Getting Through to Bush's Christian Loyalists

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by James Leroy Wilson by James Leroy Wilson

Jim Lobe’s latest article is quite sobering. Three quarters of Bush's supporters still believe in the President's original reasons for going to war – the WMD's, the Al Qaeda connection. This despite the Administration's well-reported admissions of error. In addition, many Bush supporters believe that their own internationalist, multi-lateralist views are Bush's views. Conversely, the vast majority of Kerry's supporters have at least some clue as to the facts. Kerry's supporters may not be well-informed on the Constitution or economics, but at least they're better informed on the latest news.

Most of my writing has been done not here, but at the Partial Observer. There is substantial ideological diversity among its audience and regular writers. I find that it is hard to communicate libertarian ideas to a general (not exactly large, but general) audience. A first-time reader, not knowing what libertarianism is, is often taken aback.

With LRC it's different. Most readers here get where I'm coming from, most of the time. And in any case, 80% of the time we have the same anti–federal government agenda. So with “Conservatives for Bush” I expected some letters from Bush voters because they still saw abortion and the Supreme Court as too important. And I knew that "Two Third Parties" would draw some criticism by Constitution Party supporters and closed borders people. But in these cases, the readers for the most part understood what I said and disagreed with it.

That's different from, not understanding what I wrote at all.

I write an article against the draft, and one letter begins "You liberals." I lay out Bush's betrayals of conservatives as a reason for his coming defeat, and one response is that the reason leftists (including, apparently, me) hate Bush is because they hate Christianity.

I think I have been missing something.

One topic I have often brought up, only to dismiss, is the "Culture Wars." I have believed they are manufactured differences – distractions – designed to promote loyalty to the two-party system. As the gulags are being built, clergy and activists debate gay marriage. As the Yankee jackboot continues to stomp on the Arab face for no particular reason, and as the deficits soar, the real issues are Janet Jackson's cleavage and whether or not the Stars and Stripes wave "under God." But where the Culture Wars may be phony, I think there is indeed a cultural disconnect.

Maybe I was naïve, or maybe I didn't think about it all that much. I don't know how else to say it, most people are simple-minded. And I don't mean simpletons. Only that they have faith in what they've been told by the authorities they were taught to trust. When Bush said in a primary debate in 2000 that his favorite philosopher was Jesus Christ because "he changed my heart," that was enough. Clinton bad, Bush good. And especially after 9-11. 9-11 was Clinton's fault; Bush is resolute.

There are, of course, many thoughtful Christian conservatives who see through this. Yes, Bush may be a sincere Christian. That doesn't mean he's a good President. But there are substantial numbers who have placed their faith in the President. It is as if he has become the face of the evangelical community, that he is "our guy" and much better than the Democrats who want to destroy families and impose communism.

Will such people read James Bovard's The Bush Betrayal? Of course not; why would they read such "liberal rants"?

The case against Bush must come from a Christian, speaking as a Christian. Jim Babka comes to the rescue here, with a CD “Why Conservative Christians are Re-evaluating George W. Bush.”

Far from calling on Christians to vote Democrat, Babka lays out a tragic record of lies, hypocrisies, and cowardly acts by the President, including a sorry record that may most shock Bush's core constituency on issues of gay rights, abortion, and religion itself. It is an excellent resource, primarily because it is spoken with passion and moral and logical clarity. Listening to the truth is more powerful than just reading it, and Babka hits it out of the park. Babka is more persuasive in his case against Bush than most of us can be. Real conservatives and Christian libertarians should take advantage in these last days before the election to listen to, learn from, and circulate Babka's message.

Many things in our country just continue to get worse and worse. They get worse under Democrats, they get worse under Republicans. The loyalty to the President is strong, and appeals to logic and reason won't often suffice. Followers of the Bush Cult will not trust libertarian writers, or the mainstream media that bring tidings of great sadness. It's all a conspiracy against morality, decency, and Christianity. They will need to hear, not read, but hear, the truth from a fellow Christian. I don't know if there's any other way.

James Leroy Wilson [send him mail] lives and works in Chicago and is a columnist for the Partial Observer. He also has a new blog, “Independent Country.”

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