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Why do white evangelical Christians support Donald Trump? Show more Show less
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In the 2016 US election, white evangelical Christians resoundingly voted for Donald Trump and were critical in his Presidential victory. Despite much of Trump's behaviour seen as an affront to "traditional values", 81% of evangelicals turned out to vote for him. Why?

Evangelicals do not support Donald Trump Show more Show less

Evangelical Christians are increasingly turning away from Donald Trump, and can no longer be relied upon for electoral support.
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Evangelicals see Trump's behavior as an affront to traditional values

Donald Trump stands against the core values of the conservative Church.
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The Argument

Trump’s character has repeatedly been called into question. From allegations of sexual assault, and his own admittance to it on tape, to insults to his political opponents, to lies on the campaign trail and in office. Furthermore, Trump’s own personal life does not paint the picture of a devout Christian. As a twice-divorced philandering cheat with a career ridden by scandal, his personal life clashes with the family values of the evangelical community Many evangelicals were initially sceptical of Trump, and looked to other Republicans to take the nomination. Up until April 2016 only 44% of republican voters supported Trump as their first pick for the nomination. This figure dropped to 15% for republicans who regularly attended church services. This shows at the time there was a clear preference for candidates like Cruz who were seen as more devout or supportive of family values[1].

Counter arguments

Trump's affront to traditional values is not a deal breaker. Despite Trump’s behaviour, both alleged and what we hear from him, white evangelical voters in 2016, and likely 2020, choose to overlook his character in favor of electing a president who will side with them on policy[2].

Premises

[P1] Trump's life and actions do not represent the Christian and family values many evangelicals support. [P2] Many evangelicals were originally sceptical of Trump as a candidate in 2016.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2016/07/18/for-gop-voters-a-winding-path-to-a-trump-nomination/
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/evangelicals-arent-turned-off-by-trumps-first-term--theyre-delighted-by-it/2019/08/11/3911bc88-a990-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html

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This page was last edited on Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 15:02 UTC

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