Politics

What Now?

I’m not a liberal. I’m not a safe space, social crusader.

I’m not a sore loser who can’t get over the fact that Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected president. That I had to put what lukewarm support I had for a candidate behind her was a source of great frustration for me.

I am, at my very core, someone with conservative foundations.

I believe that men and women, whenever possible, should be free to live their lives without government intervention. My family and my Christian faith are the center of my life. I’ve worked with and for the toughest most dangerous people on the planet. People you’ve read books and seen movies about. I’ll never claim to be one. But I’ve proven myself useful in their presence.

I share this so you understand where and who the message I’m about to deliver comes from.

I’ve been all over this planet. And there’s a troubling observation that I’ve made on my way. It’s that mankind, when left to our own devices, does not naturally accept different people. Whether I saw Sunni and Shia in Iraq refusing to recognize the humanity of the other because of relatively nuanced differences in their common faith, or tribal warfare and genocide in sub-Saharan Africa or racial oppression and modern slavery of East Asia, the ingrained need to divide and subjugate others is ever present. In mankind’s darkest moments, the most common culprit has been that division.

For most of the last seventy thousand years, since our cognitive revolution drove us to organize, we’ve programmed ourselves to trust and support those that are similar to us. The result is that there have been frighteningly few societies in our history of which have not been separated by either race, class or gender.

Where there is one race, we make caste systems. Where lack of structure provides no castes, we too often subjugate gender. It’s as consistent across time and region as the number of our limbs or the shape of our organs.

Fifty years ago in America, we made the first real effort, at scale, in our history, to change it in a society as diverse as ours. And since then, we’ve made great but imperfect progress. The work isn’t done. But we’re further than where we were 50 years ago. When we get there and make good on the promise penned by our forefathers, it will be the greatest, rarest accomplishment in our history.

On Tuesday, we took one giant leap backward on the arc of our journey to one people. And over the last four days, I’ve been bombarded by explanations of why Donald J. Trump was just elected president. I don’t need any more. I didn’t need them in the first place.

I know why he was elected.

He was elected because the only message that matters for the American government in 2016 is a need for change. And when the alternative to that change was someone who moved into the White House when I was fifteen, (I’m 40 now) that choice was clear for some.

But it was a choice.

And the ultimate choice that was made, the one people will remember a hundred years from now, was a willingness to ignore personal decency and fair treatment towards people who are different in service to that change. That was the choice that the minority of the American electorate made. That was the choice that about a quarter of eligible American voters made.

I’m not here to argue the legitimacy of the results. And I don’t get to pick and choose whether I support democracy because of the outcomes. I won’t tell you that you are a racist or a bigot if you voted for Donald Trump. I won’t even tell you that you personally are indecent. But I will tell you what you just bought with your choice.

You bought a very vigilant, sensitive and loud American majority who will cry foul at the drop of a hat for anything that resembles attacks on those we have fought so hard for these last fifty years.

Because what you showed us with his nomination and your vote in the election, is that you can’t be trusted to do it without us.

Many of my devout conservative friends were remarkably quiet when their candidate trashed their personal values. And they were remarkably quiet when their candidate made inexcusable first hand remarks about minorities, women and disabled Americans. And they were remarkably quiet when the dark forces of white supremacists aligned themselves in support of their candidate.

I understand why. You couldn’t live with the alternative. So you rationalized out of fear that speaking up would enable it. Well, that risk is gone now. You avoided the end you couldn’t live with.

That excuse is gone.

And now it’s fair to say that tolerance of that behavior from here on can only be seen as an endorsement of it. So when there’s a KKK rally in North Carolina to celebrate the election of the candidate you support, you no longer have any excuse not to condemn it with the same uncompromising vigor that you condemned Hillary. Let’s see the memes. Let’s see the Facebook posts. Let’s see the outrage.

Perhaps the rest of America can trust you to hold the leader of our government to the change you so uncompromisingly sought. But we won’t trust you to look out for our fellow Americans who are different.

So, get ready for four years of vocal, loud, peaceful I pray, dissent. If you thought the core Trump supporters would be loud if Hillary Clinton won, what do you think is going to happen now that you’ve ¬†marginalized a group that has much more to lose than freedom from background checks for guns and a ten percent lag in wage growth?

At stake for them, is participation in our society. And if their vocal insistence on it is something you aren’t willing to tolerate, then perhaps you might consider a different path in thirty months when you get to choose your next leader without the looming evil of Hillary excusing your choice.

You can’t point to her any more as cause.

If insistence on decent treatment of all Americans makes me a liberal in the eyes of conservatives, then maybe we should take some time to reflect on who our modern conservatives actually are. The world is watching.

775 replies »

    • Thank for your commentary. I am one of those progressive liberals and completely agree with your view. You have captured the essence of what is going on. We feel we’re not fighting a political battle but rather that we’re fighting a human rights battle for those who have little to no power and are faced with the possibility of even less under Trump. Liberals are doing this because we aren’t seeing anyone in prominent Republican offices doing anything to combat this from within. It’s also a huge environmental issue for us. The future looks bleak for our planet because a populist leader seems willing to damage our future for present day, destructive jobs. Anyhow, thanks again. Much appreciated.

      • But do you think Americans are still being played? The GOP is standing back and watching us burn the Trump house down so they can put in Pence. Then what? Theyre really good at sleight if hand. Look at Jeb. Theyll jump in to save the muslims so they can get after LGBT rights. Someone they dislike as much as Trump cant be all bad.

      • The author did a fantastic job. As a publisher /creator of Open Thought Vortex I feel I owe it to readers to share work that is compelling , thoughtful and reflects the values of the rich diversity of the world we share. He hit the mark. Thank you for commenting & reading . Please share. This is important. We must heal. We must heed his advice.

    • People of all stripes: It is not “poor loserdom” to peacefully protest injustice. We need to keep Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream alive. Speak up and out often, be kind, be true.

  1. Thank you for this! Everything you say here resonates with me. Except we are so different. I’m a woman, liberal and an atheist! Just goes to show that people can be very different but still hold the same high ideals and morals.

  2. “If insistence on decent treatment of all Americans makes me a liberal in the eyes of conservatives, then perhaps we should spend some time to reflect on who our modern conservatives actually are. The world is watching.”
    I believe that the conversation is warranted. Every child is my child. Every woman my sister, every man my brother. We are the best we can be.

  3. Thank you Sean . You make me feel a little better. I am 65 this coming year I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s . To get women’s rights, gay rights, people of color rights and more recently health care it took years of protest ,money and tears . Philosopher George Santayana said “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” Lets remember where we came from and lets not go back there …..

  4. Thank you. As a 72-year-old Progessive New Yorker I hear you. But my ilk also needs to work harder at listening & understanding those who voted for Trump. Stop villifying them. They are not deplorable; they are scared, too, because they, too have been run over by the same callous careening bus of corporate global capitalism that is marginalizing & impverishing all of us, financially, spiritually & culturally.

    • Yes but the frustration is they throw gasom the fire to put it out. Republicans are great at playing into peoples fears. Keep the focus on the 1% of welfare budget so we can get richer making up reasons to go to war.

      • Liberals are great at feeding the feers that Republicans are going to enslave them and take away all the civil rights America has struggled to ensure. The same rights supported by Republicans as well.

  5. I consider myself a liberal and have been trying to find the words to say to my conservative friends why I am upset that Trump was elected. You said it perfectly. Maybe if they hear it from a conservative, it will help them instand my fears.

    THANK YOU for writing this.

  6. One of the most powerful statements in favor of inclusion that I have read. You and I probably do not agree on much, but we both agree that the special promise of America is to overcome the divisions created by difference. Thank you.

  7. Pleasing all of the people all of the time is impossible, especially when the majority remain silent.
    I’m not upset with the Trump voters, but I am with the non voters. There was a lot at stake in this election and if you didn’t know the answer to your questions you weren’t trying very hard to find the answer because it was out there somewhere, probably not on the media sound bites, or tweets or facebook, but there somewhere. I hope our nation can come through this unscathed and the environment and economy aren’t the biggest victims.

    • Non voters felt backed into a corner with no reasonable choice to make. Not voting was a form of protest. So why would you be upset with them for practicing thier right to protest? Is it because you thought that they would vote for Clinton and then everything would just be fine and dandy?

      • There are several ways to protest instead of non-voting at all: write in, skipping the actual vote in the ballot of whoever is not liked (I think that in one state about 90,000 people protested this way).

        Non-voting is no protest. It is letting other people make your decisions.

  8. Not to be persnickety here, but those who claim to be conservatives today are so far from the definition of conservatism, a venerable tradition old as British lawmaker Edmund Burke, as to be laughable. The idea of protecting individual freedom is essentially an idea that belongs to liberalism, not conservatism. Moreover, defending the “right to be free from government intrusion” is only mishmash for “stop federal regulation of business”, not exactly a political conservatism that would honor the traditions of democracy–which are under threat by capitalism that has gotten too big for its britches. The government is “us”; capitalism is “them”. Capitalism is an ideology antagonistic to the values of a democratic republic. Don’t defend the antagonists.

  9. Wow. One of the best articles I’ve seen so far, certainly the best at making this argument. At this point in time, a liberal cannot convincingly make this argument to Trump supporters. As a professor of English for over 20 years, I too often get dismissed based on who I am before I start speaking.

    I really don’t understand why so many people in this country (including many, if not most, of my own relatives) say they value education and yet at the same time declare invalid any liberal statement made by a professor because we’ve been “brainwashed.” It’s very weird. People seem to listen to and value highly educated people’s thoughts on almost any issue but politics. And when it’s about politics, our thoughts are just paid less attention to, they are actually declared to be insanely invalid.

    So, your ethos–your character–in this essay is an essential element in the argument you are making, and I’m glad you started with an explanation of who you are as an author.

    We need people from all different perspectives to challenge those with similar views: For example, if someone is going to convince liberals like me to think with more complexity about conservative motivations and ideas, then the message needs to come from fellow liberals with a slightly different viewpoint.

    The same thing happens in the other direction too: liberals and conservatives rarely change their minds by listening to arguments from a person from the other side. We all seem to move just a little left or right based on listening to somebody we already feel we largely agree with, somebody we don’t already shut our ears to before they start talking.

    Yesterday, I read a great article getting me to think with more complexity about what good motivations Trump supporters had. That’s important. The problem, of course, is that his language wasn’t only about these policies; it was intertwined with appeals that greatly pleased white supremacists (of course, some of the policies themselves are based on racism–but not all of them, and liberals like me shouldn’t reduce everything he said to being racist and bigoted.)

    I wish there had been a candidate who had truly wanted to shake up our country in many of the good ways that Trump supporters wanted. I’m not arguing whether he will or will not do what they hope for, but I wish somebody with a care for others who are non-white had offered an option other than Hilary.

    By all means, let’s fight career politicians and governmental corruption and also try to figure out smart ways to protect our country. Let’s try to figure out how to help create more jobs, particularly for the working class who have gotten the shaft from the left and the right. And how do we make these jobs for the working class ones that earn a real, respectable living?

    I understand and sympathize with all of these concerns, and I understand and feel the anger of Trump supporters who have these concerns.

    But why did it have to be somebody who also used such dangerous, hateful rhetoric and who also has many ideas about changing the government based on those ideas?

    To return to my point about character, about ethos, and argumentation: In making arguments, we should be using more logic, and I’m saddened that I see that too few people on either side are convinced by logical argument (much less using it themselves). I’m saddened that most people really are influenced almost solely based on ethos and on the emotional appeals to fear, fears that can be manipulated so easily when racism is thrown into the mix.

    Thank you for writing a well-reasoned essay based on your perspective. I hope all are able to listen to your reasons because they are good reasons, and not solely because of who you are, even though who you are helps your argument.

    Thank you for offering in this essay a model for thoughtful, logical argumentation motivated by an empathy for those who continue to be targeted with hateful language and actions.

    • Not to point at you specifically, but what blinders must you have been wearing during the primary race? The channeling that suffered Sander’s candidacy was promoted by elite voices such as yours. That’s why your own set finds your words credible, but no one else does. You know your subject area perhaps, but you don’t know the lives of those who don’t live like you. The hot winds that blew on Election Day were caused by the Democratic establishment’s failure to acknowledge the fire that has been smoldering in the heartland.

      The author of this piece is thoughtful and open minded. He is able to see beyond the horizon of the world he lives in. That’s a rare ability these days.

    • You have written a well thought out piece, but you forgot one salient point. There was a candidate who was ready to shake up things in a good way that would have benefitted working class and middle class Americans. His name was Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party establishment went with Hillary even before the first primary was held. What we got for that was a candidate whose message was almost entirely “he’s not qualified,” and very little, if anything, about what she wanted to DO if elected. While Trump was holding rallies and meeting people (campaigning), Hillary was having fundraisers and doing debate prep. From what I could see, she did very little campaigning in the Rust Belt states that have continued to be hard-hit by the Great Recession and jobs going overseas. And when she did campaign there, she didn’t tell people what her plan was. She didn’t even HAVE a message until after the convention (“Stronger Together”), while Trump had one from Day One. It was a conceit that the Democratic Party thought they could win on no campaigning and just piles of money.
      For the future, the Democratic Party needs to pull itself together and find some reasons for people to vote for their candidates – reasons that resonate with the middle class, then get that message OUT there. It can’t just be “I’m not him (or her). Because we saw what that gets us.

      • Look, I like Bernie but he should have ran as an Independent. He only switched parties last year in order to run as a Democrat. Maybe instead of blaming the Democratic party you should blame Trump and the spineless Republican leaders who refused to stand up for what’s right.

      • I agree with your point about Bernie. Actually I agree with everything you say here in your comment. in my long reply above (If you were responding to me), I was merely pointing out that I could understand that some of the things that appealed to Trump supporters actually made sense and weren’t inherently bad. I’m way too liberal for most Democrats even, so this is me bending far backwards and trying to offer the benefit of the doubt to people who are very hard for me to understand. But I’m trying to!

  10. I see you’ve completely ignored that the “support” for the KKK and violence is so small and condemned by the vast majority..but you’re pinning it on them anyway. The violence that the left is already displaying is the reason why your conservative friends were all quiet. You’re allowed to scream, insult and spit in their faces…but the second they push back, they are the bad guys and the ones that actually suffer the consequences. THAT is why we’re where we are.

    • Hey Roosterpete, I can understand where you’re coming from with regard to identifying that it may be a minority of the people who voted for Trump that align with the White Supremicist/generally prejudiced viewpoint. And, I don’t want to endorse any acts of violence, because that does not lead to solutions, rather it leads to sides becoming more entrenched in their perspectives and not feeling heard. I do feel that it’s important to point out that the “push back” that you’re saying is enacted by the conservative is grounded in a viewpoint that is inherently oppressive and moves away from equity. The journey toward equity related to a range of social issues has been like water over a rock, and yet there has been progress. Any small minority that seeks to return to an unequal system wherein one race and gender is in a position to oppress all others is a regression of our society and not representative of the notion of liberty and justice for all. Rather, it is unjust. It is that injustice that undercuts efforts toward equity that has led to such vehemence from the majority. The silence of the conservative suggests the acceptance of unjust and oppressive perspectives. While the change is what was desired, the oppressive and prejudiced views that accompany that change can be admonished……unless, of course, it is a return to that oppression and prejudice that is also desired.

  11. Based on what I’ve seen, living in the US for the last 35 years – you’re a liberal. Never seen anyone who claimed to be a conservative who cared about people who weren’t rich white straight Christian men, or who could think rationally, or who had any connection to reality.

  12. I thank you for this. One of the more heartbreaking aspects of this election was the full-throated endorsement by conservative family members who have always advocated for the highest standards of decency and morality. Your essay feels like a balm for my troubled soul.

  13. I love this…. I would love to hear your perspective on human natures instict that encourages bias. In all of us, not only in the few instances mentioned in your writing. How it prevents us from coming together. How it makes a situation such as Trump being elected seem different according to our history and biases.

  14. This is good but it is soft – it also lacks historical context. Remember, Obama inherited a crisis. His initial prioriiy was to stave-off economic ruin. Republicans then refused (racist hatred) to cooperate with his proposed policies and agenda. We simply cannot marginalize that a Christian vote for Trump was essentially a vote of hypocrisy. Men like Giuliani, Trump and Gingrich are morally compromised. Pence and the proposed domestic leader, Ken Blackwell, support policies that are the antithesis of being socially inclusive. People have not taken to the streets because they are soar losers, they a protesting the reign of terror promised to be unleashed upon all of us!

    • Reign of terror?!? You are a first class loon. The reign of terror is in our inner cities and I’m pretty sure Trump isn’t a cause of it. Have you ever been beaten for being white? I have. I forgive those poor ignorant people. I could drive you though dozens of different cities where you could be beaten just for being white. It wouldn’t even matter if you said you voted for Clinton and Obama. I’m sorry if you don’t like it that the grown ups are back in charge of the house but I think we have seen the result of what 8th grade politics (promise of free ice cream and no homework) has gotten us. 45m people are on food stamps. We have a labor participation rate worse than Jimmy Carter. There are fewer business startup than any time in history. We have to do our homework now and get back to doing chores. I love watching you all mentally implode over the fact that we have people in office that are going to actually follow the law and want EVERYONE to do well. It makes me laugh when I hear over and over that Trump won because of ignorant, uneducated white people. Haha. You have to be kidding me. It’s people who want the law followed and people who want this country to continue being the beacon of hope for all other countries to look toward. Reign of terror….wow. Maybe an increase in your meds will help,

      • I’m working hard, as an extreme liberal (far beyond Democrats) to assume that Trump supporters had some very good reasons for voting the way they did; why do you assume that all those who didn’t vote for Trump have unintelligent reasons? Why do you think so many highly educated professors are liberal? Do you really think you are describing any of our beliefs and values in such a way that we would actually agree with you?

        If you can’t describe your opponent’s view in such a way that they can say, “yes, you understand what I’m say,” then you are simply building a straw-man argument, claiming it’s the one we are making, and then showing how stupid it is. I agree that everything you described as liberal ideas are very stupid. But I also do not know any liberals who actually believe any of the things you are attributing to us.

    • Racist hatred?!? Have you seen your obamacare policy!?! It’s junk. Affordable care act? What a huge lie that was. Just because they didn’t support the biggest legislative economic calamity to ever be put in front of a President for a signature they are racist?!? Obamacare premiums are up over 200% at a minimum with deductibles are unpayable. Quit using your trump word of racist every time someone disagrees with you. More people should have voted to kill that bill but they were afraid of being called racist.

  15. Please stop confusing the word liberal and Democrat, and learn what those words actually mean, aside from pop culture blog references. Anyone bragging about not having a liberal mind loses credibility right out of the gate. I could read past the first paragraph

  16. I could not agree more if I tried!I grew up poor,only have a 10th grade education,but my mother-an immigrant- taught me values,decency,compassion and the belief that my personal success cannot come at the expense of or through suppression of rights of others.For my family Trump was never an option,or even a consideration.

  17. We should always hold our govt responsible for their actions regardless of how you lean. I challenge you to try and listen through the mainstream media megaphone and criticize action or inaction. Obama is on video saying much worse things than Trump. Obama is on video using the N word. Obama admits to hardcore drug usage. Clinton has been party to and accused of many more acts of sexual misconduct than Trump. I suggest we challenge and hold Trump accountable but get in boat and row man. We have had 8 years of horrendous racially divisive leadership which I notice you completely overlook. We decry the deaths of degenerate criminals at the hands of police and somehow use that to suggest there is a bigger problem than we thought. Of course there is racism. There always will be. We should seek out racial injustice and stomp it out. Fighting illegal immigration is no more “racist” than fighting drug trafficking. It’s ILLEGAL!!!! If you don’t like the law support a change. I have been discriminated against my whole life and I am, straight, Christian, male and white. Some day I hope to be rich if I work hard enough but of course I’ll be a bad guy for that. Quit whining. You all that feel slighted by this election need to stop complaining and do what I did after two consecutive elections that were the “end of the world” for me…row! Help your fellow man. Be a good person. Work hard. Love you family and your country. Help those less fortunate than you whenever possible. Support your causes and beliefs and work hard for them. I don’t suppose anyone got pulled out of a car and beaten for their skin color this year because they voted for Clinton….people did get pulled out of their car and were beaten for voting for Trump. You mention the KKK which is an embarrassment to this country but note there is painful ignorance on both sides. Stop complaining and get back to work. We will all be better for it.

      • Writing a thoughtful and intelligent post is hardly whining. Why is it that it is okay for Trump supporters to continue their political commentary and discourse but it isn’t for those who are in opposition to his viewpoints? Did those who oppose the Obama presidency “just shut up” as I have seen so very many Trump supporters post? I would challenge people on both sides to continue to challenge and be engaged in the government in a more productive way that I have seen so far. There has been violence, hatred, and vitriol on both sides. I have seen more of it from the Trump side but I am willing to admit my own bias there and acknowledge that may very well be due to the limited pool of commentary I have seen. I don’t choose to read the more radical “liberal” postings and my feed has been flooded with some pretty staunch supporters who have had a lot of nasty things to say about the other half of America.

        Rae, you accuse liberals of having blinders on, being ignorant and unthinking, yet a big criticism I have seen is that liberals think that of conservatives. It should be a two way street. We do everyone a disservice when we discredit the legitimacy of any viewpoint other than our own.

        Also, and I hope this doesn’t fall on deaf ears but instead on an open mind, Don, I challenge you to examine more closely what discrimination is. I would not presume to say you haven’t faced adverse circumstances, but a straight, white, Christian male has a lot of inherent advantages in our society. I believe it is disingenuous to say otherwise.

  18. I need more intelligent conservative voices in my selection bubble. I will follow your blog from here on out.

  19. Great post!

    Only one quibble. You write, “At stake for them, is participation in our society.” Their freedom, in other words. But for many of them, what is at stake is their lives.

  20. Thank you. I am a center left democrat. I am proud to be a resident in prince William county vVirginia. We voted against hate and incivility.

  21. Hi there. Our views are probably very different, but you get it. This isn’t about policy. Thank you for this post.

  22. Good, clear writing and coherent argument, Sean. I’m a ’98 Navy grad and was happy to hear that you’re one of ’99. I’ll be coming back to read more of your thoughts in the future. Keep up the good work!

  23. My only quibble with this excellent post is that I think in the long run more damage is going to be done to the foundations of our democracy and our economy than an open door to racism or misogyny can produce. Trump doesn’t know how to be president. He values loyalty above competence. He wants at all times to be the smartest guy in the room, which lowers the bar considerably for those who will advise and influence him. Where there is a vacuum between his ears, those people are sharp, driven and committed to agendas that will take us backward in more ways than tolerance of “the other.” Our economy is very complex, our way forward for the environment will involve sacrifice — more in some quarters than in others. Insensitive to nuance and complexity, Trump will lash out in this direction and then that, hearing only the last person he talked to; he will step aside and let unelected nincompoops make big decisions; he will spend political capital taking revenge on anyone who crosses him.
    I dearly hope to be back here in two years to admit that I was wrong, that Trump rose to the occasion, that Trump acknowledged his own lack of readiness and chose correctly when delegating his responsibilities to others. However, at this juncture, with Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin on a list of possible cabinet members, I see no reason to hold my breath.

  24. Anytime anyone anywhere in the world has planned great relocations of millions of people, thousands of deaths at a minimum have resulted, and sometimes much worse consequences than that. Essentially what Trump plans to implement here would be genocidal. Be forewarned … we the American people, like the German people in the 1930s, were not planning genocide … to some extent, the deaths of millions were an afterthought to all that planning, a very gross “unintended consequence”. We must positively DREAD the unintended consequences of a Trump presidency! And I personally am unable to accept same. I’ll fuck with him until he surrenders!

  25. And, lest we forget, there is a very good chance that Trump will, advised by fools and consented to by cowards, destroy the Supreme Court which in the absence of willingness to govern by our elected representatives, has far greater political impact and economic influence than it was ever intended to have.

  26. My support for Donald Trump was based solely on one thing. First let me say that while trump will be my president for a time, Jesus Christ will be my king for eternity. Trump supports pro life. Jesus said “suffer the little children to come to me”. There are millions of children who will never have opportunity to worship him in this life because their’s was snuffed. Jesus also said “if anyone offends one of these little ones, it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their neck and be cast into the sea”. The implications are obvious. Jesus is pro life. Is there forgiveness for abortion? Yes if there is repentance. So don’t try to convince me how awful this country is going to be. It’s already worse than it should be.

    • Jesus also said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” “What you have done to the least among them, you have done to me,” “women are more precious than jewels,” “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith; these are the fruits of the spirit,” “thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor…” And so on. So, as. Christian, how can you support a man who goes against 88% of Jesus’ teachings in favor of supporting claims that require an extended definition of “child”. And, I assume if the passages you quoted above are the the most important passages to you that you support government programs that provide pre-natal and early childhood programs? Because most people who cite those verses vehemently oppose government spending on programs in place to help actual, born children. I get that this sounds aggressive but it’s something I’m really wrestling with.