Are Evangelicals (And Some Other Voters) All Of A Sudden Really Rethinking Their Support Of Trump
Update (December 2019): This editorial in the Rev. Billy Graham-founded “Christianity Today”, calling for Trump’s removal, upset the President and lit up the imaginations of many a Democrat. What may be an even more significant revelation is the subsequent backlash against the “liberal wing of evangelicalism” as Franklin Graham puts it, while Jerry Falwell, Jr. points out Hillary Clinton got the votes of only around “20% of evangelicals” in 2016. But that’s not a completely insignificant number. And perhaps that admission by the evangelical Right that there actually is an evangelical Left, will wake Democrats up to something else: opportunity.
We are a little skeptical about a series of stories that have been appearing recently suggesting Trump may be losing some core support, especially among the religious Right because of recent behavior.
Here are two examples from the last day or so: from Politico, and from MSNBC. We have no reason to believe these are anything but honest, spontaneous newsgathering efforts by reporters about what’s really happening, and not perhaps a concerted PR push by some type of well-connected “interested party” to turn this into a story. But also: Hmm…
Because when we wrote about the President’s Greenville, North Carolina rally about a month ago, one of the things that stuck out to us like a sore thumb (and we reported to you at the time) was how many times Trump said “Goddamn”. Most notably when he told what almost sounded like a biblical parable, where a businessman who he doesn’t like, and who doesn’t like him is supporting him anyway, because he’s rich, and he’s realized if he doesn’t support Trump: “he’ll be so goddamn poor!”
Here’s that clip (click on the photo to watch):
So why didn’t anyone get really upset about it right then? Why the more than 3 week delay in reacting? Unless somebody’s been out beating a drum since then, which hasn’t been heard until now. That doesn’t automatically make it a bad story; just makes us question how and why it’s getting coverage now instead of then.
And this trend goes back even further: we noted during the 2016 Presidential campaign that Trump never said “God bless America” at the end of his campaign rallies. He does work it in nowadays, but at the Greenville rally, as is typical, ends with “Keep America Great!” instead, which are really words in praise of himself (followed by “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones, which we have never been able to figure out).
And no one. No one. Ever seemed to care or get upset about that. Which actually surprised us very much. (Especially when entertaining “shoe being on the other foot” scenarios, which as much as we hate to do, we can’t help doing sometimes).
So why would they now? The “Trump is scurrilous and disgusting” narrative has been promoted many times before, and it always sticks, yet it never makes any difference. Why doesn’t it? And will it ever?
We don’t know. And we realize this isn’t much of a sample, but we asked the Trump supporter who’s been staying in our house the past couple of days and here’s what he says:
“Of course Trump’s a horrible person and I disagree with a lot of what he’s doing. But I still support him because I like more of his policies than I don’t.”
So is it worth trying again and again? Or should those opposed to Trump move on to something else? We guess that depends on whether our friend’s answer (assuming he is representative of a larger group of Trump supporters), demonstrates he might one day be convinced, or that he never will be no matter what. It’s hard to know.
We quote from Psalm 10 (in reference to Trump, not our friend, who’s a good person):