Evangelical leadership has finally decided to back McCain in this year’s election…collectively. Many had probably decided to vote for him long before now, but this makes it official.
At a meeting Tuesday in Denver, about 100 conservative Christian leaders from around the country agreed to unite behind the candidacy of John McCain, a politician they have long distrusted, marking the latest in a string of movements that bode well for McCain’s general election prospects among the Republican base.
The group included leaders like Phyllis Schlafly, the long-time leader of Eagle Forum; Steve Strang, the publisher of Charisma magazine; Phil Burress, a prominent Ohio marriage and anti-pornography activist; David Barton, the founder of WallBuilders and Donald Hodel, a former secretary of the Interior, who previously served on the board of Focus on the Family. Jim Dobson, the head of Focus and an outspoken critic of McCain, did not attend.
Social conservatives took too long getting behind a single candidate, a miscalculation that was discussed at the meeting:
Various speakers lamented the lack of a unified strategy that had evangelicals supporting various primary candidates and the fact that their message does not seem to resonate with younger voters, African-Americans or Hispanics in the same way Sen. Barack Obama’s does.
Another glaring challenge for evangelical leadership comes from young Christians whose worldview is more mainstream than solidly biblical:
More than an hour was spent listening to younger leaders tell the group that religious conservatives must be perceived “to care” about social issues and the environment to appeal to young people who are voting for the first time
“Reaching out” to younger voters, as it is called, is not difficult for Barack Obama. It is simply a matter of appealing to the emotional side. On the other hand, conservatives must work ten times as hard to get the facts out on those same issues and even then, a large percentage of young voters don’t want to be bored with more teaching. Many are in college and/or are still in the teenager I-know-it-all mindset and don’t want another authority figure telling them how to vote. Obama is like a tornado which passes through causing massive sentimental fear, not to mention untold brain damage in his wake. McCain is the clean up crew, taking far longer and requiring much more effort to repair the damage and make sure everyone is settled down again.
I wrote on this a few months ago breaking it down by issue, how liberals warp political issues into moral ones and vice versa. At the root of this twisting is drama. By creating an emotional hysteria omitting most of the relevant facts, the liberal mantra easily appeals to young voters, who, with all due respect, don’t know as much as their senior leadership. They would do well to remember this, but in an age where manners, honor, and respect are scarce, it’s likely going to take a great deal of effort from all conservatives to break the spell of Barack Obama the Pied Piper of Politics.