Religious people and many who tend to skip elections turned out huge for Donald Trump, a non-denominational Christian with three divorces under his belt. Why?
Prof. Bernstien argues that the Democrats own arguments in front of the Supreme Court energized churches and talk radio like never before.
Aside from Hobby Lobby and the gay marriage arguments mentioned by Prof. Bernstein. I would also add the arguments Democrats made in Citizens United v. FEC.
In Citizens United, President Obama’s Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart, said in oral arguments that any book, movie, film, video, on paper, digital or otherwise covering politics could be banned by the government if a corporation was involved in its production or distribution.
Think about that for a moment, all book stores are corporations as are most internet providers. Want to post to Facebook or your blog – sorry a corporation. Banks who provide loans are corporations, companies who provide paper are corporations. In short, the Obama Administration argued for the virtual repeal of part of the 1st Amendment by judicial fiat.
So upset were Democrats when the Supreme Court ruled against the government that President Obama dressed down the Supreme Court during a State of the Union speech and Democrats in the Senate even voted unanimously for a constitutional amendment resolution repealing many of the political speech protections of the 1st Amendment.
To what can we attribute Trump’s success? The most logical answer is that religious traditionalists felt that their religious liberty was under assault from liberals, and they therefore had to hold their noses and vote for Trump. As Sean Trende of RealClear Politics noted, since 2012:
Democrats and liberals have: booed the inclusion of God in their platform at the 2012 convention (this is disputed, but it is the perception); endorsed a regulation that would allow transgendered students to use the bathroom and locker room corresponding to their identity; attempted to force small businesses to cover drugs they believe induce abortions; attempted to force nuns to provide contraceptive coverage; forced Brendan Eich to step down as chief executive officer of Mozilla due to his opposition to marriage equality; fined a small Christian bakery over $140,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding; vigorously opposed a law in Indiana that would provide protections against similar regulations – despite having overwhelmingly supported similar laws when they protected Native American religious rights – and then scoured the Indiana countryside trying to find a business that would be affected by the law before settling upon a small pizza place in the middle of nowhere and harassing the owners. In 2015, the United States solicitor general suggested that churches might lose their tax exempt status if they refused to perform same-sex marriages. In 2016, the Democratic nominee endorsed repealing the Hyde Amendment, thereby endorsing federal funding for elective abortions.
Megan McArdle of Bloomberg similarly pointed out, “Over the last few years, as controversies have erupted over the rights of cake bakers and pizza places to refuse to cater gay weddings, the rights of nuns to refuse to provide insurance that covers birth control, the rights of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, and the rights of Christian schools to teach (and require students and teachers to practice) traditional Christian morality, some Christians have begun to feel that their communities are under existential threat.”
In short, many religious Christians of a traditionalist bent believed that liberals not only reduce their deeply held beliefs to bigotry, but want to run them out of their jobs, close down their stores and undermine their institutions. When I first posted about this on Facebook, I wrote that I hope liberals really enjoyed running Brendan Eich out of his job and closing down the Sweet Cakes bakery, because it cost them the Supreme Court. I’ll add now that I hope Verrilli enjoyed putting the fear of government into the God-fearing because it cost his party the election.
UPDATE: As co-blogger Todd Zywicki wrote to me on Facebook, “When you find yourself in the Supreme Court adverse to the Little Sisters of the Poor you might consider whether maybe you have pushed a little too far.”