When a Pro-Life Democrat Wins the African-American Vote and Defeats a Pro-Trump Candidate in Louisiana

John Bel Edwards

This weekend Louisiana’s Democratic governor John Bel Edwards was reelected.  He defeated a Trump-supported Republican named Eddie Risponse.  Trump visited Louisiana twice in the last two weeks in the hopes of getting Risponse elected.  It did not help.

It is worth noting that John Bel Edwards greatly expanded Medicaid in Louisiana.  He also signed a bill banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected.  And his victory was largely due to overwhelming support among Louisiana’s African Americans.

Over at First Things, Fordham University moral philosopher Charles Camosy offers some analysis of Edwards’s victory.  Here is a taste:

It would be interesting to know what white, progressive, highly educated Democrats think of all this. After all, they have been primarily responsible for the party’s turn to the kind of abortion extremism that would have doomed an orthodox Democrat in a race like this one. Mother Jones ran a piece a few days before the election with the headline, “Is There Still Room for an Anti-Abortion Hardliner in the Democratic Party?” The answer in the party platform—which claims that abortion should be unrestricted, that it should be paid for by pro-lifers’ tax dollars, and that it is “core to women’s, men’s, and young people’s health and wellbeing”—is obviously in the negative.

But when faced with the prospect of a Trump-supported governor, Democratic activists changed their tune. This kind of change needs to happen more generally throughout the party, especially as we head into 2020. In 2016, Trump over-performed with African Americans and Latinos—populations which tend to be more abortion-skeptical than white Democrats. For the Democrats’ progressive leadership, which at least says all the right things about listening to voices of color, the factors behind Edwards’s reelection should be highly instructive. But the party, at least as currently constituted, is light years away from permitting a pro-life Democratic candidate from running for national office.

And this:

Despite struggling in purple states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, there is, remarkably, increased talk of the Democrats becoming a dominant party by turning big states like Texas from red to blue. But it is nearly impossible to see how this would work given their current abortion platform—which, in addition to just being politically bananas, is made-to-order for devastating pro-life messaging.

Indeed, recent studies of pro-life political advertisements in Texas found that they had the biggest impact on—wait for it—Democratic-leaning women, young voters, and Latino voters. Such ads moved them 10, 8, and 13 points, respectively. And they had real political results—pushing Governor Abbott to a whopping 44 percent approval rating with Latinos, for instance. Is it possible that the progressive, white abortion rights activists who dominate the Democratic party leadership could be marginalized in favor of those genuinely committed to listening to black and Latino voices on abortion?

One might think that Trump’s 2016 victory, coupled with the Edwards reelection, would be enough to push the party to change course. But the bubble of coastal elites (on both right and left) is a difficult one to burst. I fear that only something totally devastating—like a 2020 Trump victory—could shake up the current leadership.

Read the entire piece here.

Why Evangelicals in Louisiana MUST Vote for the Former Grand Wizard of the KKK

DavidDukeDid that title get your attention?

Jake Meador has written a great piece of satire. But like most satire, it is very telling about some of the recent arguments evangelicals in support of the Donald Trump candidacy for President of the United States.

Here is a taste of Meador’s piece at Mere Orthodoxy:

Some of my good Christian friends in the state of Louisiana have told me they cannot vote in good conscience for David Duke in this fall’s senate election. As they consider the Senate field in Louisiana, they look around and dislike all their options so much that they tell me they simply cannot bring themselves to support the lesser evil in this contest and so they will be forced to write in a different third-party candidate or abstain entirely.

At first glance, I can understand their reservations. Duke is, after all, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He’s led an organization with a history of lynching, arson, racial intimidation, and no shortage of other violent crimes. In addition to his long-standing links with the Klan, Duke has also publicly aligned himself with a Holocaust denier and his ex-wife played a major role in the founding of Stormfront, a major white nationalist and neo-Nazi website that at one time had more than 50,000 members.

There is reason to think he may have distributed neo-Nazi literature during the early 1990s, perhaps even including Adolph Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. He has also been charged with inciting riots and tax fraud and in one of the early speeches after announcing his candidacy, he cited concerns about “ethnic cleansing” as being a major motivating factor in his campaign. And, yes, he once compared the holocaust to Affirmative Action. I know. I know.

As I said, I can understand why my evangelical friends would choose not to support Duke. But based on my extensive years studying Christian ethics I disagree. Since Duke has announced his candidacy for the senate race in Louisiana, I think it is a morally good choice to support David Duke.

Now, I know some of you will be wondering how an evangelical like myself could support a self-described white supremacist and neo-Nazi like Duke. How could someone who has previously expressed such concern about the moral qualifications of office holders suddenly turn a blind eye to Duke’s considerable failings? Am I simply sacrificing all of my credibility as a public Christian in order to seize a final dying chance at political power such that I’m willing to even support a charlatan who has so far furnished us with no credible reasons to think he will fulfill his promises to my constituency?

No, the truth is that I have credible reason to believe that Duke is a baby Christian. In fact, a friend of mine who pastors a large church in Houston, which is located quite close to Duke’s home state of Louisiana, has given me his personal assurance that Duke prayed the sinner’s prayer with him recently…

Beyond these basic considerations, a further point must be made: Hillary Clinton is bad. Hillary Clinton is pro-choice. She is opposed to religious liberty. Hillary’s America will be an America that is closed to religious schools and that sees all attempts to legally limit the number of abortions shot down by an activist Supreme Court. Not only that, Hillary will have the opportunity to appoint as many as four different Supreme Court justices.

David Duke will be an invaluable ally on all these issues. We particularly need him in the Senate as the Senate plays a pivotal role in approving Supreme Court nominees made by the president. The latest polls suggest that the Democrats may well take not only the White House this fall, but also the Senate. If that happens, Hillary could easily appoint four Ruth Bader Ginsburg-style liberals to the Supreme Court. She could create a 6-3 or even 7-2 liberal majority on the court that will last for at least one generation and quite probably longer than that. The damage the courts could do during that time cannot even be imagined. By supporting Duke’s run for the Senate, we can increase the number of solid conservatives in the Senate opposing Hillary’s activist judicial appointments.

Louisianans:  Vote for Duke.  It is a moral imperative.  If that is not enough, he holds a “Ph.D” in history from the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management in the Ukraine.  He wrote a dissertation titled “Zionism as a Form of Ethnic Supremacism.”

The Author’s Corner with David Narrett

David Narrett is Professor of History at University of Texas Arlington. This interview is based on his new book, Adventurism and Empire: The Struggle for Mastery in the Louisiana-Florida Borderlands, 1762-1803 (The University of North Carolina Press, December 2014).
JF: What led you to write Adventurism and Empire?

DN: I wrote Adventurism and Empire because of my fascination with colonial adventurism as a phenomenon involving commerce, settlement schemes, and military freebooting across national boundaries. I also realized that there was a need for a detailed and systematic study tracing the transition from British-Spanish rivalry to U.S.-Spanish competition in Louisiana and “the Floridas” during the late eighteenth century.

JF: In two sentences, what is the argument of Adventurism and Empire?

DN: Louisiana and Florida were borderland regions characterized by a high degree of geopolitical instability, personal adventurism, and intrigue from the denouement of the Seven Years War through the Louisiana Purchase. British-Spanish rivalry, both before and during the American Revolution, had a profound impact on subsequent U.S.-Spanish competition. Diverse nationalities vied over the control of rivers and pathways linking coastal to interior zones. Southern Indians sought trade goods through Pensacola and Mobile no less avidly than U.S. frontier folk clamored for free navigation on the Mississippi and access to the New Orleans market. Power struggles emerged in which commerce and immigration were as important determinants as war and violence.

JF: Why do we need to read Adventurism and Empire?

DN: Adventurism and Empire shows how the United States emerged as a successor empire to Great Britain through rivalry with Spain in the Mississippi Valley and Gulf Coast. Adventurism and Empire charts events in peace and war over four critical decades–from the close of the Seven Years War through the Louisiana Purchase. The story sheds new light on individual colonial adventurers and schemers who shaped history through cross-border trade, settlement projects involving slave and free labor, and military incursions into Spanish and Indian territories.

JF: When and why did you decide to become an American historian?

DN: I decided to become an American historian through my undergraduate studies at Columbia University, and through a deeply felt personal connection to our national past. While pursuing my Ph.D. at Cornell University, I was inspired by the late Michael Kammen, one of the foremost American historians of the last half-century.

JF: What is your next project?

DN: My next project is a study of frontier republicanism and settler-Native conflict in the trans-Appalachian West during the late eighteenth century.

JF: Thanks David.
And thanks to Megan Piette for facilitating this installment of The Author’s Corner

Duck Dynasty Trounces the Tea Party in Louisiana Election

Great post here from Rod Dreher.  Apparently a candidate for the in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District who had the support of Willie Robertson, the star of the popular television show Duck Dynasty, defeated a Tea Party candidate who had the support of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Here is a taste of Dreher’s post:

A stunning election result tonight in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional district. Political newcomer Vance McAllister beat the snot out of State Sen. Neil Riser in the runoff. Both men are Republicans, and both quite conservative. Riser was understood as having the support of the state GOP establishment, including Gov. Bobby Jindal. Riser was also backed by the state Tea Party. After the primary election, McAllister began to sound more conciliatory, saying that he would work with Democrats. Riser jumped on that, trying to paint him as a squish.
McAllister’s secret weapon: the Robertson family. Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson cut a last-minute ad for McAllister. That has got to have had a huge effect. It was a total McAllister blowout tonight. The Tea Party is nothing compared to the Duck Commander dudes.

Did Hippies Worship Satan?

I am guessing that some of them did, but I don’t think the authors of an eighth grade textbook used by voucher schools in Louisiana and Indiana included this little historical nugget in their treatment of hippies because they wanted to present a full and accurate picture of the 1960s counterculture.
The textbook, America: Land I Love is published by A Beka Books, a publishing house affiliated with Pensacola Christian College that I discussed briefly in chapter four of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction.

America Blog recently posted an image of the pertinent page of the textbook:

Apparently this Louisiana voucher program has gotten into trouble before by using textbooks that praise the Ku Klux Klan, teach that human beings and dinosaurs walked the earth together, and affirm the existence of fire-breathing dragons. 

I am sure there is a larger critique of school voucher programs in all of this.