The Evangelical Vote

Once upon a time the likes of Ronald Reagan spoke at conferences held by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). So it surprised me when Richard Cizik, chief NAE lobbyist, gave this somewhat anti-Republican interview reported in Christianity Today. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

I'm of the opinion that some people are going to vote Republican no matter what.... Party line voting in my opinion is unbiblical. It says you don't think. If you're simply voting on same sex marriage and abortion, you're not thinking. What I'm saying is that a lot of evangelical don't think, sad to say.
There's a demographic shift that's occurring. Young [evangelicals] are less tied to the Republican Party. Those who are disaffected with the GOP are not becoming Democrats. They're becoming Independents. It's a slow moving earthquake that you don't fully recognize.
Evangelicals are 50-percent conservative. There are 10 percent that are liberal, and you've got 40-percent that are swing voters. They're the people that McCain has to worry about because if, for whatever reason--the economy, etc.--they go for Obama, then McCain is in trouble. If they decide to vote on economic reasons or the war, then McCain is in trouble.
I think that Cizik gave this kind of interview because the McCain campaign has been snubbing his requests for a meeting and the Obama campaign has been listening to him. That said, I have to say that I found some of his perspectives to be very interesting.. helps explain the way that I have been feeling.

Can anyone else relate?


  1. Yep. I no longer identify primarily with the Republican platform, as I have in the past, since the neocons have taken it over. (I don't disagree with *all* Republicans, but with almost every policy stance the neocons take). I still agree with some very important Republican stances, but I also agree with some of the policy positions being articulated from the Democratic side (*especially* regarding strategic foreign policy, strategic defense, and the economy). But I do not identify with the Democratic party as a whole. I fall into that independent category.

  2. "If you're simply voting on same sex marriage and abortion, you're not thinking."

    Awfully linear statement, don't you think? Evidence of respect for life and family is a pretty clear indication of the mindset of the politican. I wouldn't vote for a politician who bounced checks all over town, because it would be evidence of poor impulse control. And I wouldn't vote for a politician who was a poor mayor/governor/senator, because it would be evidence of poor leadership.

    They can have the smoothest line in town about tax breaks and pulling out of Iraq, but if their character is deeply flawed, they're going to be lousy leaders and take us dangerous places.

  3. "if their character is deeply flawed"

    Is Colin Powell included in this deeply flawed sector because he is pro-choice TZ?

    Is John McCain included because he commited adultery or becuase he attempted suicide while a POW?

    I think that we have to be careful when we criticize a candidate's character based on their positions on the issues.

  4. He has publicly stated that he deeply regrets his adultery (he said it was the biggest mistake he ever made). Do we not forgive sinners?

    Is suicide a sin when attempted or completed in a state of mental anguish? Not in my church. I'd NEVER hold that against him, what a sin against charity!

    Obama does NOT regret his stance - he enjoys it and celebrates and rationalizes it. So I feel like it's a competent marker to his character, along with his friendship with Ayres and his Chicago-machine political history (and I KNOW what that's all about....)

    (P.S. I checked and you're right, Colin Powell is pro-death but does at least favor restrictions like parental notification and outlawing partial birth abortion. If he was a choice this election year against Obama, I'd certainly favor him, *all other things being equal* (I don't know much about him, I'd have to read up).)

  5. I am not willing to say that everyone who is pro-choice has character flaws. I wasn't calling Powell's or McCain's character into account.. just saying that, IMO character is not all about being correct on the issues.

    About Obama and those Chicago area folks.. I also have concerns about those as well but I am not calling his character into account because of these associations.

    I am also not willing to call McCain's character into account because of the lobbyists on his campaign staff. Are you willing to call McCain's character into account because of his affiliation with lobbyists? Here is info from the CNN factcheck on ex-lobbyists now associated with the McCain campaign:

    • One: Campaign manager Rick Davis is a major telecommunications lobbyist.

    • Two: Senior foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann recently faced scrutiny over his foreign lobbying on behalf of the Republic of Georgia, which has been embroiled in a military conflict with Russia.

    • Three: Senior adviser Charlie Black was a foreign lobbyist for dictators in Zaire and Angola in the 1980s.

    • Four: Frank Donatelli, the Republican National Committee's liaison to the McCain campaign, has had clients including Exxon Mobil.

    • Five: Economic adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer has lobbied for corporate giants like Koch Industries.

    • The final two lobbyists are McCain's congressional liaison, John Green, and national finance Co-chairman Wayne Berman. They both lobbied for Fannie Mae, the troubled mortgage giant.

  6. Are lobbyists inherently evil? I didn't know that. Whether or not I like the idea of a highly paid noodger/cheerleader/persuader, isn't PR a necessary function of commerce and politics?

    If someone was the President of Koch Industries instead a lobbyist for Koch Industries, is that better? I'm serious, I really don't know what the difference could be.

  7. Hmmm.. "advisors" that are in the tank for foreign governments.. naah.. nothing wrong with that.

    But it does give me pause.. knowing that one of his "advisors" (i.e. Randy Scheunemann) is in the tank for Georgia when I see McCain advocate so heavily for Georgia being admitted to NATO.

    Whether any of this is evil or not is besides the point. McCain wears "America First" like a badge of honor yet employs foreign lobbyists as advisors.. I find that a bit troubling.. but not sure it goes to his character.

    It is all about getting elected and unfortunately McCain has hired many of Karl Rove's stooges to run his campaign. It has gotten nasty and will probably get nastier :(


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.