One of the most puzzling phenomena of the Trump era is his die-hard support from evangelical Christians — especially puzzling since Trump’s reputation as a “thrice-married, swindling, profane, materialistic, self-styled playboy” starkly contradicts the “family values” narrative famously disseminated by the religious right. In a column for Rolling Stone published this Monday, Alex Morris tries to shed some light on this contradiction.
According to Morris, it all started with a September meeting in 2016, six weeks before the election, where an audio recording of the meeting revealed how evangelical leaders handed Trump a mandate that he promised to fulfill.
“He would end the contraception mandate of Obamacare; … he would select only anti-choice judges; … he would do away with the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt entities from endorsing politicians; … he would support prayer in school; … he would oppose any bill that pulled funding from Christian schools that were charged with discrimination; … he would keep transgender people from using the ‘wrong’ bathrooms and locker rooms; … and he would protect Israel, following the biblical pronouncement that nations that do so would be blessed (‘[Obama’s] been the worst thing that’s happened to Israel …”
Despite Trump’s newfound allies in the evangelical movement, he never bothered to put out the image that he was a true believer. But that didn’t matter — it was Trump’s perceived devotion to their cause that had evangelicals sold. As Morris points out, close to 81 percent of white evangelicals cast their ballots for him on election day. Fast forward to 2019, 82 percent of evangelicals would vote for Trump if the election were held today. “Two-thirds believe that he has not damaged the decency of the presidency, 55 percent agree with Sarah Huckabee Sanders that ‘God wanted him to be president,’ and 99 percent oppose impeachment,” Morris writes.
While solidarity with their movement is one explanation for Trump’s evangelical support, what’s not easily explainable is the fact that many evangelicals are quick to claim Trump is a believing Christian. One of the reasons could be how Trump willingly plays into the “us-versus-them” mentality that “mobilized the Christian base fiscally and politically.”
“…any leader who tackled the wedge issues with Trumpian ferocity was on the side of righteousness.”
Read Morris’s full column over at Rolling Stone.
Morning Joe’s Mika: Thousands are dying of COVID-19 because Trump is ‘surrounded by inexperienced suck-ups’
MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski got right to the point on Tuesday morning by saying people are getting sick and dying in the U.S. because Donald Trump is surrounded by a collection of "suck-ups" who won't tell him the brutal truth about what is happening in the country.
As part of a "Morning Joe" panel discussion on the failings of the Trump administration to head off of the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the country -- despite ample warnings it was on the way -- Brzezinski, as well as co-host Willie Geist, levied some hard accusations against the president and his team.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika reveal why Trump likely ignored startlingly accurate COVID-19 memos
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski rebuked President Donald Trump for apparently ignoring startlingly accurate warnings from trade adviser Peter Navarro about the coronavirus pandemic.
Navarro's memos were circulated at the highest levels of government in January and February, but the president downplayed the virus until early March, when statewide lockdowns started wrecking the U.S. economy.
"In one worst-case scenario cited in the memo, Navarro warned that more than half a million Americans could die, and, yet, weeks after that, you had Donald Trump at rallies saying that in April when it warms up, this will miraculously go away," Scarborough said. "Put this in context with, I suppose you could say with 9/11, the memos warning of al-Qaeda attacks using airplanes, maybe missed signals FDR didn't pick up on before Pearl Harbor. I really don't know, though, what parallel there can be, because so many more people are going to die because of these missed signals."
Prince Harry and Meghan to start non-profit in US
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are planning to launch a wide-ranging non-profit organisation named Archewell, reports on Tuesday said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family last week, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper they were establishing the organization in the United States, where they are now based.
The charitable organization will include emotional support groups, a multimedia educational empire and a wellbeing website among other things.
They said they wanted "to do something of meaning, to do something that matters".