Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Moving ahead, one step at a time

Ryan Burge/NY times:

Why ‘Evangelical’ Is Becoming Another Word for ‘Republican’

The data from the Pew Research Center reinforces that — those who became evangelical between 2016 and 2020 had much warmer views of President Trump than those who didn’t feel warmly toward him. The evidence points in one direction: For many Americans, to be a conservative Republican is to be an evangelical Christian, regardless of if they ever attend a Sunday service.

The second factor bolstering evangelicalism on surveys is that more people are embracing the label who have no attachment to Protestant Christianity.

Pediatricians are recommending vaccines, just like seat belts and car seats. Listen to your child’s doctor.

— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) October 26, 2021

Christopher Miller/BuzzFeed:

Jury Selection In The “Unite The Right” White Supremacist Trial Involved A Lot Of Arguing Over Antifa

Some of the potential jurors wrote in their questionnaire that they believe antifa to be “terrorists” and “troublemakers,” observations some repeated when being questioned in court. When asked if he thought antifa was responsible for the “Unite the Right” violence, one possible juror said “most likely.”

Defendant and neo-Nazi Christopher Cantwell, who is without a lawyer and defending himself in the trial, told Moon that potential jurors describing “antifa” as troublemakers “is hardly an extreme view.” He argued to keep jurors who felt that way.

Another major point of contention during the jury selection revolved around the pandemic, with several jurors saying they were still recovering from lengthy bouts with COVID and had already been out of work for weeks, thus needing to be excused. Some said they weren’t sure they could wear a mask all day, every day for the duration of the trial either because of health conditions or religious beliefs. The plaintiffs kept on about one man in particular whose mask didn’t cover his nose.

Moon said strict pandemic guidelines would be in place during the trial, including regular testing and a mask mandate.

Artists for Romney™ announces spike in fundraising https://t.co/bBBYVXBqro

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) October 26, 2021

Garrett Epps/Washington Monthly:

Want to Know More About Critical Race Theory? Look at Virginia’s Schools—For More Than 75 Years

Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin was raised on official, state-taught racism. I should know. So was I.

In fact, the entire hue and cry against CRT is not about ending division; it is about preserving it. It is not about racial reconciliation; it is about inspiring racial panic, of the kind that swept the South in the 1830s, the 1890s, and the 1950s. That this phony scare is active in states outside the South is a sign of the success the conservative movement has achieved in exporting the religious, political, and racial values of the South to states in the heartland. It is no longer only in the old Confederacy that questioning of the racial order is seen as next to treason.

Glenn Youngkin is simply the latest in a line of mountebanks willing to stir race hatred and fear to gain power.

He knows how it is done; like me, he learned it in school.

Hooray for Glenn Youngkin in his courageous battle against Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”. Next up: “Catcher in the Rye” by dirty-minded J.D. Salinger. Then ban a book overflowing with sex and violence, the Bible. #VAGov

— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) October 26, 2021

The 74:

ACLU Lawsuit Looks to Take Down Oklahoma’s CRT Teaching Ban as Free Speech Violation

Critical race theory is not an ideology, but a lens of thinking that considers how political institutions may perpetuate structural inequities, experts previously explained to The 74.

As a result of the law’s approval, according to the ACLU, school districts in the state have told teachers to avoid using terms such as “diversity” and “white privilege” in their classrooms, and have removed To Kill a MockingbirdRaisin in the Sun and other seminal books from reading lists.

When schools restrict academic content, it can amount to a First Amendment violation if the court concludes that the censorship was politically motivated, said LoMonte, referencing a 1982 Supreme Court precedent in a case over book banning. The ruling established students’ right to receive information, he explained, but also gives school boards some latitude in choosing to pull books.

wait for it pic.twitter.com/EsBP8yY66J

— nikki mccann screamírez 👻 (@NikkiMcR) October 26, 2021

W. Ralph Eubanks/New Yorker:

How Cities in the American North Can Reckon with Their Monuments

There are no statues honoring the Confederacy to be found in Boston or Cambridge, but there are plenty of historic memorials that obscure the achievements of Black Americans.

Boston’s monuments reveal the complexities of American history and its mutability. But the power of monuments rests in their permanence. The question that remains in Boston, and across this country, is how we can amend the American story through our monuments without tearing them all down.

My apartment in Cambridge is on Brattle Street, named for the family of the First Church of Cambridge minister William Brattle, who was a slaveowner in the eighteenth century. Further down Brattle is the mansion once owned by Henry Vassal, a slaveowner and British loyalist whose wealth came from his family’s slaveholding plantation in Jamaica. Not far from the mansion is Vassal Lane, named for the same family.

In each of these cases and more early action and the right risk benefit judgment call could have saved a lot of lives. This is not retrospective hindsight 20/20. Many advocated for these early. Many countries saw the benefits of early action and the low risks and proceeded.

— Vincent Rajkumar (@VincentRK) October 25, 2021

Ed Yong/Atlantic:

How Public Health Took Part in Its Own Downfall

The field’s future lies in reclaiming parts of its past that it willingly abandoned.

By one telling, public health was a victim of its own success, its value shrouded by the complacency of good health. By a different account, the competing field of medicine actively suppressed public health, which threatened the financial model of treating illness in (insured) individuals. But these underdog narratives don’t capture the full story of how public health’s strength faded. In fact, “public health has actively participated in its own marginalization,” Daniel Goldberg, a historian of medicine at the University of Colorado, told me. As the 20th century progressed, the field moved away from the idea that social reforms were a necessary part of preventing disease and willingly silenced its own political voice. By swimming along with the changing currents of American ideology, it drowned many of the qualities that made it most effective.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is plummeting into “anti-vaxx Crazyville.” The Miami Herald editorial board said there’s now no doubt Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is siding with anti-vaxxers. https://t.co/hRpJ5aMQXl # via @HuffPostPol

— Janet Johnson (@JJohnsonLaw) October 26, 2021

Yascha Mounk/Atlantic:

Four Measures That Are Helping Germany Beat COVID

And why we’re failing to do the same things in America

At the moment, much of America’s acrimonious debate about COVID centers on the most difficult trade-offs that the country faces as it grapples with the drawn-out and still-deadly twilight of the pandemic. Should children in schools be required to wear masks? Should employees be fired if they refuse to get vaccinated? How do the benefits of vaccinating the young stack up against the risks?

There may not be a way around those important questions. But instead of focusing exclusively on the most contentious restrictions, which have serious drawbacks as well as significant benefits, the country’s political officials and health authorities should adopt four measures that can slow the spread of the virus—and reduce the risk of yet another winter wave—without much of a downside.

Adrienne LaFrance​​​​​​​/Atlantic:


Thousands of pages of internal documents offer the clearest picture yet of how Facebook endangers American democracy—and show that the company’s own employees know it.

“This is a dark moment in our nation’s history,” Zuckerberg wrote, “and I know many of you are frightened and concerned about what’s happening in Washington, DC. I’m personally saddened by this mob violence.”

Facebook staffers weren’t sad, though. They were angry, and they were very specifically angry at Facebook. Their message was clear: This is our fault.

To me this is not a story of Facebook intentionally fanning anger for profit. It’s a story of how arbitrary initial decisions, set by humans for business reasons, become reified as the status quo, even as evidence mounts that they’re fueling harms. https://t.co/CdsciNOpQV pic.twitter.com/jqsxgzEdZj

— Will Oremus (@WillOremus) October 26, 2021

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