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Moral Panics
Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live

Katherine Howe mines her Salem witch trial ancestors for material for her novels, but the dangers of witch hunts aren’t confined to the past.

Appeared in: Volume 13, Number 3 | Published on: December 1, 2017
Helen Peppe, an equine photographer and the author of Pigs Can’t Swim (Da Capo Press, 2016), lives her life at the mercy of eight horses, two dogs, and a donkey in Maine.
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  • Gary Hemminger

    Given that Clinton got 4 million more votes than Trump, how can the author of this article claim that

    “Donald Trump got elected by leveraging ambient anxiety, hitching it to xenophobic energies pointed varyingly at those who also live on the outskirts of the general populace: immigrants; non-heterosexuals; transgenders; and people of color.”

    It seems to me that Trump got elected exactly the opposite way. He hitched his campaign with the “outsiders” that the Democrats were marginalizing and calling witches. Instead of witches the Democrats called them xenophobes, rubes, racists, and ignorant. I think this author has it entirely backwards and I can mathematically say that my analysis is correct since Clinton got 4 million more votes than Trump. So it is clear that the Clinton supports are the ones who are in the mainstream and Trump supporters are the outsiders. Living in rural areas, not the cities. Exactly corresponding to those deemed witches in the 17th century. The author needs to examine his analogies a lot better. The insiders number 4 million more than the outsiders. A bit of math would be in order for this author. QED (if you don’t know what that means, then a lot more math is in order).

  • Gary Hemminger

    Another piece of evidence that it was the Trump voters that were the witches and the democrats were the insiders calling Trump voters the witches. Obama vastly outraised both McCain and Romney; and Clinton destroyed Trump in terms of campaign dollars. So who are the insiders branding the outsiders witches (xenophobes, rubes, racist, ignoramuses)? The insiders are the city dwelling democrats (raising huge amounts of cash) and the outsiders are the republican witches. Unfortunately the insanity is on both sides. I am not saying the
    Republicans are any better than the democrats. I am just saying that the problem we are facing is that people belittle each other at the peril of our culture. My point with these posts is that the democrats are in the majority in terms of money, power, and number of people. they are the consummate insiders. The republicans are the outsiders in almost every way you can look at it. The democrats are not the underdog anymore so stop saying it.

    • FriendlyGoat

      The Democrats actually are the underdogs today. Your grandchildren will witness how that works out.

      • Tom

        About as well as what happened between 2008 and 2010?

    • wsrc

      I agree. It’s wrong to belittle those idiotic, self-absorbed,
      narcissist, liberal democrats. That would be most unkind !

  • Boritz

    “those who also live on the outskirts of the general populace: immigrants; non-heterosexuals; transgenders; and people of color.”

    The people who live on the outskirts of the general populace are the climate change ‘deniers’ who are hated, despised and blamed for destroying the earth. The groups named above are loved, embraced, celebrated, protected, lauded, welcomed and, yes, ok.

    • Tom

      Eh. That depends on where you are.

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