Today’s evangelical ministers possess none of the oratory skills of the 19th century London preacher Charles Spurgeon. Even atheists and agnostics attended his services, they were fascinated by his mastery of the English language, rhetorical skills and precise exposition.
Today’s evangelical preachers speak at a 6th grade level and preach a prosperity Gospel or a soothing and comfortable theology that is easily digested by morons. They don’t rely on insightful thought and precise exposition but emotional appeals and catchy slogans and chants.
It’s no surprise that Donald Trump appeals to white evangelicals, he speaks at a 3rd grade level and his mission to Make America Great Again resonates with their inherently racist beliefs.
Trump also relies on catchy slogans and chants, the call and response interplay between Trump and his supporters resembles the call and response at a Baptist church. When Trump waxes racist or xenophobic the crowd responds with chants of “Lock her up!”, “Build that Wall!” or Send her Back!”
Trump encourages these chants to normalize misogyny and to stoke prejudice, and we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that they aren’t going to motivate his base enough to win him reelection in 2020.
The arc of the moral universe bends toward justice and demographics spell doom for the racist GOP in the long run, but racists may have one last hurrah in 2020.
Those of us who believe in equality, freedom and democracy must redouble our efforts to defeat Trump and his sycophants.