The Christian literary genre Apocalypse means to “unveil things previously hidden.” The advent of Donald Trump’s political rise serves as an unveiling of the hidden violence and vulgarity of the state.
.. He turns the lights on during their fantasy programming, so they scapegoat him for their own sins.
Hating Trump isn’t about his platform; all the other candidates are just as violent or worse. It’s about keeping up with appearances. Social status.
.. We’re more scared of associating with people who shop at Wal-Mart than hiring officials that carry out mass murder in our name.
.. What the Serious Adult voters righteously freaking out about Trump don’t seem to get is that that right there is called satire. Trump is mocking pandering itself.
.. Nietzsche is often cited as saying the sacred is whatever you’re not allowed to laugh at in a culture.
.. Scapegoating Trump will not erase our shame. Hiding state violence under the cover of politically correct speech codes will not, either. We need only to desire collective repentance – a changing of our minds – for the violence we commit against our neighbors.
“We’re voting with our middle finger,” said a Trump supporter in South Carolina. All of the institutions that have failed — failed to stop Barack Obama, failed to save the United States from adulteration, corruption and destruction — should be overturned. Burn, baby, burn.
This approach to politics has not normally been associated with conservatism, which teaches prudence, proportion and respect for institutions, even if they require reform.
.. The political philosophy of the middle finger — captured by Trump in all its vulgar, taunting, divisive glory — requires an ethical leap. It assumes that practices we know are wrong in our private lives — contempt, mockery, cruelty, prejudice — are somehow justified in our political lives. It requires us to embrace views and tactics that we would never teach our children — but do, in fact, teach them through an ethically degraded politics. Imagine your teenage son (or daughter, for that matter) calling a woman a “fat pig,” “dog ” or “disgusting. ” Imagine your child labeling someone he or she knows as a “loser,” “moron” or “dummy.”
.. For Christians, the price of entry to the Trump movement is to abandon their commitments to kindness and love of neighbor. Which would mean that their faith has no public consequence at all.
.. It is not a theory of limited government. It would use government, with augmented powers, to enforce a vision of ethnic nationalism, constructing a wall visible from space and conducting one of the largest forced expulsions in history.
.. And we know our flag stands for shared ideals, not someone’s idea of shared bloodlines.
We suggest that expressing moral outrage can serve as a form of personal advertisement: People who invest time and effort in condemning those who behave badly are trusted more.
.. Why would a selfless tendency like moral outrage result from the “selfish” process of evolution? One important piece of the answer is that expressing moral outrage actually does benefit you, in the long run, by improving your reputation.
.. Our mathematical model shows that, as a result, choosing to punish wrongdoers can work like a peacock’s tail — if I see you punish misbehavior, I can infer that you are likely to be trustworthy.
.. But we do see this theory as helping to explain why humans developed a psychology of outrage in the first place.
Outrage is a kind of drug, one that gives the illusion of involvement, of caring, when really derives its power from an emotional and informational distance that the stories themselves then strive to deepen, laying the groundwork for the next piece of outrage porn to do its work. And thus proceeds an addictive cycle.