Evangelical reckoning, Christian reckoning?

With the sad lawsuit demise of their prophet, whither this variety of Christian?

A vast majority of these allegedly moral religious voters gave massive support to a man with a long track record of lying, cheating and grabbing women “by the pussy”. They did this again in their most recent vote even though their candidate lost.

Does anyone else detect the disdain that many ascribe to this group and to Christians in general? Will there be a reckoning and a confrontation? I'm reminded of hearing about the same groups and the racism of American segregation. Did that racist version of Christianity ever completely resolve?
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Comments

  • Raptor EyeRaptor Eye Shipmate
    edited November 2020
    It’s too easy to be led astray. I wonder whether we have allowed the lack of such qualities as faithfulness, self control, kindness, integrity and fairness to be OK as long as people say what we really want to hear - even though we know in our hearts that they are not genuine and won’t follow through on their promises, whether or not we call ourselves Christians?

    The difficulty is that none of us is perfect and it’s for us to look to the imperfections in ourselves rather than judge others. But we surely should be able to judge the character of those we vote for, and expect better.

    And we perhaps need to be reminded of our own imperfections so that we can work on them, preferably by people who love us.
  • The "all have sinned" while true, deflects from the judgement required I think. We might also consider the "fruits" of the Christianity of these people and judge that. Whether children in cages, wealth inequality, outright support of white supremacy etc.
  • Hmm while I agree that we all hope to see the fruit of the spirit from all of our fellow Christians, I’m very uncomfortable when I see other Christians do that, especially when lumping together a ‘type’ of Christian based on some denominational or theological allegiance.

    In real life, I see people from every background and affiliation trying to be a Christian as best they can, while being pulled this way and that.

    I don’t know what the answer is, other than to keep plugging away at the message of love and showing the way as Jesus did as best we can, calling out poor behaviour and messages when we see them, whether or not people want to hear it.
  • The "love one another" message in English lacks the punch we really need. Kindness and charity do not mean softening common sense, judgement and decency. We must demand behaviour sometimes and call it out. This is a bashing and over-turning things in the temple type of stuff.
  • Raptor Eye wrote: »
    Hmm while I agree that we all hope to see the fruit of the spirit from all of our fellow Christians, I’m very uncomfortable when I see other Christians do that, especially when lumping together a ‘type’ of Christian based on some denominational or theological allegiance.

    How about political allegiance? Because that's what's being discussed here.
  • People vote as individuals not religious groups. In the UK they vote against the 'other' party etc for all sorts of reasons
  • But I guess the OP is referring to public support eg rallies rather than voting?
  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    But I guess the OP is referring to public support eg rallies rather than voting?

    And also collective behaviour from the pulpit; running all the way from the selection particular issues to promote to explicit promotion of one candidate/party over the other.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    Hmm while I agree that we all hope to see the fruit of the spirit from all of our fellow Christians, I’m very uncomfortable when I see other Christians do that, especially when lumping together a ‘type’ of Christian based on some denominational or theological allegiance.

    How about political allegiance? Because that's what's being discussed here.

    I agree with @NOprophet_NØprofit that love must call out poor behaviour. This might allow for political allegiance where a person or party is demonstrating as well as making the right noises toward the values of integrity and care for all people.

    It ought to deter us from political allegiance of those people or parties which clearly don’t follow through on promises, or who tickle our ears with sound bites which are not intended to help everyone to thrive, rather aimed at giving those who already have a lot even more, and trampling upon the others.

    It is surely better to clearly call out the poor behaviour of the person or party than to call out those who follow them.
  • Did that racist version of Christianity ever completely resolve?
    I'm not quite sure what that means, to be honest. "Revolve" as an intransitive verb is not a common usage where I live.

    Disdain for Christianity is a constant, and there'll always be a reason. The German Christians who supported Hitler were arguably more blameworthy, or the support of the RCC for Franco etc etc ad nauseam. I don't think either of these factors affect my view of the truth of christianity, and as an argument against hit, they are intellectually vacuous IMO. But understandable. Like disproving socialism by Stalin. Did they resolve? Depends what you mean.

    Or course, non-believers never do anything nasty!

    I'd never vote for Trump. Hell I'd never vote for Boris and he's not as bad. But I can understand why some people would vote for Trump, and it helps nobody to stand self-righteously apart from people in the USA who felt so let down by the Establishment, that no change could be worse for them. Just to slag them off as deplorables may be convenient for people who cannot imagine what might be wrong with their side but probably contributed to the election being narrower than it should have been.

    Same with trying to understand why Russians love Putin.

    But what exactly is the point at issue? Will Christianity be destroyed because a lot of US Evos voted for Trump? Give it a rest!
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    edited November 2020
    Anteater wrote: »
    But I can understand why some people would vote for Trump, and it helps nobody to stand self-righteously apart from people in the USA who felt so let down by the Establishment, that no change could be worse for them.

    This was a relatively small part of the 2016 Trump vote; most of which was from traditional republican voters (many of them evangelical) voting along party lines.

    Hardly the last, the lost and the least.
  • And yet look at a state like West Virginia, which voted for Carter in 1980 and Dukakis in 1988 but is now nearly 70% Trump. What's going on there?
  • And yet look at a state like West Virginia, which voted for Carter in 1980 and Dukakis in 1988 but is now nearly 70% Trump. What's going on there?

    Industrial decline, I believe. He attracts the resentful nostalgics who believe nothing should change without their permission.
  • The "all have sinned" while true, deflects from the judgement required I think. We might also consider the "fruits" of the Christianity of these people and judge that. Whether children in cages, wealth inequality, outright support of white supremacy etc.

    The white evangelical strain of American Christianity has a long history of supporting white supremacy and patriarchal sexism. They like Trump because of those things, not in spite of them.
    And yet look at a state like West Virginia, which voted for Carter in 1980 and Dukakis in 1988 but is now nearly 70% Trump. What's going on there?

    See above. Also the Southern Strategy.
  • And yet look at a state like West Virginia, which voted for Carter in 1980 and Dukakis in 1988 but is now nearly 70% Trump. What's going on there?

    Coal, and the death thereof.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited November 2020
    And yet look at a state like West Virginia, which voted for Carter in 1980 and Dukakis in 1988 but is now nearly 70% Trump. What's going on there?
    Coal, and the death thereof.

    This is one of those assumed truisms that has a lot of very freighted assumptions rolled into a very terse sentence. For example, the U.S. coal industry employed slightly more than 50,000 people nationwide prior to the COVID recession. Healthcare jobs currently number slightly more than 90,000 in West Virginia alone. Despite the fact that healthcare is a much bigger interest in West Virginia than coal mining, the latter is considered a "real job" that politicians should be interested in while the former is not (and a political party pays no penalty for actively trying to harm through various attempts at ACA repeal). I don't think it's entirely coincidental that coal mining is culturally coded as both "white" and "male" work, whereas healthcare workers are often non-white and female.
  • PowderkegPowderkeg Shipmate Posts: 26
    If there's one thing most West Virginians can agree on -- both evangelicals and those indifferent to religion -- it's that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. They simply don't like what they're hearing from the Democrats on that issue.

    (And I'd have to agree with Democratic member of Congress Abigail Spanberger, who in the leaked post-election conference call, opined that 'Defund the Police' is not a winning message in big swaths of the nation.)
  • I thought we were talking about why WV swung so hard from Democrats to Republicans. That means we're talking about the white working class and coal and the mythology around it are kind of important in that.

    Are many of the healthcare jobs in WV actually healthcare or is it minimum wage call centre work for health insurance companies? Pay has as much of an impact on the prestige of a job as the work itself.
  • Powderkeg wrote: »
    If there's one thing most West Virginians can agree on -- both evangelicals and those indifferent to religion -- it's that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. They simply don't like what they're hearing from the Democrats on that issue.

    (And I'd have to agree with Democratic member of Congress Abigail Spanberger, who in the leaked post-election conference call, opined that 'Defund the Police' is not a winning message in big swaths of the nation.)

    I know that the ads warning about Defunding the Police had a big impact in Southwestern Washington because of what they had seen in Portland, and to a lesser extent, in Seattle.
  • Powderkeg wrote: »
    If there's one thing most West Virginians can agree on -- both evangelicals and those indifferent to religion -- it's that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. They simply don't like what they're hearing from the Democrats on that issue.
    Oh? And what are they hearing from the Democrats on that issue?

  • Powderkeg wrote: »
    If there's one thing most West Virginians can agree on -- both evangelicals and those indifferent to religion -- it's that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. They simply don't like what they're hearing from the Democrats on that issue.

    (And I'd have to agree with Democratic member of Congress Abigail Spanberger, who in the leaked post-election conference call, opined that 'Defund the Police' is not a winning message in big swaths of the nation.)

    Well yes but Jimmy Carter was hardly the NRA's favoured candidate and neither was Michael Dukakis, unless I'm wildly mistaken. So why were West Virginians prepared to vote for them back in the day?
  • Raptor Eye wrote: »
    It is surely better to clearly call out the poor behaviour of the person or party than to call out those who follow them.

    Can't agree. It's the followers that enable them to behave poorly, or at least for their poor behavior to have wide-reaching effects. If nobody came to Trump's rallies or followed him on Twitter or voted for him, he'd wither and die on the vine.
  • Are many of the healthcare jobs in WV actually healthcare or is it minimum wage call centre work for health insurance companies? Pay has as much of an impact on the prestige of a job as the work itself.

    I'd argue that this is exactly reversed. Prestige has as much of an impact on pay as the work itself. One of the things that many economists have noted is that work that's done by women is compensated less. They've even documented cases where a profession starts skewing more female than in the past wages will start to decline (relative to inflation).

    Getting back to the OP, blogger Libby Anne went over some PRRI polling data and noted that self-identified white evangelicals were out of step with all other self-identified religious groups about various political issues. (This was a poll taken shortly before the recent election.) She noticed that they tracked very closely to the positions of the Republican party, though.
    Let me tell you how I see it: white evangelical Protestants are an outlier because they sold their soul to Republican politics some number of generations ago, the way Esau sold his birthright for a mess of pottage. This is why white evangelical Protestants are ideologically tied to a political party in a way no other religious group is. Because that’s what’s going on here—everything that makes white evangelical Protestants look like an outlier compared with other religious groups is actually white evangelical Protestants leaving no daylight between themselves and the Republican Party.

    Here, let’s take a look.

    Remember how odd it seemed that white evangelical Protestants listed terrorism among their top three issues? Well, PRRI also includes a breakdown of top issues by political party, and white evangelical Protestants simply listed terrorism as a critical issue at the same rate as individuals who belong to the Republican Party (57% in both cases).

    Remember how out-of-step it looked that only 36% of white evangelical Protestants listed the pandemic as a critical issue? Well, it turns out a very similar 39% of Republicans listed the pandemic as a critical issue.

    Remember how white evangelical Protestants were outliers in that 76% of them approved of Trump’s handling of the pandemic? Yes. It turns out that 78% of Republicans approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

    59% of white evangelical Protestants said the country is headed in the right direction, which was high compared to other religious groups; however, 66% of Republicans said the same thing. 35% of white evangelical Protestants said Trump had damaged the dignity of the office of president, which was low compared with other religious groups; however, 27% of Republicans said the same thing. And on and on it goes.

    White evangelical Protestants seem out of step when compared with other religious groups because no other religious group is tied so closely to a political party, with perhaps the exception of Black Protestants. However, I’d argue there’s a major difference between Black Protestants’ alliance with the Democratic Party and white evangelicals allegiance to the Republican Party: white evangelical Protestants have actually allowed their party alliance to shape their theology.

    It goes on from there and the whole thing is worth a read. For the record, Libby Anne was raised as a homeschooled evangelical so this is familiar ground for her.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Coal, and the death thereof.
    This is one of those assumed truisms that has a lot of very freighted assumptions rolled into a very terse sentence. For example, the U.S. coal industry employed slightly more than 50,000 people nationwide prior to the COVID recession. Healthcare jobs currently number slightly more than 90,000 in West Virginia alone.
    I note that you are comparing coal and healthcare now, when the point is the relative trajectories of the coal industry.
    I think also, that like a lot of the centre-left you are taking over wholesale some of the assumptions of neoliberal economics, according to which if an industry employs 50 000 people then only 50 000 people are affected by it. According to other schools of economics that are somewhat less invested in models and numeric data and somewhat more invested in socioeconomic observation, primary industry like coal mining, and secondary industry, develop a lot of economic support structure around it so that when the primary or secondary industry declines so does all the rest of the economy around it.

    That said, my reaction, and I suspect Arethosemyfeet's reaction, are somewhat coloured by Thatcher's dealings with coal mining and the unions and the aftermath of that for the communities affected.

  • Raptor EyeRaptor Eye Shipmate
    edited November 2020
    mousethief wrote: »
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    It is surely better to clearly call out the poor behaviour of the person or party than to call out those who follow them.

    Can't agree. It's the followers that enable them to behave poorly, or at least for their poor behavior to have wide-reaching effects. If nobody came to Trump's rallies or followed him on Twitter or voted for him, he'd wither and die on the vine.

    It’s by invitation that we accept Christ into our lives, not by coercion. We do need good guidance from people, but we are also guided by the Holy Spirit. We must make our own decisions. It’s helpful if we see fellow Christians challenging poor behaviour in those people we thought it OK to follow. It’s not helpful if they turn on us, it’s more likely to have a negative reaction than a positive one, in my opinion.
  • Dafyd wrote: »

    That said, my reaction, and I suspect Arethosemyfeet's reaction, are somewhat coloured by Thatcher's dealings with coal mining and the unions and the aftermath of that for the communities affected.

    A bit, but I've also read quite a few articles about West Virginia, it's poverty and the hollowing out of its economy along with the geographic and social challenges of economic regeneration. It's very hard to avoid the conclusion that without resource extraction many rural towns in WV are going to be very, very hard to keep alive. It's no wonder they're willing to vote for the guy who offers them hope, even if they know it's false hope (and they probably do). No-one wants to hear that the economically sustainable population of their region is about a tenth of its current level. I mean, there are folk who heat their homes by collecting surface coal the way others might collect firewood, for houses without electricity or running water.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    I have written elsewhere that many nonconformist Christians have forgotten that their original roots were steeped in dissent and the supreme importance of personal conscience. Viewed against that background, white USA evangelicals, most of whom spring from nonconformist roots, strike me as peculiarly conformist. Loyalty to the group seems more important than a willingness to dissent and allow room for dissent.

    I understand the origins of the “pact” between the GOP and conservative evangelical leadership in the USA. I think it has produced a cult whose behaviour seems to me to be increasingly dragooned.

    The weakness of nonconformism, that congregations could be messed up by lousy leadership, was always ameliorated by the general independence and small size of congregations. Bad leadership was generally limited in the damage it could do. The emergence of very large congregations with charismatic leaders has whittled away at that built in safety valve.
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    The weakness of nonconformism, that congregations could be messed up by lousy leadership, was always ameliorated by the general independence and small size of congregations. Bad leadership was generally limited in the damage it could do. The emergence of very large congregations with charismatic leaders has whittled away at that built in safety valve.

    That is a very interesting observation. Tangent - does the Internet age potentially break the whole concept of a "local" congregation?
  • Barnabas62 wrote: »
    I have written elsewhere that many nonconformist Christians have forgotten that their original roots were steeped in dissent and the supreme importance of personal conscience. Viewed against that background, white USA evangelicals, most of whom spring from nonconformist roots, strike me as peculiarly conformist. Loyalty to the group seems more important than a willingness to dissent and allow room for dissent.

    I think historically a lot of these groups were characterised by an unwillingness to accept disagreement. It wasn't just that they wanted to be able to "worship according to their own beliefs", they wanted to be able to make everyone else do the same, by social coercion if not by legal force. Their objection wasn't to sectarian government but to their sect not being on top.
  • Dafyd wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Coal, and the death thereof.
    This is one of those assumed truisms that has a lot of very freighted assumptions rolled into a very terse sentence. For example, the U.S. coal industry employed slightly more than 50,000 people nationwide prior to the COVID recession. Healthcare jobs currently number slightly more than 90,000 in West Virginia alone.
    I note that you are comparing coal and healthcare now, when the point is the relative trajectories of the coal industry.

    I guess it depends on what you mean by "the coal industry". Peak employment in the U.S. coal business was in 1985 (~177,500 jobs nationwide, or about twice the number of people employed in health care today in West Virginia alone), but peak U.S. coal production was in 2008 (~1.2 million short tons). In other words the decline in American coal jobs predates the decline of the American coal industry by more than two decades and mostly has to do with automation. Not much of a comfort if it's your job being automated, but I'm not sure what the alternative is. De-automating what is an inherently dangerous process so more people can work as manual laborers?
    Dafyd wrote: »
    I think also, that like a lot of the centre-left you are taking over wholesale some of the assumptions of neoliberal economics, according to which if an industry employs 50 000 people then only 50 000 people are affected by it. According to other schools of economics that are somewhat less invested in models and numeric data and somewhat more invested in socioeconomic observation, primary industry like coal mining, and secondary industry, develop a lot of economic support structure around it so that when the primary or secondary industry declines so does all the rest of the economy around it.

    I'm pretty sure that health care has some pretty big secondary effects as well, not just in terms of subsidiary economic activity to support the business but also in terms of increased lifespans and fitness to work.
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    I understand the origins of the “pact” between the GOP and conservative evangelical leadership in the USA. I think it has produced a cult whose behaviour seems to me to be increasingly dragooned.

    I'm not so sure about that. White evangelicals seem like the GOP's most ardent and fanatical supporters. No one seems like they're being "dragooned". Have you considered that they sincerely support the agenda of Republican Jesus?
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    Who is “they”?

    Of course social pressure to conform is a characteristic of any group. As is the effect of dominant people. An appreciation of the values of dissent and the importance of respect for personal conscience can be antidotes to those sorts of pressures to conform.

    A wise leader of the congo I’ve belonged to for close on 50 years used to quote this.

    “A man persuaded against his will is of the same opinion still”.

    He knew I was stroppy!
  • edited November 2020
    Because Jesus is their mascot? As in, represents their team, is my boyfriend, is my buddy?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited November 2020
    Coat-trailing and Mythology Alert
    Some UK shipmates may be very irate and become dogmatic about what follows.
    Crœsos wrote: »
    I guess it depends on what you mean by "the coal industry". Peak employment in the U.S. coal business was in 1985 (~177,500 jobs nationwide, or about twice the number of people employed in health care today in West Virginia alone), but peak U.S. coal production was in 2008 (~1.2 million short tons). In other words the decline in American coal jobs predates the decline of the American coal industry by more than two decades and mostly has to do with automation. Not much of a comfort if it's your job being automated, but I'm not sure what the alternative is. De-automating what is an inherently dangerous process so more people can work as manual laborers?
    Some of this sounds like Scargill here in the 1980s who a lot of the time sounded as though he was demanding that his mining members should go on being employed and paid danger money for working in mines that were antiquated, unmechanised, unpleasant to work in, unhealthy and very dangerous, to extract coal that by then had been worked out anyway.

  • American Evangelicalism is steeped in slavery and the post-slavery south. Preachers couldn't preach about freedom and loving one's neighbor so easily (that has implications about slaves and treatment of black people they might not have wanted to bring up) so they focused on things like sexual sins. There's a very good article about this; I'll see if I can find it.
  • One of the reasons I'm so skeptical of the "economic anxiety" explanation for Trump's support among white Americans is that non-white Americans seem to be largely immune to his "charms", despite often living much more economically precarious lives. Also, as with every other election, one of the biggest correlation with likelihood to vote Republican was household income. The richer an American was, the more likely he was to vote for Donald Trump in 2020. If this narrative about economic anxiety was true you'd expect the reverse to be true in both situations.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Some of this sounds like Scargill here in the 1980s who a lot of the time sounded as though he was demanding that his mining members should go on being employed and paid danger money for working in mines that were antiquated, unmechanised, unpleasant to work in, unhealthy and very dangerous, to extract coal that by then had been worked out anyway.

    Well, history has proved him right over his fears of what was to follow in terms of mass unemployment, economic decline, and the destruction of communities, from which those areas are yet to recover -- so if it did occasionally sound like that, perhaps he thought it was the lesser of the two evils.
  • On the other hand history does not entirely support the view that it would be a fantastic thing to still be digging up loads of coal to burn.
  • Crœsos wrote: »

    I'm not so sure about that. White evangelicals seem like the GOP's most ardent and fanatical supporters. No one seems like they're being "dragooned". Have you considered that they sincerely support the agenda of Republican Jesus?

    Well the very interesting article you linked to earlier suggested that they "helped to propel Jimmy Carter to the White House in 1976" which would imply that they were prepared to cheat on Republican Jesus at least sometimes.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited November 2020
    from Croesos
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    I understand the origins of the “pact” between the GOP and conservative evangelical leadership in the USA. I think it has produced a cult whose behaviour seems to me to be increasingly dragooned.

    I'm not so sure about that. White evangelicals seem like the GOP's most ardent and fanatical supporters. No one seems like they're being "dragooned". Have you considered that they sincerely support the agenda of Republican Jesus?

    Fair point. Dragooned was not an accurate word. I was thinking about enculturation. By which means (akin to brainwashing) the faithful show precisely the kind of zealous support you identify.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    edited November 2020
    On the other hand history does not entirely support the view that it would be a fantastic thing to still be digging up loads of coal to burn.

    Not entirely sure that Thatcher closed the mines for environmental reasons.
    Crœsos wrote: »

    I'm not so sure about that. White evangelicals seem like the GOP's most ardent and fanatical supporters. No one seems like they're being "dragooned". Have you considered that they sincerely support the agenda of Republican Jesus?

    Well the very interesting article you linked to earlier suggested that they "helped to propel Jimmy Carter to the White House in 1976" which would imply that they were prepared to cheat on Republican Jesus at least sometimes.

    I think early on Carter was seen as one of them (Ford's ratings suffered due to his pardoning of Nixon) and the Southern strategy hadn't fully taken hold; later on they became disillusioned with what they felt was Carter's excessive liberalism.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited November 2020
    Here is an interesting article on why white evangelicals have viewed Trump as their savior. Basically, it has to do with their view of masculinity. But as the article points out, many times evangelicals will place their faith in ministers that have severe flaws because of their warped view of machismo.
  • Has there been any work done on the effect of Biden's statements on fracking in the second (?) debate. Trump reacted like it was a major admission, and I have heard interviews with people who said it impacted their vote. Fracking means jobs, was the import of what I heard.

    I often talk about cultural Christianity, where what is important is your identification with the group. Irish-Australians were Catholic because that was a critical element of their identity as Irish-Australians. We had separate churches, separate schools, and to a certain extent different jobs to Protestants. We were taught that to be Irish was to be Catholic and we were persecuted. That is very important. Our persecution, which by the 1970's had largely petered out, remained a lived reality for us. It was part of what bound us together.

    It strikes me that White Evangelical Conservative Christians might well feel the same way. Their feelings of persecution arise from their perception that their way of life is under threat. I mean male headship of the household, hetrosexual marriage as the only normal, the way American and European history is being re-examined to denigrate our Judeo-Christian heritage, the way people who are not white as they define it now occupy positions of power, the central place of the right to bear arms... This is perceived as persecution and the response is to jettison norms of political behavior and save their America at all costs.

    Economic decline since 2008 is important too, but it is important especially to emphasise the perceived loss of power of their group.
  • I don't think West Virginia's swing to the Republicans is hard to explain.

    See this link which shows the vote in presidential elections down the years. The last Democrat to win the state was Bill Clinton in 1996. Since then there has been a gradual swing away from the Democrats with particularly big swings away from Obama (in 2012 - second term) and Hilary Clinton. West Virginia also has a declining population and an aging demographic, which suggests that young people (less likely to be Republican) leave.

    It wasn't the case that West Virginia swung hard for Trump, and in fact as this article argues that wasn't the case for the US as a whole, rather, white people voted for Trump with the normal level of support for the Republican candidate: Clinton lost because minorities didn't turn out for her in the same numbers as they had for Obama. It goes on to say that Trump lost in 2020 because white men shifted away from him.

    For me the significant thing is that it shows that millions of Americans supported Trump because he was the Republican candidate, much as, I suppose, millions of Conservatives in the UK held their noses and supported Johnson a year ago.

    As an aside, election results show a big slide in Democrat support in Congress during Obama's presidency and I would be interested if American shippies can say why that was.
  • On the other hand history does not entirely support the view that it would be a fantastic thing to still be digging up loads of coal to burn.

    Not entirely sure that Thatcher closed the mines for environmental reasons.

    I thought it was accepted that she closed them because of the miners' ability to cause economic chaos, like they did in the 70s. That strikes me as just as good a reason.
  • On the other hand history does not entirely support the view that it would be a fantastic thing to still be digging up loads of coal to burn.

    Not entirely sure that Thatcher closed the mines for environmental reasons.

    I thought it was accepted that she closed them because of the miners' ability to cause economic chaos, like they did in the 70s. That strikes me as just as good a reason.

    Help me. If coal is so little needed that the mines could be closed. how can the miners cause economic chaos?
  • mousethief wrote: »
    On the other hand history does not entirely support the view that it would be a fantastic thing to still be digging up loads of coal to burn.

    Not entirely sure that Thatcher closed the mines for environmental reasons.

    I thought it was accepted that she closed them because of the miners' ability to cause economic chaos, like they did in the 70s. That strikes me as just as good a reason.

    Help me. If coal is so little needed that the mines could be closed. how can the miners cause economic chaos?

    In the 70s Britain relied on coal to generate its energy. The miners' strike in that decade caused a 3-day working week and blackouts. By 1985 North Sea oil was on tap and Thatcher's government swiftly switched to it (reasons given previously).
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    The other factor in the 70s was the growing influence of OPEC and the oil crisis. This amplified the dependence on coal.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    On the other hand history does not entirely support the view that it would be a fantastic thing to still be digging up loads of coal to burn.

    Not entirely sure that Thatcher closed the mines for environmental reasons.

    I thought it was accepted that she closed them because of the miners' ability to cause economic chaos, like they did in the 70s. That strikes me as just as good a reason.

    Help me. If coal is so little needed that the mines could be closed. how can the miners cause economic chaos?

    In the 70s Britain relied on coal to generate its energy. The miners' strike in that decade caused a 3-day working week and blackouts. By 1985 North Sea oil was on tap and Thatcher's government swiftly switched to it (reasons given previously).

    You miss the point. The miners did not have the ability to cause economic chaos when Thatcher shut down the coal mines. For reasons you enumerate. Therefore she must have done it for a different reason.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    On the other hand history does not entirely support the view that it would be a fantastic thing to still be digging up loads of coal to burn.

    Not entirely sure that Thatcher closed the mines for environmental reasons.

    I thought it was accepted that she closed them because of the miners' ability to cause economic chaos, like they did in the 70s. That strikes me as just as good a reason.

    Help me. If coal is so little needed that the mines could be closed. how can the miners cause economic chaos?

    In the 70s Britain relied on coal to generate its energy. The miners' strike in that decade caused a 3-day working week and blackouts. By 1985 North Sea oil was on tap and Thatcher's government swiftly switched to it (reasons given previously).

    You miss the point. The miners did not have the ability to cause economic chaos when Thatcher shut down the coal mines. For reasons you enumerate. Therefore she must have done it for a different reason.

    To break working class institutions and class-consciousness. The miners, like the steel workers, were emblematic of an organised, industrial working class. Smashing the NUM was part of the process of destroying working class solidarity and the pipelines of political education. The miners' strike was about Thatcher proving to the public that in a fight between unions and government, government will win. It was about disabusing British workers of any notion that they had a say in their economic destiny. The collapse in union membership since then tells you she was successful.
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