Poker player sitting at a poker table trying to hide his expressions and going all-in pushing his chips forward

It strikes me as I watch Republicans and Democrats on television that there is a fundamental difference in thinking that I have not heard articulated. Republicans, who are currently indistinguishable from Trumpites, think in terms of winning and losing and believe in such a thing as an endgame strategy. Democrats, who for our purposes stand in for progressives, tend to think more about a process that has no end. In some ways, this is consistent with the distinction between the business world where businesses exist for a purpose and the family world where relationships exist for the sake of relationships. The parallels here would be that Republicans/Business Model think in terms of goal achieving and Democrats/Family Model think in terms of managing relationships. When you add apocalyptic religious ideas to the mix this turns Republican/Business Model types into Crusaders. Since the progressive side thinks more in terms of process (Process Theology) and a Kingdom of God already and not yet, they have nothing that counters the endgame Crusader thinking accept a relational process strategy. This means that only Republicans are planning an endgame while Democrats assume the game will continue along in a two-steps forward, one step backwards dance.

I believe that Trump represents endgame thinking. This is equivalent to going “all in” in poker. The gamble is that if you win you win everything and if you lose, it really won’t matter. Whenever a system nears its endgame, the rules that guided the system’s long game no longer apply because one or both sides is playing to change the game and in the new game, the victors are not punished for offences committed in the old game.  I believe that Trump and the coalitions that control him (Christian Fundamentalists, White Supremacists, and the Super Wealthy) are utilizing endgame strategies while Democrats are relying on long game processes in this great struggle for the American future.  If the Trumpites win, they will write the history. They believe that abortion will be settled once and for all. They believe that they can create permanent protections for the wealthy and an unbridgeable mote between whites and people of color. I think the Right wing has always dreamt of this moment. This allows Republicans to verbally espouse the rules of the current system right up to the moment that they overthrow that system and instantiate new rules. They play nice right up to their rebel yell.

“Victory in Jesus”

Republicans can do this because their base believes that if they lose this endgame strategy, it will probably trigger an apocalyptic event where God comes and enforces their hopes or takes them home to an all-white, all straight heaven that is decked out in the trappings of wealth (streets of gold). They are in a win-win. If they win on earth they plan to win for all time. If they lose on earth God will rescue them and turn it into an eternal victory. They are like Judas Iscariot who may have believed that if he betrayed Jesus it would force Jesus to become the kingly Messiah he craved. The rest of us of course can go to hell. Even if we win this particular battle, life will still be messy and relationships will still be disappointing and the other side will bide its time, like Voldemort, until the next endgame possibility arrives.

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