Reeducation camps. Deprogramming. Where have we heard those before? Oh, right. Communist China -- and now, apparently, Katie Couric. The far-Left darling of the mainstream media may be retired, but she doesn't mind joining the liberal press in its call for punishing members of Congress who questioned the election results. "They've bought into this big lie," she insisted on "Real Time with Bill Maher," and they bought into this big lie. And the question is how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump."
Deprogram these people? Into what, conservatives want to know? Little totalitarians? Little socialists? The comments, which echo the true feelings of Big Tech, Big Business, and the media, were shocking -- but more shocking, to some, is how far we've fallen -- and how fast. In a matter of weeks, America has become a nation where the ruling party wants to lock up anyone they disagree with -- and then brainwash them into their radical way of thinking. How is that "unifying?" The party of Joe Biden is vowing to heal our country. Please tell me they have a better plan than insulting the beliefs of 75 million people and threatening forced indoctrination on half the country.
"This sort of rhetoric from Couric -- which comes across as so condescending and elitist -- underscores the divide between our media, which primarily resides in New York and Washington, and the rest of the country, which is moderate to center-right per multiple polls. And it's why the industry is so mistrusted and frowned upon," Hill columnist Joe Concha lashed back.
Of course, conservatives have almost come to expect this sort of thing from someone as out-of-touch as Couric. What they are surprised to hear is a group of evangelical "leaders" essentially agree with her. Their campaign isn't to reeducate conservatives, per se -- but to shame them. Silence them. Embarrass them to such a degree that they'll never engage in politics again. And, quite frankly, I'm sick of it.
The reality is, these Never Trumpers, some of them evangelicals, have done nothing but sit in their ivory towers these last four years and heap criticism on the well-meaning Christians trying to protect our country. All they do is harass and chastise the believers on the frontlines of the culture, because they think we didn't make the right choice between two imperfect candidates. But for them to sit back and say, "There's a reckoning coming for any Christian who supported Trump. Look at what's happened," is unconscionable.
Let me tell you what's happened -- a lot of good and positive change for this nation. Has the last four weeks been a pleasant ride? No, and I wish we go all go back and undo it. But to say that this last month should have kept evangelicals from supporting Donald Trump is just hogwash.
FRC's David Closson and I talked about this on "Washington Watch" Monday, and he agreed that it's tragic the Capitol riots have triggered this reaction and given Never Trumpers this "I-told-you-so" moment. But the reality is, these "evangelical leaders," many of whom have been critical of the administration all four years, never supported President Trump in the first place. "You know, personally, I don't think the president's rhetoric since November has been super helpful. I think it's distracted from an otherwise consequential term. But to read these articles that have come out in the last couple of days [that suggest] we've sold out our beliefs -- that's not true. Evangelical support for Trump has always been qualified," David pointed out. "It was always conditional."
"There's only one person that deserves unqualified and unconditional support from Christians, and that's Jesus Christ. And so this revisionist history, going back and saying [people] should never have supported the president, I think that's unfortunate and opportunistic."
One of the things that bothers me most about these Never Trumper attacks is that they continue to set up this false argument about evangelicals. They want to know why so many Christians were drawn to a man who was so obviously disconnected to what evangelicals believe about personal morality and so on. Look, we only had a choice. And I've said this before -- I was not an early Trump supporter. I campaigned around the country for Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas.). But when it came down to a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, guess what? I began having conversation with Donald Trump -- and I supported him based on a set of preconditions that he met throughout the course of his first term. For anyone to suggest America would be better off today had Hillary Clinton been president the last four years is ridiculous.
Look at what the Trump administration has accomplished -- including over 200 federal judges and three U.S. Supreme Court justices. He's taken religious freedom protections to a level this country -- and the persecuted church around the world -- has never seen. We've watched him take tough action on politically-correct transgender bathroom mandates and military policy. The list goes on and on and on. And again, none of those things would have been possible under Hillary Clinton. As David pointed out, we have a two-party system in this country. And, for better or worse, Christians need to engage in that system to speak truth to power.
And I will tell you this: when I had an issue with the president or a decision he made, I told him or his staff. Unlike other Republican administrations, he welcomed our communication and input. That doesn't mean he always took our advice, but he did listen.
What Never Trumpers want is for Christians to feel ashamed enough to walk away from the political process. They think that if believers stay on the sidelines, we won't get our hands dirty -- and we'll somehow appear more righteous to the outside world. But life isn't made up of perfect choices, and Christians can't be blamed for the imperfect candidates set before us. We can only work with what we have. But this I can assure you. If Christians are persuaded or shamed into stepping back from bringing light to the broader culture, including politics, America's moral descent and the loss of fundamental freedoms will accelerate at warp speed.