Now that Donald Trump has put refugee children in concentration camps, nearly bombed Iran over problems he created, been accused of rape (again), inspired a rash of White Nationalism, and continued his assault on our democracy through his constant barrage of lies, how are white evangelical Christians going to respond in 2020?
They’re gearing up to keep him in office for another four years.
According to The Hill, Christian Right groups are preparing to spend tens of millions of dollars to register their voters and paint Democrats as the real extremists.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition will spend tens of millions of dollars on a voter mobilization effort that aims to register 1 million Christians in key battleground states and reach 30 million people nationwide.
The group, which is led by conservative activist Ralph Reed, will pump literature into more than 100,000 churches across 18 states, primarily focusing on the presidential battlegrounds but also with an eye on contested House and Senate races.
The Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, an anti-abortion rights group, has a budget of $41 million this campaign cycle to “expose the extremism of Trump’s opponents,” among other initiatives.
And the Family Research Council’s political action arm is activating its network of churches and community impact teams in North Carolina, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas to turn out the vote.
All that because, no matter what else he’s done, Trump has been able to get anti-abortion judges (with lifetime appointments) on federal benches at a record pace.
So what if a bunch of minorities suffer as long as white fetuses get to live…?
If there’s any silver lining to this news, it’s that white evangelicals so overwhelmingly voted for Trump in 2016 — approximately 80%, according to exit polls — that a lot of the money being spent here will have to go to re-energizing a base that has dropped off a bit since 2016. It’s not like Trump’s approval rating is growing — Republicans will need to work to maintain it.
Democrats at least have the opportunity to win over moderates who have hopefully figured out that Trump is a con artist surrounded by immoral, ignorant advisors pushing him in all the worst directions.
Still, it’s disturbing how white evangelicals have so much money on hand to defend the indefensible. They weren’t put off by a sexual predator who had five kids and was in his third marriage. And they’re not put off by anything he’s done since then.
“It’s his polices that drive this and that serve as a major motivator for voters to overlook his flaws, the tweets or his rough edges,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “They see him speak with such passion on some of these issues.”
Notice how Perkins downplays Trump’s multitude of horrific actions. “Very fine people on both sides”? Just some rough edges. Booting transgender people from the military on a whim? Just some harmless tweets. Shrugging off the murder of Jamal Khashoggi? Meh. Just some flaws.
Perkins doesn’t give a damn. Neither do those other Christians who share space with him at the bottom of a barrel while claiming to represent the moral high ground.
It goes without saying that defeating Trump in 2020 is vital if you’re a liberal. But defeating this scourge of white evangelical Christians who treat fetuses as sacred, but who ignore the suffering they create everywhere else, would be an added bonus.
Let history remember them as hypocrites who came crashing down because they valued power over their own supposed principles. It won’t be easy to defeat them, but you need to ask yourself what you’re doing to make sure progressive Democrats win across the board next year. And then find a way to do even more.
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