Swaim notes how little media coverage was generated by the report in January that Donald Trump’s attorney paid a pornographic actress $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump. The story didn’t cause many waves in the media and didn’t cost the president much (if any) support. Some Christian leaders claimed that, even if the accusations were true, all of this was in the past and shouldn’t be held against Trump today.
I grew up as a child of the Religious Right.
Age - Peak - Focus - Family - Influence
I came of age in the 1990s during the peak of Focus on the Family’s political influence and the drama of President Clinton’s sex scandals. I was taught that we could not and should not separate private character from public office. In 2000, before leaving the country to spend several years in Romania, I remember watching a debate on TV at my grandparents’ house when George W. Bush promised to restore the honor of the presidency and bring character back to the White House. Everyone cheered.
I wasn’t cheering during the 2016 election. The first big letdown came during the primary season, when I watched watch leaders and organizations who had once championed the importance of character pass over other Republican candidates in order to support Trump. That sense of disillusionment was reinforced by surveys after the election, when white evangelicals swung from being the group most likely to say that...
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