The identity politics, virtue signaling, corrupt politicians, foreign policy disasters, economic woes, illegal immigration, globalist policies, corruption, and propagandized media played their part as well. All of it had been bubbling underneath the surface of American culture for the last 20 to 30 years, and with Clinton personifying all of this, tensions and outright warfare in the political world was in the offing regardless of who would be the one to run against her.
Queue the entrance of Donald Trump.
When he rode down that escalator and announced his candidacy with explosive rhetoric directly addressing all of the elements I just mentioned, identifying the challenges we faced and the complaints we’d either voiced or thought silently to ourselves, he made himself a rallying point like no other for people like me. That is to say, for independent minded Americans with little or no party loyalty, with no trust in the system as it had existed for decades, with no taste for the phony, candy ass politicians on either side. I myself was registered as a Democrat since I turned 18.
Politicians who represented the DNC didn’t represent many of the values I held but I registered and remained with that party for a few different reasons. One was that minus the people, I thought the party values were slightly more in line with my own than the values and policies most Republicans are generally touting. Some of that had to do with the religious zealotry I’d always seen on the right – I happen to be an atheist, and for what seems like an awful long time I was a vicious adversary of Christian dogma. I wasn’t a friend of other religions either, but the kind of religious impositions I’d experienced and seen justified my stance. Or so I thought.
The more radical Islamic terrorism reared it’s head, and the more I noticed Christian doctrine being held in check, the more I started to reassess – one of the few upshots to come out of Obama and supporters of his brand of “hope and change” (including me) was our victory in keeping the religious right in check. But then they (we?) started over reaching, oppressing and infringing on the religious rights of Christians. At first I didn’t really sympathize with them.
It seemed, at first, to be a case of just deserts.
By the first or second year of Obama’s 1st term though, it seemed more and more like the Christians – even including a lot of the fanatics – had gotten a large enough dose of their own medicine. I guess it just got to a point where, to me, enough was enough. And apparently it was.
Evangelical Christians turned out for Trump in massive numbers, but not for a fellow fanatic like Cruz, not for Carson, who I almost could’ve voted for except that of the three outsiders there was only one with experience running a business with tens of thousands of employees, only one with experience running such a business on an international scale, and only one who had proven on that scale that not only could he talk big, he could deliver on that talk. If you think that’s bullshit, look no further than Trump Tower, Wollman Rink, The Apprentice, the former Post Office in DC.
I could go on, but you get the point.
That devout Christians turned out for that kind of a guy in the primaries, and later in the election itself, is a strong indicator that the vast majority of those 80’s and 90’s era extremists have probably learned their lesson. He claims to be a protestant, and at this point my skepticism is gone. He seems to be, albeit not a very good one in the eyes of most other Christians, but his level of competence, his experience, and balls of steel that he demonstrated would be there to fight for them to have a voice… that sold them, despite his “checkered” sinful past. The messy divorces, the rumored playboy lifestyle, being so blunt, all that and more was overlooked by voters of faith.
Clearly they had more pressing concerns than making sure their representative was a picture perfect saint, for once, and I took that as a sign of progress on their part. To my eyes, that looked a lot like an admission that they knew better than to go for someone just because of a seemingly wholesome Christian background. They didn’t opt for a savior This time, they wanted a winner.
So did I.
I call that common ground. Their religion is mostly neutered (unlike Islam atm), most followers of it these days seem willing to simply practice their religion instead of imposing it on others. The side effects of having secularism (and later, the Islamic faith) imposed on them, I’d say.
Compared to extremist adherents of the Koran these days, they’re downright harmless.