Significant and growing class of American voters

The voting patterns of religious groups in the U.S. have been scrutinized since the presidential election for evidence of shifting allegiances among the faithful. Many have wondered if a boost in Catholic support was behind Biden’s win or if a dip in support among evangelicals helped doom Trump.

But much less attention has been paid to one of the largest growing demographics among the U.S. electorate, one that has increased from around 5% of Americans to over 23% in the last 50 years: “Nones” – that is, the nonreligious.

I am a scholar of secularism in the U.S., and my focus is on the social and cultural presence of secular people – nonreligious people such as atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and those who simply don’t identify with any religion. They are an increasingly significant presence in American society, one which inevitably spills into the political arena.

The voters characterized as the “religious Right” continue at least as noisy as ever…while their economic and political power diminishes outside of the opportunist brigade in the Republican Party. And Trump has shattered that segment badly enough that it may be reduced to the same sort of historic footnote as George Wallace’s American Independent Party.

Meanwhile, I find Professor Zuckerman’s article encouraging – offering hope for scientific realism, hard facts, playing more of a role in American politics. Finally!

Luxury Style “Doomsday Preppers”


Everyone needs macaroni and cheese with a 25-year shelf life

This was the year that coronavirus fears turned American shoppers into hoarders. There have been widespread shortages on products like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and flour as people prepared for the long stretches of isolation that have become commonplace during the pandemic.

But for one segment of the population, preparing for the worst was a way of life even before the pandemic. “Preppers” or “survivalists,” as they’re known, have been around for years, buying elaborate survival kits, yearlong supplies of nonperishable foods and even elaborate underground bunkers.

Clyde Scott’s Rising S company, for instance, makes an $8.4 million bunker from its Luxury Series, called “The Aristocrat.” The bunker can sleep more than m 50 people and it features a fitness center, gaming rooms, swimming pool, gun range and a greenhouse. The company also makes a mini-bunker that’s eight-by-five-feet for $39,500…

There are Doomsday Preppers and Luxury Doomsday Preppers. Just like our class society. Working class and hardly-ever-working class inhabit opposite ends of the income scale. The daffiest by far I find at the luxury end of the scale. Folks who are consumed by fear of imminent disaster may inhabit both populations; but, having a luxury budget makes for differentiation in survivalist lifestyle, as well as in posh gated communities and at your friendly neighborhood Ferrari dealership.