Tag Archives: evangelical voters

Why do evangelicals keep supporting Roy Moore?

Roy Moore is losing support among Republican members of Congress by the hour.

The Alabama GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate is falling in public opinion polls. The former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice has been tossed out of that office twice for failing to do the job he swore he would do.

Now he’s in real trouble. Several women have accused him of engaging in improper sexual behavior with them when they were underage girls.

Moore stands accused of pedophilia.

Here is the utterly astonishing aspect of this story: Moore’s base of voters comprising evangelical Christians is standing with him. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are saying the women’s accusations are more credible than Moore’s denials; one of the woman has said she’ll testify “under oath” and has urged Moore to do the same. Yet the candidate’s voting base stands by its man.

These are the same Americans who oppose gay marriage; they oppose a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions; they want to allow public educators to promote Christianity in public schools. These also are Americans who bellowed “Lock he up!” as unproven allegations dogged Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Yet they’re standing foursquare in support of someone who might have committed a felony by sexually abusing girls?

Go figure, man.

How does Trump hold the evangelical base? How?

We’re going to take note during the next day of a landmark event from the 2016 presidential election.

Political junkies such as yours truly will get to relive the leak of an astonishing audio recording of the man who soon would be elected president of the United States. I was tempted to publish a portion of it verbatim on this blog, but then I thought differently. It’s full of sickening profanity and misogyny.

But it does beg the question: How in the name of God’s holy word does Donald J. Trump continue to enjoy the support of evangelical voters?

The infamous “Access Hollywood” recording became known to the world on year ago. It was recorded in 2005. It captures a conversation between Trump — then a mere 59-year-old reality TV celebrity and beauty pageant mogul — and TV host Billy Bush.

It references how Trump wanted to have sex with a married woman; he, too was newly married to the woman who would become the nation’s first lady. He talks to Bush about this woman’s anatomical enhancements. He refers to needing to swallow breath mints in case he started kissing her. Then he mentions how he can do anything he wants because, by golly, he’s a celebrity. Oh, and then he mentions grabbing women by their private parts.

What part of any of this should be appealing to a bloc of voters who pride themselves on their own moral rectitude and who — apparently until the 2016 election — demanded that political candidates live by their same straitlaced standards?

Someone has to explain to me how it is that evangelical voters cling to this moral leper.

This recording became known a little more than a month prior to the 2016 election. I was among many others around the country who knew with absolute certainty that the “Access Hollywood” recording would doom this guy’s presidential bid.

Oh, I was so wrong!

But it remains a maximum mystery to me how this guy — who’s entire professional life prior to running for the presidency — was focused solely on self-enrichment, self-aggrandizement and self-gratification.

I am all ears if someone can persuade me that there isn’t a huge dose of hypocrisy attached to this bizarre political alliance.

Evangelicals’ support of Trump: as perplexing as ever

An article that was published slightly more than a year ago remains relevant today.

It comes from Esquire magazine. The noted documentary filmmaker Ken Burns asks: What is it about Donald Trump that reminds evangelical voters of Jesus Christ?

Burns was troubled a year ago over why evangelical Christian voters glommed onto Trump’s candidacy. I remain puzzled in the extreme as to why they remain loyal to this guy a year later, and six months into his presidency.

Burns said, for example: “The Republican Party has been extraordinarily successful at getting many groups of people to vote against their self-interest. Evangelicals are voting for Donald Trump. What part of Donald Trump reminds you of Jesus Christ? Trump lusts after his own daughter on national radio, talks about women’s bodies and breasts in such a disparaging way, and mocks them. How is this in any way Christian? When you make the ‘other’ the enemy, how is that Christian?”

Check out the Esquire link.

Burns noted a year ago that Trump once lusted after his own daughter, Ivanka. He carried on highly publicized extramarital affairs on his first two wives. Of course, we have that infamous “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump is overheard boasting about how he grabbed women by their genitals.

He routinely denigrates women and there is zero evidence anywhere in his professional or personal history of any commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

But he remains on evangelicals’ A-list. He’s their guy. Their “dream come true,” in the words of Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.

Someone has to explain it to me. I’m all eyes and ears.

A campaign of paradoxes staggers to its finish


There may be no greater example of just how weird the 2016 presidential campaign has become than this example right here.

It speaks volumes. Hideous volumes.

The evangelical Christian bloc that is so critical to Republicans’ ballot-box success remains — more or less — devoted to the party’s current presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump.

Yet many of those folks just couldn’t bring themselves to support the candidacy of its most recent nominee, Mitt Romney. The 2012 GOP nominee is a Mormon. There were many within the evangelical movement who contend that Mormons belong to a “cult.”

As for Trump, the current nominee … well, the photo accompanying this blog posts says plenty about him.

Those of us who oppose this man’s presidential candidacy are left to ponder what we thought was the imponderable: that evangelical voters would continue to give this guy a pass on some of the most reprehensible behavior imaginable.

Sure, many of them have bolted. That recording of Trump boasting to “Access Hollywood” about his behavior toward women have sent many of those evangelicals packing. Many others, though, remain.

The rest of us are asking, simply: Why?

These pro-Trump evangelicals are more than willing to convict Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton of crimes for which she hasn’t even been accused of committing. Due process? It doesn’t apply in their minds to a leading politician.

Yet, they look the other way when their guy acknowledges seeking to seduce a married woman, who has boasted about previous extramarital affairs, has hung ghastly labels on women he believes are physically unattractive.


Someone has to explain this to me. I’m all ears.

How do you campaign against a moving target?


So much about this presidential campaign is a puzzle and I’m having trouble finding the pieces to complete it.

I’ll start and finish with Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.

He has tossed every single bit of conventional wisdom into the Dumpster. Trump has no public service experience; he has demonstrated zero understanding of how government works; he has blustered, bullied and bloviated his way to this point in the campaign; his insults and innuendo should have doomed his candidacy months ago; his personal history is, well, checkered.

To my way of thinking, the most confusing element of this campaign is the absence of any philosophical grounding for this individual.

In normal election years, Democrats nominate a candidate who stands for a set of principles; Republicans do the same.

Hillary Clinton is about to become the Democratic nominee. She, too, has switched positions on occasion as she battles Sen. Bernie Sanders for her party’s nomination.

But one gets a general idea of Clinton’s world view: It seems to tilt left, with a more hawkish view of the use of military power than her more progressive political brethren.

Trump? Where does this guy stand? On anything?

He changes his positions almost hourly. Women should face punishment if they obtain an abortion; on second thought, he didn’t mean that. He would ban Muslims from entering the United States; oh, wait, that’s just a “suggestion.” He once was pro-choice on abortion; now he’s pro-life. He once called Hillary Clinton “great”; now he calls her “Crooked Hillary.” He said Mexico is sending drug dealers, rapists and killers into this country: but he says “I love Hispanics.” He has boasted about his philandering; now he seeks to woo the evangelical voters who comprise much of the GOP “base.”

How is Clinton going to campaign against any of that? How is she going to pit her ideas against his ideas, when he doesn’t seem to stand on a single principle — other than furthering his own ambition?

The late Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland, Calif., that “there is no ‘there’ there.”

I’m sensing that Trump lacks a “there.”

Trump keeps scoring well with evangelical voters

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during a rally coinciding with Pearl Harbor Day at Patriots Point aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

It might be the most intriguing question coming out of the Iowa caucuses.

How has Donald J. Trump continued to gain the support of Republicans who call themselves “evangelical Christians,” the most conservative members of a generally conservative bloc of Republican Party voters?

He’s done well with them despite the following:

Three marriages — and two divorces — and well-chronicled affairs with married women around the world.

Trump actually has boasted about carrying on with married women and all the while he has declared that he’s never asked God for forgiveness because, he said, “I don’t need it.”

Some of us out here have asked for forgiveness for a whole lot less than what Trump has acknowledged doing.

That doesn’t matter to those who use their deep faith to help guide their votes for public officials.

It’s wacky out there, man.

All of this just might portend an equally wacky result once the Iowa GOP caucus votes are tabulated at the end of the evening Monday.

Yep. I’ll be watching these results with keen interest.


Iowa uncertainty brings new dimension of weirdness to race


It’s been said repeatedly for many election cycles that evangelical voters are key to the success of candidates seeking to win the Iowa presidential caucuses.

Republican candidates play to the evangelical voter bloc, realizing the critical role that devout Christians play in the Iowa political process.

The 2016 caucuses are almost here and, as has been the norm this time, some political traditions have been turned upside-down.

Cruz in trouble in Iowa

Consider this: The one-time favorite of Iowa Republicans, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, is now essentially tied in that state by none other than Donald J. Trump.

Cruz is supposed to be the golden boy for evangelical voters. He’s their guy. He’s the self-proclaimed “dependable conservative.” But now his support has eroded as Trump has gained ground and as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has risen as well to compete with Cruz for the evangelical vote.

What’s staggering to me, though, is why Trump is faring so well among those deeply devout voters. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that his expressions of faith sound, well, less than authentic. The “Two Corinthians” gaffe is a small, but still significant, demonstration of what I mean.

Trump talks about the Bible the way one talks about a Louis L’Amour western novel. “It’s a great book,” he says.

Well, I don’t know how this initial contest is going to finish on Monday. It’s only one vote, after all, in a long series of contests that candidates in both major parties will have to face as they fight among themselves for their parties’ presidential nomination.

But the idea that the vaunted evangelical vote is up for grabs with a candidate such as Donald Trump competing for it just boggles my mind.

I’m going to stay tuned for this one to play out.