When Trump entered the presidential race in 2015, many white evangelicals turned up their noses at his candidacy. By 2020, Trump had garnered such commitment from white evangelicals that not only did 80% vote for him, but 60% also refused to accept the election results after his loss. How did this transformation occur, and with what lasting results for the evangelical vote and US politics more broadly? This chapter shows that in the “new culture wars” of the Trump era, race has played an even more central and explicit role in religion and politics than it did in the past. Christian nationalism and the intersection of religion and race help explain the strong bond between Trump and many white evangelicals. COVID-19 vaccine refusal and critical race theory bans provide examples of the continuing significance of that bond. These cases demonstrate the likelihood that Trumpian politics will maintain influence over white evangelicals in the near future.
Yukich, G. (2022), "The Marriage of White Evangelicals and Trump: Vaccine Refusal, Critical Race Theory, and the New Culture Wars", Young, K.A., Schwartz, M. and Lachmann, R. (Ed.) Trump and the Deeper Crisis (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 65-81. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0198-871920220000039005
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