Reviewing Nancy Isenberg’s “White Trash”

This guest review is by Dr. Miles Smith.

In 2014 The King’s College professor Anthony Bradley wrote an article on the plight of poor whites for World Magazine. That Bradley, an African American, first raised the issue seems strange, but Bradley did not downplay or ignore the racial differences between poor whites and African Americans. His argument instead transcended race, pointing out the shared socioeconomic hardships experienced by poor rural whites and blacks in modern American society. More importantly, Bradley noticed, suburban and urban Evangelicals typically joined the broader culture in shaming working class rural whites for their poverty and their culture. Bradley noted that “urban, justice-loving evangelicals easily shame white, suburban, conservative evangelicals for their racially homogenized lives, both communities seem to share a disdain for lower-class white people.”

Culturally pejorative terms for working class rural whites, “‘Rednecks,’ ‘crackers,’ “hoosiers,’ and ‘white trash’ are all derogatory terms used to describe a population of lower-class whites who have suffered centuries of injustice and social marginalization in America, especially from educated Christians.” That these terms remain acceptable in respectable society speaks to the wholesale marginalization of rural working class whites. Continue reading

An Addendum on Evangelicals Endorsing Trump

We really do have plans to turn our attention toward other issues beyond electoral politics next week. (I’ve got submitted pitches I’m currently reviewing on immigration, a general consideration of the cultural norms that create something like the Trump phenomenon, a book review of a new work on the white working class, and an excellent long essay on podcasting. Plus I’m hoping to do some more personal/reflective work in the next month and to review Katelyn Beaty’s important new work A Woman’s Place.) But as I’ve thought about this issue more, I wanted to draw together a few final notes on the question of evangelicals endorsing Donald Trump. Continue reading

The Evangelical Case for Voting for David Duke

Some of my good Christian friends in the state of Louisiana have told me they cannot vote in good conscience for David Duke in this fall’s senate election. As they consider the Senate field in Louisiana, they look around and dislike all their options so much that they tell me they simply cannot bring themselves to support the lesser evil in this contest and so they will be forced to write in a different third-party candidate or abstain entirely. Continue reading

Mere Fidelity: On Satire, with Karen Swallow Prior

The incomparable Karen Swallow Prior joins Matt, Alastair, and Derek for a serious conversation on the uses and abuses of satire.

Jonathan Swift’s famous essay “A Modest Proposal” makes an appearance, of course. But so does this analysis of ‘punching up’ in American comedy.

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Finally, as always, follow DerekAlastair, and Andrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  And thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work.

One Third Party Evangelicals Should Look at Seriously: The American Solidarity Party

For pro-life Christians who want the nation’s highest office to defend the unborn, the pickings are grim. Really, for citizens of any religious persuasion who hold to any sort of principle besides “power at any cost”, the major-party choices for President are depressing to consider. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, in keeping with the general direction of the parties they represent, have demonstrated contempt for the rule of law and disregard for the human dignity of various vulnerable subpopulations.

The bitter Democratic primary fight and the farcical excuse for a Republican nomination contest both served to clearly demonstrate that there are many factions within the American body politic that are otherwise unrepresented in national party politics. For pro-lifers in particulars, the nauseating spectacle of evangelical leaders lining up to offer their services to Donald Trump like Oholah and Oholibah have pushed for calls to form a pro-life third party. Continue reading

Recovering our Confidence: Four Theses on Social Conservatism (#4)

Note from Jake: This is the final post in Matt’s social conservatism series published in 2012 which we are re-publishing this week.

Post 1, Post 2, Post 3

One of my underlying themes through this week has been the current lack of confidence among mainstream social conservatism.  I’ll grant this is a somewhat surprising subcurrent:  after all, the religious right hasn’t exactly earned its street cred through timidity and reserve.  But I have always been haunted by that old verse, “in quietness and confidence shall be your strength,” as though the most authentic and honest sign of assuredness is the mocking silence in the face of those who oppose us. Continue reading

End the Hostilities Against Elites: Four Theses on Social Conservatism (#2)

Note from Jake: We are re-publishing Matt’s old series from the fall of 2012 on social conservatism:

Part 1

Thesis: For social conservatism to thrive, it needs to end its hostility toward elite institutions that are currently opposed to it.

Consider this bit by Rick Santorum from this year’s Values Voter Summit, which both stunned and saddened me: Continue reading

Mere Fidelity: Examining Populism

This week, Matt returns to the show and foists his questions about our current populist movements upon his reluctant dialogue partners Andrew and Alastair. Hilarity ensues.

If you enjoyed the show, leave us a review at iTunes.  If you didn’t enjoy the show, let us know and we’ll work to make it better.  Or we’ll ignore you.  And if you want to subscribe by RSS, you can do that here.

If you’re interested in supporting the show (you know, with money), you can check out our Patreon here.

Finally, as always, follow DerekAlastair, and Andrew for more tweet-sized brilliance.  And thanks to Timothy Motte for his sound editing work.

To Sow or to Reap: Four Theses on Social Conservatism (#1)

Note from Jake: This series was first published four years ago by Matthew Lee Anderson in the months leading up to the 2012 election. I had tentative plans to do a similar series this year, particularly after Michelle Obama’s opening-night speech at the DNC highlighted the enormous gap between the Democrats’ ability to give a positive vision of American and the GOP’s ability to do the same. But as I reviewed these posts by Matt, I decided that what he is saying here still basically applies. Indeed, if anything these posts should be read even more closely today in the aftermath of the Trump nomination. So over the next four days, we’ll be republishing Matt’s series of four theses on social conservatism. 

At the recent Values Voter Summit, I was fortunate to join a few friends on a panel discussing the gap between social conservatism’s current incarnation and the generation of young people who have grown up at its edges and are increasingly dissatisfied by it.* Continue reading