Shortly after the election, I wrote that the president-elect would do well to remember that his election represented not so much a “Yes” to him, as a “No” to what preceded him. Perhaps I overstated the point, because some did say “Yes” to him.
In particular, many Evangelicals viewed him as anointed by God.
For this, Evangelicals have been charged with inconsistency, because in past elections they made much of the importance of moral character in candidates for public office. This time, although they rightly noticed Mrs. Clinton’s odious vices, they treated Mr. Trump’s as unimportant.
Maybe they were not inconsistent after all. Maybe they did care about character, but only as a means to an end. They might have thought that in general, a good man is more likely than a bad one to do things they want done -- but that if, in some case, there is reason to think that the bad man is more likely to do them, then his bad character doesn’t matter.
Yet they used to think differently. In former days they cared more about the moral influence of a bad ruler on the people than about whether he did things the people wanted done.
A question for Evangelicals: Why have you changed your minds?
Next Monday: A reader protests this post