Republicans plan to take from the poor to give cuts to the rich

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Republicans plan massive cuts to programs for the poor
Under pressure to balance the budget and align with Trump, the House GOP has its eye on food stamps, welfare and perhaps even veterans? benefits.

House Republicans just voted to slash hundreds of billions of dollars in health care for the poor as part of their Obamacare replacement. Now, they?re weighing a plan to take the scalpel to programs that provide meals to needy kids and housing and education assistance for low-income families.

President Donald Trump?s refusal to overhaul Social Security and Medicare ? and his pricey wish-list for infrastructure, a border wall and tax cuts ? is sending House budget writers scouring for pennies in politically sensitive places: safety-net programs for the most vulnerable.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/14/republicans-cuts-programs-food-stamps-welfare-veterans-238314
Can't those that cannot afford the basic necessities just die faster so they don't have to bother with them anymore? The wealthy are expecting their promised tax cuts, which we know take priority over the poor people not starving and barely trying to stay alive.

In other news, actual civilized nations are showing success with Basic income, treating those struggling in their nation as human beings reducing crime so they can shut down prisons, and reduced healthcare costs through universal healthcare and regulation.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/universal-basic-income-is-a-proven-success_us_58e5b501e4b02c1f72345a26

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/12201375/Netherlands-doesnt-have-enough-criminals-to-fill-its-prisons-as-crime-to-drop.html

http://reverbpress.com/politics/economics/universal-health-care-save-americans-600-billion-year-chart/

http://www.businessinsider.com/healthiest-countries-in-the-world-2017-1/#2-singapore-another-small-city-state-to-make-the-top-of-the-prosperity-indexs-health-sub-index-singapores-56-million-citizens-have-an-average-life-expectancy-of-831-years-old-15

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate

So while the US Republicans increase the infant mortality rate, reduce the lifespan of Americans, see if they can set a new record for the number of people they imprison, and kill off their poor, civilized nations are actually eliminating these issues.

This isnt news, this is standard Republican fare.

Lil devils x:
In other news, actual civilized nations are showing success with Basic income, treating those struggling in their nation as human beings reducing crime so they can shut down prisons, and reduced healthcare costs through universal healthcare and regulation.

A repulsive policy. Not only does a basic income cost money that could be spent on tax cuts, the reduced crime stops us from enriching the owners of private prisons. And all the "savings" from universal healthcare come out of the pockets of hard-owning insurance company shareholders!

This isn't surprising. I mean, it's basic math. Trump wants to cut taxes, but if he wants to do that without causing a sovereign debt crisis, he needs to cut spending as well. He can't cut border security or defence spending because those are the GOP's sacred cows, so they'll go for welfare.

I was saying as much last year when I read Trump's plan to a) reduce the cost of immigration enforcement and b) triple the number of ICE agents. It's math. The numbers don't add up. You can't add two and two and expect to get zero.

bastardofmelbourne:
This isn't surprising. I mean, it's basic math. Trump wants to cut taxes, but if he wants to do that without causing a sovereign debt crisis, he needs to cut spending as well. He can't cut border security or defence spending because those are the GOP's sacred cows, so they'll go for welfare.

I was saying as much last year when I read Trump's plan to a) reduce the cost of immigration enforcement and b) triple the number of ICE agents. It's math. The numbers don't add up. You can't add two and two and expect to get zero.

It's more of a zero sum situation. More 2-2=0.

Unfortunately not surprising. But quite blatant now. I guess they've realised there's nothing to lose from dropping the pretense from now on. Quite ugly indeed.

Why would he touch Veteran's benefits? That's political suicide for anyone.

Gordon_4:
Why would he touch Veteran's benefits? That's political suicide for anyone.

So is everything else Trump has done. And yet here he remains.

Gordon_4:
Why would he touch Veteran's benefits? That's political suicide for anyone.

He did this already. When he committed to the total civilian hiring freeze of the DoD and defunded all sorts of (formerly) contracted programs like better diagnostics research for the mental health issues of returning soldiers. Him just defunding it directly is merely a more brazen form of something he's done before.

bastardofmelbourne:
This isn't surprising. I mean, it's basic math. Trump wants to cut taxes, but if he wants to do that without causing a sovereign debt crisis, he needs to cut spending as well.

No. The United States treasury bond yields are super low and people still gobble them up. The concern is that he wouldn't be able to pass the cuts using budget reconciliation to bypass a Senate filibuster due to some rather arcane rules about doing so which involve budget neutrality. Please don't debt scaremonger without reason.

so i wonder what particular dystopia the us government is aiming for at this point

Saelune:

Gordon_4:
Why would he touch Veteran's benefits? That's political suicide for anyone.

So is everything else Trump has done. And yet here he remains.

No one loses votes by bigging up Border Protection, or kicking the poor in the teeth: they are both super popular pastimes in politics. Defunding services that are supplying crippled war vets their wheelchairs though? That's the sort of shit that gets ANY president fucking lynched, especially south of the Mason-Dixie line. I mean shit the GOPs bread and butter supporters are the elderly and current and former servicemen and women: screwing them is insane.

Gordon_4:
Why would he touch Veteran's benefits? That's political suicide for anyone.

A veteran is a loser who is no use for making America great.

Trump likes winners, not these guys who are quitters, mental weaklings, were captured by the enemy or got injured because they weren't good enough at fighting. America is built by 'can do, will do' people who make the US military five times better than anyone's else's military, not these bums. Coddling in nanny state, socialist, cotton wool welfare only encourages losers who think they can fail and be looked after for it.

Typical GOP policy. They only care if the country is doing well. They don't care if the people aren't.

Wow. This is stupid. Like Dumb and Dumber levels of stupid. There is only one reason the service industry gets away with paying people as little as it does in the US. That is food stamps and other forms of welfare. Without massive wage reform in the US and soon there will be a huge crisis on multiple levels in the US.

Cutting veteran's benefits? Trump does know it's volunteer military in the US right now right? A lot of young people are coming back home either physically or psychologically in pieces. So naturally he wants to make the incentive to serve even less. The US has been quietly shitting on their veterans for decades. Operative word being quietly. I don't know how his voter base will react to this one once the veterans organizations get a hold of it.

The expression often used is "cutting off your nose to spite your face." This is closer to removing a limb.

pookie101:
so i wonder what particular dystopia the us government is aiming for at this point

I'm guessing Hunger Games

Trump already looks like someone from the Capitol

Why do certain US politicians, and some citizens too, treat the rich as if they are Gods, while treating the poor as if they are a disease?

Parasondox:
Why do certain US politicians, and some citizens too, treat the rich as if they are Gods, while treating the poor as if they are a disease?

I think Lyndon B. Johnson said it best: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

In other words, you can screw over anybody so long as you can convince them somebody else is doing the screwing. People want to believe they're working hard and doing things right. If both the poor and middle class are struggling, then the middle class is not going to be keen on admitting that they are having the same problems as the poor. So they find ways of saying "Well I've got problems, but clearly I'm doing things better than they are, because I have more money/have a house/am educated/am married/have a car/didn't have kids out of wedlock/wear better clothing/don't do drugs/aren't black/live in a better neighborhood/whatever it takes to make themselves feel like they're doing better." Because they've been conditioned to look up to the rich and down on the poor, ignoring all other circumstances which brought them there.

Reagan heavily cashed in on this by waging his war against the imaginary "welfare queen," which was loosely based on a single outstanding case of welfare fraud. Even at the time there was actually little evidence of widespread welfare fraud, but that didn't stop him from bandying the image about. And he continued Nixon's war on drugs, which an aide later came forward to say was begun for the explicit purpose of incarcerating more blacks and "hippies" in a way made illegal by the civil rights act. And even if what the aide said isn't completely true, it's hard to deny that blacks and minor drug offenders have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. And it is considered by most to be a failure.

I also have a personal theory in regard to religion. There is a certain vein of belief in American Protestantism (mainly in the evangelical and baptist circles) that becoming rich and prosperous is a sign from God that you are living a good life. It's a reward for your hard work and dedication. And on the flipside, to be poor means you aren't working hard enough or are doing something wrong in the eyes of God. John Oliver did a great segment on churches in 2015 where he also exposed televangelists and megachurch leaders who explicitly tell their congregations that if they make them, as in the church leader, richer to the point where they can buy something extravagant like a plane or a helicopter, that will please God and bring them blessings. There are also all sorts of mail-in donation scams which cash in on people's faith, telling them if they mail in x amount of money they will receive y amount immediately, and then continuing to donate in larger and larger increments will bring them even more in return.

Living on the cusp of the bible belt, I see this mindset in action all the time. It's amazing how you can watch people literally leave church where the pastor was just talking about how we are to care for the poor without question and how it's easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven, and then immediately see a person on the corner holding a "homeless vet, anything helps, God bless" sign, and then say about that person "Why don't they spend their time getting a job? What a bum. If they were really a vet they'd go to the VA." I've seen my own dad call himself a "God-fearing man" and in the next sentence say something horrible about panhandlers or the homeless. Or even just someone who looks poor because they're wearing a hoodie or baggy pants or something. And no, he doesn't see the hypocrisy, because he's got his share and believes that if he didn't deserve it then God wouldn't have given it to him.

Needless to say, it's a great way to reconcile the Christian obligation to help the poor with Republican fiscal conservatism. Well, technically it's not because Jesus is still pretty clear on that. But many have been raised into that level of cognitive dissonance in regard to Christianity, so they're totally on board with it.

It's a weird combination of racism, classism, and one-upsmanship that some legitimize with their faith. There are just so many in America who will always believe the slimiest millionaire is always better than the most virtuous poor person, simply because they truly and honestly believe if someone is good then capitalism will always reward them. They have been brainwashed to believe the rich always deserve every penny they get and the poor are never trying hard enough--a perfect thing to convince your middle class of if you're rich and wanting to slowly tip the scales in your direction, as Republicans have been doing since Reagan. And as one would expect, this has caused the middle class to shrink and a greater concentration of wealth to fly to the top.

But they just keep doubling down, saying "Work harder, work harder! You're not trying hard enough! We got richer, you can too!" It's like watching an old cartoon where a cat is chasing a mouse, and the mouse is blindly running up an incline to get away from the cat. But the cat just keeps tipping the incline higher and higher, making the mouse run harder and harder, but it's still not getting anywhere.

Parasondox:
Why do certain US politicians, and some citizens too, treat the rich as if they are Gods, while treating the poor as if they are a disease?

I'm guessing it's because socially they never left the 19th century. I'm just waiting for these assholes to institute Dickens style workhouses and homes for unwed mothers and their children and the the circle back to the industrial revolution will be complete. Being poor is nearly criminalized as it is. It's not a huge step to make it that way again.

jklinders:

Parasondox:
Why do certain US politicians, and some citizens too, treat the rich as if they are Gods, while treating the poor as if they are a disease?

I'm guessing it's because socially they never left the 19th century. I'm just waiting for these assholes to institute Dickens style workhouses and homes for unwed mothers and their children and the the circle back to the industrial revolution will be complete. Being poor is nearly criminalized as it is. It's not a huge step to make it that way again.

Watching the Republican's Obamacare "replacement" unfold over Facebook was very entertaining. So many comments in favor of it essentially boiled down to, "Well if they're going to die then they'd better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

Parasondox:
Why do certain US politicians, and some citizens too, treat the rich as if they are Gods, while treating the poor as if they are a disease?

What's the quote? Americans see themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires?

Seanchaidh:
No. The United States treasury bond yields are super low and people still gobble them up. The concern is that he wouldn't be able to pass the cuts using budget reconciliation to bypass a Senate filibuster due to some rather arcane rules about doing so which involve budget neutrality. Please don't debt scaremonger without reason.

I didn't intend to scaremonger anything. I don't have a background in economics, so I may have used the term "debt crisis" incorrectly. I was just trying to describe the tension between declining tax revenue (because Trump wants to cut taxes) and increased spending (because Trump wants to spend money on border security and defence). If he wants to do both, something has to give, and that "something" was always going to be welfare.

jklinders:
I'm guessing it's because socially they never left the 19th century. I'm just waiting for these assholes to institute Dickens style workhouses and homes for unwed mothers and their children and the the circle back to the industrial revolution will be complete. Being poor is nearly criminalized as it is. It's not a huge step to make it that way again.

It's more of a Reagan-era political doctrine, although if you wanted to you could probably tie Reaganomics back to the 19th century pre-labor days.

undeadsuitor:

pookie101:
so i wonder what particular dystopia the us government is aiming for at this point

I'm guessing Hunger Games

Trump already looks like someone from the Capitol

Eh, people also argue for 1984. I mean, they always do, but the alternative facts thing is very Orwellian.

However, one shouldn't overlook Handmaiden's Tale. As an aside, they decided to make that into a TV show before Trump won, a stroke of luck there.

Thaluikhain:

However, one shouldn't overlook Handmaiden's Tale. As an aside, they decided to make that into a TV show before Trump won, a stroke of luck there.

Actually Handmaiden's Tale belongs in the trash, not a political analogy. It wasn't realistic in any degree when it first came out decades ago, and today it's only less so. I honestly can't take any claims that a Christian Sharia could take over the US seriously, and ironically it's one of the few things the the CBC's "3 liberals and token conservative" style discussion panels could agree on completely.

bastardofmelbourne:
If he wants to do both, something has to give, and that "something" was always going to be welfare.

Well the US already spends a ludicrous amount of money on welfare, 40,000 dollars per person in poverty on anti-poverty projects alone being a perfect example, and while it isn't welfare education has so much spent on it there is no argument to be made to increase its funding since it's already at the highest level per capita in the developed world.

Frankly just a more efficient use of spending could more then justify slashes in itself, and the fact people see cuts as an inherently bad thing when some fields can't even justify current levels of spending given what the government gets out of it shows that the US is in desperate need of some sort of reformation, one that the GOP and the Democrats would never even consider doing.

Thaluikhain:

undeadsuitor:

pookie101:
so i wonder what particular dystopia the us government is aiming for at this point

I'm guessing Hunger Games

Trump already looks like someone from the Capitol

Eh, people also argue for 1984. I mean, they always do, but the alternative facts thing is very Orwellian.

However, one shouldn't overlook Handmaiden's Tale. As an aside, they decided to make that into a TV show before Trump won, a stroke of luck there.

Yeah, though 1984 is more of a surveillance dystopia. Which may have been applicable during previous administrations

But now with Trump and his paid cronies, pumping the rich with more money while starving the poor its a much more elitism class based dystopia which hunger games fits better.

I look forward to fighting for my district to win Healthcare for my family (that still won't cover preexisting conditions)

undeadsuitor:
Yeah, though 1984 is more of a surveillance dystopia. Which may have been applicable during previous administrations

But now with Trump and his paid cronies, pumping the rich with more money while starving the poor its a much more elitism class based dystopia which hunger games fits better.

I look forward to fighting for my district to win Healthcare for my family (that still won't cover preexisting conditions)

I was thinking more about how people were indoctrinated by Big Brother, the mental gymnastics to believe the party line and the xenophobia, but then again that analogy only applies to some of Trump's supporters, not the general populace.

Is anybody else beginning to compare them to Dennis Moore, the Monty Python figure?

Zontar:
I honestly can't take any claims that a Christian Sharia could take over the US seriously

Do you believe a Muslim one could, though?

and while a Christian sharia is vastly unlikely, it's not from a lack of trying...

Gordon_4:

Saelune:

Gordon_4:
Why would he touch Veteran's benefits? That's political suicide for anyone.

So is everything else Trump has done. And yet here he remains.

No one loses votes by bigging up Border Protection, or kicking the poor in the teeth: they are both super popular pastimes in politics. Defunding services that are supplying crippled war vets their wheelchairs though? That's the sort of shit that gets ANY president fucking lynched, especially south of the Mason-Dixie line. I mean shit the GOPs bread and butter supporters are the elderly and current and former servicemen and women: screwing them is insane.

Every time right-wingers got outraged at Trump...they then eventually cooled down and got back in line.

I hope you are right, but the pattern has suggested it wont stick.

bastardofmelbourne:

Seanchaidh:
No. The United States treasury bond yields are super low and people still gobble them up. The concern is that he wouldn't be able to pass the cuts using budget reconciliation to bypass a Senate filibuster due to some rather arcane rules about doing so which involve budget neutrality. Please don't debt scaremonger without reason.

I didn't intend to scaremonger anything. I don't have a background in economics, so I may have used the term "debt crisis" incorrectly. I was just trying to describe the tension between declining tax revenue (because Trump wants to cut taxes) and increased spending (because Trump wants to spend money on border security and defence). If he wants to do both, something has to give, and that "something" was always going to be welfare.

jklinders:
I'm guessing it's because socially they never left the 19th century. I'm just waiting for these assholes to institute Dickens style workhouses and homes for unwed mothers and their children and the the circle back to the industrial revolution will be complete. Being poor is nearly criminalized as it is. It's not a huge step to make it that way again.

It's more of a Reagan-era political doctrine, although if you wanted to you could probably tie Reaganomics back to the 19th century pre-labor days.

Not too much of a stretch really. Reagan and those who continue to fellate him to this day was really into Ayn Rand style objectivism. Boiled down to it's inner core her concept of economics was essentially "fuck the poor and let them sink or swim on their own merits."

Zontar:

Actually Handmaiden's Tale belongs in the trash, not a political analogy. It wasn't realistic in any degree when it first came out decades ago, and today it's only less so.

It's not supposed to be realistic. Most science fiction isn't. It's a fake setting to explore the author's ideas and characters. Specifically, in this case, a satire on the 1980s "Moral Majority" coupled with the author's interest in the Puritans.

And sometimes, reading great literature means exposing yourself to views you might find very different from your own. If you want to put books in the trash because of that, I feel a little sorry for you.

Zontar:

I honestly can't take any claims that a Christian Sharia could take over the US seriously.

Well, it kinda did once. Back in the day the early settlers introduced something known as the 'Blue Laws' which made religious based prohibitions. The victims in this case were Native American groups like the Wampanoag. Crimes included: Working on the Sabbath, using traditional medicine, entering into non-Christian marriage, and not being Christian. While these laws have largely gone, some remain, usually to regulate the sale of alcohol.

It may be a bit unfair to blame the modern USA for these laws, but their legacy is still something that can be seen in politics so...

Lilani:

Parasondox:
Why do certain US politicians, and some citizens too, treat the rich as if they are Gods, while treating the poor as if they are a disease?

I think Lyndon B. Johnson said it best: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

In other words, you can screw over anybody so long as you can convince them somebody else is doing the screwing. People want to believe they're working hard and doing things right. If both the poor and middle class are struggling, then the middle class is not going to be keen on admitting that they are having the same problems as the poor. So they find ways of saying "Well I've got problems, but clearly I'm doing things better than they are, because I have more money/have a house/am educated/am married/have a car/didn't have kids out of wedlock/wear better clothing/don't do drugs/aren't black/live in a better neighborhood/whatever it takes to make themselves feel like they're doing better." Because they've been conditioned to look up to the rich and down on the poor, ignoring all other circumstances which brought them there.

Reagan heavily cashed in on this by waging his war against the imaginary "welfare queen," which was loosely based on a single outstanding case of welfare fraud. Even at the time there was actually little evidence of widespread welfare fraud, but that didn't stop him from bandying the image about. And he continued Nixon's war on drugs, which an aide later came forward to say was begun for the explicit purpose of incarcerating more blacks and "hippies" in a way made illegal by the civil rights act. And even if what the aide said isn't completely true, it's hard to deny that blacks and minor drug offenders have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. And it is considered by most to be a failure.

I also have a personal theory in regard to religion. There is a certain vein of belief in American Protestantism (mainly in the evangelical and baptist circles) that becoming rich and prosperous is a sign from God that you are living a good life. It's a reward for your hard work and dedication. And on the flipside, to be poor means you aren't working hard enough or are doing something wrong in the eyes of God. John Oliver did a great segment on churches in 2015 where he also exposed televangelists and megachurch leaders who explicitly tell their congregations that if they make them, as in the church leader, richer to the point where they can buy something extravagant like a plane or a helicopter, that will please God and bring them blessings. There are also all sorts of mail-in donation scams which cash in on people's faith, telling them if they mail in x amount of money they will receive y amount immediately, and then continuing to donate in larger and larger increments will bring them even more in return.

Living on the cusp of the bible belt, I see this mindset in action all the time. It's amazing how you can watch people literally leave church where the pastor was just talking about how we are to care for the poor without question and how it's easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven, and then immediately see a person on the corner holding a "homeless vet, anything helps, God bless" sign, and then say about that person "Why don't they spend their time getting a job? What a bum. If they were really a vet they'd go to the VA." I've seen my own dad call himself a "God-fearing man" and in the next sentence say something horrible about panhandlers or the homeless. Or even just someone who looks poor because they're wearing a hoodie or baggy pants or something. And no, he doesn't see the hypocrisy, because he's got his share and believes that if he didn't deserve it then God wouldn't have given it to him.

Needless to say, it's a great way to reconcile the Christian obligation to help the poor with Republican fiscal conservatism. Well, technically it's not because Jesus is still pretty clear on that. But many have been raised into that level of cognitive dissonance in regard to Christianity, so they're totally on board with it.

It's a weird combination of racism, classism, and one-upsmanship that some legitimize with their faith. There are just so many in America who will always believe the slimiest millionaire is always better than the most virtuous poor person, simply because they truly and honestly believe if someone is good then capitalism will always reward them. They have been brainwashed to believe the rich always deserve every penny they get and the poor are never trying hard enough--a perfect thing to convince your middle class of if you're rich and wanting to slowly tip the scales in your direction, as Republicans have been doing since Reagan. And as one would expect, this has caused the middle class to shrink and a greater concentration of wealth to fly to the top.

But they just keep doubling down, saying "Work harder, work harder! You're not trying hard enough! We got richer, you can too!" It's like watching an old cartoon where a cat is chasing a mouse, and the mouse is blindly running up an incline to get away from the cat. But the cat just keeps tipping the incline higher and higher, making the mouse run harder and harder, but it's still not getting anywhere.

Damn, Lilani. I'm not even going to snip that because it's worth another read. I had for some reason forgotten that religion plays a big big part in that way of thinking and something that hits home with me and my family. They are religious and believe that the more money they give, the more they will be blessed which had me say in my head, "Wait a minute, no. God doesn't want your money. He doesn't need it at all". Saying that, yes I saw the John Oliver segment on the church in the US and I knew that shit had been going on for years and decades but the way those pastors acted as if God "gifted" them with a jet or two and a boat by the coast, was just sickening to me. They boosted about it to those who gave, to their faces and then said the haters were jealous. FUCK YOU!! Yeah I will go to hell for saying that but when I see a con, i point it out. It's not even their money. They are tricking people with "blessings" but only conning them out of their own money. My family would give hundreds to people like them and when I speak up about it, I get shut down or told I have no heart or Christ in my heart.

So I see everything you are saying, Lilani. People worship money thinking the more you have, the less problems you have in life and the more "blessings" you will receive from God. To think about it, it's all really upsetting that those high up will use religion and lies to manipulate others for money and wealth in the 21st century and others will follow it blindly. The rich are worshipped and the poor are belittled.

Smithnikov:

Zontar:
I honestly can't take any claims that a Christian Sharia could take over the US seriously

Do you believe a Muslim one could, though?

No, I just think it could be a problem since in Europe it's already a problem. I also don't think it'll take over there either, but taking over and being a problem are two different things.

Agema:

Zontar:

Actually Handmaiden's Tale belongs in the trash, not a political analogy. It wasn't realistic in any degree when it first came out decades ago, and today it's only less so.

It's not supposed to be realistic. Most science fiction isn't. It's a fake setting to explore the author's ideas and characters. Specifically, in this case, a satire on the 1980s "Moral Majority" coupled with the author's interest in the Puritans.

And sometimes, reading great literature means exposing yourself to views you might find very different from your own. If you want to put books in the trash because of that, I feel a little sorry for you.

I don't think the book is trash because it has views that differ from my own. Hell being a fan of science fiction and a conservative is pretty much impossible to do without being able to enjoy things that don't agree with my views. I think that book belongs in the trash because it's not a very good book. The setting is not very well thought out, the characters are bland, the concepts are laughable, and to be quite frank it's just someone attempting to be Orwell with an 80s spin (oh no, Iran got taken over by Islamists and now Reagan has taken office, it can happen here!) without any of the talent, insight or nuance that Orwell had.

R Man:

Zontar:

I honestly can't take any claims that a Christian Sharia could take over the US seriously.

Well, it kinda did once. Back in the day the early settlers introduced something known as the 'Blue Laws' which made religious based prohibitions. The victims in this case were Native American groups like the Wampanoag. Crimes included: Working on the Sabbath, using traditional medicine, entering into non-Christian marriage, and not being Christian. While these laws have largely gone, some remain, usually to regulate the sale of alcohol.

It may be a bit unfair to blame the modern USA for these laws, but their legacy is still something that can be seen in politics so...

Those laws are realistically going to come back without some massive demographic shift (like maybe the Mormon takeover that's going to happen over the next century or two due to their explosive birth rate) that sees such a religious group hold a ludicrous dominance over politics due to sheer numbers. It certainly won't happen in our lifetime if every single one of the many steps needed where done as quickly as realistically possible, and that in itself isn't likely to happen.

Lilani:
There is a certain vein of belief in American Protestantism (mainly in the evangelical and baptist circles) that becoming rich and prosperous is a sign from God that you are living a good life.

Yeah. This is related to Calvinism and the idea of predestination.

One of the major issues in Christianity is how to reconcile the idea of free will with God's omniscience. Does God know at the moment we are created whether or not we will sin and ultimately go to hell? If not, then there are limits to His omniscience, if yes, then it raises questions about the supposed omnibenevolence of God. Calvinism comes down very firmly on the side that God always knows whether we will be saved or not, and that there is essentially nothing you can do about it.

In practice this results in a binary view of human nature. You have the minority of people who will be saved because they are inherently good, and the majority of people who will not be saved because they are inherently flawed. The idea of charity becomes more conditional because simply giving money to the latter group will not ultimately help them, it simply enables their sins and vices. Meanwhile, the emphasis in one's personal conduct becomes less about being a nice and good person and more about publicly demonstrating one's worthiness of salvation, not just by being a decent person but by striving to be exemplary. Every flaw in people, from alcoholism to mental health problems to "sexual immorality" is intensely magnified and seen as a huge deal, because it becomes symptomatic that someone is not predestined to be saved.

Zontar:
No, I just think it could be a problem since in Europe it's already a problem. I also don't think it'll take over there either, but taking over and being a problem are two different things.

Leaving aside the obvious question of what exactly is supposed to be a "problem" in Europe. Do you think dominionism, Christian nationalism and attempts to legislate in favour of Christian doctrine is not a problem in the US? Because by any real measure the people doing that have been way, way more successful than any Islamist groups in Europe.

Zontar:
Those laws are realistically going to come back without some massive demographic shift (like maybe the Mormon takeover that's going to happen over the next century or two due to their explosive birth rate) that sees such a religious group hold a ludicrous dominance over politics due to sheer numbers.

Right, but when Orwell wrote 1984 (in 1948 - lol, such subtle..) there was no possibility that the society he described could have come into existence in Britain, much less the entire world. If anything, the three supernations and their ideologies as described seem firmly rooted in the second world war, which was already over in Europe when the book was written. We might imagine Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia as the remnants of fascism, stalinist revisionism and Japanese nationalism, respectively.

It's not a realistic scenario, but a satire. There was no chance, at that point, of a fascist or totalitarian government coming to power in Britain. There was no chance of the USA and the British Empire uniting into a post-nationalist super-nation. The book isn't about the society or its hypothetical realness about the microscopic workings of power in a totalitarian society and its effects on the individual.

So.. why does plausibility doesn't matter here? Does it matter whether 1984 is set in (impossible) post-fascist England, or in Stalinist Russia, or the DPRK? Do you think the people who constantly reference 1984 or Orwell to complain about current political issues actually believe that Britain and the USA are going to unite into a totalitarian superstate, or are they simply tapping into the (actually fairly universal and pertinent) themes?

I read a lot of evangelical and dominionist literature, and whether you believe it or not this is something which many Christian movements believe is going to happen. They believe that a mass religious revival is immanent within the USA, which they see as the last truly Christian country. They compare themselves to the early church in the Roman Empire, a persecuted minority who will ultimately bring down its pagan oppressors and restore a divinely-inspired order, or else they believe they are in fact the majority, and that it's only the shackles of political correctness which prevent other Christians from rising up and seizing political power. To them, it is a war, and it is a war they are destined to win because God is literally on their side. They believe it's plausible.

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