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Values Voters Love Trump for Putting America First

Values Voters Love Trump for Putting America First


By Tuesday, 13 September 2016 04:19 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In the end, it was the counter–cultural Rolling Stones who provided the most powerful reason for Values Voters Summit attendees to support Donald Trump.

It says a lot about this presidential campaign that consulting the Stones was no stranger than other attempts made during this unusual political season to persuade normally reliable Republican voters to support the nominee of their party.

There’s something about the slogan: “He’s the Lesser of Two Evils!” that fails to inspire.

Voters face the prospect of embracing a known risk now, in return for an uncertain payoff in the future.

Much like the mother who urges her child to give Pneumonia Hillary a big hug, because it may be her only chance to ever touch a candidate.

Trump’s unorthodoxy on social issues presents a particular problem for evangelical voters who make up the bulk of the Values Voters audience. They know when Ted Cruz talked about “New York values” he wasn’t making any reference to 9/11.

Trump’s multiple divorces, adultery, shaky Biblical knowledge and laissez faire attitude toward homosexual marriage are big problems for Christians.

Or at least those issues were influential when there were options.

Now the option is Hillary.

Back in June, at a panel sponsored by the Claremont Review of Books, senior editor William Voegeli summed up the Trump campaign by observing, “It has often been the case in American history that a worthy cause has an unworthy champion.” (For more, click here.)

Since the speakers were Christian leaders, there were no outright references to 10–foot poles and contact with Trump, but there was a certain proximity radius maintained by many of the elected officials.

More than one speaker’s endorsement centered around future appointments to the mini–legislature that really rules us: The Supreme Court. The consensus was Hillary’s judges would put religious liberty under the thumb of libertine social values for a generation to come.

What the speakers didn’t try to do was refreshing. While Hillary’s handlers keep hoping the latest personality transplant won’t be rejected, Values Voters’ speakers didn’t pretend Trump had undergone conversion on the road to Washington, D.C. 

Trump didn’t appear on stage in a baptismal robe and he didn’t assume the role of humble penitent returning for a blessing. This year he didn’t even bring his bible.

What did change was the content of his speech.

Last year Trump didn’t really understand the conference or its interests. He almost lost the audience when he called Marco Rubio a clown and the crowd booed.

This year was entirely different. Trump didn’t even call Hillary “crooked.”

Trump began by pledging “our Christian heritage will be cherished, protected, defended, like you’ve never seen before.” He then promised to repeal the Johnson amendment that threatens to revoke churches’ tax–exempt status if their pastors endorse candidates.

Trump outlined what he calls “a new civil rights agenda for our time, the right to a safe community, a great education and a secure job.”

The education component is built around school choice. Trump’s choices for parents include government, private, religious and home schooling where the money follows the student.

Trump also employed the Supreme Court message–of–the–day and suggested using “Judge Scalia as the ultimate example of what we are looking for.”

But there was one throw-away line in his speech that illustrated the gulf that separates the crowds at a Trump rally from the collective at a Hillary lecture. And the comment bridges the spiritual gap that still troubles many evangelicals.

The remark came when he highlighted Hillary and Obama’s foreign policy failures in North Korea, China and the Mideast, plus the national humiliation suffered when the mullahs refused to release our hostages until a plane loaded with a $400 million ransom arrived at the airport.

Trump looked directly at the audience and said, “They think we’re stupid. They won’t be thinking it for long.”

The crowd erupted in applause. I tried to imagine Hillary making a statement like that and my powers of imagination failed. Hillary voters would find the veiled menace in that warning more than a little embarrassing and jingoistic.

The audience at the Values Voters Summit was overjoyed there is a candidate who isn’t ashamed to put America first.

Evangelical voters know Donald Trump, God love him, is not a perfect man or a perfect candidate. But he is a man who loves their nation as much as they do and that makes the difference.

Trump left the stage to applause and the Rolling Stones who sang a powerful reason for voting Trump:

“You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need.”

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.




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There is a candidate who isn’t ashamed to put America first. Values voters know Donald Trump, God love him, is not a perfect man or a perfect candidate. But he is a man who loves their nation as much as they do. That makes the difference.
evangelicals, values, voters
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 04:19 PM
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