Faith Leaders Turn to Trump as the Republican Nominee - But They're Not Helping Him Where He Needs It Most
Trump is suddenly a "tremendous believer," and the feeling appears mutual. While a year ago, evangelicals stood in clear opposition to Trump, they've since pledged their allegiance to the GOP nominee. Some see Trump as their wrathful god, while others seek to save him, and a few, it seems, just want a job.
But according to Religion Dispatches:
Now that Trump has become the presumptive GOP nominee—the old guard has stepped forward to engage in an ancient ritual of the Right, dating back to the Reagan years: evangelical-washing. Trump has won the populist bloc without the rhetoric the old guard so wants to hear—the language Dobson is injecting here on his behalf via the he-prayed-the-salvation-prayer motif. And now we’re watching the evangelical punditry talk themselves into supporting this “baby Christian,” into heralding the softening and engendering of ‘faith’ within him.
In one sense, this whole conversion affair is affect all the way down. Trump’s success with the populist base took everyone by surprise. Now, the punditry is trying to feel what they need to feel from him. Just see the transcript of the meeting he held with nearly 1,000 evangelical leaders in New York. They’re trying, mightily, to see their feelings reflected in his affect and to hear their language in his rhetoric.
On Friday, Donald Trump spoke at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, hoping to mend fences with the Colorado GOP. During the primaries, Trump's downfall in the Colorado caucus revealed the campaign's lack of ground game, as Ted Cruz managed to snag every last delegate at the state's GOP Convention. Though he was surrounded with conservative Christian icons such as Jerry Falwell Jr. and Ralph Reed, Trump's speech failed to resonate in the battleground state. In fact, some in attendance were even offended.
"To me it is extremely disrespectful for anyone to come into a state and begin to tell those of us who have dedicated a big part of our lives to it that we’re wrong,” said Paulo Sibaja, a small business owner and political consultant and Colorado Republican party Latino chairman.
“We’re very independent. Don’t tell us how to run our state. Don’t make fun of our state," Sibaja said.