Over the weekend, Christian pseudo-historian David Barton helped organize a “ProFamily Legislators Conference” meant to brief attendees on how conservatives are working to tear down the wall between church and state.
Barton is one of the proponents of Project Blitz (which has since been rebranded as “Freedom for All”), the Christian Right’s playbook that includes draft legislation meant to inundate lawmakers in the hope that at least some of their bills pass.
In a talk by pollster George Barna, there’s a slide with the headline “Election Action” that appears to encourage Christians not to conduct voter registration drives that target young people. Why? Because those voters are likely to oppose conservatives.
The slide says:
Do not register new voters indiscriminately
large share are young, uneducated, lower income, irreligious — the types that gravitate toward socialism
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with thinking strategically about voter registration drives. Different parties will hold them in different locations to capitalize on potential like-minded people. But for these right-wing Christians, the fear in registering new voters without thinking strategically about it is that they might end up collecting registration cards for people who are young, less inclined to make rich people richer, and not gullible enough to fall for Christian Nationalism. (Those people would also laugh at the suggestion they want Stalinesque socialism, but that distinction seems to escape the people in this crowd.)
The slide also says those new voters are “uneducated” — however they define that — but I promise you these people aren’t rushing out to register anyone on college campuses either.
Who does that leave them with? Older, richer, conservative Christians? People who are exactly like them and no one else? They will no doubt find other Republicans that way. It’s just not a growing base.
But it’s also a reminder that their path to victory involves targeting the old and ignorant, and trying to avoid or outnumber the young people who are less likely to fall for the same garbage other white evangelicals have accepted hook, line, and sinker. It’s not trying to convince those voters that Christian-based policies are just better for the country.