Why do so many so-called "values voters" have no problem going to bat for candidates who have been credibly accused of serial sexual abuse such as President Donald Trump and Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore?
Nancy French, a Christian conservative activist and author, has written an illuminating tweet storm about the tribalism that has engulfed the Christian Right movement and corrupted its original intent to serve as a political voice for Christian values.
French says she started to realize there was something wrong with the movement back in 2007, when she attended a Values Voters summit with the goal of promoting Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate to evangelicals.
During a stump speech at the summit, however, rival candidate Mike Huckabee dropped some anti-Mormon dog whistles -- and the crowd of evangelicals lapped it up.
"[Huckabee] slyly mocked Romney in his speech [by saying], 'it’s important the language of Zion is a mother tongue [of the next GOP nominee], and not a recently acquired second language,'" French writes. "The crowd went wild. I went in expecting the sweet Christian ladies at church. But the Values Voters was full of mean, vitriolic people. Especially since we were advocating for a Mormon."
Things got even uglier, however, when Romney wound up winning the Values Voters straw poll, as he benefited from the fact that the poll was divided by having so many candidates to choose from.
"The attendees were furious," French explains. "One lady – a Huckabee supporter, natch – stopped me on an elevator. 'You should really support a Christian candidate.' I began my normal speech about faith’s proper role in politics. She cut me off by berating me, ending it with 'Well, I can tell you just don’t love America.'"
This comment hit French particularly hard because her husband at the time was about to be deployed to Iraq. Nonetheless, the woman kept yelling at her.
As it turns out, the angry "Values Voter" in question was none other than Janet Porter, the spokeswoman for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who in recent days has become notorious for attacking Moore's sexual abuse accusers as "criminals."
"Stands to reason. In the twisted worldview of modern Values Voters – you can’t vote for a Mormon, but you can shill for a credibly accused pedophile," French writes.
Read the whole tweet storm below.
The year was 2007. We walked into the @FRCAction’s so-called ‘Values Voter’ conference as ‘Evangelicals for Mitt,’… https://t.co/P9FLvH8OaE— Nancy French (@Nancy French) 1512742583.0
@FRCAction @MittRomney The mostly evangelical crowd was frosty to us. Baptist preacher @GovMikeHuckabee slyly mocke… https://t.co/oAemCWS6bM— Nancy French (@Nancy French) 1512742622.0
@FRCAction @MittRomney @GovMikeHuckabee Huckabee advocates handed out fliers: ‘Do Not Compromise Your Values, with… https://t.co/gsnKIgZvzN— Nancy French (@Nancy French) 1512742692.0
@FRCAction @MittRomney @GovMikeHuckabee @realDonaldTrump One lady – a Huckabee supporter, natch – stopped me on an… https://t.co/28Q6XLcyEx— Nancy French (@Nancy French) 1512742727.0
@FRCAction @MittRomney @GovMikeHuckabee @realDonaldTrump @DavidAFrench I was so angry I froze as she chastised me.… https://t.co/3iEACBsXwt— Nancy French (@Nancy French) 1512742758.0
@FRCAction @MittRomney @GovMikeHuckabee @realDonaldTrump @DavidAFrench Stands to reason. In the twisted worldview o… https://t.co/T6D82eirMX— Nancy French (@Nancy French) 1512742790.0
@FRCAction @MittRomney @GovMikeHuckabee @realDonaldTrump @DavidAFrench Here’s a quote about children from a book Va… https://t.co/XjRCkhIfsa— Nancy French (@Nancy French) 1512742832.0