Western Chauvinism

I’m about to use the term “big tent” a lot.

I don’t know if that’s a common term that people still use so I’ll explain it, please forgive the over explaining nature of this description. But everything I’m about to write depends on knowing what I mean by that praise.

The idea is that within a social or political movement you have to construct a space for movement.

The metaphor of the tent being that you’ve created a specific space under a tent.

The smaller your tent, the smaller and less diverse the group that fits under it.

A bigger tent just means you’ve created more room for your intended group, making it more diverse and potentially more influential as a result.

I see a lot of people talk about “White Supremacy” and I think we’re making a mistake to think that way.

A great into to the topic is the Proud Boys.

They self described as Western Chauvinists. This is actually a perfect way to understand how they are creating a bigger tent.

The general design of the ideology is nested. It starts with:

(Western Chauvinism)

that then has other ideologies nested within it.

Next we find:

(Western (nationalism) Chauvinism)

Often then we move to:

((Christian) Nationalism)

Then to:

(((Eurocentric) Christian) Nationalism)

In this case the “Euro” is about the specific cultural aspects of European society and history, including religion and colonialism and imperialism and so on.

This attracts many racist ideologies for sure:

((((White) Eurocentric) Christian) Nationalism)

But the movement in the US has been widening the tent to move past those racist ideologies. This is very notable in many Evangelical circles.

As a result you’ll find any number of variations nested within the movement of Western Chauvinism

In the minds of many Americans it doesn’t go much deeper than:

((Christian) Nationalism)

leaving behind the Eurocentrism for a much more generic western-centric ideology. Again, particularly attractive to Evangelicals of any ethnicity.

In many Evangelical circles the focus on Western or European culture is too broad and they have a much more specific:

(((USA-centric) Christian) Nationalism).

In both these cases the ancestral component is much weaker or less influential. This entices more people from every ethnicity.

The development of Evangelical ideologies that American exists in some kind of covenantal relationship with God similar to historical Israel are particularly strong and have made pervasive inroads into Latin, Asian, and African groups (both African immigrant communities and historical communities of the descendants of American slaves). In many cases those groups are the fastest demographics of the American Evangelicals.

But you’ll also find the same big tent outreach with the religious elements. In some cases you can replace the religious affiliation:

(((Eurocentric) Pagan) Nationalism)

Or

(((Eurocentric) Areligious) Nationalism)

This attempt at big tent proselytizing has been quite successful for a number of reasons.

The result of the expansion of Evangelicalism across every ethnic demographic.

The result of appeals to some construct of traditional masculinity.

The result of red-scaring tactics in communities with pervasive issues trusting government institutions.

They’ve even started spreading the ideology outside the US in parts of Africa and Latin American.

“White Supremacy” is not the right term.

The tent is getting bigger.

You can find evidence here.

And here.

And here.

Ignoring the expansion of the tent is dangerous.

Barack Obama frequently gets criticized for his criticisms of those he generally tends to agree with.

I imagine that’s the general reaction I’ll get.

But he does it for the same reason I am.

Being precise with our language matters

Losing Control

This is great but at the same time has a specific flaw that skews it slightly. Those three denominational categories of Evangelical, Mainline, and Fundamentalist are real enough. But at no point did they actually settle in such neatly defined camps with solid lines separating them.

The overlapping both across and within denominations, congregations, and American Protestantism as a whole has been constant and is still in flux.

It’s more like a polar triangle with each of the three poles representing the Evan, Main, and Fund. The leadership, theologians, and public figures being closest to the poles and congregants gravitating towards the poles, with many closer to the center than to the actual poles. My analysis of what Phil is getting at here is that there needs to be more acceptable space between the poles. I would even say that it’s easy to identify the historical moment that has slowly erased the acceptability of occupying space between the poles: the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

I would argue that it makes the issue of what people mean when they call themselves Evangelical in a modern context pretty simple. People who call themselves Evangelicals believe or have beliefs derived from the Chicago statement and to some degree its 2 subsequent summits.

The thing that makes it messy is that it is increasingly clear that affirming the statement’s content is forging an identity. This identity is trans-denominational, cultural, and political. You’ll find people affirming the core tenets of the statement from Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Regardless of how they developed this belief in the context of their own tradition the influence of and convergence with the statement is pervasive. I would also argue that religion is inherently political and that much more so in regard to the statement which has stark implications on how individuals engage with the society around them.

There is no way to separate politics from American religion whether it’s segregation or teaching evolution or selling alcohol on a Sunday. Those issues are all a woven fabric of social, political, and religious beliefs. It is in no way a shock that American Evangelicalism has emerged from its incubation as a theological movement within American Protestantism in general and transformed into a socio-cultural political identity. That transformation is not something that the intellectual and theological leaders can control at this point and I would say they lost control of it long before they realized they did.

I really like Phil and I do love his take here. As helpful as it is though, don’t be blinded by the simplicity.

Life is never as simple as we want it to be

To get some context on my claims go here to read about Billy Graham’s personal relationship with LBJ (hard to deny the inherent politics of friendship with a sitting POTUS)

Go here for some context about Graham’s intentionally moderate position on segregation & civil rights. It’s true that he was adamant about integrating his events but did not engage in direct protests regarding integration, which again shows a concern for the political implications of personal positions vs personal actions.

Definitely significant issues when it comes to the most influential Evangelical who would go on to be a spiritual advisor to every POTUS including Barack Obama. This longstanding relationship with political figures shows that Evangelicalism was imbedded in American politics well before the shift in the 70s that Phil discusses.

Star-Lord

I thinks about this from time to time because of Chris Pratt so in case anyone cares here’s a breakdown of what kind of church he goes to, and his (apparent) ignorance of that church’s teaching.

(Before I start I’m using QUILTBAG instead of any other LGBT+ variation because it’s the most inclusive and also an acronym which makes it inherently superior 😎)

There are 3 essential positions when it comes to churches/religions when it comes to QUILTBAG issues. I’ll focus on western churches.

1- Not welcome. This ones pretty clear: QUILTBAG peoples are not welcome. Period. At least this one is clear.

2- Welcoming and Affirming. Also pretty clear: QUILTBAG peoples are not only welcome but affirmed as being valid expressions of the diversity of creation, not living in inherent sinfulness, not excluded from the Church in any way.

3- Welcoming but NOT affirming. This one is definitely not as clear as the other two. This is also the kind of church Pratt attends so I’ll spend more time on it.

The idea here is that the church does not exclude anyone from attendance, so QUILTBAG peoples are welcomed as Pratt has said multiple times. But to some degree QUILTBAG peoples are not allowed to participate fully in the life of the church. They may be allowed to lead a class or Bible group but prohibited from elected or ordained leadership. They may be allowed to volunteer but not take a paid position. They may be able to have a civil Union blessed but not actually have a marriage ceremony performed. The church Pratt attends is a welcoming but NOT affirming church.

Pratt goes to a Hillsong Church (as far as I know, people switch churches all the time). Hillsong is an international mega church with campuses across the globe that was founded in and is headquartered in Australia. It’s been involved controversies including sexual misconduct (shocking) and ongoing doctrinal issues like propounding the Prosperity Gospel (which rich people shockingly love).

Regardless of how you feel about all that their senior pastor Brian Houston has made his position on QUILTBAG issues clear:

“Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid”

Even this statement has gotten Houston in hot water because people on opposite ends of the spectrum on QUILTBAG issues both distain this kind of opaque middle ground.

Now what does Pratt think? He’s made a point to defend Hillsong as being SO welcoming!

Does he understand that they do not affirm? Does he know that the welcome stops at the pulpit, at any position of authority whatsoever?

I haven’t seen him address that question but maybe I just didn’t Google deep enough. And honestly I think he might just be ignorant of the reality of this position from his church leadership. I’ve discovered over my team studying and understanding religion ( and last 5 years for SURE) that many adherents have no clue what their institution believes. Some of them don’t care and make no bones about that fact. If you want to be cheritable or maintain a robust Pratt fanship I guess you can toss some thoughts and prayers in the direction of him just being ignorant.

As a post script, I will also say that there are TONS of welcoming and affirming congregations across the US and world in general. So it is also worth considering that people have the choice to leave a non-welcoming or welcoming but not affirming church and go to a welcoming and affirming one. Even the welcoming but not affirming position that the Catholic Church has been slowly lurching towards is not absolute and there are some relatively small but notable figures/groups that are welcoming and affirming. As an individual you could even make clear that you wish to influence the direction of your own church by stating your own welcoming and affirming position on QUILTBAG issues publicly and explicitly. Pratt has not done so. His statements have been notably vague and leave room for either position

There’s my breakdown. Take it or leave it.

The Religion of your People

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/after-permit-approved-whites-only-church-small-minnesota-town-insists-n1251838?fbclid=IwAR0ThNU3_BzEKacKAO_-9Jus-Qp4q29KtAzfzNr0or0FUBVwEl19SPvWbnE

This story proves that we need to teach comparative religion classes because people don’t seem to understand how an ancestral cultic religion works. Not that I defend ancestral religions like this one but it’s not unique and this kind of controversy is not unique to a Eurocentric ancestral religion.

Perfect point of comparison is the Hebrew religions. I’ll circle back to Judaism but I’ll actually start with Samaritanism.

There is a middle eastern ancestral population of Semitic speaking peoples called Israelites (or a few other names depending on which historical perspective you’re using, but Israelites is the one I’ll use).

Today that ancestral group of has two recognized subgroups: the Samaritans and the Jews.

When someone is called Samaritan that simply means their ancestors were from that group of Israelites. Being a Samaritan Israelite has nothing to do with the modern state of Israel and has nothing to do with what the individual person’s religious beliefs are.

In this case however religion is related to ancestry. That’s because the religion of Samaritanism is a form of ancestral religion which has historically been quite common.

Ancestral religions take a number of forms but the basic outline is that the ancestral group has a ritualized belief system about an entity that is specific to people of their same tribal group.

Sometimes that religion was focused on worshipping a god or several gods that watched over, protected, or controlled the fate of that tribal group. Sometimes it was the actual spirits of their deceased ancestors themselves.

The point is, an ancestral religion is a religion of the tribe. In this example, Samaritanism is the religion of the historical group of peoples that the modern day Samaritans are descended.

So now the question comes up, like in that religious group in Minnesota, who is ALLOWED to practice an ancestral religion? And there is an incredible amount of variation on that subject.

The Samaritans for example are generally opposed to people without biological Samaritan ancestry from joining and practicing Samaritanism. However, the modern Samaritan ancestral population is quite small and as a result is prone to genetic bottlenecking and founder effect which can result in genetic disease. One way to combat that is to use genetic testing in marriage and reproductive planning which the Samaritans do. But their high priests have approved religious conversion from outside marriages as a way to create more genetic diversity. Basically meaning that a non-Samaritan women can marry a Samaritan man and then be fully accepted into the religion by conversion. However it’s also true that some within the Samaritan community do not agree with this decision by the priesthood and would prefer to rely on genetic testing rather than letting non-ancestral individuals into their biological, social, and religious community.

As a contrary I’ll move on to Judaism. Many of the same principles apply as with Samaritans. The Jews are a population descended from Israelite ancestors. The religion of that ancestral group is called Judaism. So again, being Jewish means you’re descended from that group but it does not mean you practice that religion.

However the Jewish ancestral population and Judaism have a very different history compared to the Samaritans. They have a deep connection to the Israelite tribal group but the two religious traditions, despite similarities, diverge greatly.

The most pertinent divergence here is that Judaism does have provisions allowing conversion from outside their ancestral group. Further complicating it is that Judaism has fractured into so many different branches that some have much more simplistic process for conversion. In a real way, if you want to convert to Judaism you’ll almost certainly be able to find a branch that will welcome you.

One thing you can come across still is a problem of acceptance between the different groups. And of course, regardless of your conversion to the religion that can’t change whether or not you have biological ancestry from the Israelite Jews. You’ll be Jewish religiously and culturally but not ancestrally.

Some other ancestral religious groups are extremely exclusive. In many forms of Zoroastrian communities you can only practice the religion if you are part of the ancestral group. Some even make the distinction of whether you have ancestry from both parents or only from one, potentially barring individuals who have any outside ancestry at all. The issue that makes Zoroastrianism tricky is that it does not have a centralized authority to determine the rules. You will find some Zoroastrian religious groups that are actively proselytizing, attempting to convert people regardless of ancestry. Which turns into a conflict because then some other Zoroastrians will refuse to acknowledge the converts as true Zoroastrians.

Now after all that we come back to this ancestral European religious group. Some things to ponder here.

How do they define European Ancestry? Does that include anyone with any amount of biological European Ancestry?

In the US many people have ancestry from all over the place. Obama has Kenyan ancestry on his fathers side but English and Irish and German and a bunch of other European ancestry on his mother’s. Does that half make him European enough? And how does this religious group determine that? Proof of genealogy and DNA results?

Or is it based on what someone LOOKS like? Would they let in Halsey because she has Euro-typically pale skin but deny Eric Andre?

Or are they focused on ancestral purity the way some of those Samaritans and Zoroastrians are?

According to their website they leave it a bit ambiguous in places…less so in others. It seems pretty obvious that they’re all about “purity”.

Honestly I support people’s right to practice ancestral religions. Of course I personally think they are dumb dummies who believe dumb things that contradict the evidence based reality of human biology. But this isn’t as simple as white supremacy because it’s an issue that pervades several ideologies.

As westerners we are incredibly biased by the history of universal religion. Christianity and Islam and Buddhism for example. Even though they don’t act like it sometimes (whole other topic) it is nonetheless a core tenet of those religions that any person of any ancestry can convert to their belief system. Their religion is founded solely upon belief which they claim to be universally true for all people. So if you adopt and affirm that belief system as universally true then you are admitted to the group no questions asked. Even the very African-centric religion Rastafarianism has shifted toward this universal model.

Westerners tend to make the assumption that all religions should follow this model of universal inclusiveness. But that is our own cultural bias to grapple with.

As a final note, this group is some variation of neo-pagan, Eurocentric revivalism. But if that is something that appeals to you then ignore this group. There are TONS of neo-pagan organizations that are not obsessed with ancestry and “purity” that would be happy to welcome anyone into the fold.

I recommend checking out the band Heilung who made an explicit statement that they’re pagan performance pieces are for everyone and they will not tolerate any form of racism. Someone should rent some church space to them.

All that is Right & Beautiful

There is a house I walk by frequently that is owned by Calvin University.

Calvin is one of the major higher learning institutions owned and supported by the Christian Reformed Church in North America or CRC.

CRC is a major Evangelical and Calvinist denomination in the USA with influence and missions abroad. The CRC could even be used as an archetypal example of American Evangelical Protestantism in many respects.

As such the student body and academic structure of Calvin University is usually assumed to tilt strongly toward the American political right.

The university has even produced several high profile political figures on the right like Betsy DeVos, Bill Huizenga, and Dave Agema.

Yet, as I made one of my frequent passes by the house owned by this school I’ve noticed a curious thing.

In the window I notice a Black Lives Matter sticker.

The decal is one of the standard emblems of BLM with the raised first AKA the forceful salute.

Now I’ve watched any number of figures on the right lambast BLM with any number of accusations.

I’ve heard BLM called socialist, communist, anarchist, satanist, or feminist. And any number of extrapolations or combinations.

So what is that decal doing in the window of a house owned by an Evangelical institution?

The house is called Nizhoni House. Nizhoni being a Navajo word for beautiful and in this case used as a broader sense of “good”, lining up with the mission of the house. That mission is the University’s attempt to show commitment to the neighborhood as they try to spread the Good News amongst its residents.

And it should be noted that Calvin University also has strong ties to Calvin Seminary which is an educational institution for producing professionals trained in theological, scholarly, and leadership for the CRC.

(And to be fair, Evangelicals in general)

But this hasn’t cleared anything up yet. Why would the students living in this house, presumably on a path to some form of Evangelical leadership, have a BLM decal up?

Aren’t Evangelicals the very ones condemning BLM?

Aren’t Evangelicals the very ones denouncing communism? feminism? anarchism?

Here though is where you can find the divide, if you look hard enough.

Evangelicalism in the US is multifaceted to be sure but there is an element that is nearly universal: the centrality of the Bible.

The Bible is the authority.

The Truth with a capital “T” is found in the Bible and the Bible only.

All other authority is insignificant.

But at the institutional level, the academic and scholarly and expert theological level, there is far more nuisance to the concept of Biblical authority than the oversimplifications I’ve written out above.

You can dive deep into the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy to see what I mean. And that’s just a start. You can then move on to other statements like the Nashville Statement from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

These are complex and intricate statements that are meant to define the correct belief for Evangelicals in America and their international networks of Evangelical mission churches.

If you take the time to dig you’ll come across the Resolution On Racial Reconciliation from The Southern Baptist Convention.

And more pertinent to this house I walk by, the CRC Office of Race Relations.

Because the leadership of these a Evangelical bodies DOES acknowledge the reality of racism and the need for reconciliation. They have for several decades.

But their congregants do not.

Why not?

Because Evangelicals have been told NOT to trust authorities. NOT to listen to experts and academics. They’ve been ignorant of the fact that those tenets they’ve been following were developed by experts.

Experts in theology, exegesis, hermeneutics, and so on.

And slowly but surely a chasm has developed between the congregants and their institutions of leadership.

They’ve been told (by academics) that they shouldn’t trust academics.

They’ve been told (by experts) not to trust experts.

And now the experts have lost control. Those who imagined themselves to be leaders have lost any semblance of broader authority.

Their attempts to purge any reliance on scholarly analysis worked too well and when they try to exert influence on changes in ethnic reconciliation it is not working.

It’s the same with several other topics.

Immigration.

QAnon.

Identity Politics.

Religious Freedom.

That’s why the BLM decal in that window seems befuddling. The CRC leaders in training at their University recognize and believe in the need for racial reconciliation. But their congregants don’t care what they think.

Their congregants are forging their own socio-political culture and identity that despised expertise and study through higher learning institutions.

This is their reckoning; the reckoning of authority condemning authority without emphasizing that their authority should be the exception.

Those pundits denouncing BLM are the academics working on theology and religious scholarship. They are political figures, people with power on the mind. Not trained to lead as experts.

And therefore much more effective at leading their congregants.

Populist figures rather than institutional leaders.

Hospitals Run Out Of Room

I don’t know. I really have trouble being upset about this. Our healthcare system is a market system. It’s designed to make money, not to provide a service. Healthcare isn’t provided; it’s sold. The only reason they “provide” emergency services is because they have to in order to receive payments from Medicare (which is why there are private hospitals that don’t accept Medicare).

This is a market driven system. In fact we could make it a better market driven system by requiring everyone who shows up with covid related complications make an advanced payment. If they can’t, then they get turned away. And the hospitals would have plenty of room. This is the system we have and continue to chose.

This is what we want, this is what we get.

Some people, always the sickest amongst us, already know this about our healthcare system because we’ve sought complex care outside of the ER and walked into a pay-up-or-get-out scenario.

I’m numb to this. I’ve accepted that we don’t care enough about each other to provide healthcare services. We’d rather sell them as a for-profit product.

That’s we want.

And it’s what we get.

Freedom

There is a repeated trope that is sometimes derived from some understanding of neurology that we don’t have free will.

But it’s a twisting of facts.

We do have free will. The truth that’s being twisted is about the form free will take, because it’s often different from the way we imagine it.

We often think if free will as the ability to make a decision in the moment.

What’s true is that we often don’t make a decision in the moment but instead rely on habits we’ve built up over time when determining behavior.

But we can change our habits. The the lie or manipulation is ignoring our ability to alter our habitual reactions. It’s an inherent neuro-cognitive process of the brain that we can evaluate the outcomes of our habitual behaviors and alter them in order to secure better outcomes.

Changing habits can be hard for sure. But it’s not impossible. And it’s the best way to ensure that we are making decisions about our behavior instead of relying on our pre-existing habits unthinkingly.

A sort of logic

Many of the things we believe come down to our assumptions. We might look at someone else and think their beliefs don’t make sense, that they are irrational.

Sometimes true.

But frequently we are missing something. We are missing the set of assumptions they are relying on.

For example, think about climate change.

Then assume that the world is ending. Not that you think it might be ending or could be ending. Assume that you are 100% positive the world will come to an end in the next decade or two.

Not just a generic eschatology either. Assume one of the more common and ostensibly orthodox western evangelical Protestant Christian eschatologies: the world is about to be utterly destroyed by a supreme deity that will then bring into being a new, perfected creation.

Assume that you know for sure that those events are about to play out. Or that they have already begun.

If so, why would climate change matter?

Why would mass extinctions and biodiversity loss matter?

Why would overpopulation and population sustainability matter?

If that assumption is true then none of those things matter.

I know that it is easy to shrug this topic off. Easy to say to ourselves: no one really believes that eschatological stuff.

But they do. Some believe it fervently and it informs their every decision and defines their entire thought process.

Many have a more dynamic thought process influenced by a host of other assumptions. But this end times belief is still one of their foundational assumptions about the world. It still informs and shapes their beliefs and actions. Even if they don’t think about eschatology with any regularity it still has an influence on all their cognitive processes.

Race

This is a map of “races”. The specific grouping here are: Ethiopian, Caucasian, Mongolian, Malaysian, and American. These classifications are nonsense. If you look at the groupings on the map you’ll notice areas where groups with recent common ancestry are grouped separately while others seem to have arbitrarily determined boundaries that ignore the long standing intermingling of the people on both sides of that boundary.

These groupings are not scientific.

It is true that some early anthropologists tried to determine biological realities that could create distinct biological categories. Those attempts did and have ultimately failed.

Instead, influencial figures like Kant & Hume came to define and popularize the biological notion of race. These were NOT scientists. They were European philosophers formulating justifications for European superiority. They did no research. They provided no evidence.

And the 4-5 categories that emerged are still assumed today to be real. Whether it’s European/Caucasian/White or Ethiopian/African or any other variation, the notions survive and continue to define popular ideas of biology.

To begin dismantling the various forms of racism we need to dismantle these systems of thought. You don’t just find these falsehoods showing up in explicit and overt racism.

You’ll literally find terms like “Caucasian” in medical records.

You’ll find populations with known genetic mutations, like the HEXA gene in people Ashkenazi Jewish descent, being the focus of study, while other groups categorized as a different “race” are ignored. This has resulted in these populations suffering from lack of genetic counseling because the issue hasn’t been identified, such as the prevalence of mutations of the HEXA gene in people of Irish descent, which was only recently recognized because of the lack of research resulting from prejudiced attitudes arising from inaccurate concepts of race. Same has shown to be true of the malaria hypothesis.

You’ll find cases like the industrial redlining in the US. Where postbellum policies led to the creation of toxic industrial zones intentional concentrated in the communities of disenfranchised former African slaves and their descendants, a practice that literally continues to this day. So while many medical conditions were tied to “race” in these communities, we have now clearly demonstrated that the environmental impact of the industrial zones is the catalyst, not ancestry. This is even more obvious in areas where different ancestral groups slowing integrated in these industrial zones and the rates of specific medical conditions rose in all ancestral groups. Similar issues apply to notions of “racial” health risks that ignore the environment impact of sun exposure and folate, which applies to any ancestral population with similar skin tones regardless of geographic origin but relative to the location of that population to the equator.

You’ll even find the incredibly disturbing influence that pseudoscientific beliefs about race had on people of African descent in the US throughout the covid pandemic after several groups & individuals made claims (largely online) that people of African ancestry could not catch the SARS-CoV-2 virus

As Nina Jablonski states:

“Race has a hold on history but no longer has a place in science. The sheer instability and potential for misinterpretation render race useless as a scientific concept. Inventing new vocabularies to deal with human diversity and inequity won’t be easy, but it must be done”

This is by far the most difficult task in confronting racism on all levels because we have become so heavily invested in our erroneous conceptions of race and integrated them so deeply into our identities that we’ll end up kicking and screaming to hold onto them.

I would say that the start is to understand that these categories were created and expounded by non-scientists specifically to justify their own sense of inherent superiority; that all attempts to justify distinct biological race categories have failed because the evidence has shown and continues to show that there aren’t any.

Persistencism

I’ve been trying to define the core element of Donald Trump’s socio-political approach.

Many have just been saying “Trumpism” but I’d rather have it derive for one of the components of the approach.

Finally got it.

Persistence.

If you Google it persistence you get this:

noun: persistence

1. firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

This perfectly describes his basic strategy. Make a statement and then repeat, repeat, repeat.

No matter what.

And the sad thing is that as a technique Persistencism works quite well.

It plays off some basic neuro-cognitive mechanisms.

Hearing something from someone you trust makes it seem more believable. And hearing something over and over makes it seem more believable.

Persistencism

Likely a lasting force in American politics for the foreseeable future.