How The Election of Trump Made My Life Easier
wilkyjr printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Dec 01, 2016 at 03:30:29 AM EST
I might be one of a select few who didn't vote for Donald but would have to say Trump's election made my life easier...I might even stretch it and use the word "better."   I gleaned this idea from a local leader of the Democratic Party.  He is well versed on politics and media, having been in the industry.  He is now a  retail owner and dared not place a Hillary sign in front of his place of business.  He knew it would cost him customers.
     On the other side, one local diner, located across from the court house, changed its name to "Trump Café."  This was done shortly before the election and drew the interest of regional newscasts who found the sign and owners intriguing.  The name did not harm business, only strengthened it. The diner was host to the Trump election night victory party.  There was only one Hillary sign in the entire region that I saw.  A brave soul down the street, who is a retired Episcopal Priest and has a pony tail had it displayed.
     In our county at least %85 of the residents believed if Mrs. Clinton was elected she would take away our guns.  Probably %15 thought she would take away our Bibles.  The common consensus was that she was opposed to Christianity.  I was an election judge for the Democratic Party and often observed looks of shock that I was willing to identify myself with such a band.  The gun-toting GOP granny I worked with assured me that if Clinton won she would destroy the nation.  She was not speaking figuratively.  Her and the husband both carry loaded weapons around with them in the car and stage them in the home.  I replied at this information that she must have the open carry permit.  She quickly assured me that was not the case since she would never allow the government to register her gun.  (I since found out this is not the case in the open carry permit.)  She feared the next step was concealing the weapon.  I am sure she looked with distain upon someone like myself and her former Episcopal priest who were part of a movement to destroy her America.
     The local business leader who is still a Democratic party holdout shared some valuable insight in the results of the election.  He said that at least now we can see an ease to the conspiracy theories and open hostility to his political views.  The regional volatile fear of government was trending toward more than just rhetoric.  A policeman's wife assured me that the U.S. Marshals had tried to get local sheriff deputies to sign on that when time came to confiscate weapons, the deputies would be on board.  These law enforcement officials refused the Obama Administration's attempt citing Second Amendment Constitutional rights.  Of course the story is more myth and misunderstanding than historical fact.
     As my friend stated, now they own it all, Congress, Senate and Executive.  No longer will they be able to blame Hillary Clinton for increases in social unrest, healthcare, taxes and the fact that she caused Bill Buckner to allow the ball to pass between his legs and the Red Sox lost the  World Series.  No longer can many of them blame their anxieties and community problems on the Black President.
     Serving many years in a church as minister, I look back at having to deal with the rumors and fantasies many of my members held.  I recall an active family who served in many capacities in the fellowship.  I noted the husband lost interest in church and was noticeably unhappy and depressed.  His wife told me this all started from his listening to the radio station he followed.  In Houston, the local nearest media outlet, taxis carried signs that read, "Feel Depressed, Listen to Hannity and Limbaugh."  These two personalities as much as anyone played a major part in the shaping of reality as viewed by local residents.  To some, I assume, the fact that their minister or pastor was part of some conspiracy to destroy capitalism and banish God from the public square was troubling.
     I often found myself trying to put out fires regarding these issues.  One time I discovered some of my church leaders were reading a book claiming Hillary was involved in a secret lesbian plot with Janet Reno to destroy Christianity.  Our own local congressman adhered to some of these theories.  Another time a deacon was reading Rick Scarborough's book, Enough is Enough.  I borrowed his copy and you can see where I gleaned much of the resources for writing on this sight.  It fell into my lap from local media, church members and mailings.  I grew tired of going to local Baptist ministers conferences and trying to assure the fellows there they would not be jailed for refusing to preform a gay marriage.  The last thing I did was host a conference for pastors to support public education.  Believe it or not, that was considered controversial by a group filled with home schoolers and anti- government types.
     Obama's first election brought with it new fears.  I was disappointed in my senior citizen lay leaders who were solid people, but were convinced Obama wanted them to die off and refuse them their rightly earned Medicare.  The other church I served as pastor was in Mississippi.  If the congregating found out I voted for a Black President I could not have stayed there.  My life would probably would have been threatened in that day.
     My current Bible study class in my retirement church is another case in point.  There was a frenzied time of anguish just before the election.  There was a consensus that the election would be about rejecting or accepting God in the nation.  I overheard statements that if Hillary were elected a couple of the Amendments to the Constitution were done for.  I visited with one concerned member who was a retired businessman.  He expressed concerns about the nation.  I reminded him that I personally knew several small business people and all of them had made more money in the last eight years than ever before in their lives.  Still the fears existed.
     I recall the well documented stories like the one in Alabama.  Paper industry corporations convinced the local populace to vote down a tax proposal that would have eased the burden on the middle and lower class and forced the corporations to pay their fair share.  Media ads convinced voters there to vote against their own best interest, which was noteworthy.  Again this story was repeated by the event in the state of Kansas.  Wealthy suburban donors convinced the state's middle class to vote against their own best interest as recorded in Thomas Frank's, What's the Matter with Kansas.
     The fact that Betsy Devos  will become Secretary of Education does not seem to register with school officials I have spoken to.  Most do not have a clue to what is going on.  I guess we might remind ourselves the Religious Right placed Bill Bennet, an addicted gambler who stated public education is finished in America, as its Secretary.  Bill has come and gone, but public education still attracts over %85 of the nation's students.  Does the nation really understand that our Secretary of Education does not back the idea of the University of Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, and etc.?
     Fear might be unfounded, but it is still fear.  I trust things might get a little easier as my friend suggested because Trump has been elected.  To be honest, I did not long for the idea of trying to calm down local residents and church leaders about mostly unfounded suspicions.  Moses wrote in Genesis three that unfounded suspicions are often the roots of evil.  A legendary Baptist leader once said many Baptists cannot tell the difference between a fireman and an arsonists.  He was attempting to be a fireman.  I hope my fireman days will grow easier now.    

For the first time since I walked away from the "right" altogether, I was offered a Hillary sign, although for years I've asked for Democrat signs during every election (they also asked me about going door-to-door in our area).  I had to turn them down.  It's like I told them:

"Where we live, a Hillary sign might bring bullets through our windows, or a bomb thrown under our house.  If I went door to door, I would run a very real risk of having my head blown off!"  They didn't want to believe me, but after showing some pictures in my tablet (from the fire, and of racist hate graffiti spraypainted in front of our mailbox), they accepted my refusal (I helped register voters in areas away from my home).  

The reality is that openly and visually supporting Democrats (or any liberal cause) is too dangerous around here.  The fact is, I don't have freedom of speech away from the internet - and like I've said before, I have to use a pseudonym to say anything because of the stalking I went through a few years ago (several friends recommended not using my real name because of the danger that they recognized).  So, I'm not surprised that others didn't put out signs because of the "consequences" they'd suffer.  In this area - going over into the next county, I don't remember a single Hillary sign, but DO remember seeing hundreds of Trump signs, before the election.  In previous elections, anything supporting Democrats didn't last more than a couple of days (with ONE exception - in over 12 years).  They'd all be destroyed or defaced - including in fenced and locked yards, and in one case replaced with Republican signs.  I suspect that the people who would support us were as frightened of the Religious Right as we are.

If anything, the conspiracy theories are getting worse - being ranted more by the people who were already thought crazy for spouting them, and it does look like more and more are popping up.  Some of the things I've run across were... strange and even didn't make sense (may have been dogwhistle).  They're claiming that all of the attacks on minorities and so on are faked - that's a new conspiracy "theory".  I think that they will only get worse, for instance more of them accepted as "reality" even though they aren't.  People were fussing because they thought Trump will not put Hillary on trial for the deaths in Benghazi!  (Another Conspiracy theory.)  

We're terrified of what may happen.  If (as I suspect) the recounts reveal some glaring problems, there might be a civil war - or a lot of deaths as the Trump supporters mete out "consequences for actions" (for not going along with their goals).  If he does succeed and stay in office, what will happen to the Other, to those on the outside?  What will happen to the very poor, those with health issues, the person imprisoned (possibly for bogus reasons)?  In other words, the very people the Rabbi they claimed to follow said to HELP?  

(Answer: many if not most of the local Churches insist that by ranting at them for their sinfulness and insisting that they brought 'it' all upon themselves - they're helping the people who suffer.  I've encountered Christians who insisted that it was better to let someone starve to death while preaching "your sins are why you suffer!" at them, than to feed them and then "share the gospel" later - in the first case they might accept Jesus at the last second and be saved, while in the second case you would be giving them the opportunity to "reject Christ and go on living in sin!"  That all is a literal quote from one Good Christian, and I've heard the same sentiment from others.  According to some people I've talked with, there are churches in their area that insist that is Gospel and it's SOP for "helping the Homeless".

Even those that aren't that Dominionist will go up in arms if you say that how you treat others is more important than how you believe (and then try to tell you how you're to believe).  Only the most liberal churches, it seems, accepts that how you treat others is critically important.

Even worse, I've HEARD and READ dominionists advocate death for apostasy - since I was involved in the Dominionist churches almost 40 years ago.  We're apostates... we left Christianity to never return (and learned that the descriptions of Jews, pagans, atheists, and even Statanists {giving a friendly wave to certain individuals} given in the churches were all absolutely false).  Will they start enforcing Biblical law - like we hear people call for?  

I think you're going to be hearing even more strange stuff, and if things keep going the way I think they will, you might find yourself having to help people deal with the fallout, including the bitterness from complete betrayal.   I don't think that would be any easier than fighting against lies.

by ArchaeoBob on Thu Dec 01, 2016 at 08:09:55 PM EST

Sounds like your region is even further out than mine.  Tonight out city has its annual Christmas celebration.  I am not sure they realize what Christmas represents.  I am sure they do not realize what the First Amendment is about.
     It all boils down for me to the fact that I believe Putin and Castro are wrong, Democracy does work.  Given time the Roger Williams of the world prevail.

by wilkyjr on Fri Dec 02, 2016 at 07:15:00 AM EST

"One time I discovered some of my church leaders were reading a book claiming Hillary was involved in a secret lesbian plot with Janet Reno to destroy Christianity. Our own local congressman adhered to some of these theories."

Please, please, please use the word "hypothesis" not theory.

Theory is settled, not wild stories that some people believe without a second thought. Drop the use of theory in the wrong way it just leaves you without "theory" to use in its proper place or worse adds to confusion. "Evolution is just a theory" kind of nonsense.

As for Trump how did so many just accept his ravings, falsehoods, racist and sexist talk to elect him?

Are all those people in support of the bad side of the USA?

by Nightgaunt on Sat Dec 10, 2016 at 08:43:08 PM EST

That word defines the situation, although yes, they DID either accept the language (many of them voted for him because he said what they wished they could start saying in public) or ignored it because he was a "Good Ole Boy" and conservative Republican - and they were more used to such language than we are.

A major part of it is the difference in thinking between conservative and liberal.  To boil it down (and this has been backed up by some real solid research), conservatives are driven by emotions, while liberals are issue-oriented.  In other words, conservatives vote because of loyalty to the party, because the person they support says things that reinforce their own prejudices and beliefs (thus triggering a release of "feel good" hormones), and because they fear change and difference.  Liberals focus on the issues, have little problems with change (as long as it's not for the worse) or disagreement or difference.  (We too get the "feel good" hormone release and have to be careful of it.)  So we listen to what people say, while the conservatives tend to ignore what is stated and concentrate on how it makes them feel.

Another thing I would argue is that they're used to being lied to, and cognitive dissonance has become the norm.

Then there is what I think was the main reason.  Trump portrayed himself as the "outsider", the one who would change things (for better or worse is the question that he should have been asked).  Hillary Clinton was forced on us, and in spite of the pundits who scream to the heavens "You MUST TRUST THE ELECTION SYSTEM!!!" and that "THE ELECTION WAS NOT TAINTED!!!", a great many people saw what was happening - Hillary Clinton was picked by the 1% and forced on us and indeed, she represented the Status Quo (which mainly benefits the 1% - the same thing that has happened for millennia).  My wife and I almost didn't vote, because we were so disgusted with what happened.  The actions of the DNC led to a lot of people sitting out the election in disgust (they realized that the DNC did NOT represent their interests).  

A truth that many of those same pundits would like us to conveniently forget is that the DNC WAS hacked, and they WERE manipulating the primaries.  Rather than accept the fact that they ignored the majority of their people and forced someone on us that we strongly distrusted, they kept on with a person who to nearly every American represented "more of the same!" - triggering the same fear and distrust in BOTH Democrats and Republicans.  Whoever hacked the DNC did this country a favor in a way... although the fallout was Trump won.  Exposure of wrongdoing is almost always a good thing.  (Too bad the sort of cr*p that the Republicans and the dominionists pull usually doesn't get exposed!)

Finally, while we listened to and understood what Trump (and especially those who he picked for his cabinet and the VP) have said and fear them because of the threat they represent to this country, at the same time the Republicans were pumping "Libruls are gonna take away your rights!  They're going to make your church marry gays!  They're gonna take away your religion!  Look at the person they put in office, a dark-skinned man who doesn't look like you!  Don't forget, Hillary Clinton represents the way things are being run and it's those rascally LIBRULS that are the source for your discomfort!"  They count on the conservative's emotional response to make conservatives ignore what they actually state... which will be ten times if not a hundred times worse than today for most Americans.  Think about it - what harm does it do to say "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas"???  Both are equally valid, but the first means that the person speaking is giving equality to religions other than Christianity.  I'd say that more than 99.9% of Christians (if not more) have been raised on religious supremacy and believe that their religion is "deh TROOF!" without thinking critically about what they'd heard in their churches.  So, they are uncomfortable at one level or another with "Happy Holidays!" (unless they've grown used to it) and for conservatives, that discomfort is bad.  The fact is, most churches (even those who claim to be liberal-oriented) are actually more forces for the status quo than not.  They COULD be forces for good, but it means that the authoritarian structure that most operate under is just an extension of the structure that the one they claim to follow railed against.  

by ArchaeoBob on Tue Dec 13, 2016 at 11:57:27 AM EST

that there are many venues where I have to keep a low profile, and I get hit with anti-liberal hate on almost a daily basis.  Indeed, I wouldn't go there except they're the only place where people with OTHER similar interests can be found.  I've learned to avoid certain topics and threads because of the hatred spewed onto the screen - and to watch what I say because it will trigger an almost violent response.

When people are taught that those "ebil Libruls" are the source of their discomfort (and they hear it all the time), the differences grow and hatred replaces distrust or dislike.

by ArchaeoBob on Tue Dec 13, 2016 at 12:00:44 PM EST

My attempt here was use the definition of "theory" as that of "speculation."

by wilkyjr on Thu Dec 15, 2016 at 10:44:02 AM EST
when I read "Theory", although I know it includes a definition related to speculation.

My education and training causes me to utilize the science definition of theory and that's what I think when I read the word (so encountering it used in that way causes me to pause and consider where the speaker/writer is coming from).  I suspect that the "speculation" usage rose from people who were indeed speculating (if not pulling their idea out of a bodily orifice) but wanted to give their idea some sort of authority, like they had arrived at it through scientific investigation.

We run into the "you're just speculating" accusation form of 'theory' all the time, when indeed our usage is accurate and based in science.  You teach evolution and cultural variations (and aspects of history that violate the beliefs and ideology of dogmatic people), you get the "speculation" form thrown at you quite often.

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Dec 26, 2016 at 12:42:52 PM EST

and your context makes your meaning clear -- the overwrought reactions not withstanding.

Anyone who is confused about this can check a dictionary. Such as this one:

by Frederick Clarkson on Wed Dec 28, 2016 at 03:43:21 PM EST

They list all uses and until we settle down to one use and one use only for it we get idiocy like "Evolution is just a theory" nonsense. So the only way is to press it. But no one will. I know I am tilting at windmills, but if not me, then who?

I also ask them that if theory now means hypothesis, then what do you use to mean "theory" like Evolution? They have no answer. It just trashes and confuses. I sometimes see bonifide scientists falling into to it too because we are evolved to fit in to the larger group. I just don't fit.

Time to teach everyone how to be a scientist. How they think about then experiment to find out what-is-what. Otherwise it can only degenerate further and the USA has never been known to support much intellectual activity unless it is weapons for war or religion.

by Nightgaunt on Tue Jan 03, 2017 at 09:50:21 PM EST

Its time for people to stop being word police and actually learn how to use language rather than control it.

There are perfectly good arguments to be made by those who know how to differentiate a scientific theory from a hypothesis. Let's see them get better organized and do it.

Although, by your reasoning, it would be smarter for scientists to stop using the word theory, because other people don't get it.   But then, that's a non-starter isn't it?  

by Frederick Clarkson on Fri Jan 06, 2017 at 03:19:37 AM EST

Thank you for sharing your opinion about this problem. I also don't vote for him, but I always hope he will do his best.
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The Clinton machine... All that comes to mind is years of lies and corruption. The Clintons seem to get away with a lot. Only Monica was able to throw some tarnish yet Bill stayed in office. As secretary of state Hillary was a Bengazi disaster.

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