Since tonight’s episode is a special election edition, this week’s Worth Mentioning is a little special, too. While we normally just post the rough topic outlines and notes from the DR crew, this week is primarily a stream-of-consciousness from our producer, Remley, to help with the creation of the show notes for tonight’s Election 2016 edition of DR Radio.
I’m wondering what a full episode would be like if we strip the discussion of all the “givens” about US elections. Old “givens”: 2 parties, 1 uniform Evangelical voting bloc, voting primarily on values issues, nominees being qualified to run, and the culture wars were front-and-center.
Since I’ve been around, (white, evangelical, middle class) Christians have had it fairly easy with deciding who to vote for mostly because we’ve had a relatively dependable Religious Right helping us decide who to select based on our values but what happens when the Religious Right is fractured or, dare I say it, dead? What happens when the party they’ve typically propped up is fractured, too? Note: We’ve had two Presidential Debates and Trump didn’t mention abortion or Religious Liberty…and not many of his ardent supporters seemed to care.
Christians are confused at the moment about how to support in this election. It’s impossible to find a candidate who is equipped, compassionate, and principled unless we’re talking about the possibility of a few of the third party choices but then you have the conflict of “throwing away your vote.” (Johnson? McMullin? Stein? Anybody know the others?)
Is a vote cast ever *really* a “throwaway”? Are Christians beholden to the consequentialist arguments that a vote for a third party is a vote for Clinton (or any other variation on that argument)? Or is it throwing away your vote to cast one in favor of either of the major party nominees by signaling that America is OK with these kinds of candidates? #burn
Trump has had a rough week between (1) the release of his 1995 tax returns that showed his losses made it possible to write off 18 years of federal income tax which created a stir that partially revealed the ignorance of the American people of the tax code and various taxes he probably did pay but, hey, fairness and all that jazz. Lets not forget the fact that this showed a “successful” businessman lost almost a billion dollars. No big. Then came the (2) Trump Tapes showing that he really is an objectifying gross dude and somebody you wouldn’t want around your “hot” wife, daughter, or mom so many GOP leaders have withdrawn support. But it’s all locker room talk so we shouldn’t care. (tongue firmly in cheek) and then there was (3) the presidential debate on Sunday that has the media up in arms (but not really, because they don’t believe in that sort of thing) about how he said he’d personally see to an investigation of HRC. The polls are starting to roll in and it looks like all of this has given HRC an edge over DJT (though, oddly? the debates looked like they helped DJT rebound from TicTacGate. But only a little.).
Further Down, Further Down
Down-ballot races: What does this mean? How do we check for candidates and initiatives that will be under consideration? Is there always a big R or D next to their name? What about mid-terms? Are R’s going to loose the legislative branch anytime soon?)
Millennials have been disengaged from politics for a while and those that are engaged, have not historically voted R (side note: this is partially b/c it’s the most diverse generation… seems identity politics doesn’t win over non-whites. Who knew?). Have we “lost” most of a generation on conservative politics? Can the GOP rebrand itself and win down the road or do they even want to? What does this mean for the future of American politics?
Register to vote! Early voting has begun and we’re now less than a month away from the election. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. Vote. (I’m singing this in my head to the tune of Rhianna’s Work)