The Wall

White evangelicals are getting a lot of attention in the larger press these days. That’s because they appear to be the most loyal demographic of Trump’s support.

I’ve posted on this topic before. Most recently, I speculated that it was Trump’s support of Christian Nationalism that could explain at least some of it.

I’ve also posted about the revisionist history that is a popular by-product of the fundamentalist belief that the founders intended this be a Christian nation. In fact, reliable historical accounts prove that their intent exactly the opposite. They realized that this experiment with democracy would fail if religion become politicized. Just as they distrusted the ability of a king to reflect the best interests of the people, they also believed the best way to get religion out of politics was to create a government with no religious preference.

So let’s dig into the question a little bit more to see if we can figure out why the white evangelical support for Trump is unwavering even as his support from other groups erodes.

White Evangelicals
The first question we need to address is why it appears to be specifically WHITE evangelicals rather than evangelicals in general, or even whites in general.

According to surveys, white evangelicals are more conservative than the larger white population on things like welfare, climate change, and immigration. 80% of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016. 59% of whites in general voted for Clinton. This may be the result of a fundamental fear of demographic change in general and racial resentment in particular.

Twice as many white evangelicals oppose climate change spending compared with other non-white evangelical groups. Twice as many white evangelicals oppose raising taxes on the wealthy compared with other non-white evangelical groups. White evangelicals are significantly more conservative on racial issues like Black Lives Matter or apologizing for slavery. 50% of white evangelicals believe that immigrants hurt the economy. Less than a quarter of non-white evangelicals share that belief. White evangelicals have the most negative attitudes toward immigrants of all US religious groups. That is in spite of the fact that most conservative white evangelical leaders strongly favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Here’s the answer that researchers have come up with.

My research indicates white evangelical conservatism correlates strongly with their perceptions (of) anti-white discrimination, even after taking into account economic status, party, age and region. Fully 50 percent of white evangelical respondents to our 2016 survey reported feeling they face discrimination that’s comparable to, or even higher than, the discrimination they believe Muslim Americans face. Those who hold this perception are more likely to hold conservative attitudes on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, tax policy and health-care reform.

This racial resentment is exacerbated by the rapid growth in non-white evangelical membership.  While 66% of evangelicals are still white, their numbers are declining rapidly.

The number of white evangelical Protestants fell from about 23 percent of the US population in 2006 to 17 percent in 2016, and only 11 percent are under 30, according to a survey of more than 100,000 Americans.

A Wall
67% of white evangelicals support building a wall. That is compared with 39% of the larger population. Here’s some additional research.

“For white evangelicals who see the sun setting on white Christian dominance in the country, the wall is a powerful metaphor,” said Jones, who has spent many years analyzing the attitudes of religious voters, and published the book “The End of White Christian America.”

Jones added that this metaphor embodies a white evangelical view of the world “as a dangerous battleground” made up of “chosen insiders and threatening outsiders,” as well as an “embattled minority trope that is rooted deep within southern culture,” such as the “Lost Cause theology following the Civil War,” and in “evangelical culture generally.”

Trump’s wall is a metaphor for the belief that Trump will protect white evangelicals from the demographic and cultural changes that they feel threaten their way of life.

On this score, historian John Fea has noted a longtime strain in white evangelical culture of “racial and religious fear” built on anxiety over immigrants, secularization, modernization and demographic change. While white evangelicals are not a monolith, Fea argues, many believe Trump is God’s vessel for “delivering them from the ‘captivity’ of the Obama administration,” so there’s little Trump could do that would “lead white conservative evangelicals to abandon him.”

As Stewart points out, some leading evangelical figures have even talked about this in wall metaphors. One such figure, who appears in the film, has declared that “America has become a nation without walls,” and that Trump will “restore the crumbling walls that separate us from cultural collapse.”

Walls appear deeply ahistorical as responses to the actual challenges to national sovereignty mounted by the facts of 21st-century globalization, Brown writes, but their overtones of long-vanished historical times are key to what makes them reassuring.

Walls have long been a metaphor for cultural strength and rebuilding community. Here’s how David Barton of the revisionist history WallBuilders movement describes it.

In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, the nation of Israel rallied together in a grassroots movement to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and thus restore stability, safety, and a promising future to that great city. We have chosen this historical concept of “rebuilding the walls” to represent allegorically the call for citizen involvement in rebuilding our nation’s foundations. As Psalm 11:3 reminds us, “If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?”

King Cyrus
There is a belief spreading among white evangelicals that Trump is a modern day version of King Cyrus.

This has been prompted by the release of a new movie, “The Trump Prophecy,” which tells the tale of a former firefighter who experienced an epiphany in 2011 that Trump would be elected president.

Analyzing the film, Katherine Stewart, a journalist who covers the Christian right, notes that it positions Trump as a modern-day “King Cyrus,” the 6th-century B.C. king of Persia who freed Jews from captivity in Babylon. As Stewart notes, Cyrus is the “model for a nonbeliever appointed by God as a vessel for the faithful,” and in the eyes of white evangelicals, Trump plays that role. In this telling, Trump is a savior figure for “Christian nationalism,” so his personal failings and misconduct are beside the point. Indeed, Stewart notes, his autocratic and anti-democratic conduct is a virtue, since it is being marshaled toward that end of rescuing evangelical culture from extermination.

To be clear, this is not an economic issue.

Economic anxiety isn’t a primary reason for white evangelicals supporting Trump. They fear losing racial status. White evangelicals’ belief that they’re the targets of discrimination – more so than other groups — influence far more than simply their votes for Trump.

While facts don’t support this fear, it remains an issue of belief just as strong as any other evangelical interpretation of the Bible. The problem is that you simply can’t argue belief.

So it doesn’t matter what the Mueller investigation turns up. Even if there is evidence that Trump committed treasonous acts, this particular group of supporters will continue to believe that God is working out His plan through Trump.

I believe that God IS working out his plan through Trump, but that His plan has no more to do with politics now than it did 2000 years ago when some questioned whether or not Jesus planned to overthrow the Romans.

As a result, I believe that the white evangelical group will face the same reckoning that every other group that confused politics with piety have faced throughout history. Unfortunately, pride goeth before the fall. Where there is great pride, as in the expectation of white privilege, the fall will be also be great.

God’s plan is simple. As the Bible tells us, God is no respecter of persons, or wealth, or influence, or privilege. His plan is that we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. The best way to secure that salvation is to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, provide clothes to the needy, care for the sick, and visit those who are imprisoned. God will judge all of us the same way. He doesn’t need our help separating the sheep from the goats. He doesn’t need a wall to carry out his plan. He doesn’t need a King. He certainly doesn’t need a president. He just needs us to love each other, listen humbly for His direction, and follow the leadings of Truth.


11 Responses to “The Wall”

  1. Keith says:

    Are you racist Jeff?

    African Americans vote 90-95% for Democrats. African amaerican Christians/church’s hate homosexual marriage. They can’t stand abortion. Their support for Bill Clinton? President Obama? Please write the corisponding hack piece on them. I dare you!!!!!

    White evangelicals vote for republicans because of abortion first and foremost and now homosexual marriage and supreme Court judges in my humble opinion. Everything else follows. Pick a side Trump or Hillary. Romney or Obama. Bush or Gore. It’s that simple.

    Make it about race all you want. I find that pathetic. But your a progressive. I now believe white years ago your side decided they would build a coalition of “everyone except” straight white males.

    All and all nice red herring of an article. Trumps talking about the boarder. Something many Dems are on record as wanting and even voting to support, and in dollar amount far greater then what Trumps asking for. What day you about boarder Security?

  2. Keith says:

    It doesn’t seem they disagree does it?

    I agree with every word Chuck says here. Do you?

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Trumps talking about the boarder. Something many Dems are on record as wanting and even voting to support, and in dollar amount far greater then what Trumps asking for. What day you about boarder Security?

    That is a good summary of Trump’s position.

    It isn’t a good statement of reality.

    This is pretty simple. It isn’t about border security. It IS about building a wall. He could have a border security deal TODAY if he were willing to stop talking about a wall. So please don’t continue to push that weak cheese argument that Democrats want open borders and aren’t concerned about illegal immigration.

    Here are a few facts.

    Trump ran on building a wall in 2016 and lost the popular vote. He ran on building a wall again in 2018 and Republicans suffered the biggest defeat in the House (based in popular votes) in history.

    Trump and Republicans controlled the government for two years and couldn’t get a bill passed to build a wall. The reason isn’t that Democrats opposed it (which they do). The reason is that a majority of American oppose it (which they do). So he couldn’t get the votes in his own party to fund building a wall because enough members in his own party knew that voting to build a wall was going to cost them votes in their next election.

    Even with all of that, Trump HAD a deal to fund at least part of building the wall in return for some action on Dreamers. He welshed on that deal. So now he is holding the government hostage in an effort to get a better deal.

    It’s not going to happen.

    That’s because he has painted himself into a corner with this base (white evangelicals) regarding this particular issue. IMHO, he has nowhere to go and will eventually have to admit defeat BECAUSE the pain that he is causing the country with the shutdown is going to ultimately be greater than the political pain he will suffer by backing down on his “wall” promise.

    In the meantime Democrats in the House will continue to pass bills reopening the government bit by bit and dare Republicans to vote no and the President to veto. Each bill will prove more embarrassing than the previous one. If it gets to that, either Trump caves or the Senate caves and overrides the veto (or passes bills with enough votes that they would override a veto).

    Hard to see how Trump recovers from this because right behind this are the avalanche of details that Democrats are going to start releasing regarding the various ongoing investigations.

    The most recent one, which came out of a botched redaction by Manafort’s lawyers, confirm that Manafort was sharing Trump’s internal campaign polling data with a Russian oligarch who owed Manafort money. Manafort’s motivation was to prove himself sufficiently valuable to the oligarch that the oligarch would pay some of his overdue bills. The only value that the polling data would have to the oligarch is if he was planning to pass it on to Putin. The only value this data would have to Putin, is if he could use it to provide better targeting information for the social media attacks that he was running on the Clinton campaign. Specifically, which states might be close enough that the social media campaign could influence the outcome. My prediction is that we will also discover that after that polling data was shared, there were changes in the Russian ad buys which reflected the targeting that Trump’s polling data contained. It will also be interesting to see if this flow of data from the Trump campaign to the Russians continued after Manafort was fired. We already know that Trump won the election based on roughly 7000 votes cast in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Whether or not the social media campaign actually caused that change in votes is going to be hard to prove. But it may be possible to prove that those states were targeted by the Russians BECAUSE they got polling data from the Trump campaign.

    At this point you are probably saying, so what? How are you ever going to be able to prove that Trump personally approved this? This was just Manafort, or perhaps Manafort and Roger Stone and some other rogue campaign folks with a “take no prisoners” attitude regarding their campaign.

    If so, then what is the alibi for the December 19th Treasuring Department (Mnuchin) easing sanctions against Russians including this specific oligarch. 2017 legislation gives congress 30 days to block any attempt by the President to ease Russian sanctions. So why was this announcement made during the Christmas holiday adjournment and three days before the announcement of the partial government shutdown? Maybe it is just coincidence, or perhaps the Trump administration was not interested in answering questions about why we are easing sanctions against Russians who were specifically involved in Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 election.

    This is just one of the reasons why it is difficult to imagine how things are going to get better for Trump and why he is so desperate to get a win in the “wall” fight. It has nothing to do with border security. It has everything to do with his need to demonstrate that he is the strong man that he claims to be and that he is willing to do “whatever it takes” to impose his will on those who disagree with him. In this case that happens to be a majority of the American people.

    His support from white Evangelicals is FOUNDED on his ability to demonstrate that he can protect them from all of the forces that appeared to be arrayed against them even though they are in the minority. It will be interesting to see what happens to that support when they discover that he CAN’T deliver on his promises.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It doesn’t seem they disagree does it?

    I agree with every word Chuck says here. Do you?

    Sorry, I’ve learned a LONG TIME ago not to trust random video’s posted on youtube.

    If Youtube videos are to be believed, Trump should be in jail for pedophilia.

    If you can find the full text of Schumer’s remarks during this speech, then we can have a conversation.

    As I posted earlier, Democrats in general and Schumer in particular had an agreement with Trump to trade $25B in border security funding for a deal on Dreamers. Trump blew that deal up, not Schumer.

    It was Trump who demanded $5B in WALL funding and shut down the government when he didn’t get it. He CREATED this crisis because he felt he needed to get a political win. He felt the need to demonstrate to his base that even though Republicans lost big in the midterm elections, Trump wasn’t damaged.

    Trump could have a deal TODAY on border security if he wanted one. He wants to build a wall because of political, not practical reasons. Democrats would probably also be willing to give him some smaller amount for a wall, but only if they get some political value in return (Dreamer deal). Trump is unwilling to do that. Right now, IMHO Democrats have the upper hand because they are controlling the agenda. The longer that Trump waits the weaker his position gets and the fewer options he has.

    So please stop repeating the Trump administration line.

    This is NOT about border security or what is best for the country.

    This IS all about symbolism, machismo, and what is best for Trump.

    BTW, the Democrats ARE demonstrating that they understand why they were handed a majority in the House. It WAS NOT to impeach Trump. It WAS to serve as an effective check on Presidential power. Trump is abusing his power by shutting down the government. Democrats are making sure to defeat that tactic so that it won’t be used again in the future.

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW BTW, here are some examples of why Trump is losing.

    Schumer and Pelosi are not the most likeable politicians in the country. Yet, they are winning the battle because they have successfully painted Trump as a petulant child.

    The country WANTS compromise. That’s why they gave Democrats a majority.

    Schumer and Pelosi are saying that they are willing to talk about ANYTHING, but table stakes for that discussion are ending the shutdown. IMHO, they have made the case that holding federal government employees hostage is NOT the way our government is supposed to work. They did not attempt to argue with Trump about his characterization of what is happening at the border. They have AGREED that we need to increase funding for border security and improve the way that asylum seekers are handled. They have disagreed that shutting down the government is the best path to create a plan that can pass Congress and get a Presidential signature.

    Instead of focusing on the fearful picture that Trump painted, Pelosi is talking about the hardship Trump has imposed on federal employees. She has accused him of not understanding what it means to miss rent or mortgage payment because of not getting paid. She has successfully described this as an extreme tactic used by a desperate weak man who doesn’t understand financial vulnerability. To the degree that her argument is winning, that is the political price that Trump is paying by being perceived as unwilling to negotiate.

    They are both currently winning this argument because Trump continues to act in childish ways. They are acting like adults and right now a majority of the country is looking for some adult supervision of the country.

    At the White House, Pelosi seemed almost incredulous. “If you don’t understand financial insecurity, then you would have a policy that takes pride in saying, ‘I’m going to keep government shut down for months or years unless you totally agree to my position,’ ” she told the media. She continued, “So I said to him, ‘Mr. President, the evidence of what’s happening there does not support the crisis you describe and therefore the solution you suggest. Because we have a better idea of how to keep our country safe and it isn’t a wall.’” Facts! Defiance! No wonder Trump stormed out. (Minority Leader Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York pointed out that the Democrats offered to negotiate anything if Trump opened the government. He added, “This was really, really unfortunate and in my judgment, somewhat unbecoming of a presidency.”)

    Back at the Capitol, Pelosi was needling Trump again. “We’ve been having conversations with him. But you cannot come to a conclusion if the president of the United States says ‘My way or the highway, there’s nothing to negotiate and, by the way, I am willing to hold the American, our federal workers hostage to my view,’” she said. “How pathetic is his argument, if he doesn’t even have confidence that he can prevail in the negotiation if he has to shut down government to strengthen his hand.”

    Asked how this compared to past negotiations, she replied, “It wasn’t even a high-stakes negotiation. It was a petulant president of the United States. A person who would say, ‘I’ll keep government shut down for weeks, months or years unless I get my way.’ ” She explained, “That’s just not the way democracy works, and so it’s very sad. And the sad part of it is, that when you are having a negotiation, you can’t negotiate unless you stipulate to fact and the president is presenting notions that really do not relate to fact, evidence, data or truth.”

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Are you racist Jeff?

    Not the last time I checked. I’m a Christian. I believe that we are all made in the image and likeness of our creator. That means that we are all spiritual beings – not material. If our essence is spirit, we don’t have a color much less a body. My challenge is to love those who don’t love me and figure out what the best thing is that I can do every day to secure my own salvation.

    African Americans vote 90-95% for Democrats. African amaerican Christians/church’s hate homosexual marriage. They can’t stand abortion. Their support for Bill Clinton? President Obama? Please write the corisponding hack piece on them. I dare you!!!!!

    This wasn’t a hack piece.

    It was based on solid social science data on why White Evangelists continue to support a president at a level that NO OTHER EVANGELICAL group can approach.

    This is a valid question.

    If it were simply a question about belief(abortion, marriage equality, etc.), I agree. All evangelical groups are pretty well aligned. But as you pointed out, non-white evangelicals are voting for Democrats who are pro-choice and support marriage equality. We’ll dig into that in a minute.

    I the meantime, the areas where WHITE Evangelicals diverge from non-white evangelical congregations are on issues directly related to race. I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but the data IS the data.

    White evangelicals vote for republicans because of abortion first and foremost and now homosexual marriage and supreme Court judges in my humble opinion. Everything else follows. Pick a side Trump or Hillary. Romney or Obama. Bush or Gore. It’s that simple.

    Unfortunately, it IS NOT that simple. If it were, the voting and survey data would be different. But it’s not different.

    If you are able to find credible data supporting a different conclusion, I’m happy to discuss it. But what the data says is that White Evangelicals are terrified of ALL people of color. They are particularly terrified of the prospect that the Evangelical movement is growing fastest AMONG people of color. It is the fear of the other which is the basis for their perception that Trump is fulfillment of the King Cyrus prophecy. This is enough of a “thing” that someone made a movie promoting this idea.

    Make it about race all you want. I find that pathetic. But your a progressive. I now believe white years ago your side decided they would build a coalition of “everyone except” straight white males.

    What is pathetic is your level of denial.

    This is not about sides.

    This is about trying to figure out why people who claim a deep devotion to their Christian faith appear willing to support someone who doesn’t share anything in common with them.

    Whether or not you agree with the answer, hopefully you can appreciate that this is a fair question.

    Your answer is that it is all about policy (abortion, marriage equality, etc.). As a result, I explored this concept in deeper detail. I just found it hard to believe that people as deeply devoted to their Christian faith as evangelicals appear to be, could be so transactional in their voting preferences. There had to be more to it. Otherwise it called into question the quality of faith for the whole evangelical movement.

    The data that I found says that it isn’t just an issue of voting for whomever is against abortion and marriage equality. That’s why there is a difference between evangelical congregations that has nothing to do with faith.

    White Evangelicals overwhelmingly support restrictive immigration policies and policies which discriminate against the poor and people of color. Those policies have nothing to do with abortion or marriage equality. Many white evangelical leaders oppose those policies, yet white evangelical members broadly support them.

    Hopefully you can appreciate why evangelical congregations composed of people of color and those that are poor are going to oppose these policies. For them, these issues are MORE important than abortion or marriage equality. You could criticize these non-white congregations for being transactional, because policies that help people of color in general are also going to benefit evangelical congregations of color. But, just as with white evangelicals, I believe the choices of non-white congregations are better aligned with what the bible says regarding the poor and the stranger. White Evangelical leaders have also come to the same conclusion. They both believe their faith is better served by focusing on the poor and the stranger than it is defending the rights of the unborn or objecting to the sexual preferences of some people.

    But let’s just turn the question around.

    In 2020, the Democrats nominate an African American evangelical woman. She reflects the beliefs of her congregation. She is pro-life. She is anti-marriage equality. She pledges to nominate judges who will keep an open mind to both questions. She supports increased funding for programs to combat poverty. She supports immigration laws which would admit anyone (and their family) who can prove they have a clean criminal record, are not affiliated with any terrorist organizations, and have an employer/community willing to sponsor them.

    You telling me that all those white evangelicals currently supporting Trump would change their party affiliation and vote for this female African American Democrat?

    I really hope that they would change their vote because that would indicate that they really are trying to live their faith. But the research predicts that Trump would retain all of the support that he currently enjoys from white evangelicals.

  7. Keith says:

    And I can say how did the Russians influence the tens of thousands of voters in Philly, Detroit and Milwaukee to stay home and not vote for Hillary as they had for President Obama? Had they she wins hands down. They didn’t. Did the Russsians somehow influence Hillary to not campaign in Mich or Wisc??? You say one yet somehow forget the other truth.

    Don’t ever forget 11 or 12 outstayed counties in Michigan votes twice for President Obama then flipped to Trump. When did they become racists?

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And I can say how did the Russians influence the tens of thousands of voters in Philly, Detroit and Milwaukee to stay home and not vote for Hillary as they had for President Obama? Had they she wins hands down. They didn’t. Did the Russsians somehow influence Hillary to not campaign in Mich or Wisc??? You say one yet somehow forget the other truth.

    The issue isn’t whether or not the Russians were successful in altering the course of the election. I’ve already said that it would be very difficult to prove anything one way or the other.

    It is a fact, however, which you have been unwilling to admit, that the Russians did ATTEMPT to influence the 2016 election.

    That is as much of an attack on this country as any other terrorist. Like the shoe bomber, it doesn’t matter whether or not the bomb actually went off. The crime is the attack.

    The question IS did the Russians obtain information from the Trump campaign that COULD have been used to better focus their social media campaign?

    The Rosenbergs were tried and executed for treason because they shared US nuclear secrets with the Russians. The Russians have never used a nuclear weapon. There was also no proof that the Russians needed the information that they got from the Rosenbergs in order to create a nuclear weapon.

    The crime is in sharing sensitive information with our enemies, not whether our enemies were actually able to use that information.

    Hopefully you can appreciate how serious a crime this is and the implications if it turns out that Trump was aware of it.

    Don’t ever forget 11 or 12 outstayed counties in Michigan votes twice for President Obama then flipped to Trump. When did they become racists?

    Trump flipped 12 counties in Michigan, but that wasn’t the reason he won. He won by 10K votes. Clinton got 78K fewer votes in Wayne County that Obama. Trump got 14k more votes than Romney. The libertarian Gary Johnson got 172K votes. Green Party Jill Stein got 51K votes. Evan McMullin running as a Republican alternative to Trump got 8K votes.

    The Russian plan in Michigan was to suppress the African American vote and promote third party candidates. Both of those things happened. Johnson’s vote total was the most any third party candidate obtained in Michigan since Ross Perot.

    You can claim that Clinton didn’t help her cause, and that is true.

    But when you are talking about swaying .23% of the total vote, it is certainly possible. Here’s a link to a NYT article reporting on some of the tactics.

    The voter suppression effort was focused particularly on Sanders supporters and African-Americans, urging them to shun Mrs. Clinton in the general election and either vote for Ms. Stein or stay home.

    The focus on the African American community tried to convince African Americans that the election process was corrupt and that their votes didn’t matter. Black voter participation declined in 2016 for the first time in 20 years.

    The campaign also targeted left-wing voters with material that criticized Clinton and promoted Sanders (who wasn’t on the ballot), Johnson, and Stein.

    Whether or not the Russians were successful in Michigan, it is clear that Clinton would have won Michigan if there was just marginally higher African American turnout in Wayne County and if there was just marginally fewer voters picking third party candidates rather than Clinton.

    As far as your comment regarding racists, that is really a little bit of passive aggression. You are better than that.

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, regarding third party candidates – both Johnson and Stein did marginally better in Michigan (3.6% and 1.1%) than they did nationally (3.28% and 1.07%).

    Here that the Washington Post says regarding their effect in key swing states.

    First, in five states Trump won by a margin smaller than the combined Johnson/Stein vote: in Arizona (by 0.6 percentage points), Florida (1.6), Michigan (4.4), Pennsylvania (2.0) and Wisconsin (3.7).

    What if we add the entire Stein vote to Clinton’s total in these states? This would have flipped the outcome in Michigan (16 electoral votes) and Wisconsin (10), and left Clinton just 19,234 votes short (as of this writing) in Pennsylvania (20) — a margin she might have overcome without Johnson in the race. Adding the first two states to Clinton’s column would give her 258 electoral votes, while Trump would have 280. Adding Pennsylvania would have put Clinton over the top, 278 to 260.

    But this projection rests on the unrealistic assumption that all Stein voters would have voted for Clinton. Probably some would have stayed home, skipped the presidential race or voted for another candidate.

    Second, the 2016 exit polls asked voters how they would have voted if forced to choose between the two major-party candidates. Based on those answers, in the five states identified above, Trump would have kept his lead in Arizona (48 percent to 44 percent) and Florida (48 to 46 percent). Clinton would have flipped Michigan (48 to 44 percent).

    In Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Clinton and Trump would have tied at 48 percent apiece.

    In each case, the other respondents said they would have abstained from voting.

    Clinton might have won, based upon these data, but only by winning both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. If Trump held onto even one, he would have kept an electoral college majority.

    Russian attempts to influence Sanders supporters to vote for third party candidates wasn’t sufficient to secure the election for Trump. BUT, they came REALLY close and you certainly can make the case that combining this effort with suppressing the African American vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, and PA could have made the difference.

    The fact that it was this close would certainly be incentive for the Russian effort and that’s really what we need to find out.

    If it turns out that the Russians did all of this on their own without any contact with the Trump campaign, we still have an issue. That issue is Trump’s unwillingness to treat this as a serious terrorist attack. If it turns out that the contacts with the Trump campaign that we know about and/or others that we don’t know about yet WERE part of a coordinated effort to undermine the Clinton campaign; we have to be willing to hold EVERYONE who either participated or knew about it and did nothing accountable. This is not politics as usual. This is treason.

    We invaded Afghanistan because they allowed OBL to use that country as a base of operations when he planned the 9/11 attacks. We invaded Iraq because they made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Bush I.

    What is our appropriate response when we discover that Russia attacked our election system with the purpose of destabilizing our democracy?

    What is our appropriate response when we discover, even if he wasn’t involved, that our President was aware, as a result of his security briefings, of the scope of Russian involvement in our elections and ignored that information?

    Hopefully our appropriate response if we discover that our current President was aware of Russian efforts to undermine the Clinton campaign and did nothing to stop them, or worse yet approved them, is to remove him from office.

    The fact that the FBI had information about Trump’s contacts with Russia that raised enough questions to justify an investigation of a sitting President is VERY concerning.

    You can suggest that it was just a rogue FBI protecting their fired chief and maybe that’s the truth. But the FBI also knows the serious risks they would be taking if this investigation had no basis in fact.

    So we need to know this too. If the FBI can’t be trusted to stay in its lane do its job, it needs to be restructured.

    If the FBI HAD a basis in fact to suspect that Russia had something on Trump that they could use to manipulate him, we need to know that too so that we can determine whether the FBI are heroes or scoundrels.

    Also the suggestion of some that nothing came from the investigation is also false. Until the Mueller report is released, we just don’t know. The appropriate action for the FBI would have been to hand over whatever they found to someone in the Justice Department for action. They can’t bring charges against anyone for anything.

    We’ll know soon enough.

    Hopefully we’ll see some leadership from both parties when we learn more about what actually happened.

  10. Keith says:

    Please watch the video.

    Sorry for lack of response lately. Traveling extra. When I saw this montage late last him I thought to send it to you. When I saw it my first thought was and the far left thinks a few Russian Facebook posts influenced the election? The mainstream media’s influence is overwhelming and constant. It’s always in front of us. The most recent findings still show “mainstream media”, minus Fox, to be 90% negitive coverage of Trump sines he was elected. The left wonders why trump supports support Trump…. well the ability to listen to the left and the mainstream media is difficult. Their credibility is shot. From day one it’s been impeach Trump. Why should ANYONE listen or take them seriously? If he’s done something impeachable then it will stand on its own. Yesterday’s display was so over the top even Mullar had to step in.

    Enjoy the snow !!!

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    As I’ve said before, I’m not interested in random videos from biased news sites. Here’s one example of how this site has been rated.

    Overall, we rate Grabien Right biased based on story selection and sourcing that significantly favors the right. We also rate them borderline Questionable for factual reporting due to failed checks and use of sources that have very poor track records with fact checkers.

    Please don’t use right wing biased web-based sites to support your claim of media bias.

    Your response echoes the bias that right wing Trump supporters have been using to “spin” Russian meddling in our election.

    The FACT is that Russian DID meddle in our election. Trump initially tried to deny that this meddling occurred. When he could no longer deny it, the story switched to the statement that it had not effect on the outcome. So suggesting that it was a big deal is really just an effort by “the left” to delegitimize Trump election is a way to recaste the story in a light that minimizes what the real story is.

    NO ONE is suggesting that the 2016 election was illegitimate. Suggesting that Trump my have committed an impeachable offense is NOT the same as suggesting that he somehow got more votes in the electoral college than he should have. Contrary to Trump’s claim, there was no evidence of voter fraud.

    On the other hand, there IS plenty of evidence that the Russians ATTEMPTED to influence the outcome of the election. So let’s just stop there.

    Try to take your bias glasses off.

    Here are the legitimate questions.

    1. What should the United States do when a foreign power attacks country by interfering with our elections?
    2. What should the United States do when the President refuses to hold ANY foreign power accountable when we have proof that they attacked our country?

    Answer those two questions honestly and we can continue to have this discussion.

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