David French’s article in The Atlantic (October 14, 2022) is an interesting analysis on ‘The Trump’ phenomena. French connects Trumpism to the Mitt Romney martyr thesis on events of 2012, and, behind that pattern of behaviour, a right-wing version of American evangelicalism. It had to do with the role of Newt Gingrich during a moment during the GOP primary debate, and his political frame of mind. The Gingrich argument goes that the news media is to blame for allegations against the operations of the Republican Party, i.e., dirty politics and unscrupulous use of partisan propaganda with little regard for truth in the current state of affairs.
“To understand the emotional and psychological aftermath of Romney’s loss, one has to look at the cultural break between the GOP establishment—which commissioned an ‘autopsy’ of the party in 2012 that called for greater efforts at inclusion—and a grassroots base that was convinced that it had been hoodwinked by party leaders into supporting the ‘safe’ candidate.”
This led to the grassroots radicalisation of the Republican Party, and the willingness to promote (false) ‘post-truth’ claims, on the basis that winning the partisan position should come at the cost of dumping truth claims for falsehoods.
This repositioning aligns to populist evangelicalism and its long-held anti-intellectualism. Half of the Evangelical world cares about truth, even inconvenient truths, and the other half does not.
This may be true in all filtered bubbles of cognition, however, the call here is that only Evangelicals will save their own position. It may take a reformation that translates as a formal division of the religious movement. This would be an adoption of a ‘new orthodoxy’ as was Reinhold Niebuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932). My analytic judgement is that it is all heresy and the orthodox are not honest, or mislead, in positioning themselves as ‘new orthodoxy’.
However, that is the only solution if the right-wing does not step back from its extremism.
Image: David French’s online article in The Atlantic, OCTOBER 14, 2022.
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