Quick Takes: White Evangelicals Think Our Culture Has Become Too Feminine

* Emma Green points to an interesting finding in the new study by the Public Religion Research Institute.

In general, they [white evangelicals] are worried about America becoming weak: 64 percent of white evangelicals “completely” or “mostly” agreed that “society as a whole has become too soft and feminine,” compared to 48 percent of white mainline Protestants, 40 percent of Catholics, and 35 percent of people who are religiously unaffiliated.

* Ed Kilgore reacts to that news:

It certainly does help explain why self-proclaimed followers of the Prince of Peace are attracted to a leader who supports torturing prisoners of war, killing noncombatant relatives of terrorism suspects, and expanding the use of racial and religious profiling. The ideas of loving one’s enemies or turning the other cheek are about as far away from Trump’s worldview as is possible. He would undoubtedly call these values “soft and feminine,” if not something more vulgar.

Maybe it’s not Trump who is the object of mistaken identity among white evangelicals. Maybe it’s Jesus, or at least the Jesus who called on his disciples to eschew worldly values and sacrifice all for love.

* Trump certainly validated his view of “manly toughness” in Ohio last night when, in talking about his cabinet nominees, he said this:

“Greatest killers you’ve ever seen — it’s time.”

* One last word from Paul Krugman on Trump’s Carrier deal:

* I watched one of Steve Bannon’s documentaries so you don’t have to. But Adam Wren actually watched all nine films spanning 13 hours and 11 minutes.

If I learned one thing during this all-out assault on the senses, it was that the arc of the moral universe may be long, but it bends toward the guillotine. Western Civilization as we know it is under attack by forces that are demonic or foreign—the difference between those is blurry—and people in far-distant power centers are looking to screw you. What’s worse, Christianity and freedom are on the wane. In his documentaries, the president-elect’s man is a kind of political John the Baptist, explaining to you how bad and corrupt and Godless our country really is, and preparing the way for potential saviors to take the country back. The Big Banks, the Establishment, Hollywood, the Left, the Right—to all of them, Bannon insists, “the forgotten man” is a potential mark in a long con that threatens to topple the “Judeo-Christian West,” as he put it in a colloquy with the Vatican in 2014, according to a recording unearthed by Buzzfeed.

* Josh Marshall weighs in with some wise words on the current discussion about economic populism vs identity politics.

What it all amounts to is that politics involves trade offs. The Democrats aren’t going to be the party of the cities and also rural America. They’re also not going to be the party of the overwhelming majority of non-white voters and the party of working class whites or non-college educated rural white people – not as long as the divisions in our society are anything like they are. But the simple truth is that parties need to win majorities. Everything follows from that. Doing so involves lots of trade offs, lots of complexities, lots of clever ways to get the better part of cleavages in society when it’s not possible to erase them. More than anything else it takes hard work by millions of people. Standing up straw men or caricatures of arguments or clumsy oppositions of things that actually need to be reconciled accomplishes very little.

* Finally, is it too soon for a little holiday cheer?

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.