An Origin Story of Religious Populists

Matthew Stokes

Matthew Stokes

Matthew Stokes is a writer and college instructor from Birmingham, Alabama. He has been published in The Bulwark, Alabama Daily News, the University Bookman, and the Gospel Coalition. Follow him on Twitter: @yellingstopal.

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    What about all the social issues? Drugs, social justice, unwed motherhood, gay rights, Hollywood, statues and flags, et cetera? What about respect for the military and law enforcement? What about the budget? In my experience, social conservatives are far more likely to be budget hawks (except if they get into Congress, in which case they won’t touch entitlements).Report

    • Avatar Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      Those were never bedrock conservative principals/issues, unless they gave conservative politicians a way to implement some sort of social control over groups they believed inferior (e.g the War on Drugs). They are also not bedrock Evangelical issues – if I read the OP correctly – except where they intersect with the weak populist affiliation for “religious liberty.”Report

      • Avatar Doctor Jay
        Ignored
        says:

        I recall Mike Huckabee, for instance, talking some about the social safety net and how he thought it might be a good thing, if it worked in a certain way. I’m not super familiar with the details, but saw multiple pieces about this.Report

  2. Avatar Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    I remember discussing “The Late, Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsay back in the 70’s with others in my church youth group. Our conclusion was, “don’t take this too seriously, people have been saying stuff like this for centuries, and it never quite worked out”. At least, that was my takeaway.

    Apparently a lot of people DID take it seriously and are forming their view of global politics around it (or around the ideas in it without knowing their origin). What’s up with that, Marge?

    Nice piece.Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    Conservatives haven’t been deficit hawks since 1981, haven’t believed in judicial restraint since the Roberts Court started legislating on their behalf, and haven’t had any principles since they embraced Trump. Why are we still pretending otherwise?Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Because on Jan 21, 2021 at precisely noon Eastern time, the deficit will become an existential crisis to America.Report

    • Avatar Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      There are two kinds of deficit hawks, (a) the ones who think we can get out of it through cutting foreign aid, military or nom-military spending, or raising or cutting taxes, and have hope that it’ll happen, and (b) the ones who realize deficits can only be cut by entitlement reform and have no hope at all.

      The Roberts Court hasn’t been legislating. It’s been negotiating with legislation, which is just as bad, and usually when it does so it goes against the conservative stand.

      Evangelicals haven’t abandoned their principles under Trump; they’ve abandoned their standards.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling
        Ignored
        says:

        W started two wars and didn’t even budget for them, just kept asking for more money when he ran out. Not a single “conservative” pundit or publication said a word.

        Trump was running a trillion-dollar deficit, before COVID, at full employment. Not a single “conservative” pundit or publication said a word.

        The Roberts Court unilaterally repealed the 15th Amendment.Report

        • Avatar Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          W prosecuted two wars. One of them was initiated by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and subsequent UN resolutions. There was never a resolution to that war, only a cease fire which was repeatedly violated. The other was initiated by a Taliban attack on US soil. The wars were not fully funded. Historically, wars rarely are fully funded. In a better world, the only two causes of budget deficit would be wars and the difference between actual and estimated government revenue.

          In any sane world, the government cannot distribute largesse it doesn’t have to the ruling class. In a democracy, the ruling class is the people, and they’re as greedy as any French aristocrat. If you listened to conservatives in the past four years, you would have heard a lot of opposition to Trump’s spending, but less than there should have been, and almost none from elected officials in a position to address it. It’s very hard for a budget hawk to be optimistic.

          The Roberts Court didn’t repeal the amendment. I doubt you even believe that. It’s not a serious statement. If that was your first swing I have to assume you have no argument.Report

          • Avatar Ken S
            Ignored
            says:

            Yes, it did.
            Section I guarantees that voting rights shall not be abridged by any State. Section II gives Congress the power to enforce Section I. The Roberts Court stripped Congress of that power on the grounds that, in its opinion, it is no longer needed.Report

            • Avatar Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              “The Voting Rights Act of 1965 employed extraordinary measures to address an extraordinary problem. Section 5 of the Act required States to obtain federal permission before enacting any law related to voting—a drastic departure from basic principles of federalism. And §4 of the Act applied that requirement only to some States—an equally dramatic departure from the principle that all States enjoy equal sovereignty. This was strong medicine, but Congress determined it was needed to address entrenched racial discrimination in voting, “an insidious and pervasive evil which had been perpetuated in certain parts of our country through unremitting and ingenious defiance of the Constitution.” South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S. 301, 309 (1966). As we explained in upholding the law, “exceptional conditions can justify legislative measures not otherwise appropriate.” Id., at 334. Reflecting the unprecedented nature of these measures, they were scheduled to expire after five years. See Voting Rights Act of 1965, §4(a), 79 Stat. 438.

              “Nearly 50 years later, they are still in effect; indeed,
              they have been made more stringent, and are now scheduled to last until 2031. There is no denying, however, that
              the conditions that originally justified these measures no
              longer characterize voting in the covered jurisdictions. By
              2009, “the racial gap in voter registration and turnout
              [was] lower in the States originally covered by §5 than it
              [was] nationwide.” Northwest Austin Municipal Util. Dist.
              No. One v. Holder, 557 U. S. 193, 203–204 (2009). Since
              that time, Census Bureau data indicate that African-American voter turnout has come to exceed white voter turnout in five of the six States originally covered by §5, with a gap in the sixth State of less than one half of one percent. See Dept. of Commerce, Census Bureau, Reported Voting and legistration, by Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin, for States (Nov. 2012) (Table 4b).

              “At the same time, voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that. The question is whether the Act’s extraordinary measures, including its disparate treatment of the States, continue to satisfy constitutional requirements. As we put it a short time ago, “the Act imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.” Northwest Austin, 557 U. S., at 203.”Report

          • Avatar CJColucci
            Ignored
            says:

            W prosecuted two wars. One of them was initiated by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and subsequent UN resolutions.

            W?Report

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