Just for the record:
- Mike Pence believes in appointing conservative federal justices
- Mike Pence is strongly pro-life on abortion
- Mike Pence opposes same-sex marriage.
- Mike Pence believes in religious liberty as defined by the Christian Right
- Mike Pence is a Christian nationalist and believes America was founded as a Christian nation.
- Mike Pence wants to strengthen the border and supports Trump’s border wall
- Mike Pence is a strong supporter of Israel.
- Mike Pence is an evangelical Christian.
- Mike Pence does not believe climate change is real and opposes the environmentalist lobby.
- Mike Pence thinks NFL players shouldn’t kneel before the national anthem
- Mike Pence is against “political correctness.”
- Mike Pence listens to evangelical leaders and, in fact, may even take them more seriously than Trump.
- And we could go on.
Pence is no different than Trump on the issues that are important to conservative evangelicals. But with Trump, conservative evangelicals also get:
- A pathological liar
- An adulterer
- A narcissist
- A nativist
- A person who separates families at the border
- A crude and vulgar leader who lacks character
- A person loved and adored by white supremacists
- A misogynist
- A man who degrades the human dignity of his enemies
So why didn’t evangelicals support impeachment? Why don’t they support Trump’s removal from office? If conservative evangelicals really have a contractual relationship with Trump, wouldn’t this be a good time to end the contract? Future historians will forever connect evangelical Christianity with this man and his presidency.
Yes, Trump has delivered for conservative evangelicals on a variety of fronts. But won’t Pence deliver for the Christian Right in the same way Trump has delivered?
Or is something else going on here:
- Maybe conservative evangelicals really do believe that Trump is God’s anointed one (as opposed to Pence) and to remove him would violate God’s will.
- Maybe conservative evangelicals don’t think Pence (or another GOP candidate) can win in 2020.
- Maybe conservative evangelicals believe they should tolerate Trump as long as the economy is doing well.
- Maybe evangelicals are really enjoying the power trip and have lost their way
Just wondering. I think this is a conversation worth having.
Addendum #1: One thoughtful reader writes: “I’m not sure if ‘power trip’ describes it, but my impression is evangelicals might like Trump more than Pence BECAUSE he is not ‘christian’. They may think Trump can get more done by not following the ‘rules’. To put it bluntly, they seem to think obeying the Bible hinders political progress.”
Addendum #2: Another thoughtful reader weighs-in: “I think it’s about charisma. Pence doesn’t inspire anybody. Trump does. For all the wrong reasons – he appeals to everything crass and ugly in America – but he does.”