I don’t think we can overstate the significance of Peter Thiel’s speech at the RNC on Thursday night. It’s not just that Thiel spoke nor that he said what he said. What was stunning was that the GOP delegates stood to their feet and cheered. No matter where you are in the culture wars, all sides can acknowledge that this represents a sea change for the Republican party.
On Friday morning, the “Morning Joe” crew commented on Thiel’s reception by the GOP delegates. The panel rightly comprehended the significance of it. But what interested me about their discussion is something that Joe remarked on near the end of the video above. Joe directly addresses social conservatives and evangelical Christians and says something that should have been obvious but may not be to some:
It really speaks to Donald Trump’s worldview that he hasn’t really shown during the primary campaign… Social conservatives, if Trump is elected, duck because he’s not on your side on these issues. It’s not like this is the first time we’ve been saying that. He does not care. He has a more open view, and certainly he’s more in line at least with millennial voters and with an awful lot of voters. So that wasn’t a real surprise to any of us that know Donald. It may be a surprise, though, to Jerry Falwell Juniors that go out and say certain things…
It is clear what Joe means by “say certain things.” Throughout the primary season, certain evangelicals have declared Trump to be a born-again Christian or at least to be one who bears the fruit of being a Christian. With that, they have been assuring voters that Trump will take up the causes that evangelicals care most about.
Joe is essentially saying that such a view of Trump is badly mistaken. Trump doesn’t care about sanctity of life, marriage, or religious liberty. He just doesn’t. That is not who he is, although he’d like enough evangelicals to think that he is so that he can get their votes. Is that cynical? You bet. And it also happens to be the sad truth about this candidate.
Sadly the majority of Americans do not believe as Bible believing Christians do, the majority of Americans do not want to make abortions illegal by law and do not consider homosexuality a sin. We certainly do not agree with these viewpoints according to our faith. This is the quandary, do we as Christians try to have major influence with a candidate who do 100 percent fill all our social agenda concerns. The voters could have had Baptist Pastor Huckabee, the very conservative and right on the issues Rick Santorum but they lost big time. The fact that homosexual acceptance is now the secular viewpoints leaves Christians in a very minority positions , the same with abortion. We can try to limit the influence, have a seat at the table to at least protect our personal faith in the daily world affairs or we can sit on the sidelines and give up. The Democrat platform and H. Clinton are for sure pushing not accepting or tolerating the homosexual agenda, Clinton is on record for her absolute no limits on abortion.. We can do the best we can knowing God is in control and he knows the outcome of all things in this world. I want us (Christians) to have a seat at the table or we are even further left on the extreme margins of political concerns. Do the Amish and other groups have any influence in political events that affect their lives and eventually the right to worship freely, they do not as they have withdrawn into their own societies that they believe are secure.
Donald Trump is not a social conservative as many of us are. Neither was Romney or McCain but the were more stealth and dishonest about it. There would no difference on social issues now if Romney were President instead of Obama. How many abortions have the Republican Congress stopped the past several years and what is the social record of G.W. Bush? The Christians leaders who at least listen to Trump have not lost their values, they just have not lost their common sense. We can never and do not have to lose our personal Christian values and faith to the secular world. We can be as the very first Christians were not relying on the state to uphold our faith, social values and beliefs and influence. As we stand our moral ground and expound our faith viewpoint and certainly the gospel we must also live and thrive in the real secular world. Donald Trump at least does give lip service to Christian concerns but at least conservative Christians have a seat at the table. With H. Clinton as President we would be underneath the table and our influence the political world gone. The good news is the good news.
Well said, Kenny Gunn.
To me the argument whether to vote for Trump is about “feeling good” vs. “doing good”. It would feel good to be in the Never Trump camp. I could get a lot of “atta boys” from people I respect. I would not have had to explain why I changed positions on Trump after the nomination was done. But I would rather actually do good. It is not as much good as I would like to do. I do believe that if we had a Cruz or a Rubio in the White House things would really begin to turn around. With Trump I see only a chance to slow the decay. But I do prefer that to the alternative.
“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can” – Sydney Smith
Barry, thanks for your 2 post as well as John. I do not see many post on Christian blogs that can get over their personal dislike for Trump. I have many friends who will not vote for Trump because they do not “like” him. You are right, I held my nose and voted for McCain and Romney as they were better than the other choice. Romney was a good, moral, faithful Mormon who did not understand the average person and their concerns. McCain has evolved into a Washington insider liberal without a strong moral compass. Now Romney has taken a moral high ground position of Never Trump and is doing his best to make Utah blue, I just do not get it. Trump is arrogant , secular, brash and certainly does not truly understand our faith as well as Huckabee does but Huckabee lost. We have to do the best we can with the choices that are there.. However the choice is one of the least principled and deceptive person in politics, again I just do not get it. Both McCain and Romney would have not represented the “base” on trade, abortion, stopping illegal aliens and actually I do not think it would be much different than under President Obama as they would have “crossed the aisle” to work with Democrats , as they say. Strange it is only conservatives who cross the aisle to work with liberals, never vice versa unless it involves a bad trade deal. Certainly wish Trump had the demeanor of Pence but with his bold positions to stem our downward course.
Here’s a question for you Denny: what if Trump wins, and then does fight for these things you day he doesn’t care about? Meaning, he could care less about them, but fulfills his promises? Is he still worse than Hillary, because he doesn’t care or believe in?
I assume if that comes to pass that Denny will rejoice in being wrong about Trump.
Question applies to you too, though. What if Trump wins and then nominates justices to the court who are insufficiently dedicated to overturning Roe and/or does something terrible in the foreign policy arena and/or gets his way with respect to trade and precipitates a global recession.
What then? Is he still the lesser of two evils?
Buddyglass, Thanks for bringing up real issues and good questions. Trump has named 11 judges that he states are the template for his Supreme Court nominees . Why would he not honor this type of commitment unless people believe that indeed he is some type of liberal Trojan horse, which is crazy to me. Buddyglass, you know Clinton will put the most liberal, socially progressive, activist judges she can get passed including I am sure the fringe of the LGBT community, and who will stop her. This election is for all the marbles. After this if Hillary wins the turn to the liberal far left will continue. Trump crazy foreign policy as you say, could not be worse than Bush/Obama, who got us into a crazy nation building war then pulling the rug out when we had a chance to at least get out with Iraq not in shambles, Terrible foreign policy decisions on Russia, China, Iran, Egypt, Libya Cuba and actually most of the world. Turkey is a major Obama failure. American influence, respect and power have declined great the past 14 years under Bush/Obama. The great trade war you think Trump will get us into is here, we are just losing the war daily, monthly yearly. Our trade surplus with China is over 500 billion this year alone and Mexico it is over 60 million. We are in a trade war and we are losing big time. Do you think the 2100 employees of Carrier Air Condition plants in Indiana who are losing their jobs moving them to Mexico think that Trump is crazy? What is the Clinton trade plan to get these workers that NAFTA put out of work a new job that will be half as good as their Carrier job. The American workers who have and will lose their jobs due to our terrible trade policies are already in their own recession with no way out. So the Never Trump people can speculate on what Trump may do but we know what Hillary has and will do. People of faith and conservative values have no place at the liberal Democrat table and our support is not even wooed. Thanks for sticking to the issues.
“Why would he not honor this type of commitment”
Because he is not honorable, and in fact lies all the time. He may decide he wants to be loved and respected by a larger swath of the U.S. citizenry than merely the ~30% that wants an adamantly pro-life justice on the court.
“you know Clinton will put the most liberal, socially progressive, activist judges she can get passed”
Yes, I do. To my mind, that’s worthy of less concern than the terrible/crazy things Trump might do.
“Trump crazy foreign policy as you say, could not be worse than Bush/Obama”
You have more faith in Trump than I do. Also, you probably think Obama’s foreign policy is more terrible than I do. Trump could, for the sake of argument, launch nukes at ISIS. He could embolden Russia to take liberties in Eastern Europe. He could order U.S. troops to commit war crimes. Etc.
“American influence, respect and power have declined”
I’m fine with American influence and power declining. In terms of respect, a Trump presidency does us no favors.
“The great trade war you think Trump will get us into is here, we are just losing the war daily, monthly yearly. Our trade surplus with China is over 500 billion…”
Negative balance of trade is not “losing the trade war”. Trump’s proposed trade wars will hurt us at home, and will likely tank the rest of the world’s economy as well. Or not, if you believe Trump. I’m inclined to believe the many economists who disagree with him.
“Do you think the 2100 employees of Carrier Air Condition plants in Indiana who are losing their jobs moving them to Mexico think that Trump is crazy?”
I’m thinking about the employees of American companies that export goods, who are going to lose their jobs when foreign countries retaliate against Trump’s tariffs with tariffs of their own. I’m thinking about how all the “cheap” goods and services we currently enjoy will become more expensive when trade screeches to a halt.
Honestly, if Carrier wants to build its AC units in Mexico then it should be Carrier’s prerogative to do so.
“What is the Clinton trade plan to get these workers that NAFTA put out of work a new job that will be half as good as their Carrier job.”
Clinton doesn’t have a plan, per se. That’s fine with me. It’s not the federal government’s job to retrain you when your job is outsourced. Get another job. Move if you have to.
thanks for showing this . . . I missed it, as I had surgery this week and am on pain meds, with a lot of sleep resulting.
Like you, I am a Morning Joe fan, and watching MJ at 6 A.M. with a pot of coffee is a long-standing habit since I retired from teaching.
This, “What was stunning was that the GOP delegates stood to their feet and cheered. No matter where you are in the culture wars, all sides can acknowledge that this represents a sea change for the Republican party.”
now that reaction was unexpected . . . . but when did the change come????? . . . . maybe the massacre in Florida has touched some hearts about how Americans need to think about those who are ‘different’ as people, not labels . . . . I hope so. God have mercy on us all.
I didn’t watch that speech – I did just go read it, in response to this post, and I’m not sure what the big fuss is about (at least as regards the speech). Aside from the speaker being gay, seems like he said almost nothing of direct relevance to social conservatism at all, it was an economic speech. There are, granted, not many, but there are gay conservatives out there who are pro-life, strong supporters of religious liberty, all that. Personally I am grateful to have such people in the GOP fold, it helps blunt some of the harmful identity politics of the Democrats.
Really? Other than national media currents….what does “Morning Joe” REALLY know?
Evangelicals are not stupid, contrary to what some our our Christian leaders think. They know that Trump doesn’t align with them on most social issues. Does Hillary? What they do know is that the elites, e.g., the Clintons and the Bushes, don’t have anything to offer. I don’t need a President to be my pastor or priest. Just don’t persecute me. That’s what I fear Hillary will do.
At this point, what does Trump offer to Christian conservatives that Hillary doesn’t? He obviously doesn’t care about pro-life concerns (not mentioned even once during an hour and a half convention speech), marriage, or religious freedom (he’s the candidate who proposed a ban on a religious group entering the country, after all).
BRUCE C COLE
What does Trump offer conservative Christians that Hillary doesn’t? Several pluses quickly come to mind. Conservative justices on the court. He has promised it and given us a list of candidates. This is huge. Don’t forget, all federal judges are appointed by the President. And second, a Republican President will allow the Congress to pass conservative legislation without facing a veto every time. With Trump we will have a Republican Party pulling him to the right. Hillary will have a Democrat Party pulling her to the left. As for Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the country, I think most understand this to be about security and not religious discrimination. He has moderated his words and given what has happened in California, Florida, France and Germany recently shows that there are legitimate security concerns.
With a 2nd cup of coffee I’ll add a few additional thoughts concerning what Trump has to offer conservative Christians that Hillary doesn’t. Trump is on the record as being pro-life while Hillary is on the record as pro-choice. Trump opposes public funding of abortions. Hillary supports public funding. Abortion alone should make a huge difference. Also, Conservative Christians care about the role of government. Hillary will continue the slide toward socialism and Marxism. She is for income redistribution and that is not biblical.
I’m sorry to see people with credibility embracing Trump. I think they need to give this more thought. Too much is at stake.
We have young people and children to protect. We have aged people and the disabled to care for. We must be the ‘vote’ for the vulnerable, and so as a Christian people, we have a moral obligation to consider the reality of what we are doing before we act.
I think if we are thoughtful and responsible, we will do what is right. We don’t act in isolation from one another, no, not if we are in the Body of Christ, not if we are American citizens, and not if we are members of the human race.
Trump is a dangerous man. Don’t give him the nuclear codes. Or someday, like Oppenheimer, we may quote the Bhagavad-Gita: “I am become Death, the Destroyer of worlds”
I hope we understand what is at stake. There will be NO ‘limited’ nuclear encounters. We must do our duty to protect our innocent, or we will answer to God Himself for knowingly handing over the keys to hell to someone who is unable to comprehend that he cannot always have his own way without throwing a tantrum. God have mercy on us all.
Bruce, I’m sure there’s no talking you out of it, but I wonder how you weigh those factors against Trump’s xenophobia, misogyny, race-baiting, outlandish foreign policy, etc.
Ike, labels such as xenophobia, misogyny, etc., sound like CNN talking points. Donald Trump has been a public figure for more than 30 years but it wasn’t until he decided to run for President that he was labeled a racist. I’m a registered Republican and I’m accustomed to outrageous labels being applied to our candidates by the media and the Dems. Where is the proof?
On the other hand, for the Clintons there is Whitewater, Travelgate, the taking of White House furniture, Hillary standing by Bill while he abused women, the Clinton Foundation, Benghazi, Hillary’s emails and NOW, the DNC and the Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal.
As for Trump’s access to the nuclear codes as discussed above by Christiane, I remember when that scare tactic was used against Sen. Barry Goldwater in 1964. Donald Trump has a lovely family and he’s not going to risk their lives anymore than I would risk mine.
I’m not buying the argument that it’s un-Christian to vote for Trump. How can I when the other choice is Hillary?
The nation only has two choices for President; Trump or Clinton. I would have preferred other candidates for both parties but it was not to be. Therefore, I must apply damage control and support Donald Trump.
I will be writing in Ben Sasse. It might have no chance, but I refuse to be forced to pick between 2 poop sandwiches to eat for dinner.
I don’t think he’s any better, because libertarians tend to be very liberal on social issues, but there might be a chance Gary Johnson gets to the debate with Hillary and Trump.
Don’t think Sasse is much liked in his own state….good luck with that rabbit
Bernie had Clinton and the DNC dead to rights last night and he caved. Not as much of an outsider as he claimed to be.
My last comment on this topic….Donald Trump was never my candidate. Mine dropped out of the Republican primary an then I moved to another, still not Trump. Trump was the last candidate standing. Where I have been consistent is that I’m a Never Hillary person. Being a Never Hillary person, Donald Trump is the only person who can stop her. I fear that Denny Burk and many other evangelicals have underestimated the harm that four years of Hillary will bring. We will lose the Supreme Court for 40 years and that’s just the beginning.