Criminal law

Trump, evangelicals, and why indictments don’t shake their endorsement | Marcy A. Hamilton | verdict


Who will forget the six Republican presidential candidates who simultaneously pledged to support a president who has been convicted of crimes against democracy and national security? The first Republican debate saw six out of eight raise their hands in support of the motion. The sheer chaos of their position, which al-Qaeda adores, must be startling to anyone who values ​​democracy – as opposed to authoritarian authoritarianism. Many believed that Donald Trump’s fourth indictment since April would have alienated supporters and emboldened rival candidates. Remarkably, the first is A long stroke And most candidates are still willing to forgo the law to win the favor of the autocrat they fear.

Something dangerous has happened to the rule of law, and we all need to fully understand it and fix it.

On the surface, the incomprehensibly loyal and persistent support for Trump comes from evangelicals. Trump is not one of those people you would expect to appear in an evangelical pastor’s sermon as an example to his flock. Quite the opposite. However, in polls and reports, they remain there with him as you can read here And here. He is more popular among conservative political evangelists than George W. Bush. And it’s not just that he filled the court with anti-abortion judges.

The truth is that Trump and evangelicals today believe they should be above the law.

Trump is simply outlawed. And as he says over and over again, the law “happens” to him. When it is uncomfortable, he wants to get rid of it, as is the case with the US Constitution Proposal garbage last year. He has now been criminally charged on four different theories since April and, apart from his personal insanity attacks on each of the prosecutors, his usual reaction has been to shout that the normal business of criminal law is a “witch-hunt”.

The legal evidence is crystal clear that he participated in a criminal conspiracy or organization — take your pick — to steal the people’s votes so he could hold on to power in 2020, which is the very definition of anti-democratic crime. Democracy and the rule of law usually go hand in hand, but they simply don’t matter to him. The “evidence” for him is just a fictional story that he can counter with his own story. His truth is measured by the font size he uses on social media, he has made a career delaying many cases and now indictments are pouring in his way for delay; Who cares about justice? Through his example and his blind followers, he is destroying not only democracy, but every element of the rule of law to restore the reins of power.

Far-right evangelicals take a different path to the same end. They deal with the rule of law in two ways. First, they sincerely believe that their beliefs should serve as the law and insist on religious tests for political candidates. Notice how the Republican candidates unconditionally agreed that embryos are “life.” This is not a scientific or public policy position. It is a religious conclusion. They were, to someone, nothing more than the religious theology of radical evangelicals (and right-wing Catholics). The majority of Americans do not hold this belief as a substitute for the law. Yet the candidates unabashedly echoed this religious dogma.

Second, many politically right-leaning evangelicals, especially their leaders, believe that their religious beliefs should prevail over the law – and that they should have “independence” from the law. They do not believe they should abide by Title VII when it comes to employment discrimination, employee benefits packages including contraceptives, public utility laws, or, frankly, any other law that impedes their quest to transform American public policy into a reflection of American public policy. their faith. They like to say that the United States was founded as a “Christian nation” where there was an obligatory rule that Christianity sits atop the law, as they advocate a return to the supposed days of the Christian Cumbia Consensus.

The “Christian state” thesis is as dangerous as it is wrong. No one, when founding, tested the colonies or states as a religious group. On the contrary, they felt their religious differences keenly. Puritans hated Baptist dissenters and killed them in Massachusetts, leading Baptists to call for a “separation of church and state”. They also attacked the Quakers for their mistaken belief. Catholics settled in Maryland, but the Protestants took over and then prevented them from voting and public office. Not to mention the arrival of the Jews in 1654, who were not Christians to state the obvious. State constitutions have not provided autonomy for religious speakers and actors. On the contrary, they restricted religious freedom which violated peace, order and safety. “Debauchery” was a crime that had no religious defense. For this country to become the Christian state it was not before, it needs to do away with the rule of law and replace it with a religiously vetted list of beliefs. Can you see them nodding in agreement? Today’s evangelicals’ insistence on religious independence is the flip side of Trump’s rejection of the rule of law to achieve his own ends. Either way, the rule of law is inappropriate, and not a core value.

And so, you see, Trump and right-leaning evangelicals in the twenty-first century share a world where the rule of law is a disposable barrier to controlling the country. Along the way, they exchange some favors such as votes and judges. This is part of the reason many evangelicals simply yawn when Trump is accused of breaking the law.


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