Family Research Council President Tony Perkins wrote an op-ed in response to President-Elect Donald Trump's victory in Tuesday's general election, taking the opportunity to point out the exit polling data proved another liberal mainstream media narrative was false:
The Religious Right isn't dead.
Perkins wrote that, in nearly every election cycle for the past 40 years, the political Left has tried to "bury a movement they wish had never been born"—the Religious Right—but they learned Nov. 8 just how futile those efforts are. Evangelicals—most of whom, like Perkins, backed other candidates during the GOP presidential primary—rallied behind Trump in numbers that haven't been seen in a very long time.
"To the astonishment of everyone, Trump outperformed John McCain, Mitt Romney and even George W. Bush—winning an overwhelming 81 percent of the evangelical vote," he wrote. "If the media had questions about the influence of the Religious Right, they were answered early Wednesday morning by the greatest coalescence around a Republican nominee in two decades.
"It turns out the press had about as much success writing the obituary of the evangelical movement as it had predicting this election."
Perkins attributed that support largely to Trump's unequivocal support for life during the third and final presidential debate. He wrote that, in four short sentences, he had conveyed a message that had never been heard in the history of American politics—and evangelical voters responded to who they believed was the best hope for ending nearly 44 years of court-imposed abortion on demand.
"In the end, though, what we witnessed wasn't just the revenge of the deplorables, but the collapse of the Obama legacy," he wrote. "After the spectacular failures of Obamacare, the demoralization of our military, the explosion of lawlessness, tolerance of corruption, and obsession with social engineering, Americans finally have the opportunity to rebuild the country they once knew."
Perkins said this election was only the "starting gun," however. Trump is a means to facilitating the transformation—he is not the transformation himself—and true transformation can only begin in the hearts and minds of men. With an end to a years-long war on the First Amendment, he said America might just find out what the church is capable of doing.
"In the meantime, one thing about this historic uprising is clear: Americans are looking for leaders of conviction," he concluded. "And as the results of the race for president show, they will accept no substitutes."
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