It might be easier for me to find an angle to dislodge my conservative relatives from their support of Trump if I believed that the Democrats were offering any genuine answers or even trying to.
I can't convince them to positively support the Democrats because I don't positively support them! I view them as a lesser evil. So to get my Republican relatives to vote for them, I have to convince them that what they think they like is terrible and I can offer them... nothing.
This is the same as trying to convince evangelicals to leave the fold. Huh, what do I have to offer them in place of literally their entire social life? Nothing. I have nothing. "Umm... build a network of online friends over your entire adult life and become an academic?"
From the perspective of people still inside the conservative Christian milieu, my life and choices have no attraction. Nor do I think I myself am a viable model for others, since I have only wound up in another livable community through sheer happenstance.
I will say that the only thing that guaranteed I would not be sucked back into the gravitational field of evangelicalism was joining an actual concrete progressive community at Chicago Theological Seminary. It's not enough just to leave -- you need to go somewhere else.
But who knows what would have happened in the long run if I hadn't lucked into an academic job against all odds? If I hadn't been able to make an actual life for myself in a concrete, positive way? I shudder to think.
The kind of spaces that could be a real, lived alternative to conservative Christianity are always some combination of fragile and embattled and very difficult to get into -- by design, as a matter of social policy, supported in large part by... suprise! Conservative Christians.
Think of how many towns you drive through and there is just *nothing* going on other than churches. How do you tell those people "don't go to church, it's secretly bad" or "you should constantly fight with people at your church to make it different"?
Basically, I don't know how to ask people to change their lives if you're not going to be a part of their lives in an ongoing way and if you don't have a community to offer them as a context for that. But yeah, debate at the Thanksgiving table or whatever.
This analysis points to the idea that rebuilding unions is absolutely crucial to a livable future, to provide that alternate community. Which is probably why destroying unions is neoliberal goal #1.

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More from @adamkotsko

20 Nov
It remains difficult to think about the fact that the subculture my parents absolutely immersed me in, absolutely insisted on making the center of my life, has produced the most lockstep unreflective support for the worst person on earth.
Is the thing that ultimately made me leave evangelicalism the same thing that leaves me without any "receptors" for whatever Trump's appeal is supposed to be?
Part of me wonders if the real key here is that evangelicalism always aspires to the status of a personality cult -- the megachurch pastor, the beloved youth pastor, etc., all aspire on some level to be cult leaders.
Read 6 tweets
19 Nov
Congress and the President agreed between themselves to just stop doing war powers in the way the Constitution stipulates and that's been how it's done ever since. Substantively that probably wasn't the right choice, but it is a proof of concept.
You could jump through the stupid hoops that the Constitution dictates for amendments and then let the Supreme Court whittle the result down to a nub, or you can... stop doing it.
Like if in 2000, the Republicans had decided not to be dicks and said, "You know what? We don't want to win this way. Let's just not do the Electoral College anymore. Let's just go with the popular vote." Then they would stop doing it. That seems to scare people for some reason.
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov
For those raised Christian -- in your local church's version of the prayer known variously as the "Our Father" or "Lord's Prayer," did you ask your Father in heaven to forgive...
I quietly note that "debts" is the more accurate translation of both the Greek original (ὀφειλήματα, opheilēmata) and the Latin Vulgate (debita).
To be fair, though, Luke has "sins" (ἁμαρτίας, hamartias), but then uses the verb form of opheilēmata to describe the actions of the people we are supposed to forgive.
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
If we can't have DC statehood, can we at least have a Dakota consolidation?
Honestly, the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming should probably just revert to federal territories.
Fun fact -- a lot of the "big empty" states were admitted with the express purpose of rigging the Senate in favor of the Republicans. Kind of points out the absurdity of state quasi-sovereignty, with states being created specifically for partisan gain on the federal level.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
Complaining about the horrific dangers if transition planning is delayed seems to risk legitimating the absurd length of the lame duck period. What was the incoming president doing during all those many months between the nomination and the election, for instance?
Basically, don't let Trump's bullshit obscure the fact that the way our system normally works is also bullshit.
Picturing an Onion article where Biden staffers are impatient to start working their way through the HR webinars and resent that Trump is cruelly delaying them.
Read 4 tweets
29 Oct
It's funny that conservatives think "diversity training" is like a reeducation camp when really it's a video you don't even have to watch to answer the quiz questions correctly.
Racism is a system of power that continually produces and reproduces a racial hierarchy. And maybe one way it does that is by pretending that racism is a purely individual problem that can be solved by making people watch a video explaining that racism is bad.
The long-term solution to racism is for children to grow up in fully integrated communities where they live and work alongside people of all races as equals. Racists understand this, which is why they work so hard to segregate communities and schools by all possible means.
Read 7 tweets

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