"Jesus told his followers they needed to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, but most churches are not wise about the mentality and tactics of evildoers, nor are they aware of how evildoers masquerade as believers in the church. The abuser typically has a Dr Jekyll persona that depicts him (or occasionally her) as a wonderful and godly man, so that no-one would suspect the truth … If the victim reports the abuse to church leaders, the abuser is skilled at shifting blame, evading accountability, and pretending repentance and reformation. The vast majority of church leaders aren't discerning enough to detect these tactics of abusers for what they are: lies [and] often advise the victim to remain with or return to the abuser."
It is therefore strange to me that Dougherty so fundamentally misdiagnoses the conservative reaction to Trump: “A Trump win,” he writes in another piece, “at least temporarily threatens the conservative movement, because it threatens to expose how inessential its ideas are to holding together the party.” (Dougherty also equates the fundraising engaged in by conservative organizations with the Social Security fraud that sustains his fictional Mike, a characterization that indicates the emotional temperament at work here.) Of course there is careerism in the conservative movement, but to proceed as though it were impossible to imagine that conservatives oppose a man running (knowingly or not) on a Sam Francis platform because we oppose the loopy crackpot racist ideas of Sam Francis is to perform an intellectual disservice.
But Public Enemy Number One on Pacelle’s list are the dozen or so companies that gamed the system and usurped the means of production in America. Fifty years ago, before the coming of giants, this country’s cows, pigs and poultry were mostly raised outdoors and sold, for whatever the spot market bore, at livestock auctions for cash. Then Tyson, Perdue and others set about gobbling up feed lots, van lines, slaughterhouses and hatcheries, ran them, top-down, via corporate committees, and turned farmers into wage slaves on their lands, owners of nothing but the mortgages on their barns. With the craven consent of the Department of Agriculture (then, as now, a revolving door for executives in the big-farm sector), they devoured smaller companies, corraled much of the nation’s livestock and began treating animals as production units, not living, feeling creatures with basic rights. Their motto: maximum profit for minimum input, meaning far fewer workers tending vastly larger stocks, and animals confined in tight, dark spaces for the ease and convenience of staff.