While I’ve already blogged from the bandwagon of those appalled by Donald Trump’s popularity, I think it is worthwhile reflecting for a moment on Trump’s popularity among conservative Christians. In particular, it is worthwhile reflecting on that popularity as a spiritual exam which reveals how spiritually unhealthy large tracts of conservative Christianity are.
The catalyst for this current reflection comes in a passage in a new NBC article titled “Anti-Trump Republicans Mull Strategy as Polling Lead Grows” in which we read:
“Katie Packer, a veteran of Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign who is running the new anti-Trump group Our Principles PAC, also stressed the importance of undermining Trump’s credentials with the right. Her group has sent out mailers in Iowa and produced a web ad highlighting Trump’s past praise for single-payer health care, his previous call for a tax increase (he’s running on a multi-trillion dollar tax cut this year) and the time he endorsed impeaching George W. Bush.”
Of course, Packer’s focus is “the Right” in Iowa rather than “conservative Christians”. Nonetheless, a sizeable percentage of “the Right” in Iowa consists of conservative Christians.
Over the last seven months, Trump has cemented his status as a cynical, misogynistic, xenophobic, racist bigot. One would expect that gives the anti-Trump campaigner a lot to work with. And yet, despite all that good material, Packer believes the best way to reach the Right in Iowa, including all those conservative Christians, to point out that Trump has previously endorsed (1) single-payer healthcare, (2) a tax increase, and (3) the impeachment of a president who invaded a foreign nation under false pretenses, thereby leading to the death of tens of thousands of civilians, the destabilization of an entire region, and an economic cost of upwards of three trillion dollars?
You may disagree with single-payer healthcare and tax increases. You may even be hawkish on foreign policy. But this prioritization in which progressive stances on these topics are counted as more off-putting than misogynistic, xenophobic, racist bigotry reveals an inverted set of priorities and a deeply distorted moral vision.
Here’s the bit of silver-lining. Since we can assume that Donald Trump didn’t create that deeply distorted moral vision in this conservative electorate, we can at least be thankful for his candidacy insofar as it has cast a spotlight onto the extent of moral dissolution among many contemporary Christian conservatives. Hopefully now we can begin to address it.