As the 2020 election approaches, why is the Christian vote more important than ever? Because the Democrats have held the House of Representatives since the midterms, not much is happening legislatively.
Therefore, the focus of conservative activists such as Ralph Reed is on court appointments in the Senate and working with the administration on executive action such as the Department of Health and Human Services' latest conscience protection. The Faith and Freedom Coalition has a full team of lobbyists in Washington who work on these issues every day. Reed told me he and others are meanwhile building infrastructure and getting ready for 2020. "I want to turn out the biggest Christian vote in U.S. history in 2020," he said.
Our Beliefs Are Threatened
The attacks that have left Christians in a defensive mode are only getting worse. Even respected thinker and author David Horowitz warns that the rising attacks on Christians and their beliefs threaten all Americans—including Jews such as himself. His book Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America should be required reading for anyone wanting to understand objectively what is going on in our mixed-up culture.
First, he lays down how radicalism began in the 1960s as activists started implementing Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Horowitz explains that was when Democrats started showing their hatred for their political opponents, a departure from traditional American dissent. They began dehumanizing and delegitimizing anyone—including Bible-believing Christians—who disagreed with their left-wing, socialist agenda. Horowitz wrote:
"Stigmatizing one's opponent is a classic radical tactic. It is the 13th rule of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it." Attack your opponents personally and cut them off from any possibility of sympathy. That is why radicals paint their political opponents as homophobes, xenophobes and Islamophobes. They're not just good-but-misguided people whose religious convictions have led them to a contrasting viewpoint. They are bad people possessed by irrational fears of 'the others' because they are different."
These dehumanizing terms became cultural norms by the 1990s when political correctness came on the scene—and it applied to everything, not just politics. Today political correctness has gotten so out of control it borders on the ridiculous. For instance, as I write this, Berkeley, California, has just banned the use of gender-specific words such as "manhole" and "manpower" from its municipal code and requires the terms to be replaced with "maintenance hole" and "human effort." And I recently heard on the radio that in San Francisco, the homeless must now be called "urban campers." I couldn't confirm that later, so maybe someone made it up. But it shows how ridiculous things have become.
Fighting for Common Sense
When I interviewed him for this book, conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager shared a sentiment about political correctness similar to Horowitz's. "The Left are Orwell's friends," he said. "They won't say 'illegal immigrant'—you can't even use the title 'illegal alien.' Rather, it's 'undocumented immigrant.' They might as well call bank robberies 'undocumented withdrawals.'"
Donald Trump might not be the first politician to claim to stand up to political correctness, but he definitely took the fight to a whole new level. He wasn't an ideological conservative as much as he was just a street fighter for common sense. Trump's only ideology seems to be patriotism, as Horowitz points out.
During his campaign this was manifest in his concern about not only the state of the country but also the short shrift America had been given in global trade deals, the trillions wasted in foreign wars for which there was no gain and what Horowitz calls the "porous state of its borders and the precarious condition of its security. [Indeed] his campaign themes made his patriotism clear: "Make America prosperous again, make America safe again, make America strong again, make America great again."
He goes on to say that the "haters on the left, in the Democratic Party and the media generally, have twisted Trump's patriotism and condemned it as jingoistic and bigoted bravado." They've done the same by extension to his supporters, many of whom are evangelical Christians. I've observed that even though Jewish people often don't understand the evangelical subculture, Horowitz is a clear thinker who accurately wrote: "Anyone sympathetic to the unapologetic patriotism of religious people could understand why they were solidly for Trump, despite his flaws."
Horowitz wraps up his book by explaining that Trump seemed to empathize with this community of Christians under attack because he seemed to understand that the same attacks imperiled America's social contract. And Bible-believing Christians in turn continue to support Trump through thick and thin going into the 2020 election because they know that with his election in 2016, what Horowitz calls "the long night of weak Republican leadership and inadequate defense of the Republic was over."
We Can't Get Complacent
Since Trump's election the crazy extremes of the Left make you wonder if it is shooting itself in the head. And if it is, in a way, that's a good thing. It's like the maxim that paraphrases Napoleon: "Never interfere with an enemy while he's in the process of destroying himself." But if the Left is destroying itself with no vision other than socialism or opposition to Trump, our side must still never become complacent.
"We can't be like a head football coach who gets up in the locker room before the big game and tells the team, 'Hey, don't worry. We're going to win by four touchdowns,'" Reed opined. "No, you should tell them that this game may easily be decided by a field goal with a second left on the clock. Play like that. Play like every single snap could determine the difference between victory and defeat. I don't want anybody going into 2020 thinking we've got it in the bag. I think that was one of the big mistakes Hillary Clinton and the Democrats made in 2016. They were overconfident. They underestimated their opposition, and they paid for it."
The Democrats will definitely bring their A game to the 2020 election, and as I discuss in the next chapter, that's why Christians need to be aware of all the reasons Trump could lose.
This is an adapted excerpt from God, Trump and the 2020 Election: Why He Must Win and What's at Stake for Christians If He Loses by Stephen E. Strang. Copyright @2020 Published by Charisma House Used by permission.
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