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.
Lindsey Graham quickly scuttles press conference after being linked to Ukraine scheme
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did not appear at a Wednesday press conference after reports linked him to a highly-controversial Ukraine scheme.
According to The Daily Beast, President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, provided Graham with a letter lobbying for sanctions on Ukrainian officials. The letter was obtained through Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.
Fox News reported on Wednesday morning that Graham was expected at a press conference -- but the senator never showed.
‘Wow’: CNN’s Jake Tapper stunned by Sen. Rick Scott’s factually-impaired attack on Joe Biden
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has launched a new ad attacking 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden just ahead of the caucuses this coming Monday, declaring that despite the Democrats' ongoing impeachment effort against President Trump, the "real story here is the corruption Joe Biden got away with." According to the Wall Street Journal, the ad buy was worth $19,000 and will appear on local cable TV in Des Moines, Iowa.
On CNN this Wednesday, Jake Tapper was taken aback by the ad's message, saying, "Wow!" after airing a clip of the ad.
‘Are you done?’ The View audience goes wild as Whoopi Goldberg cuts off Alan Dershowitz during combative interview
"The View" host Whoopi Goldberg clashed with Alan Dershowitz after he refused to move on from an argument and let the other co-hosts ask questions.
The Harvard Law professor emeritus appeared Wednesday on the daily talk show after defending President Donald Trump from his impeachment trial, where he argued that Democrats had not proven he broke any laws -- which he defined was the standard for conviction by the Senate.
"I'm not arguing about witnesses," Dershowitz said. "What I'm saying is, the charge of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power are not within the constitutional terms high crimes and misdemeanors. The framers rejected terms just like that. They rejected maladministration as a potential term and maladministration is virtually the same as abuse of power."