Evangelicals Swing Elections

Re: “White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling” by James A. Haught (2/1/17 TPP): Here is the deal about voting. Only 60% of eligible Americans are even registered. Of that, a mere half bother to vote, even in the 2016 election which offered the worst case scenario I can remember, and I am older than you.

Thus, a mere 15% can decide who will rule over you and in what manner.

When the Graham group puts out their “Decisions” magazine saying it is Trump or Satan and all the other raving media preachers do the same, the Pentecostals are at the polls giving the devil his due. (That publication went out to everyone stupid enough to contribute to the shoebox campaign.)

Don’t forget Fox and CNN that could not quit saying Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump! Trump called Hilary The Devil on the doofus media referred to as television.

I consider CNN to be almost as much to blame as Fox.

A decade old book “Deer Hunting with Jesus” explains better why the poor and downtrodden vote for Republicans than any television pundits l have ever heard. Or, TPP writers also ...

We know what Trump apparently is, but most of the Jesus lovers’ Old Testament heroes were murdering, stealing perverts, so Trump is okay with them ... as long as he is not gay.

I am also extraordinarily weary of hearing the nones are the largest segment of America. This is not unlike listening to Tom Flynn babbling. Regardless of the size of the demographic the nones are unorganized and incapable of countering the unified evangelical voting bloc.

Don’t tell me about registering the unregistered, which is probably an even more stupid demographic than the registered voters!

Tight organization of the evangelical component has and will continue to win elections, both local and national. They will not stop until we are all slaves to Jesus ... their Jesus, not yours.

On Nov. 8, 2016, America was on the tipping point between democracy and an autocratic theocracy.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Charles A. Wagner
Peru, Ind.

Make Election Reform Democrats

And so the horrific Trump interlude begins. Meanwhile, the majority of Americans find themselves sidelined. How did we ever get into this mess?

Not too surprising, really. Isn’t this the way that wily teacher, history, always operates? Two steps forward, two steps back. And money uber alles.

But enough metaphor. Where does all of this leave we the people? As usual, I consult that gravelly humorist and spot-on writer, Ted Rall. (Thank you TPP for running Mr. Rall.) I refer specifically to his recent column, “Please Stop the Fear and Loathing of 2017.”

Rall’s version of recent events is straight-forward, and I agree with his version. The Democratic Party hasn’t lost much with the eclipse of Clintonism. In fact, the tragic election of 2016 will prove the bracing elixir that will force the party to reclaim its New Deal identity.

Anybody else have any thoughts on all of this?

(Thanks for listening.)

Jim Martel
Lynn, Mass.

Bring Back Social Studies and Civics

Thank you for your thoughtful editorial, “Carnies vs. Rubes,” in the 1/1-15/15 issue. nnRegarding the Electoral College, it appears that what started out as an honorable institution back in 1804 has deteriorated into another marketplace to buy and sell votes. No wonder voter turnout at the polls is so low. Why bother, if the election is really decided by a group of deal-makers?

In addition, the January-February issue of Mother Jones reports in “Bully Pulpit” that federal funding for social studies and civics classes in our public schools was eliminated in 2011 in favor of more emphasis on “testable” math and English curricula. State and local resources in poorer areas have not been able to offset this shortfall except by shuffling teachers’ schedules and responsibilities.

How appalling! Today’s youth are expected to function in a global community given little or no education on how to interact except via cyberspace. Soon they will have only their parents’ politics (or lack thereof) to understand how government works, and no incentives other than money to enter public service.

A spokesman from the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools told Mother Jones that the fiscal 2017 appropriations bill could relieve the pressure with money for the states and local districts to expand social studies. However, the “ideology” of how to teach these subjects “might vary.” It will be interesting to see how American history and civics are taught without American ideology.

Betty Crowder
Honeydew, Calif.

Triumph of Ignorance

This is awesome! We are witnesses to the most remarkable event of all time — the ultimate triumph of ignorant stupidity over rational intelligence.

Donald Trump is going to “Make America Great” again. First will be the greatest market crash of all time, followed by the Greatest Depression of all time, followed by the Greatest World War of all time, followed by the greatest expanse of continent-wide radioactive wastelands of all time.

Ten thousand years from now, historians (if there still are such things) will be amazed at what could be accomplished by the corruption of politics by money, the worship of moral depravity and the corruption of language to enshrine worldwide as holy sacred principles of gospel truth that “Ignorance is strength,” “Love is hate,” “War is peace,” “Slavery is freedom,” “Truth is a lie” and that “Words don’t really mean anything.”

Harvey Stoneburner
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Prepare for the Next Fight

While the 1/21/17 protests across the country may have reminded Trump and his supporters that the majority of voters rejected him, that they are united in their horror at his many loathsome qualities, it should not keep progressives from focusing on the true battleground, the states dominated by Republican reactionaries.

While Trump will eventually leave the picture, the Republican hold on the Congress and key states is what matters. While Trump rants and twitters over the next few years, the real damage will be coming from unleashed Congressional Republicans, and likely from the new Supreme Court majority.

Education and organizational efforts should focus on winning back control of states dominated by the Koch agenda. Gerrymandering is already in place with little to be done other than court challenges. Voter suppression laws however might be combatted by troops on the ground.

Harper’s January Index reported the following: Estimated number of votes by which Donald Trump won the state of Wisconsin: 27,000; the number of registered Wisconsin voters who lacked voter identification: 360,000.

I would suggest progressive forces make every effort to combat voter suppression laws by seeing that voter ID cards are in the hands of every qualified voter. Instead of contributions to the Democratic National Committee, financial support should go to legal efforts to overcome any bureaucratic barriers or stonewalling by Republican officials that might be encountered. Protest marches are important but efforts to fight voter suppression appear a weapon more effective in combatting the evils ahead.

Allen Agnitti
Springfield, Mass.

Whole GOP Messed Up

Those who are focused on the awful things President Trump is doing are aiming too narrowly. The entire Republican Party should be the target.

The Republicans are the instigators or enablers of all the awful things that are happening — the suppression of voters, the suppression and oppression of women, the oppression and suppression of immigrant and refugee rights. They are the ones who are lowering the taxes of giant corporations and wealthy high-income Americans. They are the ones threatening to cut or eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs to help the elderly and the disabled to live in dignity and in security. They are the ones reducing or eliminating programs to help children thrive and aspire. They are the ones trying to limit or eliminate health care for women and everyone else. They are the epitome of “me first, to hell with the rest of you!”

Only when every Republican is driven from office will we begin to heal and bring back a responsible, healthy and thriving society.  Progressives everywhere should join the effort.

Frank L. Schneider
Chicago, Ill.

Our Failed Societal Principles

When you allow greed to usurp need is when your societal values have reached a new ugly, ethical and moral low.

This is where unfortunately our once proud pluralistic nation finds itself and what direction it must now go.

The speakers of hate and the denigration of the “other”, facilitated via “fake” news with venomous rhetoric and continued untruths shall now continue to flow.

As the Wall Street and Corporate pillagers who’ve poisoned our Republics values to guarantee their devious absolute control of our lives and futures totally uncompromised shall be within the White House proper pursuing their intended Oligarchy to pillage far greater the world’s struggling lives.

Forget about our Founders’ espousal of an Egalitarian Society because the words of former great Supreme Court Justice signify what won’t have us be free. “We” may have Democracy, We may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few; but “We” can’t have both. Followed by the inspirational wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi “You must be the change you wish to see in your own society (world).

So rise up and speak out for it’s they who had faith in a civilized populace fighting for and providing a better way. Defy the hate and haters to bring about and secure a better day.

“We” are now all being tested, so don’t you dare fail to respond, for those who’ve sacrificed their lives and passed away shall be welcoming you in their heavenly beyond.

Frank C. Rohrig
Milford, Conn

Jobs for Clowns

In a month where, after 146 years, the Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus announced it was closing, at least it appears that the unemployed clowns may have a good chance to get jobs with the new administration in Washington, D.C., headed by Clown-in-Chief Donald Trump. If the majority of Americans wake up to the three-ring circus in time, our country might be able to survive the Clown-in-Chief’s four-year term without a nuclear World War III, irreversible climate change and numerous other health, educational, and financial disasters.

Edward L. Koven
Highland Park, Ill.

From The Progressive Populist, March 1, 2017


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