Why Do Christians Support Trump and Republicans?
Trump both in personal behavior and his policies seems little concerned with religion and morality. Why then does he receive the support of so many Christians?
The Republicans make a much better show of supporting religion and morality, but many of them also support Ayn Rand, the radically anti-religious philosopher, and novelist. Yet religious people still vote Republican.
There is a reason for this, Republicans in general and Trump, in particular, are willing to make deals. The Republican party is still a party of deal making politicians. They are willing to make deals with religious people.
The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is a party of professors dedicated to ideals. If you disagree with them they will give you a lecture on why you are wrong, but they will not offer you a deal. Religion makes the religious immune to the reasoning of the Democrats and as the Democrats will not cut a deal that leaves the Republicans.
This was not always the case. The old Democratic Party of Johnson and Humphrey was very much a party of deals. In those days the income distribution was becoming progressively more equal. But the professors took over and we have gone from the most equal income distribution in American history to the least equal.
The Republicans promised faster growth with increased inequality, but growth slowed. Nevertheless, they continue to win and inequality increases. This is the power of deal making, versus lecturing.
But income distribution is not the only important issue in the Democratic agenda, there is also the ecology. In the early seventies, America was a leader in protecting the environment. Now we are dead last among the developed democracies.
Furthermore, not only do the Republicans win, they win with progressively more outlandish candidates. The Republican politicians are outlandish but they are still politicians, the Democrats nominate prim and proper professors, who will not deal but do lose honorably.
So the Republicans are willing to deal, to give the Christians and other religious people what they want most if in return they will vote Republican.
BookstoresBookstores provide a useful illustration of the same principle at work. Christian bookstores are frequently run by very dedicated, moral, Evangelical Christians. They sell books and other media that support their theology. If you are not an Evangelical Christian they will generally not carry the books you are interested in, even if the sales are high.
On the other hand, the big super bookstores like Borders and Barns and Noble did carry religious books for many religions. Their choice of books was often made by a soulless computer program and simply reflected sales. So I as a Catholic could find the books I wanted. Our local Borders is gone with the rest of the chain but Amazon carries on its soulless tradition, so Catholic books are still available.
The Republicans are like the soulless super bookstores and Amazon. They are ready to make a deal. The Democrats are like those ethical Evangelical bookstores. As a Catholic, I can admire the dedication of both the Evangelical Christian bookstore owner and the Democrats, but they frequently offer me nothing, so I take my business and votes elsewhere.
It is normal for two highly ethical people following different moral codes to find themselves at odds. It is also quite common for the ethical person to make common cause with the unethical. The unethical are frequently flexible and therefore willing to cut a deal. This is one reason that politics makes strange bedfellows.