In a recent report, MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner delves into the idea that “Trumpism” has taken on the characteristics of a quasi-religion for certain Americans, particularly White evangelical Christians.
Wagner finds it fascinating that many Christian evangelicals view Trump as a “second coming,” drawing parallels to Jesus Christ. She notes that esteemed reporters have discussed how the Trump coalition, or MAGA coalition, has seemingly absorbed the evangelical coalition. Recent polls indicate that approximately 55% of White born-again or evangelicals support Trump, representing a significant increase from 2016.
Despite evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats’ endorsement of presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, Trump overwhelmingly won the Iowa caucus vote. Wagner emphasizes that Vander Plaats’ support for DeSantis is inconsequential in the face of the unwavering evangelical support for Trump. She believes that Iowa exemplifies the roots of Trumpism, showcasing the deep allegiance evangelicals have for Trump and MAGA-ism.
Wagner references New York Times columnist David French, who argues that for a specific segment of the American electorate, Trumpism has become a form of religion, particularly among evangelicals. According to Wagner, it is no longer about virtues but rather the vices that Trump embodies.
During the same segment, MSNBC host Joy Reid made controversial comments, suggesting that White Christian Iowans want people of color to submit to them. Reid claims that when individuals believe God has bestowed this country upon them and that anyone who does not fit the mold of a White, conservative Christian is a fraudulent or lesser American, electability becomes irrelevant. She asserts that this ideology cannot be separated from its religious ties and identifies it as Christian nationalism.
Reid further asserts that certain White evangelical Christians consider themselves the rightful owners of the country, viewing immigrants, Brown people, and individuals like Vivek Ramaswamy and his wife, who are Hindus, as illegitimate Americans. This perspective, according to Reid, is ingrained in White evangelicalism and represents Christian nationalism.
In summary, both Wagner and Reid highlight the fusion of Trumpism and religion, particularly among White evangelical Christians. They argue that for some individuals, Trumpism has evolved into a quasi-religion, focusing more on the vices Trump embodies rather than the virtues traditionally associated with religious beliefs. Furthermore, they assert that this ideology is intertwined with Christian nationalism, which perceives certain groups as less legitimate Americans.