Trump's authoritarian movement is 'determined to restore the original racial and religious foundation of America': columnist
President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Phoenix, photo by Gage Skidmore.

New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall on Wednesday shined a light on the conspiratorial religious nationalism that has overwhelmed the Republican Party thanks in large part to former President Donald Trump.

In describing the Trump movement as a "chilling amalgam of Christian Nationalism, white replacement theory and conspiratorial zeal," Edsall argued that their overall goal is "to restore what they see as the original racial and religious foundation of America."

Edsall then quotes a series of experts on Christian Nationalism in the United States who note there are several different strands of it, and that not all of them are explicitly about white supremacy.

Ruth Braunstein, a professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, tells Edsall that there is a difference between what she calls "white Christian nationalism," which "explicitly fuses whiteness, Christianity, and Americanness," and “colorblind Judeo-Christian nationalism," which "either ignores race or uses colorblind language to describe ideal Americanness."

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Robert Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute, tells Edsall that Christian Nationalist attitudes show up most clearly in polling on immigration, where they're mostly likely to describe immigrants as "invading" the United States.

"Among all voters, according to Jones, 29 percent believe that immigrants are invading our county; among Republicans, it’s 60 percent; among Democrats, 11 percent; among QAnon believers, 65 percent; among white evangelicals, 50 percent; and among white non-college voters, as pollsters put it, 43 percent," writes Edsall.

Edsall concludes with a warning about Christian Nationalists potentially resorting to violence, and he cites "their ambition to restore an imagined past, by any means necessary."

Read the whole column here.