Curious Reads: Trump is Baaaaack
And we're debriefing.
Just a reminder that I’m not writing an essay today but you’ll get one next week…and it’ll be poultry-themed, obviously.
Today is another free-for-all discussion of my TOP OF THE FOLD Curious Read for the week. Through the end of the year, these discussions will stay FREE. In the new year, though, I’m going to put the comments behind a pay wall. So… consider asking for a $21/yearly subscription to the empathy list for the holidays maybe?? Wink wink.
Hello friends, Liz here. Today’s TOP OF THE FOLD is Trump.
Yep, the man is back for another round in 2024. I first heard the dish on the NYT’s “The Daily” podcast—one of my faves, which likely gives you a hint where I stand politically when I fill in the bubbles on the mail-in ballot ;-)—so our discussion for today will center on those insights.
“Maggie Haberman: These midterms were a proxy, in many ways. Because [Trump] made so many candidates talk about his issue set, they were a proxy for how this will play in a general election.
Michael Barbaro: Right, if he himself were the candidate.
Maggie Haberman: Exactly. And Trump is not the same as he was in 2016 when he was seen as a political outsider and there was a newness about him. He is obsessed with election denialism and a number of other issues that are not seen as appealing to independents as they are to his MAGA base.
Michael Barbaro: Right. So are Republican leaders, Maggie, trying to stop Donald Trump from doing what we all expect him to do tomorrow night at Mar-a-Lago, which is announce that he’s going to run to be their nominee?
Maggie Haberman: No. Michael, look, many of them would rather that he does not run. Some of them have been open about that. But they don’t have any power to stop him.
If he wants to run, he will run. And all indications are that he’s about to announce he’s doing just that, and there’s just nothing they can do about it. Trump is the party. This was settled in 2016 when he became the nominee, and in 2020 when he was the nominee again. There is no apparatus to stop him.”
Actually, I have SO MANY QUESTIONS, it’s tough to pick a single one. For myself, this news feels on par with SNL’s prescient take (scroll to the bottom to watch it).
Here’s what I want to hear from you:
Are you surprised Trump is back?
How are you metabolizing the news that our 2020—a campaign competition of Biden v. Trump—is recurring? (And how will you take care of yourself amid the chaos that ensues in our churches and families?)
What would make you vote one way or the other?
And if Republican leaders DON’T want Trump on the ticket, how do you think they’ll try to stop him? Or will they embrace him again? Or will they all have heart attacks before election day, leading to a total overhaul of our two-party system?
Tell me all your thoughts + predictions, pretty please, in a kind comment.
**Kind kids get responses; mean kids get blocked. This is your free and fair warning.**
More Curious Reads
How to read the news… without sacrificing your mental health.—Sojourners
And speaking of mental health, when’s the last time you’ve had a recurring nightmare about being in school? I have these school-failure dreams a lot… usually, I’ve forgotten to study for an exam, I’m late to class, and I’ve somehow been separated from my husband and kids and cannot seem to find them…. SO FUN. Does this happen to you? Anyone? —The Atlantic
It’s good to be black on the moon. I mean, back on the moon. I mean, NASA is headed back to the moon. Had you heard?—NPR
Silicon Valley is imploding and laying employees off by the boatload. (See: Twitter) But those employees are not just trading one giant for another. This time, they’re moving into green tech. Didn’t see this one coming, but what a delightful turn of events? I think?—Slate
Just for Fun
The other take on Trump’s newest bid to return to office... But seriously, I can’t stop thinking about this sketch.
Here's my main question: ARE YOU SURPRISED TRUMP IS BACK? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Secondary, follow-up questions: How are you metabolizing the news that our 2020—a campaign competition of Biden v. Trump—is recurring? (And how will you take care of yourself amid the chaos that ensues in our churches and families?)
Tell me all your thoughts + predictions, pretty please!!
**Fair warning: Kind kids get responses; mean kids get blocked.**
I am completely unsurprised, tbh, that Trump would run again. I was, however, surprised to learn that the Republicans seem powerless to stop his run? That confuses me.
My main concern about this run has to do with the furthering fracturing of American Evangelicalism, which is already tattered, at best. I don't mind the revelation of the past few years in that now we KNOW the underside. But I feel for all of you (and for myself!) because we're the ones who have to deal with the reality of Trumpism among our families and friends and church communities. It's been a painful season, and I feel troubled that we seem to be on the cusp of reliving it.
Mostly, I'm praying that the appeal of pragmatism and the urgency of the culture wars begins to fade for church leaders. PLEASE DEAR GOD. Instead, I'm praying that we start looking around and seeking to care for the marginalized and oppressed. Then again, that's never been what us evangelicals have been known for.... :-(
Anyone have a hopeful perspective on this? Or is it all bad news from here on out?