Pagan politics in post-Christian America
In 2016, I dissented. I said that, even though I had been an elected Republican, I could not support Donald Trump for president. I found him to be an amoral man and an unprincipled politician. I was and remain horrified by Christian voters who rally to the man as some sort of savior and twist their faith to suit their politics.
Protestors showed up at my home to threaten my family. Armed guards protected us for months. My children were repeatedly bullied at school. They were threatened at the grocery store by a man who yelled at them about me. For many, I was now just giving comfort to the enemy.
People tried to have me fired from radio. My speaking opportunities dried up. My television contract got canceled. My income fell over 60 percent. Even going to church offered us no refuge. One woman told my wife, in a Bible study no less, that she wanted to punch me. Walking from Sunday school to the sanctuary often turned into a jousting match of blunt criticism or passive-aggressive rejection.
In November of 2016, I voted third-party. Without needing me, Trump won. Three years later, I find myself ready to vote for him in 2020. So what changed?
First, it is obvious at this point that we are in a pagan society that perhaps was never as Christian as I presumed. In 2016, most of my evangelical friends cast their lots with a man on his third wife who treated fidelity the way Judas treated the Apostles’ moneybags. Instead of looking for their Savior in heaven, they decided to go with political Jesus.
We live in a country where those of us who think character and morals count are in a definite minority. We can sit it out or stay engaged. Many of my friends have understandably chosen to sit it out. I have chosen to stay engaged.
Engagement requires me to make a few choices. I can try to throw in with a third party. I did that in 2016, and the candidate I voted for has been an unending embarrassment ever since. I could vote Democrat, but that’s not happening. Or I could try to work within the Republican Party I have long belonged to and try to be a voice of conscience within.
Second, the president was a hypothetical in 2016. He had been a Nancy Pelosi-donating Democrat. He had praised Planned Parenthood. Even after securing the Republican nomination, he suggested that universal socialist-style health care and taxing the rich were good policy suggestions. But his record in office has shown him to be a pretty conventional Republican president.
The president has cut taxes and helped our economy weather the Chinese economic slowdown by mobilizing capital. He has moved our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He withdrew from the Paris Agreement and Iran deal. He has developed a mature Western Hemispheric foreign policy. He has made solid executive and judicial appointments. He has rolled back regulations. While I have policy disagreements with him, overall, I am pleased with what he has done.
Third, the Democrats have gone hard left. Across the country, they are championing infanticide. Their Green New Deal proposes to pay people unwilling to work, ban the combustion engine and economically destabilize the nation. They scream about white nationalism on the right, but are fostering growing American anti-Semitism. They want to use government to punish and silence people of faith. Even now, Senate Democrats are openly opposing judicial nominees merely for being committed Christians.
Lastly, I have the same concerns I have always had about the president’s character. But just because Democrats have a smile on their face as they defend killing children does not mean they have better character. Having chosen to participate in the political process, given the choice between an incumbent of bad character and any of the Democrats with their bad character, I will go for the guy whose demeanor is off-putting but who isn’t trying to drive Christians out of public life while defending killing children and wrecking our economy with religious zeal in the form of a Green New Deal.
Erick Erickson is a nationally syndicated columnist.