Tales from the fringe (of white Christian nationalism)

Gilead

White Christian nationalism (Trumpism)


Fig. 1. In terms of geographic area, Pennsylvania is very much a white Christian nationalist kind of place. Photograph by author, January 5, 2023.

Figures from [the Anti-Defamation League] showed sharp rises in antisemitic activity nationwide last year. Pennsylvania saw a 65% increase.

The report, released Thursday, details how Pennsylvania and New Jersey broke records when it came to vandalism and harassment targeting Jewish people. With 114 reported incidents in Pennsylvania alone, the amount of activity was the highest in the ADL’s four-plus decades of collecting data.[1]

Increases in anti-Semitic activity are a nationwide trend,[2] and I’m inclined to associate it with an increasing radicalization of white Christian nationalist supporters of Doug Mastriano, who ran for Pennsylvania governor last year, and of Donald Trump.

Both candidates have hewn to an extreme paleoconservative and social conservative agenda,[3] even as it became increasingly apparent that this agenda would—and did—alienate voters in the general election.[4] It’s not a tilt that makes obvious sense.[5]

It’s reasonable to think these extreme views will not be a deal-breaker for white Christian nationalists. But given the 2022 results,[6] I just don’t see how this wins the 2024 general election.

Jesse Bunch, “An alarming report shows rising antisemitism in Pa., days after a white supremacist campaign targeted Port Richmond,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 23, 2023, https://www.inquirer.com/news/antisemitism-data-adl-report-port-richmond-stickers-white-supremacists-20230323.html


Imperialism

Russia

Ukraine


Fig. 1. “Destroyed Russian military vehicles located on the main street Khreshchatyk are seen as part of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine in Kyiv, August 24.” Photograph by Gleb Garanich for Reuters, August 24, 2022,[7] fair use.

Deutsche Welle, “Ukraine updates: Medvedev says Putin arrest would be ‘war,’” March 23, 2023, https://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-updates-medvedev-says-putin-arrest-would-be-war/a-65089023


Banking

Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and Credit Suisse, 2023


Fig. 1. “The monument sign in front of the parking lot of the Silicon Valley Bank headquarters at 3003 West Tasman Drive, Santa Clara, California.” Photograph by Minh Nguyen, March 13, 2023, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

[Former FDIC chief Sheila] Bair has been calling for a pause on [Federal Reserve] rate hikes since December. She said that instead of raising rates by another 25 basis points on Wednesday, Fed Chair Powell should have hit pause and said the central bank needs time to assess.

“If we have a financial crisis, we won’t have a soft landing,” Bair said. “We have to avoid that at all costs.”[8]

Margot Patrick, Justin Baer, and Dana Cimilluca, “UBS Nears Deal to Take Over Credit Suisse,” Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubs-in-talks-to-take-over-credit-suisse-ed932b01

William D. Cohan, “The Last Days of SVB,” Puck, March 19, 2023, https://puck.news/the-last-days-of-svb/

David Goldman, “FDIC sells most of failed Signature Bank to Flagstar,” Cable News Network, March 19, 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/19/investing/fdic-signature-bank-assets-flagstar-hnk-intl/index.html

Margot Patrick et al., “UBS Agrees to Buy Credit Suisse for More Than $3 Billion,” Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ubs-offers-1-billion-to-take-over-credit-suisse-bfac51fa

Marion Halftermeyer and Myriam Balezou, “How Scandal and Mistrust Ended Credit Suisse’s 166-Year Run,” Bloomberg, March 20, 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-19/how-scandal-and-mistrust-ended-credit-suisse-s-166-year-history

Joe Rennison, “Banks Remain Under Pressure as Investors Eye Fallout From Rescue Deals,” New York Times, March 20, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/20/business/markets-today.html

Justin Lahart, “The Fed Flies in the Dark,” Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fed-flies-in-the-dark-30768449

Ashley Rindsberg, “How the Bank Collapse Goes Nuclear,” Tablet, March 22, 2023, https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/how-bank-crisis-goes-nuclear

Vivien Lou Chen, “Moody’s sees risk that U.S. banking ‘turmoil’ can’t be contained,” MarketWatch, March 23, 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/moodys-sees-risk-that-u-s-banking-turmoil-cant-be-contained-f478df49

Joy Wiltermuth, “‘This is a risk confronting all banks,’ ex-FDIC chief Sheila Bair tells MarketWatch,” MarketWatch, March 23, 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/regional-banks-get-the-attention-but-worries-are-more-widespread-says-ex-fdic-chief-bair-a7e7eb56


  1. [1]Jesse Bunch, “An alarming report shows rising antisemitism in Pa., days after a white supremacist campaign targeted Port Richmond,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 23, 2023, https://www.inquirer.com/news/antisemitism-data-adl-report-port-richmond-stickers-white-supremacists-20230323.html
  2. [2]Jesse Bunch, “An alarming report shows rising antisemitism in Pa., days after a white supremacist campaign targeted Port Richmond,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 23, 2023, https://www.inquirer.com/news/antisemitism-data-adl-report-port-richmond-stickers-white-supremacists-20230323.html
  3. [3]William Bender, “Doug Mastriano’s comments on Islam and climate change resurface, the latest hit for his campaign,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 19, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-islam-global-warming-2018-governor-pennsylvania-20220819.html; William Bender, “In a rare rebuke, two retired War College professors say Doug Mastriano is unfit to be governor,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 16, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-war-college-biddle-coplen-alvin-york-20221016.html; William Bender and Jonathan Tamari, “As campaign struggles, Doug Mastriano plans ‘40 days of fasting and prayer,’” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/news/doug-mastriano-fasting-prayer-campaign-rally-struggling-20220928.html; Chris Brennan, “‘Mastriano is unacceptable’: A group of Pennsylvania Republicans is organizing to support Shapiro,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 6, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/josh-shapiro-doug-mastriano-governor-republicans-endorsements-20220706.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano wore a Confederate Army uniform in an Army War College faculty photo,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 26, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/doug-mastriano-confederate-uniform-photo-army-war-college-20220826.html; Chris Brennan, “Doug Mastriano will flirt again with the QAnon crowd as another election approaches,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 21, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/clout/doug-mastriano-josh-shapiro-governor-election-mike-flynn-rudy-giuliani-20221021.html; Stephen Caruso and Ethan Edward Coston, “How Doug Mastriano built a grassroots movement in Pa. on election denial, Christianity, and Facebook,” Spotlight PA, May 23, 2022, https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2022/05/doug-mastriano-pa-governor-pennsylvania-shapiro/; Philissa Cramer, “Republican Jews call on Doug Mastriano, GOP candidate for PA governor, to stop using Gab,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 22, 2022, https://www.jta.org/2022/07/22/politics/republican-jews-call-on-doug-mastriano-gop-candidate-for-pa-governor-to-stop-using-gab; Kristen Holmes, “Trump expresses support for Capitol rioters as he continues to embrace extremist groups,” Cable News Network, December 2, 2022, https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/02/politics/donald-trump-january-6-rioters-support/index.html; Ron Kampeas, “Critics compare salutes at Trump and Mastriano rallies to Nazi ‘Sieg Heil,’” Times of Israel, September 20, 2022, https://www.timesofisrael.com/critics-compare-salutes-at-trump-mastriano-rallies-to-nazi-sieg-heil/; Dana Milbank, “And on the eighth day, God said: Let Mastriano win Pennsylvania,” Washington Post, September 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/09/09/doug-mastriano-prophet-julie-green/; Tina Nguyen, “Doug Mastriano’s Snowflake Strategy,” Puck News, September 14, 2022, https://puck.news/doug-mastrianos-snowflake-strategy/; Greg Sargent, “Say it clearly: Republicans just nominated a pro-Trump insurrectionist,” Washington Post, May 18, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/05/18/doug-mastriano-insurrectionist/; Andrew Seidman, “A top GOP candidate for governor campaigned at an event promoting QAnon and conspiracy theories about 9/11,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 27, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/doug-mastriano-teddy-daniels-qanon-conference-gop-candidates-20220427.html
  4. [4]Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, and Lindsay Wise, “Frustrated Republicans Try to Explain Lack of Midterm ‘Red Wave,’” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustrated-republicans-try-to-explain-lack-of-midterm-red-wave-11668036382; Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Dan Balz, “The vaunted red wave never hit the shore in midterm elections,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/08/midterms-dissatisfied-voters-render-judgments-biden-republicans/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; Amy Gardner, Reis Thebault, and Robert Klemko, “Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground,” Washington Post, November 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2022/11/13/election-deniers-defeated-state-races/; Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics; Kris Maher, “Democrat Josh Shapiro Wins Pennsylvania Governor Race Over Doug Mastriano,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/democrat-josh-shapiro-wins-pennsylvania-governor-race-over-doug-mastriano-rdDSLqwHlckU7Q5yZYF2; Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/; Greg Sargent, “Republicans want Trump to take the blame. Good luck with that,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/11/trump-midterm-elections-gop-abortion-rights-2024/; Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/; Brian Slodysko, “Election takeaways: No sweep for the Republicans after all,” Associated Press, November 9, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-takeaways-9381d3aaff26d19da95506e045fcd6e1; Jonathan Tamari and William Bender, “‘It’s time for him to retire’: Some Pa. Republicans want to push Trump aside after their election losses,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-republicans-blame-trump-2022-losses-20221110.html; Chris Walker, “Trump Is Blaming Everyone But Himself for Midterm Losses — Including His Wife,” Truthout, November 10, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/trump-is-blaming-everyone-but-himself-for-midterm-losses-including-his-wife/
  5. [5]David Benfell, “More questions than answers as Donald Trump flags come down,” Not Housebroken, February 28, 2023, https://disunitedstates.org/2022/08/28/more-questions-than-answers-as-donald-trump-flags-come-down/
  6. [6]Natalie Andrews, Siobhan Hughes, and Lindsay Wise, “Frustrated Republicans Try to Explain Lack of Midterm ‘Red Wave,’” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/frustrated-republicans-try-to-explain-lack-of-midterm-red-wave-11668036382; Isaac Arnsdorf and Josh Dawsey, “One likely 2024 GOP contender triumphed on election night. It wasn’t Donald Trump,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/09/desantis-trump-2024-presidential-election/; Dan Balz, “The vaunted red wave never hit the shore in midterm elections,” Washington Post, November 9, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/08/midterms-dissatisfied-voters-render-judgments-biden-republicans/; Jonathan Freedland, “The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump,” Guardian, November 9, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/nov/09/the-winner-of-the-midterms-is-not-yet-clear-but-the-loser-is-donald-trump; Amy Gardner, Reis Thebault, and Robert Klemko, “Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground,” Washington Post, November 13, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2022/11/13/election-deniers-defeated-state-races/; Liz Goodwin, “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/trump-criticism-midterms-republicans/; David Lauter, “The midterm’s big loser: Trump suffers multiple defeats,” Los Angeles Times, November 9, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-11-09/the-midterms-big-loser-trump-suffers-multiple-defeats-essential-politics; Kris Maher, “Democrat Josh Shapiro Wins Pennsylvania Governor Race Over Doug Mastriano,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/election-midterms-2022/card/democrat-josh-shapiro-wins-pennsylvania-governor-race-over-doug-mastriano-rdDSLqwHlckU7Q5yZYF2; Tina Nguyen, “Has Trump Already Lost ’24?” Puck News, November 30, 2022, https://puck.news/has-trump-already-lost-24/; Greg Sargent, “Republicans want Trump to take the blame. Good luck with that,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/11/trump-midterm-elections-gop-abortion-rights-2024/; Marianna Sotomayor et al., “Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle,” Washington Post, November 11, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/11/11/senate-republicans-mcconnell-midterms/; Brian Slodysko, “Election takeaways: No sweep for the Republicans after all,” Associated Press, November 9, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-takeaways-9381d3aaff26d19da95506e045fcd6e1; Jonathan Tamari and William Bender, “‘It’s time for him to retire’: Some Pa. Republicans want to push Trump aside after their election losses,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 10, 2022, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pa-republicans-blame-trump-2022-losses-20221110.html; Chris Walker, “Trump Is Blaming Everyone But Himself for Midterm Losses — Including His Wife,” Truthout, November 10, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/trump-is-blaming-everyone-but-himself-for-midterm-losses-including-his-wife/
  7. [7]Reuters, “Ukraine puts destroyed Russian tanks on display in Kyiv,” August 25, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/ukraine-puts-destroyed-russian-tanks-on-idUSRTSALV9Q
  8. [8]Joy Wiltermuth, “‘This is a risk confronting all banks,’ ex-FDIC chief Sheila Bair tells MarketWatch,” MarketWatch, March 23, 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/regional-banks-get-the-attention-but-worries-are-more-widespread-says-ex-fdic-chief-bair-a7e7eb56

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