I recently received a packet from Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition requesting my participation in a survey of 10 million evangelical voters advocating support for the re-election of President Donald Trump. Despite my membership in a conservative Lutheran congregation, for most of my adult life I have voted for Democrats.
Not surprisingly, I strongly disagree with the coalition’s support for a man with a life-long history of turpitude, a serial and unrepentant philanderer, and according to numerous fact-checking sources, as of April 29, 2019, an originator of more than 10,000 false or misleading claims since taking office.
Here are just a few samples of the president’s persistent prevarications.
- California admitted there were a million illegal votes in the 2016 presidential election. (6/23/19)
- In many places, like California, the same person voted many times. … Millions and millions of people. (7/6/18)
- There was very serious voter fraud in New Hampshire. (11/28/19)
- It’s possible that noncitizen voters were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. (10/19/16)
While the verification of these and other false statements articulated by Donald Trump may be regarded as “fake news” by the president and his supporters who maintain that fact-checking sources are part of the left-wing cabal seeking to destroy America, they are easily substantiated.
Also, the nonpartisan New York University Brennan Center for Justice, in its document “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” found that most reported incidents of such fraud are traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The Brennan Center’s conclusion is that it’s more likely a person will be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud.
Reed’s letter continues to promote the president’s flagrant lies, including references to massive voter fraud in recent elections. Quoting from the letter, Reed urges Christians to, “Stop the radical anti-Christian left from winning the White House and control of our government in 2020 so they can destroy America forever. … I am sure you’re as dismayed and outraged as I am to see the rampant Vote [sic] Fraud that took place in the 2018 mid-term election — when race after race (especially in the house) was stolen by the left.”
Neither Reed nor the president offer any evidence for this assertion. It isn’t possible because confirmation of massive voter fraud cannot be certified. Even the conservative Heritage Foundation, in a posting of voter fraud incidents, cites only 1,199 documented infractions in 18 years, from 2000 to 2018 — hardly rampant as Reed and the president claim.
This averages a mere 67 fraudulent votes in the entire nation per year. These ballots would not have dented tallies in any national election, including in 2018 when more than 120 million Americans voted.
What’s shameful, and harmful to the faith advocated by the Faith & Freedom Coalition, is it’s overlooking the egregious transgressions of a president who brazenly flouts truth and traditional morality, and who disparages our allies while simultaneously embracing corrupt and despotic leaders of the nation’s long-time foes.
“Character matters,” Reed stated in 1998, during Bill Clinton’s impending impeachment. “We care about the conduct of our leaders, and we will not rest until we have leaders of good moral character.”
Sadly, Reed and many other prominent evangelicals have turned 180 degrees from that position. In this regard, their promulgation of the president’s lies as facts is morally unacceptable, and denigrates the credibility of all evangelical Christians.
Michael Fedo of Coon Rapids has published 10 books, most recently, “Don’t Quit Your Day Job: The Adventures of a Midlist Author.”
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