An Anthropologist from Mars Considers the Evidence

  • What would a hypothetical anthropologist from another planet conclude about humanity from these several items today?
  • Charlie Kirk insists Christians must vote Republican; a former ESPN anchor thinks Satan knocked out her teeth; Charlie Kirk thinks Haiti is infested with demonic voodoo that turns people into cats;
  • Amanda Marcotte on how evangelicals like raunch, for themselves, but not sex, for others;
  • PolitiFact supports the claim that 96% of job growth since 1989 has been under Democratic presidents;
  • Paul Krugman on politics in Ohio: how Trump’s trade war didn’t benefit them, while Biden’s policies have.
  • And considering how the visiting anthropologist would rate human intelligence.

What conclusions would be drawn from the following news items?

Hemant Mehta, Friendly Atheist, 22 Mar 2024: Charlie Kirk echoes thoughtless claim that you can’t “be a Christian and vote Democrat”, subtitled “Who needs theology when you have Trump?”

Eh? Got it. Our visiting anthropologist thinks this is consistent with both Christians and Republicans believing things that are not true. For example:

It also means Charlie Kirk believes the most devout Christians in the country are the ones who proudly vote for a thrice-married racist who paid hush money to porn stars he was having affairs with when his current wife was pregnant with his fifth child. A sexual abuser. The Two Corinthians guy. The candidate caught bragging about non-consensually grabbing women because he was a celebrity. The guy who lies about everything. The guy who says he doesn’t need forgiveness. The guy who couldn’t name his favorite Bible verse. The guy who held up a Bible in front of a church after his team used tear gas to drive away peaceful protesters.

Not a single white evangelical church in America would ever allow Trump to be their pastor if they wanted to be taken seriously. Yet more than half of Republican voters seriously believe Trump is a person of faith.


Joe.My.God, 22 Mar 2024: Former ESPN Anchor: Satan Knocked Out My Teeth With A Golf Ball Because I Sued Against ESPN’s Vax Mandate

Once again. Anti-vaxxer, check. Belief in Satan, check. Belief in Satan’s personal interest in her misfortune, check.


Joe.My.God, 22 Mar 2024: Kirk: Haiti Is “Infested With Demonic Voodoo,” People Are Levitating And “Turning Into Cats At Night”

Once again. MAGA guy, check. Belief in demonic voodoo, check. Belief that atheists went to Hait, saw “legit” demonic activity, and returned home searching for Jesus, check.


Salon, Amanda Marcotte, 20 Mar 2024: White evangelicals embrace raunchy photos — yet they hate sex as much as ever, subtitled “Trumpian Christians love bikini pics now, but they still don’t want women to enjoy sex”

For those readers who have the self-esteem not to engage in the world of Christian right social media, let’s just get this out of the way: It’s heavy on the cheesecake, sometimes verging on softcore adult content. That’s a startling thing to say, especially to those of us who came of age any time before the invention of TikTok. It may be hard to believe, but it’s true: The same people who wanted to slap “parental advisory” stickers on every album with curse words, distributed “purity rings,” and banned leggings in public schools now often take a decolletage-oriented approach to social media content.

This one’s a bit more complex. Driven by base instincts, check. Driven to control the personal lives of others, especially women and gays, check.

[Ruth] Graham [of NY Times] notes that the cause is twofold: First, the worshipful devotion to Donald Trump, for white evangelicals, means embracing his crude, sexually objectifying form of misogyny. Second, as evangelicals use “new technology as a way to reach more people,” their content is shaped to the demands of the algorithm. If you want people to linger on your right-wing TikTok videos, you have to lead with cleavage.

What Graham all but ignores, is actually crucial to understand about this phenomenon: It is only a surface-level shift. The movement is as sex-negative as it ever was. They may like pin-up posters, but the Christian right still very much opposes people actually enjoying sex, especially if those people are women or LGBTQ people.


PolitiFact, 21 Mar 2024: “Since 1989 and a new age of globalization began, 51 million jobs have been created in America. 49 million, 96%, have been created under Democratic presidents.” (claimed Simon Rosenberg on X)

If Your Time is short

  • The numbers for the past 35 years show about 97% of jobs have been created under Democratic presidents.
  • A longer look, going back 72 years, finds a smaller discrepancy, but the Democratic edge is still better than 2-1.
  • Policies have played a role in job creation, but so have timing and events beyond any president’s control.

See the sources for this fact-check

As the post grants, many events are beyond any president’s control. Still, there’s a strong correlation. Why would this be? Well, because Republicans are always concerned about benefiting the wealthy, their big donors. Click for bigger image.


And actually this dovetails with Paul Krugman’s latest column.

NY Times, Paul Krugman, 21 Mar 2024: What’s the Matter With Ohio?

Krugman wonders why Ohio is drifting right, what with J.D. Vance,

And in Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary, Trump’s endorsement was enough to propel Bernie Moreno, a former car dealer who has never held elected office, to victory over the preferred candidates of the state’s relatively moderate Republican establishment.

Krugman discusses why people in Ohio might be feeling disgruntled, what with the loss of well-paid manufacturing jobs.

So it makes sense for Ohio voters to feel disgruntled. But again, you might have expected disgruntled voters to support politicians actually trying to address the state’s problems. The Biden administration certainly hoped that its industrial policies, which have led to a surge in manufacturing investment, would win over more blue-collar voters. You might also have expected Democrats to get some dividend from the fact that unemployment in Ohio is now significantly lower than it was under Trump, even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. But that doesn’t seem to have happened.

Further, Trump’s trade war didn’t actually accomplish anything — but people thought it did; it was a political success.

That is, in 2020, many working-class voters in Ohio and elsewhere saw Trump as being on their side even though his policies didn’t help them. And if you look at some of today’s polling, it appears that they refuse to give President Biden credit for policies that actually do help workers.

So now the Martian anthropologist is considering his rating, on a scale of 1 to 10, for the ability of humans to evaluate evidence, to consider issues beyond their immediate circumstances, and separate facts from rhetoric, holding the pencil over 4, hesitating, and moving down to 3 instead. And hesitating.

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