How Can Fundamentalist Christians Back Trump?
He Is “the Bully Who Is on Their Side”



From a reader:


The Sunday New York Times (8/9/2020) featured a major piece titled “Christianity Will Have Power.” The print edition headline added “How a Promise by Trump Bonded Him to White Evangelicals,” while the online edition included a subtitle pulled from the article: “Donald Trump made a promise to white evangelical Christians, whose support can seem mystifying to the outside observer.”

The piece focuses (overwhelmingly) on interviews with white, middle-class Christian Trump-supporters in a small town in Iowa. The supposedly “mystifying” factor invoked in the online headline is how devout Christians can support someone who bragged about assaulting women, built a career off gambling, rarely goes to church and who seems to not even recognize the applicability of “forgiveness” (supposedly a core Christian value).

It’s not that mysterious. Trump supporters spell it out in the article.

  • One parent profiled in this piece is fearful and outraged that the school they send their kids to “might be forced to let in students who were not Christian, or hire teachers who were gay.” Translation: This is a movement whose “ultimate goal is to replace public, secular education with schools based on Christian fundamentalist indoctrination” (see “STATEMENT BY BOB AVAKIAN August 1, 2020, ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION, THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME, VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION” by Bob Avakian).
  • One woman told the Times that in her view “religious freedoms being taken away” included “If you don’t believe in homosexuality or something, you lose your business because of it.” Translation: Banning overt discrimination against gay people who want to go into a public store and buy something is taking away store owners’ “religious freedoms” because it legitimizes and protects the basic civil liberties of LGBT people.
  • Why, asks one of these Trumpites, is there so much concern over deaths from coronavirus, or the struggle against police murder when “There are more deaths from abortion than there are from corona.” Translation: The patriarchal enslavement of women, forcing them to bear a child against their will, trumps the actual lives of Black people killed by the police, or the victims of the pandemic, disproportionately Black, Latino, Native American and older people.
  • Apparently in response to being asked about racism, one of these Trump supporters interviewed by the Times responds, “People in my circles, you don’t really hear about racism, so I guess I don’t know too much about it… When I see the pictures [of protests], I thought they all should be at work, being productive citizens.” Translation: The genocidal epidemic of police murder against Black people, Latino people and Native Americans is just fine! It is consistent with the vision of a white Christian America.
  • In response to Trump ordering a militarized police assault on protesters outside the White House with tear gas and rubber bullets so he could pose outside a church with a Bible, the Times quotes one of these Christian Trump supporters saying “We have the greatest country in the world… We’re going to keep it nice and safe.” Translation: For a country built on slavery, genocide, and unjust war, it has always taken a lot of violence, and now it will take a new level of that kind of repression to keep it that way.

The Times piece is sounding a warning that Trump’s hardcore Christian fascist base is still with him, and still hardcore. At the same time, the piece obfuscates what is behind this, as concentrated in avoiding the F-word to describe the regime and its “base” as what they are: Christian Fascists! Behind the unholy marriage between Trump and the Christian fascists are people who support Trump, in the words of the author of the piece in the Times, because “He is their protector, the bully who is on their side, the one who offered safety amid their fears that their country as they know it, and their place in it, is changing, and changing quickly.”

There is what could be interpreted as a relatively benign portrayal of the white people who are interviewed, with their fear and hatred of change, diversity and tolerance, which also gets projected through photos (especially the color photos in the online version) that depict a child at play, a family dinner, Bible study, blue skies, green fields, and spotless orderly streets.

We’ve seen people like this rally behind these fascists before, Hitler in Germany. This time around – in the world’s sole, and nuclear armed superpower –the stakes for humanity are exponentially higher, the dangers exponentially worse.

The outlook of the white people interviewed in the Times piece is no different from those people in Germany who supported Hitler because they hated and feared Jews, Roma people, women—those “undesirables”—who refused to stay “in their place,” and turned a blind eye to or actively were part of the genocidal horrors that this ignorance, prejudice and hatred enabled.

In “Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of “Painless Progress” and in other recent works, Bob Avakian cuts through obfuscation and gets to the core motives of Trump’s hardcore supporters:

Trump’s election—through the electoral college, not the popular vote—is, in a real sense, an extension of slavery: the people who voted for Trump are the kind of people who would have been pro-slavery, had they been around at the time of slavery in the United States. And those who find it acceptable to have the overt white supremacist Trump in the White House are the kind of people who would have ignored or would have openly accepted and justified or rationalized slavery when it existed. And here I have to invoke what I thought was a very insightful comment by Ron Reagan (yes, Ronald Reagan’s maverick son, who is also, to his great credit, an unabashed atheist): Trump’s much-analyzed, over-analyzed, “base” will continue supporting him, no matter what he does, Ron Reagan has pointed out (and this is very insightful), because Trump hates all the same people they hate.

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