SATAN AT THE WOMEN’S MARCH: DO MAJORITIES STILL MATTER?
In 2017, the Women’s March in San Francisco was so large that the concentrated weight of people might have briefly pushed us below sea level.
Whilst embedded in that mass off 100,000 on Market Street, I had what you might call a revelation:
“Huh. With so many people coming out to protest this weekend, you’d almost think that Trump supporters were an unpopular political minority.”
A veneer of populism is fashionable in American politics, but actually influencing policy seems to be less about popularity and more about how you prosecute your agenda.
That fact seems to always cut against us these days, but by rights we really should be much better at this. After all, Satan is the original prosecutor.
To review: In 2016, more voters wanted Hillary Clinton to be president. As you’ve noticed, this didn’t end up making much of a difference.
Most people voted Democrats for Congress too. In fact, the Democratic Party has had the majority among registered voters for decades. But they are consistently the minority party.
Pew Research tells us that most Americans want abortion to be legal in “most or all cases.” That includes majorities of Presbyterians, Orthodox Christians, Anglicans, Episcopalians, National Baptists, Lutherans, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and a plurality of Catholics.
It bears repeating: even the fucking Catholics. Despite this, most women in a majority of US states live in a county without abortion access.
In 2013, a University of Texas poll found that most Texans wanted abortion access expanded or left as is. Instead the state passed new laws that closed half of Texas clinics.
This trend continues in other veins. After the Vegas shooting, Politico found that even a plurality of Republicans supported more strict gun control laws. A month later, Gallup said the majority of Americans agreed.
This was a very low bar to clear, since virtually any response would technically qualify as “more strict.” But instead nothing happened.
When people can’t cite popular backing for their policies, they cast around for other fountainheads of perceived authority. Jesus is a popular choice: Preacher Paula White says Donald Trump was “raised up by god” to be president. A convenient endorsement if the popular vote eludes you.
The US Constitution is another go-to. The Second Amendment doesn’t define what it means by “the right to bear arms” in very particular terms, but gun people will tell you that it always means the opposite of whatever new protocol the rest of us want to enforce.
In fact, the Second Amendment very much resembles a holy text, in that people can read seemingly anything they want in it.
And Satanism seems to have what you might call a cultural aversion to majorities. Identifying with a popular movement risks falling prey to “herd mentality”—or so we’re told. In practice I find this a vaguely defined term, most often leveled at people and political movements that the accuser just doesn’t like. (Lot of that going around.)
Contrarily, I think something like the Women’s March—which I joined a few Satanic SF members at on Saturday—has a handy application for groups like ours. Humans, as primates, don’t form herds. But we do form communities, which is both natural and useful.
“[People] try to create a social world where where you succeed and can cooperate to meet your goals,” University of Kansas psychologist Chris Crandall noted in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2016. “To create this, similarity is very useful.”
Note the language here: Likemindedness is not good. It’s not bad. It’s just a thing that happens. And a means to an end.
Anti-Satanists, anti-feminists, religious nuts, Trump worshipers, and conspiracy assholes often try to intimidate us with the assumption of normalcy. Terms like the “Moral Majority” even enshrine it.
But the crowds at the Women’s March remind us what’s true: They’re the freaks. They’re the outliers. Most people agree with us.
I’m not saying that’s a good thing per se. In America, the masses can be induced to believe some vicious things. As an endorsement, it’s ambiguous at best.
But I AM saying that it’s a true thing. It’s a fact. And, contrary to much available evidence, what’s true matters.
The other side seems to know this too. In fact, I think it very much worries them. After all, why else would they feel the need to lie about it?