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1/26/16

US Presidential Elections: Conservative Evangelical Author Matt Lewis on Trump, Evangelicals and Stupid Republicans

The timing of Lewis' book couldn't have been better. Due in stores Tuesday, publication is just six days before the Iowa caucus.

If you think this is a book about Donald Trump, you're sort of right. The current Republican presidential frontrunner hadn't announced his candidacy when the book was written, Lewis told The Christian Post in an email interview, but Trump's non-ideological populism has confirmed the book's thesis

Lewis is not opposed to all forms of populism. He supports populism that rejects corporate cronies working with big government to rig the system for their benefit and at the expense of the "little guy."

But, Lewis writes in a passage that earily fortells Trump, "If, instead, populism represents the demogogic politics of nativism, xenophobia, resentment, know-nothingism, victimhood, bitterness, envy ... and/or protectionism — used as a rhetorical cudgel to manipulate the masses — then count me (and most of the public) out. Unfortunately, it sometimes does. Populism often requires scapegoats."

CP readers will be particulary interested in chapter 5, on the Christian Right. Lewis, an Evangelical Christian, has mixed feelings about the contributions of Evangelicals to the Republican Party's anti-intellectualism.
In the afterword, Lewis mentions conservatives who have helped maintain an intellectually vibrant conservatism, and several Evangelicals are on the list, including Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, author and public speaker Eric Metaxas, and Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

On the other hand, Lewis believes the dumbing down of the Republican Party is partly due to the anti-intellectualism within certain strains of Evangelicalism, and the inclusion of those Evangelicals into the party.

Read more: Conservative Evangelical Author Matt Lewis on Trump, Evangelicals and Stupid Republicans (Interview)

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