Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. has always called on evangelicals to vote based on their faith. But now he is proposing a better idea. It is good to follow Christ, Falwell says, but there’s more to smart voting than that. We must not only be followers of Jesus Christ; we should be followers of Steve Bannon, as well. Falwell is calling on evangelicals to join Bannon’s war against “fake Republicans.”
In a recent interview with Bannon’s old news outlet, Breitbart, Falwell praised Bannon’s populist and economic nationalist views. “I love it,” Falwell said, in response to Bannon’s fight against establishment Senate Republicans. “I knew when Bannon left the administration, he was doing it for a reason. A good reason. And now we all know what it was. He sees that in order for Trump to be successful, those guys have got to go. I’m so proud of him for going after them and leading the effort. And it’s good to have Laura Ingraham out there helping the effort, as well.”
Falwell continued, “Don’t look at a candidate based on whether he has the same religious background as you. Don’t look at whether he or she is fit to be pastor of your church. Look at who’s going to vote right on the issues. Look at who’s actually succeeded in real life outside of the political world. That’s who they need to vote for. It may not be the most conservative candidate. But it’s got to be somebody who’s not part of the establishment and who has succeeded in life.”
The university president coined the phrase “fake Republicans” to describe, among others, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, and Mitch McConnell. He argued that if a handful of “fake Republicans” can be replaced during the midterm elections of 2018, then Trump could potentially become one of the greatest presidents in American history.
Falwell is clearly proud of the efforts Bannon is making to oust the Republican establishment. He even went so far as to say he has “more respect for the Democrats” than he does for “fake Republicans.”
He explained, “At least the Democrats admit what they believe. At least they tell their constituencies how they feel on the issues. These moderate ‘fake Republicans’ play the people. They mislead them. They pull the wool over their eyes. I just think that’s the worst type of deceit in politics.”
Bannon told the Financial Times, “The establishment Republicans are in full collapse. They’re not even fighting back. They’re out of ideas, guts, and out of money. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was polling like crazy and the numbers were coming back terrible. Flake shows you one important thing. The money is getting turned off. He went down without a fight.”
Clearly, Steve Bannon is out to move the Republican Party to the right, with a true, identifiable ideology. Those Republicans who are void of pure conservatism, who are more concerned with the approval of the media than of their conservative base, need not apply for the 2018 elections, in Bannon’s world. Count Jerry Falwell, Jr. among those on his side.
Falwell wants you to vote according to a candidate’s faith. But he is more concerned with where the candidate stands on the issues.