President Donald Trump gestures towards members on the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, after returning from United Nations General Assembly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
When I was a young and naive lad of 18, I went to college to study journalism. While it is not the career field I’m in now (at least, not in the full-time sense), it is still a field that is very near and dear to my heart. I love the career field and I love many of the journalist friends I’ve made along the way – from the small town local journalist to the national outlet journalist.
It is a field that I still think can be salvaged. After all, here at RedState and at other right-of-center outlets, we still do journalism. We have a history of breaking stories here. Other conservative outlets have broken fantastic stories as well. And I think it’s important to understand that many of the journalists who don’t get the massive followings online are the ones doing the purest work out there and have done more real journalism than a lot of the big names and outlets out there.
But the field is in crisis, and it would appear that the very existence of Donald Trump has made these people lose their hold on sanity in ways I once thought impossible. Lately, we have a story that seems incredibly absurd, and you and I and the rest of us on the right read these stories and think to ourselves “Gosh, Trump has truly broken them. They can’t get more out there.”
And then they dig up a new story that’s even more absurd.
During the era of Trump, one of the movements that has gotten more media coverage than they’ve received in prior decades is the white, primarily southern Christian. Because these voters have a strong belief in God and a strong belief that government should not be meddling in their worship of their God, they have been targeted as bigots, homophobes, racists, and every other name under the sun simply because they stick to their religion rather than bend the knee to social justice. And, because these voters showed up in insanely high numbers for Trump – a deeply flawed man who has in the past shown no inclination to seek God’s forgiveness and has frequently committed numerous sins including adultery – they are targeted more than ever.
The story that caught my eye is crazy. The author of this tweet is not a journalist, but he is a political commentator who journalists will refer to for his expertise. Expertise on, in this case, the apparently large and secret society of white Christian Trump supporters who believe that Trump is here to bring about the End Times and thus return us to the bosom of Abraham or some such thing.
The evangelicals I'm talking to see the escalation of Iran as fulfillment of End Days prophecy, cementing their perception of Trump as a faulty messiah used by God. Many are bragging openly about their foresight in prepping, others are purchasing more weapons.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) January 5, 2020
“The evangelicals I’m talking to…” is one of those types of sentences that, with rare exception, is used by people who have maybe one or two quotes from anonymous lunatics. It is a sentence-starter that explains everything coming after it as “this is probably a load of crap, but I have an active Twitter following and people who care about what I say.”
This community of Christians that Sexton is talking to has such a low population that they don’t register in polling, are not specifically targeted by political ads, and most consultants are either completely unaware of or actively warn their clients against targeting. They are not worth the effort to get to your side, and if they join your side, then you have, at most, a couple hundred votes you didn’t have before.
I don’t know if Sexton is really talking to these people or just making it up. He is a linguistics professor playing at sociologist, and he is bad at it. If they are talking to him… then both of those people are just really hoping they can trick someone into broadcasting their message out further. So, good job, dude.
Many of these people are so obsessed with The Trump Effect on everything else that they have not recognized The Trump Effect on them and how it’s made them lose their minds and their integrity. They are obsessed with finding things that are apparently blossoming into existence under Trump without realizing that Trump is a symptom of a system they helped created and continue to nurture with their fervent hatred of everything and everyone that made Trump possible.
It is very sad, but also hilarious in a dark humor sort of way.