Minneapolis and Washington, D.C.
Michele Bachmann: ‘I, as a Constitutional Conservative, as a Believer in Jesus Christ, Readily Embrace’ Donald Trump Agenda
Former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. on Friday, “On every single level, if you look at the agenda that Donald Trump has put forward, it’s been one that I — as a constitutional conservative, as a believer in Jesus Christ — I cannot only easily embrace, but readily embrace.”
I’ve heard it asked why so many conservative Christians (“religious rightists”) can love Trump with both his moral shortcomings and his history of being a social issue liberal. One of my favored answers to that question in the last year and change has been that they like his populism and nationalism more.
But I think there’s another, just as good, but a bit more convoluted, answer.
Let’s all jump into the Blogmeister Hot Tub Time Machine (no skinny dipping), and dial it back to December 1994. When we get there, we will find Sam Francis writing an article for Chronicles, about the religious right. You kinda need to read the whole thing for the part I’m going to quote to make sense.
What follows from this line of analysis of the religious right as it exists today is that what ultimately drives its adherents is not religion in the ordinary sense. What drives them is the perception—accurate in my view—that the culture their religion reflects and defends is withering and that that withering portends a disaster for themselves, their class, their country and their civilization. Religion happens to be a convenient vehicle for their otherwise unarticulated and perfectly well-founded fears. But while it is a convenient vehicle and a more effective one than those that carried the right in earlier days, it is not the most effective vehicle the right could have.
This is not to say that the religious right is composed of hypocrites who use religion for political ends. With the possible exception of most of its more prominent leaders, it’s not. Most adherents of the religious right are sincerely and seriously religious; but you can be sincerely and seriously religious without being political and without being political in the way the religious right is. It’s not religion that drives; it’s the legitimate frustrations of a social class that has been bludgeoned and betrayed by its established leaders for more than 50 years.
Sam could have added that it’s also possible to be political in the way the RRs are without being religious.
Since politics rather than religion drive the RR, it means that they can and do politically support non-religious figures. Trump isn’t personally or socially in tune with the RR, but politically, he is, for the most part. If Trump is promising to feed the RR’s enemies knuckle sandwiches, that’s all they need.