Friday, July 07, 2017

Trump defends The West

Robert P. Jones writes in The Atlantic mag:
The evidence, however, suggests that Trump’s unlikely victory is better understood as the death rattle of White Christian America — the cultural and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians — rather than as its resuscitation. Despite the election’s immediate and dramatic consequences, it’s important not to over-interpret Trump’s win, which was extraordinarily close. Out of more than 136 million votes cast, Trump’s victory in the Electoral College came down to a razor-thin edge of only 77,744 votes across three states: Pennsylvania (44,292 votes), Wisconsin (22,748 votes), and Michigan (10,704 votes). These votes represent a Trump margin of 0.7 percentage points in Pennsylvania, 0.7 percentage points in Wisconsin, and 0.2 percentage points in Michigan. If Clinton had won these states, she would now be president. And of course Clinton actually won the popular vote by 2.9 million votes, receiving 48.2 percent of all votes compared to Trump’s 46.1 percent. The real story of 2016 is that there was just enough movement in just the right places, just enough increased turnout from just the right groups, to get Trump the electoral votes he needed to win.
I previously posted that Trump's winning margin was about 80k, so I guess this is the more accurate number after all the counts came in.

Jones spends most of the rest of the article expressing how he is baffled that white evangelicals Protestants supported Trump. However, the answer is revealed in his data:
Just a few weeks before the 2016 election, 66 percent of white evangelical Protestants said the growing number of newcomers from other countries threatens traditional American customs and values.
Yes. Trump promised to help preserve American customs and values, while Democrats try to destroy them. It is not hard to understand why traditional Americans would favor Trump.

Peter Beinart follows this with an essay in the same magazine:
In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to “the West” and five times to “our civilization.” His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too.

The West is not a geographic term. Poland is further east than Morocco. France is further east than Haiti. Australia is further east than Egypt. Yet Poland, France, and Australia are all considered part of “The West.” Morocco, Haiti, and Egypt are not.

The West is not an ideological or economic term either. India is the world’s largest democracy. Japan is among its most economically advanced nations. No one considers them part of the West.

The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white. Where there is ambiguity about a country’s “Westernness,” it’s because there is ambiguity about, or tension between, these two characteristics. Is Latin America Western? Maybe. Most of its people are Christian, but by U.S. standards, they’re not clearly white. Are Albania and Bosnia Western? Maybe. By American standards, their people are white. But they are also mostly Muslim.

Steve Bannon, who along with Stephen Miller has shaped much of Trump’s civilizational thinking, has been explicit about this. In a 2014 speech, he celebrated “the long history of the Judeo-Christian West struggle against Islam” and “our forefathers” who “bequeathed to use the great institution that is the church of the West.”
I believe that Miller is Jewish and Bannon is not religious, but I could be wrong.

Steve Sailer quips:
What should the The Atlantic change its bigoted, biased, Westophilic name to? The World-Ocean might sound good to you at first, but it discriminates against inland countries, such as Niger.
The West refers to a whole set of ideas, beliefs, traditions, cultures, peoples, etc. that go back to ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, to European Middle Ages and Enlightenment, and to creation of the USA. It does not include China. The concept has been in common use for centuries.

There are ppl with theories that China and India have not progressed the same way because of racial, genetic, religious, cultural, geographic, or other factors. These theories are interesting, but there is no consensus, as far as I know. I do not think that any such theory is necessary to understand that Western Civilization is a good thing, and worth defending.

As I write this, Rush Limbaugh is playing tapes of Ronald Reagan talking about defending Western Civilization and American values in terms very similar to Trump's speech. No one should be surprised that Reagan Republicans support Trump.

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