Editorial: Could Supreme Court LGBT Ruling Impact Christian Right Voting?

Donald Trump, darling of the Christian Right, was elected in large part because he promised them that every day would be Christmas for their political and religious agendas. In return, the Christian Right has been willing to overlook, excuse, and rationalize virtually all of who Donald Trump is, as they have kept their eyes on that prize. But this week, evangelicals had a disappointing and ironic surprise when two of “their” appointed judges sided with the four liberal judges in a 6-3 ruling to protect LGBTQ employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to advance the Christian Right platforms opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and LGBTQ rights and protections. And whether Trump actually said as much, he had them convinced that he would “make America great again” largely by making America an evangelical Christian theocracy. He promised the fulfillment of their wishes in large part by his vow to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death with a conservative justice who would protect their values.

Eighty-one percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump in 2016. In the election exit poll, 21 percent of all voters considered Supreme Court appointments to be the most important factor in how they voted. Of those, 56 percent voted for Trump. They wanted conservative judges whom they could count on to make judgments that protected their values, and they put their trust in Trump and the Republicans to appoint the right judges. Trump kept his promise to appoint a Supreme Court justice who they felt had their backs when he appointed Neil M. Gorsuch to replace Scalia.

On Monday, however, Justice Gorsuch, along with Chief Justice John Roberts, sided with the liberal justices in their ruling that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. It was Justice Gorsuch, in fact, who wrote the majority opinion.

“Today,” Gorsuch said, “we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear.”

The ruling is a victory for the LGBTQ community. Some (though not the religious right) would see it as a hopeful sign on another front, as well: It was a loss for the Trump administration, who had sided with the employers in three cases involving members of the LGBTQ community who had lost their jobs. Consequently, no longer can Trump and the religious right take for granted that all conservative SCOTUS justices are in their pocket and will automatically take the side of the religious right, just because it is the side of the religious right.

As Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen writes, “Now that Gorsuch has proved himself untrustworthy in their eyes, they would be right to question whether Republican assurances meant anything at all.”

The Christian Right’s previous defenses of Trump, even when they have found him otherwise repugnant, have always been based on the fact that his various legislative actions favored them, and more importantly, he got them their judges. Now, however, they’ve discovered that even some conservative judges may disappoint them by basing decisions on legal merits rather than on making Trump supporters happy. What will this mean in the 2020 election for those conservatives and swing voters who voted for Trump on the basis of SCOTUS picks Christian Right-slanted legislation?

Why Supreme Court’s LGBTQ employment discrimination ruling marks a ‘milestone’ | PBS NewsHour  [2020-06-15]

Why evangelical Christians still support President Trump despite controversies | CBS News  [2018-03-28]

What Trump Has Done to Americans Who Voted for Him

With 304 days till the 2020 U.S. presidential election, it would benefit Americans who voted for Trump in 2016 to weigh what Trump says he has done for them against what he has done TO them. One of the key factors in Trump’s 2016 victory was the belief by a faction of working-class American voters that Donald Trump had their backs. In reality, Trump has been stabbing their backs while enriching corporations and the wealthy.
First, there was the promise that Trump would raise American workers’ wages. The average American family, he said, would see a $4,000 boost in its yearly income. If we adjust for inflation, however, that income boost has not happened. What’s more, the tax cuts he promised for middle-class families will end up causing those families to pay more taxes by 2027.
When they received their 2018 tax returns, many Americans were shocked to learn that instead of the tax refunds they were expecting, they owed the federal government. This was due to a little-publicized adjustment in the U.S. tax code that, if one wasn’t thoroughly in tune with little-publicized U.S. tax code adjustments, one would have missed. Though the change caused some people to have slightly more money in their paychecks during the year, Americans weren’t prepared for how the tiny “boon” would impact the tax refunds they’d become accustomed to.
While the average American will end up taking a beating as a result of Trump and the GOP’s tax legislation, corporations and wealthy Americans benefitted from $1.9 trillion in tax cuts. This in turn has raised our federal debt, and caused the GOP to threaten cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Not to worry, though, because Trump promised that corporations would invest their savings from the tax cuts in order to benefit American workers. Instead of investing in jobs, pay raises, or work facilities, however, the corporations spent most of the money buying back shares of their own stock and increasing executive bonuses.
Trump pledged that he’d reduce the U.S. trade deficit “as fast as possible.” But since he took office, our trade deficit is at an all-time high. More than at any time in history, the U.S. now purchases more goods and services from the rest of the world than it sells abroad.
Trump also ran on the promise that he’d “drain the swamp” of “Washington insider” politicians and lobbyists. Instead, the swamp now overflows with his appointees, whom he’s put in charge of education, safety, health, and protection of the environment. Not only do most of them have little or no expertise in the areas they oversee, many of them blatantly push legislation that furthers their personal and financial interests, while harming or endangering most Americans. Examples include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has opposed numerous regulations designed to protect and support public schools and their students, as well as victims of student loan and tuition fraud; and former EPA head Scott Pruitt, who reversed a number of regulations designed to protect the environment, while pandering to the entities (such as the fossil fuel industry) being regulated.
Rarely has the metaphor of the fox running the hen house been more appropriate than in the case of the Trump administration. Rarely have the hens been more willfully ignorant of their situation, or more ignorantly supportive of their own demise. If Americans who voted for Trump in 2016 really wanted to “drain the swamp,” they’d vote to run Donald Trump and his henchmen out of town in 2020.

Two years after Trump’s tax reform, middle-class incomes aren’t keeping up | CBS News [2019-12-31]

Dems Highlight Different Reality Despite Middle Class Despite Strong Market | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC [2020-01-02]