RURAL, WHITE, CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISM: “On Rural America: Understanding Isn’t the Problem” / Forsetti’s Justice / MUST READ ☮

White Christian Fundamentalism

As the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides-”Democrats failed to understand white, working class, fly-over America.”  Trump supports are saying this.  Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this.  Even  some Democratic leaders are saying this.  It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete bullshit. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to throw attention away from the real problem.  The real problem isn’t east coast elites don’t understand or care about rural America.  The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out.  They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because the don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.

I grew up in rural, Christian, white America.  You’d be hard-pressed to find an area in the country that has a higher percentage of Christians or whites.  I spent most of the first twenty-four years of my life deeply embedded in this culture.  I religiously (*pun intended) their Christian services.  I worked off and on, on their rural farms.  I dated their calico skirted daughters.  I camped, hunted, and fished with their sons.  I listened to their political rants at the local diner and truck stop.  I winced at their racist/bigoted jokes and epitaphs that were said more out of ignorance than animosity.  I have also watched the town I grew up in go from a robust economy with well-kept homes and infrastructure turn into a struggling economy with shuttered businesses, dilapidated homes, and a broken down infrastructure over the past thirty years. The problem isn’t that I don’t understand these people.  The problem is they don’t understand themselves, the reasons for their anger/frustrations, and don’t seem to care to know why.

Continue reading . . .

One thought on “RURAL, WHITE, CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISM: “On Rural America: Understanding Isn’t the Problem” / Forsetti’s Justice / MUST READ ☮

  1. To me your commentary that I just read on AlterNet (and here) is frighteningly accurate. And blunt. (And I really like that.) You cogently explain why the people who fit into this “white, rural and Christian” segment tipped the election to Trump. And why they still vote for Republicans who are basically screwing them in every way possible. But I have something to ask. If you have read the recent book by Arlie Russell Hochschild — “Strangers in Their Own Land”— could you please consider a second article? And relate your analysis to the findings presented by Ms. Hochschild. You both seem to be making some of the same observations.

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