To Evangelicals Factions Speak Louder than Words
If there’s one thing President Obama has done for evangelicals, it’s motivate them. Frustrated by almost eight years of attacks on their faith and their values, America’s Christians are fired up to make a difference in the 2016 election. And with record turnout numbers, they are.
In South Carolina, conservative voting was up 12 points — shattering the marks set in 2012. In the southern states where the race rolls next, schools in Virginia and elsewhere are so concerned about the number of primary voters that they’re canceling classes — a move usually reserved for the general election.
As CBN’s David Brody points out, their anger is about a lot more than President Obama. “Evangelicals are upset with the Republican Party too. They’ve felt like cheap political pawns for years, constantly being used by the GOP to get out and vote and then having nothing to show for it.”
But if pundits thought they could predict where these conservatives would channel their exasperation, they were wrong. Three very different men lead the Republican field, and it’ll take broad evangelical support for any of them to win the nomination.
There’s no doubt that evangelicals have the influence — but are they using it wisely? Some aren’t so sure. Any conservative who watched the returns from South Carolina had to be troubled by these two takeaways: 1) the evangelical vote is split; and 2) many of their votes are going to candidates inconsistent with the values evangelicals embrace.
Supporting Planned Parenthood, debt-ballooning entitlements, pro-abortion Supreme Court justices, and the Obamacare mandate is hardly the stuff of conservatism.
It’s obvious, George Will wrote, the frontrunner of the Republican Party is not, as President Obama suggested, “saying in more interesting ways what the other [GOP] candidates are saying.” In what universe is giving money to liberal campaigns, praising the “very good work” of the nation’s biggest abortion business, or owning strip clubs and casinos conservative?
Still, the nomination race, as John Fund explains on National Review Online, is far from decided. But for a party very much on the edge, Saturday should have been a wake-up call to America. It’s time for every voter — evangelicals especially — to go beyond rhetoric to records. J
ust because a candidate channels your frustration or speaks to your fears doesn’t mean he shares your values. And in the end, values are what policies are based on. Not good intentions, not zinging soundbites, not even campaign promises. What Barack Obama said in 2008 was far more moderate than what President Obama did in 2009 and beyond.
South Carolina, the editors of NRO warn, should “only increase the urgency and focus of conservatives who believe that our ideas and principles are the only way to make America great again.” If voters want to undo the mess of the last two terms, it will take a principled leader with a solid record. Does your candidate qualify? Check out FRC Action’s Presidential Voter Guide to find out.
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