Focus on the Family’s founder and “chairman emeritus” James Dobson has a stern warning about what’s at stake in this upcoming presidential election.
Voters across this nation are only a few short months away from the next general election. What an ominous time this is for our 244-year-old republic. Its future hangs in the balance. The choices we make on Nov. 3 will send this nation down one of two dramatically different paths. The wrong decision will be catastrophic.
I agree with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who said recently that the next election will be “the most important since 1860.” He also warned that if we appease or ignore the violence and anarchy occurring in the streets, it might be the end of civilization as we have known it. Those are sobering words coming from a man who has stood at the pinnacle of national power.
In a way, he’s right. Another four years of Donald Trump would further erode the Constitution and open the gates for fascism to replace our democracy. You could even argue that’s already happened.
But that’s obviously not what Dobson means. He thinks a moderate Democrat who’s Catholic would destroy the country while a corrupt, ignorant, heartless Republican who pays lip service to white evangelicals and serves as a blank check on conservative judges is the Christian Leader We Need™.
Dobson goes on to mention all the usual right-wing talking points: the sanctity of human life (which strictly refers to abortion and not refugee kids in cages or Black children killed by police), “marriage and family” (which Democrats apparently hate), religious liberty (which conservatives interpret as Christian supremacy), socialism (which refers to things like affordable health care or Medicare for All), the judicial system (it’s never legislating from the bench when conservatives do it!), and the future of Israel (which younger people care less and less about).
To be clear, Joe Biden favors most of those things already. He’s not about to outlaw Christianity or anything. We know from various studies that abortion rates actually decline under Democratic presidents. Biden supports marriage and family by allowing everyone to have theirs legally recognized — and his family life doesn’t include the multiple divorces and scandals plaguing the relationships of Gingrich and Trump. Biden is firmly a capitalist who has resisted calls for Medicare for All so far (and even if he finally saw the light, it wouldn’t be “socialism” the way conservatives think of it). And evangelical support for Israel is, quite frankly, tinged with anti-Semitism already.
Dobson’s arguments are awful. No surprise there.
But what’s especially telling is that this isn’t even the first time Dobson has issued a hyperbolic warning about what would happen if a Democrat was elected president. Focus on the Family, under Dobson’s leadership, issued a similar statement back in 2008, warning against the election of Barack Obama. They issued a fictional “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America” explaining what had happened over the past four years… as a way to scare voters heading into the 2008 election.
As our colleague Libby Anne explained so thoroughly, most of those dire predictions, many of which Dobson is making again now, didn’t come true at all. ($7 a gallon gas! Campus ministries “ceased to exist”! Churches must be used for same-sex weddings!) The ones that did (marriage equality, for one) are welcome changes.
Ironically, Dobson was extremely worried about the U.S. government refusing to confront Russia back then. I wonder what changed…
The nation is struggling. People are dying. We lack leadership. And Dobson is craving even more death and destruction in the name of Jesus. Just as they did in 2008, people need to ignore him.