Confirming What Most Of Us Know

Not long after the 2016 election, I had a conversation with my youngest son in which I shared my absolute amazement that any sentient person could cast a ballot for Donald Trump. How could they miss his total ignorance of government–not to mention his other repulsive characteristics? (Surely, people couldn’t see themselves having a beer with him–the usual explanation people offered for supporting George W. Bush..)

His response–which I’ve shared on this blog previously–was that every single Trump voter fell into one of two–and only two– categories: those who shared and appreciated his racism, and those for whom his racism wasn’t disqualifying.

My son’s explanation struck me as correct then, and the racist underpinnings of the MAGA movement have only become more obvious since. Now, as Jennifer Rubin has explained in a column for the Washington Post, there’s added evidence of its accuracy.

As she begins,

It has long been understood that the MAGA movement is heavily dependent on White grievance and straight-up racism. (Hence Donald Trump’s refusal to disavow racist groups and his statement that there were “very fine people on both sides” in the violent clashes at the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville.)

Now, we have numbers supporting that thesis.

Rubin proceeds to describe a survey recently fielded by PRRI–the Public Religion Research Institute. The survey had 11 statements that had been designed to probe the respondent’s views on racism. The researchers then used their answers to quantify a “structural racism index,”basically, a score from zero to 1 that measured attitudes on “white supremacy and racial inequality, the impact of discrimination on African American economic mobility, the treatment of African Americans in the criminal justice system, general perceptions of race, and whether racism is still a significant problem today.”

The higher the score, the more receptive to racist attitudes.

The results shouldn’t surprise anyone paying attention to the MAGA crowd’s rhetoric and veneration of the Confederacy. “Among all Americans, the median value on the structural racism index is 0.45, near the center of the scale,” the poll found. “The median score on the structural racism index for Republicans is 0.67, compared with 0.45 for independents and 0.27 for Democrats.” Put differently, Republicans are much more likely to buy into the notion that Whites are victims.

The survey also looked at differences among religious groups, and found that White evangelical Protestants had the highest median score, at 0.64. Latter-day Saints, white Catholics, and white mainline Protestants all came in at a median of 0.55. Religiously unaffiliated white Americans scored 0.33.

It turned out that the “Lost Cause” –the effort to rewrite the history of the Civil War and downplay or ignore the role played by slavery– is. popular on the right:

Republicans overwhelmingly back efforts to preserve the legacy of the Confederacy (85%), compared with less than half of independents (46%) and only one in four Democrats (26%). The contrast between white Republicans and white Democrats is stark. Nearly nine in 10 white Republicans (87%), compared with 23% of white Democrats, support efforts to preserve the legacy of the Confederacy.”

That “legacy,’ of course, is treason in service of slavery.

Rubin quotes Robert P. Jones, who leads PRRI,  as saying the result is attributable to the fact that Americans don’t know their own history. That history includes a “widespread, centuries-long Christian defense of white supremacy.” Given that history, Jones says, “it’s hardly a surprise that a denial of systemic racism is a defining feature of White evangelicalism today.”

Those who want to keep Confederate monuments and offensive mascots in place might deny that their views have anything to do bigotry, but then again, they often deny the legacy of racism and paint Whites as victims, too. In general, MAGA forces have one goal when they amplify “replacement theory” or fuss over corporations promoting inclusivity: to maximize White anger and resentment.

The PRRI poll shows the degree to which the MAGA movement has convinced the core of the GOP base that they are victims. As Rubin says, “And let’s be clear: An aggrieved electoral minority that believes it has been victimized and is ready to deploy violence is a serious threat to an inclusive democracy.”

The results of this research aren’t a surprise. The survey not only confirms what most of us can see, it answers an otherwise imponderable question: why would anyone support Donald J. Trump–a truly loathsome, ignorant (and clearly mentally-ill) man without a single redeeming feature?

The answer is: He hates and fears the same people they do. And shared racism is evidently sufficient to outweigh all the rest……


  1. This has been the centerpiece of Republican campaigns for decades:
    “..He hates and fears the same people they do”
    One cycle it is gay people, another it is immigrants, another it is black folks. (Remember Willie Horton?)
    Same play, different day. Find an OTHER to hate as a group and stir the pot. Sadly, it keeps working. We MUST defeat these people as we will not change them.

  2. One of the most perplexing groups of maga supporters is the one I find myself and my family, the second generation Italian Americans, a part of.
    When my grandparents came here in the early 1900s they were subjected to many awful names all while doing the nastiest jobs available only to them. (These jobs were performed by the previous group of immigrants to appear on our shores btw!)
    Grandma and grandpa were proud naturalized Americans and raised 7 children to be the same.
    How interesting then to find many of my cousins, the second generation born here, defending TFG horrific policies and practices. They are proud magas!
    100 years in the past WE would have been the ones discriminated against.
    They don’t see it and don’t want to see it.
    Someday, I may just shake my head right off my body

  3. “He hates and fears the same people they do” certainly accounts for the attraction some of Trump’s followers have toward him. But there is another attraction that is overlooked. That attraction is his distain for the rules, his public law breaking, his outsmarting of those who try to enforce the law… his getting away with it. To people who believe they have been the victims of an unfair and unjust system this wild, loud and crude man is doing what they themselves wish they could do… and getting away with it. He is everything they wish they were. He has everything they wish they had. He does everything they wish they could do. It’s a hero worship of the worse kind.

  4. I firmly believe our doom has been sealed with McConnell’s staunch Republican statement that, he doesn’t pick his party’s presidential nominee and he will vote for Donald Trump if he is their choice. Death threats and racist comments against McConnell’s Chinese wife couldn’t dent his turtle shell, he doesn’t need Trump’s favor to increase his already abundant wealth. Of course the Russian dollars McConnell put into his home state of Kentucky assured him maintaining his Senatorial seat as a given life-time appointment. Racism, bigotry, antisemitism are the deciding factor for many but the deciding factor is that Republican affiliation. Walker is Trump’s current prime “token” in this election; pitting Black against Black in Georgia to increase their Senatorial numbers, why else would he so strongly support an obviously unqualified, easily controlled man of any color in the state of Georgia.

    If the Democrats don’t wise up and stop working against President Biden who couldn’t possibly work the miracles they expected of him in what was left in Trump’s wake, they will be out of a job and easily replaced by Republicans.

  5. Theresa Bowers; KUDOS! Those you referred to are found in our families, among our friends and in our neighborhoods; the little people who believe they have been cheated out of their right to bigger homes, newer cars and the wealth and power they see Trump bask in. They will never recognize that Trump as hero is their worst enemy.

  6. Kind of explains why the right created and pushes the “CRT” nonsense. If their kids don’t know the actual history of America they may also fll for MAGA racism and nonsense.

  7. Through a different lens…”independents” are the largest “party” in America, about 40%. Their “racism” number is materially in the direction of the GOP. So, they are ripe to “go along” with MAGA moves like voter suppression, etc. One is tempted to say they are being “groomed” to be racists.

  8. Is it wrong?

    We know that many of these individuals are hypocrites! But besides being hypocritical louts, they also need to manipulate and alter their own belief system to soothe their damning conscience.

    If folks have a conscience issue, they look for a permission slip. Sometimes it’s a radical pastor, sometimes it’s a respected family member, and even better, a high placed public official.

    During slavery, a frequent mindset to soothe conscience was the “Curse of Ham,” and of course most of us know what that is. If you don’t know what it is you should look it up considering it’s a major part of History, so be enlightened.

    Anyway, if you trace back scripturally, the curse of Ham, the curse was actually on light-skinned races of people and not dark-skinned Moorish or African individuals.

    The dark-skinned races descended from “Kush” and his brother whose name was “Put” who settled in Africa, we’ve all heard of the kingdom of Kush, Sheba, Carthage, and undoubtedly Ethiopia.

    But to soothe conscience during the slave trade, it’s an easier tack claiming that those dark-skinned slaves were actually cursed and cursed to be slaves.

    The papal Bull or Decree allowed the expansion of the sub-Saharan slave trade into the Iberian colonies. Spain and Portugal! But, if they converted to Christianity they would have certain rights and be able to negotiate with their captors. Although, during capture and trade, that was very rarely helpful. Hey, an honest 🫤 criminal hypocrite needs to make a buck too!

    These very ideals and others permeated religion for a long time and still do. Not because anyone, or, I should say most actually believe it, but it justifies in their own conscience their hatred and soothes said conscience.

    After all, when people decided in their own warped conscience, that they were Superior because of some sort of curse or evil doing by those who they hate, everything else flows easily. Willful delusion, willful ignorance, narcissism, aggrandizement, all play a role. Also, their scarred conscience evolved into what we can call a paleo-nanescent Me’ist movement. Where those self-deluded and self-proclaimed superiors could do what they want for the sake of themselves, and, not concern their conscience with anything such as pain, misery, lynchings, lamings, rape, refusal to allow marriage, splitting up a family’s, and myriads of other issues.

    That mentality is probably close to being genetically ingrained in those narcissistic self-aggrandized buffoons that need followers or are following!

    If you really know scripture, you can confront those individuals and really make an inroad, breaching that shield of ignorance they’ve been enveloped in. But alas, the so-called good guys really don’t have a clue, so, there is no sort of rebuttal on the level in which they need to have it made. So they just think you’re full of hot air! Because that’s what they’ve been told and that’s what they want to believe.

    I see the pain every day, people who still have that slavery instilled mentality that their ancestors had. And I’m talking about African slaves here. And how that process actually ruined the black family in the Americas and other continents or Islands. Not being allowed to marry and splitting up families by slave owners, selling off the children, selling off the mothers and fathers, ruined black family structure and reinforced the idea that black folks were no better than cattle and not even human, actually just 3/5 human!

    How do I know all of this? I study, but also it’s in my genetics. Because of my sub-Saharan and North African heritage, Plus, having heritage from Sicily and the Iberian peninsula, I’m able to glean much from just talking to family.

    Yesterday was a beautiful day to engage folks, not hot, and excellent conversations on all sides. Not on a blog per se, because a lot of times that’s just self adornment. But shaking hands and showing genuine concern and compassion and love for your fellow man talking to them while looking in their eyes and see that they appreciate it in our interested. Some are not, but, everyone’s not a good person. You really don’t need a religious poll for that.

    Vern used the term Pithy, a term that I have never used before, although, I’m familiar with it. People can hear you if you’re Pithy, but they usually prefer to turn a deaf ear. If you speak with conviction along with compassion and empathy, people will always listen. Then, you can make your case when you point out what scripture says and what history proves. And, that is why history and religion are so hated by the unsalvageable. It goes against their Me’ist and self-aggrandizing agenda!

  9. We all remember what happens if you say this out loud on the campaign trail, right? Even the left wing media threw a little hissy fit over Hillary’s suggestion that half of the Donald’s supporters could be put in a basket of deplorables. It turns out the only thing she got wrong was the percentage. It’s way more than half.

  10. OMG. What stirred the choir this morning! When obsessed by the rot of an orange peel, … relax. Think oven roasted maple glazed fresh carrots. Not everything orange is bad. Focus on what is good and make it happen to share with others. If all you focus on is worst case, then that is what people focus on at the polls. They vote what people talk about the most. People vote for something they know. If are against something, then focus on what you are for: i.e. our Constitution that holds in trust the truth and a mutual promise our nation as a whole shines a light on a future we have yet to achieve together. If not fulfilled for us in this generation, then for our children’s children.

  11. I have just this morning forwarded a new concern to Sheila for us to worry about, i.e., the theocratic amalgamation of Flynns and Stones with faith healers and Oath Keepers who tell us that they are Dominionists – those who are empowered by God with super powers over all others, our laws, the Constitution etc., that God sent us Trump, and that the world must have only one religion, i.e., Christianity.

    Fruitcakes who will never be empowered? Not necessarily; let’s remember that Adolph was a fruitcake, too, and to humanity’s everlasting horror, acceded to power. If we should return to the theocratic realm of the Holy Roman Empire via Dominion or any other rule by faith healers and exorcists, then I agree with Vern’s oft-stated observation that “I’m glad I’m old.”

  12. The independents Lester aren’t “being groomed to be racist.”

    Based on the survey results, racism extends beyond the GOP. Pointing back to the Ken Burns documentary, Americans in the 30s agreed with Hitler. So much so that FDR couldn’t make any moves to discredit Hitler’s treatment of the Jews without offending many Americans.

    We are dealing with a repeat, but not just in the USA. Look at much of Europe and the Nazi/Fascist movement. Much of this is due to mass immigration of people of color immigrating from the Middle East due to wars started by the US/NATO. Even though NATO always claims to not have a dog in the hunt.

    Wait until more of the environmentally crushed global south start mass immigration north. Nazism/Fascism will get worse.

    Do you remember how the Democratic Party shunned the Antifa movement a few years back? The corporate media rarely uses their name, while Trump and the right-wing get daily coverage.

    Ukraine is the media darling when 7-8 years ago, they were an example of pure corruption. LOL

    Nothing has changed but the US/NATO giving them billions in taxpayer funds which go directly to the black market and arming Nazis to keep Russians out of Eastern Europe. LOL

  13. There is good news to share. I have been canvassing for Joey Mayer running for our Indiana House District 24. I always come away with 1 or 2 people who share something more personal with me. First let me say, the idea of knocking on doors is not one I was comfortable with, but armed with good information to share that I thoroughly believe in makes me feel confident enough to do it. This past week I canvassed in a beautiful upscale country club neighborhood in Westfield. My first positive encounter was a woman out in the yard with her dog. We started chatting about the beautiful weather & I introduced myself & talked a bit about Joey & what she stands for. It’s easy to point out the stark differences between Joey & Donna Schaibley, the incumbent that voted in favor of SB1 (banning abortion) but then to also expand on that & let people know Donna also voted to NOT put the question about whether abortion should be legal in Indiana on the ballot. she doesn’t care what we want. She also voted in favor or our new law that no longer requires a permit to care a gun against the recommendations of law enforcement. Guess law enforcement officials lives are not as important as the unborn. So this very nice lady then told me she has organized a group of supporters for Joey in her neighborhood. I was so pleasantly surprised. If I had not been canvassing (something I’m not super comfortable doing) I wouldn’t have met this lady & learned about her group of supporters. That gives me hope!

    Second, I met a very nice couple that described themselves at former Republicans. They shared their disgust with the Republican Party. When I asked about top issues , the responses were: reproductive freedom (that’s always #1 or 2) then gun safety and public education.

    I attended the LWV candidate forum last night in Carmel. All of the Democrat candidates want to reverse SB1 and the permitless carry gun law. They want to protect public education & allow aye more fund to mental health, maternity health , etc. Of course no Republicans showed up. It’s kind of a “You made your bed, now lie in it” situation .

  14. Trump could only become a candidate via the Republican Party. Republicans have always been a home for racists, since at least the sixties. I don’t know how folks could support the Republican Party well into the 90’s and beyond. Latent resentments?

    Secondly, it’s no accident that former Republicans now support the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party now wants the votes of suburban Republicans more so than traditional Democrats. It’s also no accident since this development, that our current president,happens to have a storied history as a segregationist.

    White-America,Red or Blue is right of center. However,the center has always been of the coward’s provenance.

  15. There were times long ago when Homo Sapiens ran wild and free everywhere. But, in fact, even longer ago they were confined to a small area in Africa.

    They were equipped though with a unique superpower that separated them from the other life that surrounded them and that they were one with:


    They imagined that over the hills that defined their range there might be better. They couldn’t know, but they could imagine, better. So they climbed the hills and looked and found better in some ways and more challenging in others, so they kept imagining and walking.

    Eventually, they reached the ends of the earth and instead of imagining better over there, they imagined better right here.

    Over many, many generations though, a strange thing happened to them due to the uniqueness of all of the different places that they had left brothers and sisters behind in as they followed their imagination to new places. Depending on where they had abandoned the migration, they took on unique looks, and unique habits and defined different sounds to name everything around them. What stayed the same though was imagination.

    As much time unfolded they imagined tools to help them survive more comfortably. Better fed, and better protected from dangerous weather with housing and clothes. Instead of relying on what they could find they imagined planting their favorite foods and ponding their water and fencing in animals who stood for it for food and to help them with hard work and means to travel and explore larger ranges to understand better what they had missed or forgotten about the migration that allowed them to fill the earth beyond what any other species had managed to do.

    All of that continues to this day. We still imagine better. However, what we can imagine has encountered a new limitation that we did not anticipate that stems from our total success in protecting ourselves from discomfort and employing earth’s resources including energy to do our work. Because we are out of threats to our comfort, we can occupy our time being entertained by others empowered by unimaginable technology. The culmination of all progress? Some think so and therein lies a trap.

    Being entertained by others comes at the expense of the imagination that defines our history. It also comes at the expense of independence to imagine uniquely person by person to sort out the best ideas to follow from all of the possibilities. Entertainment, it turns out, comes at the expense of diversity in imagination and relationships among our species. Who could have possibly known this threat in time to avoid it?

    Let me explain further.

    Media entertainers influence culture way out of proportion to the quality of their imaginations. Millions of minds can be captured by hearing and seeing what they wish reality was because that reality seems to solve problems in their lives. But if it’s not real, can it? Or is it merely an illusion as entertainment has always specialized in creating? The latter I think.

    So we have created a society at odds with what makes us humans; imagination and diversity. Entertainment creates cults of like thinkers brought to imagining that they are absolutely right about everything instead of independent imaginations of possibilities for consideration by others.

    Is this the end of progress, which is an adaptation to changing reality? It seems so.

  16. I have to say, perhaps we dodged a bullet. If Trump was a personal friend of the Clintons,then obviously the Clintons do not have the intellect to properly judge the character of people. That is a fatal flaw.

  17. If intellectual agility and strength were added to the survey analysis, we would find that Republicans score very low – even lower – than the numbers shown. They have been inculcated in ME-ism and white grievance.

    For example: Out of one side of their mouths they spout how this nation is a white, Christian nation and that God has ordained that “fact”. Out of the other side of their hypocrites mouths comes white grievance, fear and outright racism. There’s a medical term for that dichotomy: schizophrenia.

  18. I do not agree with Todd that we are arming Nazis in Ukraine but do agree that our backing of Ukraine’s resistance is to keep the Russians out of Eastern Europe so that we will not have to go to war in fulfilling our NATO treaty obligations. I especially agree with his view that future migration will make current migration look like a walk in the park. I have been writing for years that if you think Central American migration to our country is unbearable, just wait until a hungry and overpopulated Africa explodes and resettles en masse on all the other continents (except, perhaps, insular Australia).

    What to do? Perhaps we should encourage investment, jobs and education among the nations of that continent via the World Bank and other such public and private institutions so that there would be little reason for their citizens to migrate. Most migrants want to stay home, but like those from gang-led and corrupt politicians in Central America, feel they must leave to survive.

    I hope that there are those in the North who as targets of such migration are thinking about what to do in view of this impending movement to the North of migrants on such a large scale.

  19. White Grievance. That is what is happening in America. That’s why there is this intense war between Democrats and Republicans. It really is a battle between whites. It will not matter when whites will no longer be the majority,whites will always have political power and agency. A.L.W.A.Y.S. This is the fulcrum of the battle. Unfortunately for the readers of this particular blog,Republicanism is gaining stronger–this is apparent by the Democratic Party’s attempt to continually move rightward and acquiesce on universal subjects. Democrats have gotten themselves into a corner. Plus,Democrats have been complacent for forty+ years. Look at a map of the entire country, and look at what party governs each area/precinct/county/city , and one can visually experience the Democratic Party is dying a slow death.

    This blog is predicated on white grievance,albeit the flip side to the same coin of their Republican counterparts. Whites are full of fear. That’s really the only selling point either party has to sell at this point. Fear,Fear and MORE FEAR.

    Unless you can afford to attend the thousands-of-dollars a plate political fundraisers,your government will not work for you. Everyone knows this. This is the root of voter apathy.

  20. A drunk Noah reportedly cursed his son. MAGA fools drunk on thier grievances
    love the Orangely “Most Aggrieved” in the world!
    They are, indeed, in the family, in the neighborhood, and they absorb all the BS that
    Faux (not) News can spew.
    The oligarchs sit back and cheer.
    This is not good.

  21. Lack of empathy and imagination. Pete is right.

    For those who are interested in the thought-processes of the far right MAGA cult, please see the following article from the BBC reporter who toured the west last summer.

    It is one thing to talk about violence pushback when elections are lost. It is quite another to imagine killing family, friends and neighbors with intent because an election was lost.

    tfg began in the entertainment forum and created his image to suit the grievance of his cult. Imagine how our lives will be affected if the cult followers are firmly in control. Chilling hardly suits. Dangerous and deadly do.

  22. Vern,

    Yes that dichotomy is schizophrenic!

    Or, maybe we can use a bifurcated consciousness, in a constant state of confusion and turmoil.

    The interesting part of reading all of the comments and such, is, how schizophrenic a lot of these comments are, even on this blog.

    If you hit your head with a hammer, to remedy pain, do you actually smash your head with a bag of hammers when your head still hurts? Kind of defeats the purpose.

    And then we have Where There Is a Will, Who/Whom:⁠-⁠\ really has some sort of alternate agenda.

    Vote blue no matter who? I recall not too long back everyone said the Republican party was going the way of the whigs, ooooops! Prognostication through Rose colored glasses is never really accurate. If you look at thousands of dollars a plate fundraiser, at least you know who gave the money! Why would the right fight tooth and nail not to reveal their dark money donors? We know that a lot of it’s been coming from overseas, and that poop is going to hit the fan eventually.

    No one has any moral high ground here but there are different levels of political morality, and one particular group is extremely politically immoral! Liars, extortionists, flimflammers, conspiracy theorists, religious fanaticism, you name it, the majority of which resides on one side of the divide.

    Crooks and thieves always go back to the well too many times. They feel that it’s worked so long, that the gravy train will never end.

    All of those self-proclaimed theocratic Christian warriors and associates are going to be in for a rude awakening. And when it happens, they’re going to seem very surprised. It doesn’t matter how intellectually advanced or nonadvanced they are, they have been unable to decipher the cycles of history.

    That doesn’t mean that other groups are completely sanctified or sanctified at all to straighten anything out, because what will undoubtedly happen, the perceived remedy will be taken too far also! Humanity can never seem to locate The road less traveled, so they keep beating the same drums and shuffling down the same roads and stopping at the same intersections and making the same wrong turns, it’s like groundhog day!

    There’s plenty of incompetence to go around, and I guarantee you that any politician/politicians one would vote for, is not going to rectify the systemic stupidity of humanity!

  23. Theresa Bowers, Trump is the trickster of Southern/Appalachian lore. The Jesse James. The bootlegger. The Dale Earnhardt.

    Sticking it to the man. Not really, of course, but in their eyes he’s an outlaw. You are absolutely right.

    Trump is the first professional wrestling president.

    Who’s next? A UFC fighter? President Herschel Walker?

  24. Gerald writes, “What to do? Perhaps we should encourage investment, jobs and education among the nations of that continent via the World Bank and other such public and private institutions…”

    It won’t be through the IMF with the dollar. Who wants to play with the USA when they slap you with sanctions the moment other countries deviate from the script?

    The expansion of BRICS and the decoupling of the dollar are not being discussed in the West’s propaganda media. Maybe they don’t understand or think we are too superior (exceptional), so it would never happen. 🙂

  25. Trump is like the weather. Everyone talks about him, but no one does anything about him.

    Where is Antifa when we need them? 🙂

  26. Pam,

    So is mine! So, what’s your point? No one’s disparaging your son, and no one is disparaging my son!

  27. Where There’s a Will,

    So exactly what was Toynbee right about?

    He was fairly prolific and had quite a few opinions on quite a few subjects! And, I might add, he was not afraid to use his own name!

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