What motivated people to support Donald Trump in 2016, and will it be enough to motivate them again? In this series, I examine the “Trump Mystique”, what it is, what is/was its appeal and how it could support his re-election bid. I am, NOT a Trump supporter, but to beat your opponents, you first have to understand them.
You would think that being divorced, much less twice divorced, would immediately disqualify Donald J. Trump from being supported by Evangelicals. You would think that cheating on his wives would further that disqualification. You would think his childish name-calling, bullying and lying would send these “godly” people racing to back any other candidate.
And of course, you’d be wrong. Support among white Evangelicals has been as high as 81 percent because Trump represents “family values”. He once said the Bible was his favorite book, and Evangelicals believe him. Even though he couldn't even answer simple questions regarding verses contained therein.
Backed by Evangelical heavyweights Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham and Mike Huckabee (father of former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders), Trump has a daily audience of supporters who swallow every outlandish claim like so much candy. These tele-evangelists use their daily platforms to spew their distorted messages of support for Donald Trump while demonizing Democrats.
They say he is "the chosen one."
These very same hucksters spent eight years blasting President Obama, who has been a faithful husband and devoted father. They have spread hateful comments and images of former First Lady Michelle Obama. And yet they are shocked when people call them “racists”.
So, what is behind this blind obedience to Trump?
First, they consider themselves to be constitutionalists. That means they believe in a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and limited government intervention in their daily affairs. Adhering to the Jeffersonian concept, “that which governs best, governs least”, they resent government interference with a fervor that pre-dates the Constitution.
However, their interpretation of what is stated in the Constitution is distorted. They hold a limited view on the language, particularly when it comes to the First and Second Amendments. They feel the Second Amendment gives them the right to unlimited access to firearms, while the First Amendment’s guarantee of Freedom of the Press is limited to only the news they choose to believe. They also believe that Freedom of Worship does not apply to the Muslim community.
Shockingly, it has been alleged that Donald Trump has neither read, nor does he comprehend, the Constitution. Instead, Trump chooses to govern from his gut, and then he and his supporters are shocked when he is told his actions are unconstitutional. Instead, he has falsely claimed that Article Two of gives him unlimited power as president. He conveniently ignores the section of Article Two that applies to impeachment.
Recently, there have been some chinks in the armor of support for Donald Trump. An article in “Christianity Today” urged Evangelicals to withdraw their support. The magazine, founded by Rev Billy Graham, called for Trump’s removal from office based upon his “blackened” moral record.
Not surprisingly, Trump and his supporters, including Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, blasted the article with Graham making the oft repeated false claim that Trump could be replaced by “a Radical Left non-believer, who wants to take your religion and your guns”.
Will Evangelical support be enough to guarantee Trump’s re-election? Or will his support waver in light of his impeachment?
Let us pray.
Next in this series: The Economy.