For right-wing Christians, it's all about anti-choice judges taking over the country to get rid of laws that remove the government from private healthcare decisions. Outside of those judges, however, President Donald Trump hasn't done a lot more than that.
A Bulwark column explained Sunday that it's because they don't know how to parlay their strength into actual legislative progress on their policy issues.
"In order to bring about change in a democracy, political groups must (1) win elections, and (2) transform their electoral success into policy change. Trumpvangelicals have enjoyed some success with (1) but haven’t yet figured out (2)," The Bulwark piece explained.
Other than his pledge for judges, Trump promised to get rid of the Johnson Amendment, which prevents non-partisan nonprofit groups like churches from being able to make political donations or endorse candidates. Another promise was to defund Planned Parenthood completely.
"He has not delivered on either. In fact, he’s barely even tried," The Bulwark wrote.
Trump told evangelicals in Miami last month that he got rid of the Johnson Amendment, "and we're going to make it permanent." It was a lie.
What Trump did was issue an executive order “to the extent permitted by law, respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech.”
However, as Bulwark explained, “the extent permitted by law” still has limits on churches and political speech under the Johnson Amendment. The executive order doesn't "get rid of" the amendment; it confirms support for it.
When it comes to Planned Parenthood funding, Trump used his regulatory abilities to grant states the ability to ban federal funds to abortion providers and deny Title X funding to any clinic that provides referrals to abortion clinics. No reforms passed into law. The second a Democratic president comes into office, those regulations will be gone.
Under Trump's administration, Planned Parenthood has done exceptionally well, with massive support from Americans shelling out a record level of donations. At the same time, the Planned Parenthood annual report showed record highs in 2019 for government funding and abortions.
"One of Trump’s main selling points was the idea that he’s a successful dealmaker," The Bulwark recalled. "He entered the presidency with Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. So if he couldn’t deliver for Trumpvangelicals on their issues, then either he wasn’t a very good dealmaker, or he wasn’t actually willing to fight for them on substantive policy grounds that they care about."
Trump's only legislative achievement was his corporate tax cuts. He's fought for funding for his border wall, but that can't get passed either. So, he shifted fundings to take it from the Pentagon funding. The courts shut him down.
After three years, Trump has held rallies with loud-cheering evangelicals who are giddy about the work he has done. They don't seem to understand their unfaltering loyalty hasn't gotten them the laws they wanted.
The Bulwark outlined how to their wield power, but realistically, with less than a year before Election Day, they're not likely to get anything before November.