August 19, 2019

Howe: Why some Christians ‘love the meanest parts’ of Trump

Ben Howe, interviewed by Emma Green for The Atlantic:

Ben Howe is angry at evangelicals. As he describes it, he is angry that they didn’t just vote for Donald Trump in record numbers, but repeatedly provide moral cover for his outrageous failings. He is angry that leaders of the religious right, who long claimed to be the champions of American morality, appear to have gladly traded their values for power. He is angry that Christians claim they support the president because they want to end abortion or protect religious liberty, when supporting Trump suggests that what they really want is a champion who will mock and crush their perceived enemies.

To redeem themselves, Howe believes, evangelicals have to give up their take-no-prisoners culture war.

I’ve noticed a trickle of thoughtful conservative writers making similar arguments from within the Right-leaning, yet Trump-rejecting thought bubble, whether from a social perspective, as here—they were never more morally correct than the rest of us—as well as from a philosophical bent, as with Jonah Goldberg of The Remnant podcast and National Review..

Goldberg has expressed surprise, in hindsight, at how much of conservative backlash against Barack Obama was race-based. This was not news to the Left at the time. What was Goldberg thinking?

I don’t know how far these mea culpas will go toward resurrecting the morally craven Republican party from Trumpists and other grifters of state power. Writers and thinkers like Howe and Goldberg, and others, carry very little weight within the contemporary conservative movement, let alone influence within the GOP apparatus. But that party is going to need a new moral and intellectual center, and they could have one in these people’s writing. The key is admitting that a television huckster has suckered them.

#neverTrump #GOP #trump #BenHowe #JOnahGoldberg