The internet is on fire today with stories about Evangelical Christians feelings angry, frustrated, and forgotten. They should feel that way; they’re right. Christianity is no longer a valid worldview to most of America. This shouldn’t be a shocker to those who study Christianity. It took hundreds of years before the Roman Empire stopped murdering Christians in droves whenever they felt like it, and in many parts of the world, Christianity has been persecuted to one extent or another for over 1,000 years (some parts of the Middle East, for instance). Christians in America today, by comparison, have it great — for now.
None of this, however, denies the reality that as a group in American society, Christians don’t matter anymore, especially Protestants.
This is especially problematic for Donald Trump, who many Evangelicals dislike (to say the least). So, how can Donald Trump being Evangelicals into the mix? I think Ben Carson is the obvious answer. Carson is also an outsider, and like Trump, has a very clear anti-establishment flavor. However, unlike Trump, Carson has a reputation of being kind, generous, and he’s well-liked in the African-American community. Seems like a great fit, but not perfect.
Unlike some of the other choices, Carson can’t deliver any states for Trump, and many Evangelicals are already angry with Carson for choosing to back Trump in the first place. Despite these challenges, I think Carson is still the best choice, because Trump’s personality is so big (or should I say “HUGE”) that it’s unlikely many people will vote for or against Trump because of the vice presidential candidate on the ticket. Carson could be one of the few exceptions, however, because of his long history with Evangelicals.
In a way that is similar to the 2008 race, when many conservatives said they would vote for McCain because of Palin, Evangelicals could say they will vote for Trump because they support Carson.
With all that said … I still think Trump will end up losing. At some point, I’ll have to explain (in detail) why I believe that and why I think it’s actually a really good thing.
Photo by Gage Skidmore. Donald Trump at 2011 CPAC.