish, almost, and regrettably contagious.
    Remember: A lie repeated often enough becomes believable; as Goebbels demonstrated in Germany nearly a century ago. Those who preach polarization are Goebbels’ spiritual children, corrupting healthy minds with the poison of the “Big Lie”.
    This can be dealt with; first by destroying the source of the Lie and then by educating those who are capable of seeing the Lie for what it is.
    The rest…like the poor, they will always be with us; part of the ash-pile of history. They can not be eradicated but they and their children can be educated to the degree that they are aware of the Lie they support. Once aware, most will abandon the Lie to a greater or lesser degree. The rest… Like the Poor, they will always be with us, a reminder of what not to be..

    • Pennybird

      Some people have so wrapped their identity in the Lie that it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to educate them out of it. There aren’t enough words to get one of Trump’s true believers to understand that he has no interest in them beyond their usefulness to him.

      • Kyllein MacKellerann “

        These people are nothing new, and there are means existant to manage them. Their children, however, are another story: Children frequently see past their parents’ limits and these children are the best means to limit this sickness to the current generation. For those who would insist on forcing the Lie on others, there is the law (should they do something – anything – to break it). For those who are totally lost in the big lie, well, mortality will deal with them.

  • Anjasha Freed

    US citizens are polarized because we don’t agree on critical issues. For instance: Do we have national borders or open borders?

    Is there some sort of compromise for people who disagree on this?

    Let me know, because I do not see one.

    • Alan Drake

      A false dichotomy, an imaginary divide, a right wing fiction.

      • Anjasha Freed

        What’s the imaginary divide?

        Certain Democratic candidates are pro-open borders. Trump is securing the borders.

        I voted for Trump because I want secure borders, no illegal immigration and low legal immigration numbers.

        I have a real difference of opinion with many Democrats. I have no interest in making concessions or changing my mind. So, what do you suggest?

        • MMMMMMaybe take up landscape painting?

        • Lauren Greene

          You could always watch paint dry – that seems fitting.

        • fractal

          Join a White Supremacy group.

          And then explain to the Native American communities how your ancestors are “Better Than” the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and more deserving of citizenship than our Southern indigenous tribes.

          While you are at it, explain to them why the White Man’s border line is somehow sacred.
          I don’t remember the indigenous people agreeing to that border—and they were here first.

          So, why exactly should they honor a line drawn by their conquerors?

          • Anjasha Freed

            I did respond to you a few weeks ago. But my fact-filled and compelling answer is still sitting in pending.

      • Lauren Greene

        I challenge this individual to name ONE Democrat in favor of open borders.

  • Bria Lapoint

    People decide on their own what is right for them. This blatant ignorance and racism coming from the political spectrum will shake up the complacencly among christians and maybe open a few eyes. Either that, or some will retreat further into the darkness they created for themselves.

  • the old scribe

    G Yancy recognizes the peace makers and the compromisers are being shelled from both sides. The truce flags are ignored. These are signs the polarization has reached a critical mass. The next step is the explosion. Such a devastating conflict is necessary to reconstruct order from chaos. In times like these the Church is triumphant – triumphant because pretenders join the devastating conflict leaving believers to the proclamation of good news..

    • fractal

      Quaint.

  • the old scribe

    Who is causing polarization?

    For a moment stop thinking about the discord between the right and the left, and just consider the widening gap between the two positions. What is causing the widening gap or the disparity between positions on issues? Whose positions are becoming more radicle – the right or the left?

    The right is conservative. The conservative positions support established institutions and ideas. Conservatives change very slowly by moving slightly to the left. Change in conservative ideas occurs slowly over extended periods of time. The right is not widening the gap with the left but actually becomes more liberal. Conservatives place a high value on social constraints so as to preserve an orderly society while opposing other kinds of government constraints. With each liberal victory the conservative is dragged into defending the next social constraint under attack by far-left liberals.

    Nearly all of the widening gap between right and left occurs with the left moving increasingly farther to the left. Liberalism exalts social liberty above all else. Liberalism does this under the guise of pretending to care about people, especial people whose liberty is constricted. Restraints oppose liberty. The far-left social liberal constantly opposes constraints imposed by religion, morality, law, family, and community. Liberals seek to remove the constraints nearest to themselves. When a constraint is removed there always will be the next constraint to attack. Thereby, liberalism, by its nature, will always be moving toward a more radical position against the next social constraint. Far-left liberals consider their opposition to constraints on social liberty the high moral ground. However, Liberals like Harry Truman and Hillary Clinton would not recognize each other’s high moral ground.

    Accordingly, all of the polarization between the left and right in politics and social issue is the result of liberals moving farther to the left while the conservative right moves incrementally, very slowly to the left.

    Polarization is due to liberals moving farther left faster than significant segments of society. This push left threatens and isolates conservatives. Some commit suicide others vote for Trump or the loudest spokes person against liberalism. Simply put, this is why Trump won. The left elected him by solidifying the right.

    24 January 2020 the old scribe