Gerson: O’Rourke’s proposal would hand victory to Trump

Record-Courier | 10/15/2019 | Staff
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WASHINGTON — Beto O’Rourke, innovative for interpreting a failed Senate campaign as a steppingstone to the presidency, is now famous for (1) his use of profanity on the campaign trail, (2) his pledge that “****, yes” he wants to confiscate AR-15s and (3) his proposal to tax religious institutions that don’t approve of gay marriage.

This is not the normal substance of presidential ambitions. Few young people nursing political dreams say: “When I grow up, I want to be a foul-mouthed, overreaching, anti-religious culmination of every exaggerated liberal stereotype and the embodiment of every fevered conservative nightmare.” Perhaps O’Rourke was just precocious in that way. It is more likely, however, that he was led in this direction by the increasingly desperate pursuit of a spotlight that fell on him once, and briefly.

Democrat - O'Rourke - Nomination - Ways - Reelection

Some responsible Democrat needs to sit O’Rourke down and tell him it is not worth winning the Democratic nomination in ways that guarantee a reelection landslide for Donald Trump. And that it is not worth losing the Democratic nomination in ways that badly hurt the eventual Democratic nominee.

The loyalty and enthusiasm of Trump’s base of support in the GOP — especially among white evangelicals — are ensured by apocalyptic fears. The election of a Democratic president, the story goes, would end America as we know it, and usher in an era of anti-Christian persecution. By this logic, conservative Christians view Trump as a thug who fights in their favor.

Conception - Engagement - Hire - Someone - Others

It is a unique conception of religious social engagement: Hire someone to do unto others what you fear they will do to you. This is Christian politics as protection racket. It is theologically inadequate — and damaging to the public standing and witness of evangelicals. But it makes more sense as a political strategy when the threat from...
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