Tens of millions of people HAVE moved up in the world playing by the old conservative cultural rule book, including most of my own family over the last three generations.
So far we have spawned only a few of my acquaintance that can be considered rich by modern standards, using an arbitrary figure of say ten million net worth.
But whereas we were all pretty much dirt poor less than a century ago, although independent and self supporting for the most part, and not wage slaves, now there is a very substantial proportion of professors, lawyers, computer programmers, doctors, accountants, and owners of businesses of various sorts.
It’s true that there are also quite a few remaining who have remained at or very near the bottom of the economic ladder. Roughly half of the ones who are younger and still at or very near the bottom really don’t have anybody except themselves to blame for their problems. Bad habits and bad decisions are the source of their problems.
But it’s also incontestably true that maybe a quarter of us have played by the rules, and still come out losers. Some lost out because they were in industries that were off shored, or became obsolete, some lost due to health issues not directly related to bad habits such as drinking and smoking, some because they are simply STUPID, some because they made conscious decisions to live for the day instead of the long term.
My Dad for instance never spent a dime on a flashy car or truck. He bough four new ones, but he drove them until they were worn out, and invested the difference in his business, and in raising his family.
Now it may come as a major earthshaking paradigm busting SURPRISE to people who go around knocking religion in general, and fundamentalist Christians in particular, but most of the Sunday School lessson a kid will hear in a Baptist church are NOT about Creation, or whales spitting up living men swallowed whole, or rising from the dead. That’s the framework on which the day to day stuff is hung like clothes on a mannequin in a store, but the clothes and the lessons are the real stuff.
The vast majority of the teachings are about living well, and wisely.
Believe it or not, I know most of you guys who THINK you know shit from apple butter have near zero contact with what it is you so freely criticize, and are thus excused on the grounds of ignorance.
We have a lot of people here who obviously understand the basics of biology, but they have entirely FORGOTTEN what biologists, sociologists, historians, anthrologists, etc, have to tell us about the REAL ROLE religions have played all thru history in helping people survive and thrive in the face of adversity and competition from other groups of people.
None of this is to say that religions in general and fundamentalist Christians in particular don’t have their problems associated with their beliefs, but it is simply awesomely STUPID for a person who is well versed in the sciences to criticize religion as if it has no survival value, etc.
And it is BEYOND awesomely stupid to repeatedly and publicly make fun of such people, and THEN wonder why they vote for people such as Trump.
I sort of hesitate to call the audience here as a whole stupid, conceited, condescending, etc, but hey guys, if you are CAPABLE of thinking just a LITTLE outside your comfy self satisfied smug intellectual boxes, consider this possibility.
The people who put Trump in office weren’t especially interested in Trump himself.
They were voting against you, because they correctly, from their position, consider you their enemy when it comes to the way they want to live.
Now if you are willing to wise up a little, then you can change the way you talk about them, and to them, and they will for the most part very gladly meet you in the middle, but so long as you talk about them like dirt, and to them as if they are idiots, well,……. you can EXPECT them to vote for whoever is running against you.
You have allowed such goddamned idiotic memes take control of your thinking that you are light years from appreciating the actual reality of what is said and done in churches these days, and have allowed the folks most opposed to religion to seek out the worst outlier examples and convince you they are typical serious Christians.
Well, I have been in and out of various fundamentalist and evangelical type churches on a fairly frequent basis for the last half century plus as an adult, and I can tell you this with a perfectly straight face.
There aren’t any preachers AT ALL in my neck of the woods who attack the teaching of evolution. They have better sense, since the large majority of their congregations, even though they may lack much in the way of education, are VERY PROUD of the fact that they have or know neighbors kids and grandkids at places such as Wake Forest and Duke majoring in pre med, or already in med school.
They are getting organ transplants, and they can remember their great grand parents hearing preachers say that if God had intended men to fly, he would have given them wings, etc.
They have televisions, and have had televisions, since the early fifties, and they believe in deep time, and dinosaurs, and a round earth, and quite a lot of them have LITERALLY seen elephants, etc.,
Every hillbilly farmer I know believes in evolution, having seen it working, but he almost certain to deny this belief, if you confront his CULTURE directly. But ask him what a nectarine is, or how it is that Great Danes and pocket doggies exist,today, but not a century or two ago, and he tell you in accurate terms.
Now here is the QUESTION.
Do you prefer to go around feeling righteous and superior and smug, and bask in your display of right and proper membership in good standing in the intellectual elite, or do you prefer to win elections, and maybe actually prevent the economic and ecological collapse we talk about so much and so often here in this forum?
Ya got a choice to make.
Unfortunately I don’t think most of you are ever going to get it, because you don’t want to consider the possibility you have been making a dead serious mistake in terms of winning the REAL war – not the culture war, but the environmental war.
You don’t win wars by invading a culture, and pissing and shitting all over the things held sacred or held to be of value by the local people. You understand that, and know are quick to say so, in explaining why it’s so hard or impossible for a country such as the USA to pacify a country such as Iraq, lol.
Just about everything that REALLY matters in terms of solving our environmental problems, and probably most of our economic problems as well, can potentially be negotiated successfully with the culturally conservative working people and the rural people of this country if you approach them respectfully and with an open mind.
Otherwise………… Well maybe in another generation or so demographics will win out, and enough of them will be gone, recycled, DEAD.
OR….. maybe if you handle it wrong, the younger ones will be permanently alienated and radicalized…….
ONE thing even stupid people eventually come to understand, eventually, most of the time is that you have some or a lot of control over your own side, your friends and allies, when it comes to winning elections, setting policies, etc.
You are never going to have control of the other side.
But you can potentially convert the other side into friends or at least neutrals if you use the brains you are so proud of.
If the worst offenders here talked to girls or women the way they talk to or about conservatives and religious people and rural people, the closest they would ever get to a sex life would be masturbation.
Now I will get down off my soapbox, and put on my asbestos and leather welder’s suit,and enjoy the flames, it’s chilly here today, lol.
Seriously folks, anybody who is stupid enough that he NEEDS to read a book such as How To Win Friends and Influence People is basically just socially retarded to begin with.
But there is hope.
When adults lose, they look to their own mistakes, rather than blaming their losses on the opposition, because when the opposition wins, it’s usually in large part by capitalizing on the home team’s mistakes.
I look forward to HB telling everybody how I hate Hillary again. He’s a perfect example of an intellectually blind partisan.