Could Evangelicals Turn on Trump?

Could Evangelicals Turn on Trump? July 2, 2019

I want to engage in a bit of speculation. But before I do, let me set it up with some things that are true. President Donald Trump lies. Politicians in general lie. Trump lies more than most politicians. Does anyone disagree with any of those three sentences? Good, now we are off.

Okay so reasonable people agree that Trump lies like a dead fish. But, is there a group Trump has largely not lied to? Yeah there is. Evangelical Christians (although a case can be made anti immigration activists are a close second). Think about it. Other than defunding Planned Parenthood, Trump has delivered just about everything he could for them. Supreme Court Justices. Reinstating the Mexico City Policy. Strengthening rules for religious freedom. Before the 2016 election, I told my evangelical friends that it was foolish to vote for Trump as they could not trust him to keep his promises to them. I told them that he would take the Republican Party away from their concerns. On this one issue I was wrong (See, I can admit when I was wrong).

Why has Trump, who certainly is not opposed to lying when it serves him, kept those promises? Well it seems to me that the answer is quite simple. When 81 percent of white Evangelicals delivered their vote to him in 2016, he knows that he is president because of their votes particularly in states such as Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. If he wants to win next year, he will need their support again in similar or even higher numbers. And talking with my evangelical friends, I am afraid he is going to get those numbers.

So it is in Trump’s interest to keep Evangelicals happy. Do we really think that he has had a conversion to being pro-life or valuing religious freedom? A few individuals may deceive themselves into thinking that he is a “baby Christian.” But most of us can see that he has not shared any meaningful conversion experience. His loyalty towards the pro-life and religious freedom cause is totally linked to his current political needs. By incorporating pro-life and pro-religious freedom priorities into his administration, he ensures the happiness of Evangelicals and increases his chances to win his presidential election.

One more factor to weigh in before I begin my speculation. Right now the Democrats are debating among themselves whether they should pursue impeachment for Trump. The political calculus is quite clear. Impeachment is there for the taking in the House of Representatives. If the Mueller Report was clear about one thing it was that there is no solid evidence that Trump’s election team colluded with Russia. But without any real evidence of collusion with Russia, conviction in the Senate simply is not going to happen. And without that conviction, it is plausible that they will strengthen Trump’s chances in 2020 by making him look like a victim. Probably the best course for Democrats is to hold back on impeachment and try to win the 2020 election. Going after the King and failing may lead to a Trump administration that does not leave office until 2024. It appears that the major leaders of that party agree with me on that risk.

What if these three things happen? One, Trump wins the 2020 election. Two, the Democrats hold onto the House of Representatives. Three, the Democrats take the Senate. Are each of these events possible? Absolutely. Are they likely to happen? According to Predictit at the time of this writing, Trump has a 44 percent chance of winning, and there is a 28 percent chance of the Democrats controlling the House and Senate after 2020. Basically that means a 1 in 10 chance that these three things will come true. So it is not likely, but it is not impossible. And of course this does not take into account the twists and turns that are certain to occur during a long election season. So it would not be a surprise if we see an increase in the chances of a Trump win and/or Democrat takeover of Congress.

If we wake up the morning after the election with a Trump presidency and a Democrat controlled congress, no one should be shocked. Some may argue that while in isolation the separate Predictit predictions are sound, nevertheless it is unlikely that they would occur at the same time. If Trump wins the presidency, is it possible for the Democrats to hold onto the house and take the Senate? I believe it is. Remember that Clinton did win the popular vote. Trump may well win the proper electoral states to win the White House and the Republicans lose seats in the Senate through states that Trump loses. And they may hold on to seats in the House of Representatives since some of the seats they won are in places that will never vote for Trump, like California.

So what if all of this happens. Okay so let’s speculate. The Democrats no longer can hope to wait for a Trump loss. Unless something happens, we are locked into four more years of a Trump presidency. For many Democrats that is an intolerable prospect. So they now have every incentive to impeach Trump. Even if they do take the Senate, they probably will not get the two-thirds vote they need to remove him from office. But why not take a shot at it right? There is a chance that they may dig up some evidence that makes moderate Republicans nervous about supporting Trump and can cobble together the votes needed to remove him. And there is no need to worry about making him a martyr before the next election. So on the surface it is all upside for the Democrats to try to remove Trump by impeachment.

But from the point of view of Trump everything changes. He has to give the Democrats some incentive not to try to remove him from office. So instead of placating evangelicals, it becomes in the best interest of Trump to placate the Democrats. Now all of the issues about Trump as liar hits home for Evangelicals. They get to experience what it is like to be at the wrong end of a Trump lie. My prediction is that any promises he makes to them to win the 2020 election will go out the window. He will work with the Democrats to pass legislation and appoint justices that they find acceptable. He may ask for some “compromise,” but I think that his fear of being impeached will not put him in a strong bargaining position. For their part, it makes sense for the Democrats to work with Trump since they are not guaranteed that they can remove him with an impeachment effort. They will try to get all they can out of Trump. Doing so will create division within the Republican Party. Then they can hope to prevail against a dispirited Republican party in 2024.

So what will happen if this occurs? All of a sudden Trump is not the chosen one who evangelicals can rely upon to deliver for them. So will they keep defending him as they have done in the past? Will he get a pass for his moral infidelities from the likes of Graham, Falwell and Jeffress? Are you kidding me? Not a chance. They will take this as betrayed lovers and pour out all their anger towards Trump. Their unwavering support of him has been hypocritical, and the hypocrisy will be made complete as they will abandon him in droves.

So why engage in this sort of speculation? After all there is only a ten percent chance that this situation will emerge. But if we do get that Trump presidency and Democratic congress, and Trump begins to work with the Democrats, then does anybody believe that evangelicals will fail to throw Trump overboard? Of course they will. I know I am saying that I am speculating about what evangelicals will do but does anybody really think they will continue to stand for Trump if he works with the Democrats? And the fact that we all know this shows just how certain we are that evangelical support of Trump is rooted in hypocrisy. When I talk about voting for Trump is a short term victory but a long term defeat for evangelicals, this is part of what I mean. Everyone knows that Christians are being hypocrites and that image of Christians as hypocrites is not going away any time soon.

I must say I am not proud of the way some of my Christian friends have distorted reality to defend Trump. Double standards, reliance on shady (even racist) sources, and extreme mental gymnastics are becoming too common among Christians seeking to defend Trump. Do we really think that others will not see this level of conformation bias and self-deception? And yes I know this happens with other groups as well but my responsibility is to my own people. They are the ones I have to call out. If those outside conservative Christian groups do not want to call out the hypocrisy in their ranks, then that is on them.

I believe that Christians should be a check on both of the major political parties. Both political parties tend to adhere to a political philosophy that is socially constructed. What I mean by this is that rather than being driven by some overarching principle, both parties have taken positions on political issues in a manner to serve certain segments of our society. In doing so, it is unlikely that either political party would adopt a set of political positions that are consistent with our Biblical values.

It is sad that I think that many Christians will be willing to operate as that check on Republicans only if Trump starts to compromise on the issues they care about. Then, and only then, they will bring up his lying, race-baiting, sexism and incompetence. Those characteristics have been present in him this entire time, but they will only see it when he is not seen as being on their side. In that, they will clearly show their hypocrisy. Christianity is at its best when it is not beholden to a given political party but rather we stay outside our political parties enough so that we can critique them when necessary. We should have larger expectations of righteousness that we hold up even with those who are our political allies.

My little thought experiment illustrates the degree to which some Christians are tied to the socially constructed philosophy of conservatism. We rightly suspect that they will dump Trump in a nanosecond if he does not abide by that philosophy. The defenses of his character will cease, not because his character has become worse, but because he no longer supports the right issues. Trump is an opportunist. Do we want a Christianity that is also opportunistic? One that politically uses men like Trump and then discards them when they are no longer useful to us? I suspect that to ask the question is to answer it.

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  • Rod Bristol

    I disagree. The habits of denial (self-deception) by both the president and his sycophants won’t change that quickly, not even in the face of impeachment. He will stone-wall his opposition to the bitter end, cheered on by “his people.”

  • Maine_Skeptic

    I’m always glad to see an Evangelical article that isn’t part of the present mob reasoning. At some point in the future, civil libertarians will have to defend Christians from those who mistakenly believe the present and coming violence was the result of Christianity. Christianity may not have prevented the diseased thinking now destroying the Evangelical Movement, but it’s not a Christian problem: it’s a human one. Any group of people could turn monstrous under the right conditions, and only by recognizing that capability in ourselves can we stop it.

    I think you’re too optimistic about the consciences of your brethren who support the president, though. Like the rest of the president’s supporters, they’re discovering that cruelty and violence make them feel better, because they equate those things with strength. They’ve reached a level of fear and anger that can justify any atrocity, and there is no sign of anyone stopping or slowing down the president’s impulses.

    Why do I say this? Evangelical approval of the president was unaffected when the news broke that the administration was deliberately and systematically traumatizing immigrant children. Evangelical approval numbers will be unaffected now that we understand the president lied about stopping the practice. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/opinion/family-separation-trump-migrants.html

    Or now that we understand that government employees have denied these children basic rights that the Geneva Convention guaranteed to prisoners of war, much less helpless and innocent children. https://www.thedailybeast.com/fox-news-anchor-shep-smith-torches-trump-we-treat-migrant-children-worse-than-prisoners-of-war?source=articles&via=rss&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    That under the influence of the deranged narcissists in the White House, hundreds of ICE agents have been mocking desperate immigrants who died trying to reach the land of the free. https://techcrunch.com/2019/07/01/secret-border-patrol-facebook-group-is-brimming-with-hate/

    These things are not surprising; they are the direct result of the president’s views. If these things didn’t wake the president’s supporters up, there’s no reason to believe they would wake up if he started an unnecessary war, or nuked an ally, or declared the next presidential election results null and void.

  • BernankeIsGlutenFree

    Evangelicals don’t seem to have any real philosophical preference for conservatism now though, at least as a set of principles that are somewhat persistent and used to evaluate policies, actions, and people. Rather, they seem to have a preference for Trump, for their “team”, and against the opposition. If Trump does something that evangelicals would typically find odious, I expect they’ll either change their beliefs to incorporate that thing, ignore it, or find some spin that helps them pinch their nose and support him anyway. The man got an entire room of hardcore Republicans to cheer for a Pride flag once, and if he can do that I’m sure he he can get evangelicals to not bury him over abortion.

    TL;DR: At this point I don’t think Trump is their guy because of what he supports, but rather they support (and/or don’t oppose) what Trump does because Trump is their guy.

    • fractal

      He’s an alpha male, and you know how they love to follow a butch…

    • Martin Zeichner

      I’m glad that you pointed this out. In another forum I have said that there must be something about Trump that Conservatives and Evangelicals identify with. I used to say, mostly to myself, that, “…men want to be him and women want to change him…” But that seems to be a sexist phrasing now.

  • Stefan Stackhouse

    I don’t know how the politics is going to play out (nobody really does), but it is obvious that Trump has a lock on most white “Evangelicals” and their self-appointed “leaders.” This does not appear likely to change through this election cycle. Thus the one thing I am inclined to predict is schism. This is likely to be the last straw for a lot of people who have been comfortable calling themselves “Evangelicals” up to now and worshiping in churches that identify themselves in that camp. We appear to be in the very last days of that era. An exodus is underway and will be fully felt in the next two years. No doubt the Trump partisans who remain will be happy to see them go, and will warn them to not let the screen door hit them on the way out. They might as well replace that screen door with a vault and a moat, for their churches will have been made as unattractive to seekers as they could possibly be. They will also be wondering why the young people keep leaving, all the way up to the point where there is nobody but bitter and hateful old fools left.

  • Comrade Carrot-Blog Vegetarian

    The Evangelical trend, since Trump, is as follows:

    Whatever value Evangelicals hold, once Trump makes it known that he holds a different one, Evangelicals abandon the former value in favor of the Trump value.

    Nearly everyday I see another longstanding Evangelical value fall to Trumpism. He’s re-shaping their values after his own image at a pace which baffles even the most strident cynic. JF Jr. said that there’s nothing Trump could do that would endanger his support from Evangelicals, and every indication is that he’s right on the money.

    If Trump came out in favor of mandated abortions for all pregnant women, performed by a transgender Palestinian in his mobile, fully-electric abortion van paid for by carbon tax money

    …I’m not confident Evangelicals would speak out against it – or if they did initially, that they still would after a week’s time.

    • onlein

      The abortion van scenario would shake some conservative Catholics loose from Trump’s spell. I don’t know about other conservative religions. For many conservative Christians he can do no wrong; he’s got them spellbound.

      • fractal

        I bet they won’t mind so much if he decides to let “those illegals” abort.

        • onlein

          Good point.

  • billwald

    President Trump is doing fine. The economy is improving. The working class are doing better. The only “enemy at the gates” are unarmed Hispanics . . . .

    • Silverwolf13

      The economy is indeed improving, if you’re a CEO or billionaire. Otherwise, there’s been a little wage growth, but you’re still behind where you were before 2008, not to mention where you were in 1978.

      The deficit is ballooning out of sight, but I know that’s only a concern when there’s a Democrat in the White House.

      And it’s obvious that you don’t care about the children and others jammed into camps along our southern border—anathema to the tenets of every human religion. Still, consider what that’s done to the prices of fruits and vegetables and other crops because of the lack of workers to tend and pick the crops. Then consider the grain and soybean farmers who’ve seen their markets destroyed by Trump’s tariffs and the natural reaction to them.

      And you don’t care about the thousands of soldiers who died to establish this country as a nation governed by the rule of law, in which no one—not even the president—was above the law.

      Yeah, other than that, everything’s fine, for now.

      • EscondidoSurfer

        You are obviously suffering from TDS. His is a charmed presidency.

        Blaming Trump for the border crisis is ludicrous. Do you prefer open borders? It is his opponents who oppose immigration reform. The economy is on a roll and he has ushered in many great judges. He has avoided foolish foreign wars. The trajectory of our land under Obama was dismal. Who would you rather see in office? As a CA resident, I can assure you that living under the thumb of progressives will be no improvement.

        • Roberta Joan Anderson

          California is the 6th largest economy in the world, soon to be the 5th. Based on results, California is obviously doing something really well. We are in the vanguard and lead the other states in reform. California produces 18% of the US GNP. Thirteen percent of our federal tax contribution supports the red states. Without California, the economy crashes. End of.

          Contrary to popular belief, California tends towards the middle. Slightly left of middle but not radical by any measure. We are not very amenable to either right-wing or left-wing ideologues. It’s easy for us to elect Schwarzenegger followed by Jerry Brown, and appreciate both of their skill sets and belief systems. The swaying back and forth keeps us where we need to be in order to support hundreds of billion-dollar industries. Our State of Jefferson believers in the North are our south of the Main-Dixon line folks. They don’t believe in any sort of democracy so it’s best they hunker down in the northern climes.

          Do not confuse social liberalism with how the government functions. California was founded on social liberalism. That’s the reason so many migrated from the moribund east and south. “Don’t tell me what to do and I won’t tell you what to do and we’re good”. Of COURSE California tends towards the left. That’s not new and will not change. Why should it? One can drive 50 miles and live in the deeply conservative Arizona. Here in the west we have a state for any belief and political system.

          To paraphrase Joan Didion, anyone who thinks of California as a liberal, free-swinging paradise has never spent a holiday in Sacramento.

          • EscondidoSurfer

            We are far left in the way we treat homelessness and illegal immigration. The schools are overrun with liberal, anti-Christian propaganda. Our taxes are higher than they should be. Government worker’s pensions are bankrupting the state. Our roads and infrastructure are the worst in the US. Fraudulent voting schemes proliferate. Today, we began providing health care to people who are not here legally while denying the same benefit to citizens. It is a lovely state if you live in NoCal coastal, where you no doubt live. The rest of the state has gone downhill at breakneck speed, heavily subsidizing our NoCal overlords.

          • Silverwolf13

            The taxes the coastal areas pay subsidize the Valley and the North, as well as the Red states, not the other way around.

            I fully acknowledge the problems with roads and transportation. Streets in my neighborhood in Berkeley are apparently being allowed to become gravel paths, and the 880 is the biggest parking lot in the Bay Area. We desperately need to expand BART service so we can get more cars off the streets.

          • Martin Zeichner

            I agree. When people think of the public transportation infrastructure, they generally think of buses and subways. They ignore the roads and cabs and privately owned cars that depend on the roads.

            We can’t seem to take care of our own infrastructure. This is why we can’t have nice things.

          • EscondidoSurfer

            Any taxes paid by coastal elites is more than offset by the onerous laws, mandates and regulations they foist on the rest of us. SoCal always takes it on the chin from our NoCal overlords and always gets less than it contributes.

          • Silverwolf13

            SoCal has more population, and so more representation in the legislature, than NorCal. Quit whining and start pushing your elected officials.

          • gimpi1

            Your roads and infrastructure are far from the worst in the U.S. That honor goes to Mississippi, followed closely by Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana and, surprisingly, Texas. Several rust-belt states also rate much worse than California. Where did you get the idea California had the nation’s worst infrastructure?

            Oh, and your schools are not “overrun with… propaganda” of any kind. There has not been any sort of massive voter-fraud proven. Oh, and “liberal” is not synonymous with “anti-Christian.”

            The costal region actually subsidizes the Inland regions of all the Pacific Coast states: it’s not mysterious — most of the population clusters on the coast. Most of the people = most of the income = most of the taxes paid. You are actually being subsidized, not subsidizing.

            Your state is doing better than most. Where are you getting your information?

        • Ron Swaren

          Yeah, and up the coast here we are also teetering towards insolvency.

  • Silverwolf13

    One of the few pleasures available during the Trump administration has been watching Evangelicals twist themselves into moral pretzels to try and justify the corruption of lying, adulterous, pussy-grabbing grifter they elected. They’re better than Cirque de Soleil. Will they ever realize that Trump is running a government “of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations” (Pres. Rutherford B. Hayes), and that they are being played? If they do realize that, will they care so long as Trump keeps telling them that they’re superior to women and minorities? Do they even remember any of those moral principles that they threw away to support Trump?

    • I can readily believe that TV’s President Trump is doing his best to feather nests and line pockets for himself and his cronies. (This is nothing new in federal politics; see the subsidy tracker — Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos made out like bandits under the previous administration.) But he’s also deregulating at a furious pace; my most recent news on the matter says he has removed at least four or five regulations for each new one imposed, and perhaps as many as twenty-two.

      That is not making him a friend to big business.

      The main reason that big businesses are able to easily swallow small ones is that compliance costs increase only trivially as business size increases. Big business is largely an adaptation to regulatory proliferation. This is one reason why more heavily regulated businesses and products are usually dominated by a few large conglomerates. If you want to empower small businesses, your starting point is going to be deregulation — something no president has, to my knowledge, advocated or pursued as much as TV’s President Trump.

      And there have been startling results. Unemployment for what Mark Shea likes to call “the least of these,” (e.g., young people of color, single mothers, the handicapped — all those whose unemployment rises most with increases in the minimum wage) has plummeted.

    • Ron Swaren

      Please remember that it was a female who plotted out Trump’s path to victory via the Electoral College.

      • DDRLSGC

        It was the FBI director who got Trump’s path to victory.

        • Ron Swaren

          KellyAnne Conway was trumps election manager. I don’t know what you are muttering about.

          • DDRLSGC

            Comey release the Hillary emails just weeks before the election breaking an unofficial rule that FBI and other government organizations do not release certain information within a certain time period during a presidential election. By breaking the rule, he energizes the Republican base to come out and vote. No muttering, statement of fact.

          • Ron Swaren

            So, do you know that this was the critical factor? Trump is pro woman enough to have let a flock of gold diggers get under his hide.

          • DDRLSGC

            Yup that was the critical factor because Hillary was ahead of him.

          • That hardly qualifies as ‘pro-woman.’ I mean , seriously.

          • Silverwolf13

            Exactly how does that show that Trump is pro-woman!?

          • Silverwolf13

            Yes, there are women who want to keep women subservient to men. Interesting that many of them end up in good-paying jobs.

          • Ron Swaren

            I know in the last couple centuries—where’evangelicalism’ as a description of conservative Protestantism has rooted–women were instrumental in achieving progress. However, I’m sure in Jesus’ day women weren’t the stone cutters who were conscripted to build monuments for the opressors, nor the majority of religious zealots who were crucified. . But that’s not saying that their lives weren’t very difficult and dangerous either. Men’s role are different than women’s roles by nature.

            It seems that in modern conservative christianity women enjoy a lot of stability and frequently a lot of good money making opportunities in the corporate system. But what that has to do with political views and some sort of supposed unfairness or inequality is kind of a mystery, dude. I know that there are lots and lots of conservative evangelicals working against exploitation. Now, as to your obsessive-compulsive disorder re. Trump…….sorry I don’t have a solution there!

      • Conservative women know their place.

        • Ron Swaren

          Now, you are really off the track. Yes, a lot of conservative women get into careers where they can make a lot of money. It’s true that they may take time off to raise children, and consequentially their money diminishes. What do you want us all to do—change Nature?

          And bear in mind that women typically lives several years longer than their counterparts—getting paid out of pensions their husbands earned, long after the latter are dead. My mother, for example, got several hundred dollars per mo.—besides social security from my dad’s earnings—as compensation for being a veteran’s widow, although she was never in the military herself.

  • I wish my name was Fred

    Trump is the most honest president we’ve ever had, sometimes he’s too honest actually. What i find strange is that most politicians don’t ever answer the questions they’re asked, they dance around them and give canned political responses that tell you nothing, and this is considered honest?? To call Trump a liar is the ultimate hypocrisy of DC and the media. The people who call Trump a big liar are themselves the biggest liars and part of the fake media that lie to people on a daily basis. They’re the ones who intentionally spin stories in a biased manner to deceive the people. And then call Trump a liar, it’s a joke really.

    As for Evangelicals, they won’t abandon Trump because he represents them better than anyone else and definitely more than the Dems. He’s appointed conservative SC justices like he promised, he’s stood up for religious freedom like he promised. He didn’t lie to the Evangelicals, so they’ll continue to support him.

    • Clyde Wood

      You are right, most politicians change the subject or use half truths, spin, or hyperbole to get voters to follow them. They twist the truth because they are afraid the whole truth won’t get the support they seek. Since their intent is to deceive, they are lying. Neither the Gov agencies nor the voters can make good decisions based upon lies and we should not stand for it. We should demand the whole truth.

      One of the major news agencies has fact checked Trumps statements while in office and has concluded that he has stated untruth 7 to 8 times per day in office. When you see or hear Trump say something that is not factual and call him on it, it is not fake news. The man says whatever he thinks sounds best for whatever situation he is in regardless of whether he knows the facts or not. It fits his narcissistic personality and desire to always win.

      If you don’t think he lies, you should probably expand the breadth of news you watch and read.

      • Wisdom, Justice, Love

        Yeah, people mistake frankness, being blunt, bravado and charisma for honesty. He tells them what they want to hear and it’s “honest”.

        • I wish my name was Fred

          To each his own, i guess you prefer the Orwellian doublespeak, i guess that’s what you want to hear, a nice PC non answer to make you feel better and the problems never get solved.

          • Wisdom, Justice, Love

            No. But thanks for assuming. I spoke my mind. I told you what I thought. Don’t you admire that? Chances are you only admire speech you agree with.

          • gimpi1

            Personally, I prefer facts. Mr. Trump wouldn’t recognize a fact if he bit into it in his burger. That’s a problem.

        • silicon28

          Astonishing how naively ignorant some are, isn’t it?

      • I wish my name was Fred

        “One of the major news agencies has fact checked Trumps statements while in office and has concluded that he has stated untruth 7 to 8 times per day in office.”

        You mean some fake media news org with a biased agenda has determined Trump is not factual?? Ha, and you don’t see the blatant hypocrisy there? That’s my point, the fake media lies more than anyone and they never call out the Dems.

        Biden has promised to cure cancer if elected, he recently just said if elected he’s going to decrease the prison population by 50%, we all know that’s a lie, where’s the fake media running a narrative that Biden is a big liar?? Oh they aren’t. lol Warren said Trump did everything he could to obstruct the Mueller investigation, that’s a blatant lie. Trump could have fired everyone including Mueller, he handed over a million docs without a subpoena, where’s the fake media calling out the fake Indian when she lies??

        Here’s another one, remember when Obama promised to go through the National budget line by line to cut costs and wasteful spending? We all knew that was a big a$$$$ lie and not even remotely plausible, but the fake media never called him out on it. No, Obama was genuine and gave us tingles up our legs. LOL and people like you buy this crapola granola.

        Yeah, just keep following their propaganda, Orange man bad, everyone else good. And Bill and Hillary are sooooo smart, how long did i hear that lie??

        • Clyde Wood

          We agree that politicians often twist the the truth, making it very hard for anyone to fully understand issues. After years of soundbites and now tweets, we’ve lost (if we ever had it) the ability to have open honest debate.

          When news media simply report events and quotes of what people say or do, it is not fake news. When they add judgemental comments, it crosses over from news to editorial opinion. We need to listen carefully so we know the difference. When we hear opinion, we should find a source of counter opinion to help us sort out the truth. We should be suspicious of lack of facts whenever we hear name calling and brash statements, particularly from this administration.

          The news media and the independant fact checkers have more motivation to find the truth than a politician trying to use sound bites to get re-elected.

          Trump often claims he never said things for which the news media have him on tape. He claims he doesn’t know people that he clearly has done business with in the past. He claims he doesn’t know women that he has paid hush money. The man is a pathological liar and nothing he says should be taken at face value.

          He has duped his support base by appealing to their emotions and lying about his accomplishments. We all need to think hard about the long term results of his manipulation of truth.

          Some things to think about: Is Mexico paying for his wall? Has he ever provided a thorough analysis of the immigration problem and shown how a wall will correct the problem? How much wall is really under construction? Are automobile manufacturers moving plants back to the US? Are coal miners going back to work? Are farmers selling more of their products overseas? Have North Korea and Iran stopped their nuclear weapons programs? Has our trade balance with China improved? Who is really paying the tariffs? Are our allies siding with us to pressure bad actor states to stop aggression? Is Congress able to work with Trump? Was he able to advance legislation when he had majorities in both houses? Did the tax cut really help the lower income people? Has the national debt been reduced? Can Trump claim credit for economic success when the trend started in about 2010 and was running strong when he was elected? Can anyone point to any Trump action that has actually created jobs or brought manufacturing back to US, or caused corporations to move headquarters back to US because taxes have been reduced?

          Let’s be real careful who we believe and who we call fake news.

    • silicon28

      Someone who lied 10,796 times in his first 869 days in office is the “most honest president we’ve ever had?” That is so incredibly naive and ignorant that there’s really nothing else to say. That anyone pointing this out to you is dismissed as “fake news” only exacerbates the point. Thanks for giving us a president who won’t be satisfied until he destroys our republic – when or if it happens, you get to own it.

  • Rob Kreutznaer

    Understanding an ideological opponent is hard work. In order to do that, one must be willing to study the seminal works that define his political tradition and one must be willing to read the thinkers who represent its cutting edge. With perhaps a few exceptions, progressives are too lazy to understand conservatives. By and large, progressives have never truly engaged the seminal works that define the Anglo-American conservative tradition. Nor have they studied the thinkers who represent its cutting edge. As a result, the typical progressive has no idea what conservatives actually think. Instead of attempting to learn, he fills old clothes with straw and calls it conservatism. Then, when he knocks down the straw man, he thinks he has won a great intellectual and moral victory. He deceives only himself and his progressive friends.

    • Clyde Wood

      I am willing to bet the same could be said about you and your understanding of liberals or progressives. Vilifying your opponent is easy. Working with a mix of people and backgrounds for common good is hard but we need to do it.

    • Nocturnal

      Are conservatives pro-choice? No.

      End of discussion.

      • Clyde Wood

        Is Donald Trump pro-choice or pro-life? How do you know?

        Why would you think all conservatives are pro-anything?

    • gimpi1

      Well, since any number of conservative people have told me all progressive people are communists, traitors, hate their families, want to destroy the U.S. and at the same time are the ‘elite’ who somehow secretly run everything, right back at ya!

      Can you describe a commonly-held progressive idea, without falling back on slurs or attacks? If so, I’ll see if I can do the same with a commonly-held conservative idea. Game on?

  • soter phile

    turn on Trump? some of us evangelicals have stood against him from the outset.

    now if Dems can only realize they need a centrist instead of falling into Trump’s polarization trap…

    • Nicole Krieger

      Yes, because catering to the center served us so well with Gore, Kerry and Clinton.

      No, we lost those because the blacks and hispanics and young stayed home. Democrats do better when there is higher voter participation, especially in those communities. We need someone who gets those votes out.

      • soter phile

        You’re forgetting that Bush was much more centrist than Trump. That space is no longer occupied.

        If the Dems bow to their more progressive strains and forget the independents in the middle, they will fall into Trump’s trap yet again…

        • Pennybird

          If the Dems bow to their more progressive strains it will move us back to the center where we should have been all along. What the left wing Democrats are asking for isn’t really out of line. You’ll recall that national health care was a part of the New Deal but was lost in negotiation. You’ll also recall that marginal tax rates during the Red Scare were at least twice as high as they are now and our economy was booming. Democratic Socialism won’t make the sky fall. The Corporate Socialism we’ve had since mid-century however, has certainly put us in a such a bad state that otherwise good people said, “yeah, let’s have a leader who’s an ignorant know nothing who’s so skeevy we’d never want to stand within 20 feet of him.”

          • soter phile

            So… you think you’ll get back to center by going further left? unless you mean a U-turn…

            for the record: i’m staunchly anti-Trump. i’m an independent.
            i’m not trying to undermine the Dems – i’m trying to speak some sense to you.

            if you want to give Trump a chance in 2020, fall into his hyper-polarizing game.
            if you want to win instead, find someone sane who can capture the middle majority.

          • Pennybird

            Not really. Take a look at the record of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton and plot them out on a left – right spectrum. The Republican Party is far to the right of both of them, and Clinton is quite a bit to the right of the center line as it stood under Nixon.

            It isn’t being hyper polarizing to want the center line to be in the general vicinity of a halfway point.

      • What exactly do you want as a Christian? My understanding of the present situation is you want abortion outlawed at any cost and you want this country acknowledged as a white Christian country at any cost, hence Trump.

        • What exactly do you want as a Christian? My understanding of the present situation is you want abortion outlawed at any cost and you want this country acknowledged as a white Christian country at any cost, hence Trump.

          I really hope people are busy thinking about your question. Time for the non-fanatic fringe, and progressive Christians to put in their two-cents worth.

      • Yes, because catering to the center served us so well with Gore, Kerry and Clinton.

        No, we lost those because the blacks and hispanics and young stayed home. Democrats do better when there is higher voter participation, especially in those communities. We need someone who gets those votes out.

        Then lets see some worthy Republican centrists on the Primary ballot! Enough is enough!, if we want the next generation to have the best possible country to live their lives, and raise their kids in.

        Time “We The People” start figuring out what matters most, fix that, and move on down the list. Time to put an end to fringe politics for the next cycle of the American experiment.

    • Silverwolf13

      It appears that the definition of extreme leftism is trying to actually do something to address our problems rather than limiting options to what does not make CEOs uncomfortable. FDR realized that you can’t make progress without making a few enemies.

      • It appears that the definition of extreme leftism is trying to actually do something to address our problems rather than limiting options to what does not make CEOs uncomfortable. FDR realized that you can’t make progress without making a few enemies.

        Getting big money out of politics would go a long way to minimizing the harm of politics in general. And that gets it closer to honest and compassionate problem solving.

        Can’t do that if we allow personal buttons to be pushed by disingenuous special interests.

        There is real power in authenticity. But it us who have to seek it out, recognize it, and insist on it.

        • Silverwolf13

          Well said, my Clan McKay brother.

          • Well said, my Clan McKay brother.

            Manu Forte!…? Hmm…may need put that dagger down and take up the pipes…Hmm…or move to Ireland and become a monk. The clearances put things in perspective though, didn’t they?

    • now if Dems can only realize they need a centrist instead of falling into Trump’s polarization trap…

      Very good point! Let us hope that becomes clear to party leaders very soon. Having failed to do the right thing by bringing impeachment proceedings, no matter what the cost politically, it is time for everybody in the country to look towards the center for some sanity and wisdom.

      Half of us being held hostage by the other half’s extremism is a recipe for disaster.

      As for evangelicals who actually have stood against the abomination that is this presidency, I sure hope they can reach their brethren, from wherever that strength of character comes from.

      Get the Republican party to run some decent human beings for the people to vote for. Please! Clinging to power, for powers sake is just obscene. A lesson we are all getting a very close look at.

  • Mr Kish

    No. Trump is the best politician for true Christianity

    • Martin Zeichner

      How so?

    • Pennybird

      If true Christianity is about rewarding boorish, immoral behavior with immense power, what exactly is the draw?

      • Mr Kish

        Incorrect

    • Silverwolf13

      Yes, like many contemporary Evangelicals, he is interested only in money and power.

      • Mr Kish

        He has money so the first accusation is completely false

  • Martin Zeichner

    First of all, I did not vote for DJT in 2016 for my own reasons and I don’t plan to in 2020. Nothing that I have seen on the internet or in the news has convinced me to do otherwise. For me, it is a choice of who to vote for in the Democratic Primary. I don’t expect that DJT will resign his office before then.

    Whenever I read an article like this, Many things run through my mind. I am glad that you started out with three ‘objective facts’ about Donald Trump. There are more, but I won’t go into all of them here.

    There is one in particular that I have in mind. Donald Trump Is old. He is about eight years older than I am. He is, in fact the oldest man to ever run for president of the US. Many people shy away this because, I suppose, there are many people that either are or know someone that is very much aware of the world around them into their eighties or nineties. Many people would rather attribute his behavior to a Narcissistic Personality Syndrome or NPS because they read about it on the internet. I happen to hold with the Occam’s Razor idea that the simplest explanation, while it may not be the best one, represents a good starting point for one’s reasoning.

    So, to begin with, there are many pundits, each of whom has their own opinion on Trump, One of the songs that keeps running through my mind is Bob Dylan’s Ballad of a Thin Man. A wonderful song that has surreal imagery in it’s verses, However it’s refrain is:

    Something is happening but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?</i

  • Pennybird

    “We rightly suspect that they will dump Trump in a nanosecond if he does not abide by that philosophy.”

    OK, fair enough, because you know for a fact he will dump Christians in a heartbeat if a better opportunity presents itself.

    Two more points to clarify:

    1. As to his being a baby Christian? No, just a baby.
    2. “Do we want a Christianity that is also opportunistic?” Maybe, maybe not, but it’s a moot point because American Evangelicals have already made it so. Good luck finding anyone to take you seriously in the future.

  • Ron Swaren

    What we really need is a third party. Impossible, of course…..but as long as we are indulging in speculations here……

  • BeaverTales

    Anyone who thinks separating migrant children from parents desperate to feed them, house them and clothe them by traveling thousands of miles to a country where they are demonized and hated by their fellow Christians who think putting kids in cages is acceptable has no business calling themselves “pro-life”.

    The more Evangelicals rationalize this theology, the less credibility they will have to any group outside their own bubble. Trump also lacks credibility and the movement he created will not draw new voters.

  • Jesse

    Jesse Wenzel
    It’s tedious to go through every line of each post [especially the long ones], but the article itself and [most] of the comments deal with the article’s opening premise i.e. “Trump lies” like a rug [except for promises to Evangelicals], was written as if in a political vacuum. Because I don’t have a compiled list of “lies” that Trump told that weren’t [he was spied upon in Trump Tower, he didn’t manufacture the border crisis nor withhold funds to adequately care for those detained] and don’t wish to get entangled in the non-specifics of being “unreasonable” for disagreeing with that premise, I’ll move on to emphasize my point.
    So many of the posts end up attacking Evangelicals for backing Trump, as if we have more than two political leadership choices than the Left who hates Christianity [and love when we’re divided] and Trump who defends our Constitutional principles. Step back in perspective for one moment and tell me what the border situation would be if one of the Democrat’s presidential hopefuls were “in” and Trump “out.” The article and discussion then would be “Why didn’t Evangelicals do something to defeat America’s internal enemies?” [The only foe Lincoln foresaw who could defeat our Constitutional Republic.]
    This is not a time in our existential battle to consider “how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.”

  • DDRLSGC

    Why not turn on Trump? The evangelicals have threaten other politicians for the last 20 years to either support what the evangelicals want or they will not put them into office or get them voted out of office.

  • Barb Cooper-Humphrey

    Evangelicals are having to make a choice… Live by Jesus’ Teachings or Trumps Teachings..

    Personally , I hope they choose Jesus & regain their compassion & empathy for all.

    -That they begin to realize that their God is strong enough to attract followers and it is not their responsibility to force others to conform to their beliefs… But their actions DO represent current Christian Practices.
    -That by forcing their beliefs upon others , they open themselves up to having others forcing their beliefs upon them (like Sharia Law). They also tell others that their God is weak & incapable of attracting believers on merits
    -That harming others is never part of the Christian understanding but is a method to gain power & promote fear.
    -That they are not the only people who live in this great country & others have rights & freedoms also.. & should.
    – That there is no US or THEM.