The Democratic Party’s Disconnect with Religious Voters

In 2012, Michael Wear ended his association with the White House after having worked on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns in outreach to religious voters, especially evangelical Christians. He departed in response to a decision to withdraw an invitation previously extended to Pastor Louie Giglio to give the benediction at the upcoming inauguration on account of Giglio’s belief that homosexuality is sinful. To Wear, this episode typifies the Democrats’ inability to connect with the devout, a problem he discusses in conversation with Emma Green:

[T]here’s a religious illiteracy problem in the Democratic party. It’s tied to the demographics of the country: more twenty- and thirty-year-olds are taking positions of power in the party. They grew up in parts of the country where navigating religion was not important socially and not important to their political careers. . . .

America is still a profoundly religious nation. There are reports that high-level Democratic leadership was not interested in reaching out to white Catholics. And they sure didn’t have a lot of interest in white evangelicals. That’s a huge portion of the electorate to throw out. So if the civic motivation doesn’t get you, let me make the practical argument: it doesn’t help you win elections if you’re openly disdainful toward the driving force in many Americans’ lives. . . .

The Democratic party used to welcome people who didn’t support abortion. [It is] now so far from [that attitude], it’s insane. This debate, for both sides, is not just about the abortion rate; it’s not just about the legality of it. It’s a symbolic debate. It’s symbolic on the pro-choice side about the autonomy of women and their freedom to do what they want with their bodies. On the pro-life side, they care not just about the regulations around abortion, but whether there’s a cultural affirmation of life.

[But] even the symbolic olive branches [from the Democratic establishment to pro-life voters] have become less acceptable.

Read more at Atlantic

More about: Abortion, Barack Obama, Democrats, Evangelical Christianity, Religion & Holidays, Religion and politics, U.S. Politics

Hamas Won’t Compromise with the Palestinian Authority, and Gazans Won’t Overthrow Hamas

July 24 2017

Since the terrorist organization Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, much of Israeli strategy toward it has stemmed from the belief that, if sufficient pressure is applied, the territory’s residents will rise up against it. Yaakov Amidror argues this is unlikely to happen, and he also doubts that improved living conditions for ordinary Gazans would deter Hamas from terrorism or war:

The hardships experienced by the Strip’s residents, no matter how terrible, will not drive them to stage a coup to topple Hamas. The organization is entrenched in Gaza and is notorious for its brutality toward any sign of dissidence, and the Palestinians know there is no viable alternative waiting for an opportunity to [take over].

[Therefore], it is time everyone got used to the idea that Hamas is not about to relinquish its dominant position in the Gaza Strip, let alone concede to the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas. . . . [Yet the] assumption is also baseless that if Gaza experiences economic stability and prosperity, Hamas would refrain from provoking hostilities. This misconception is based on the theory that Hamas operates by governmental norms and prioritizes the needs and welfare of its citizens. This logic does not apply to Hamas. . . .

[Hamas’s] priorities are to bolster its military power and cement its iron grip. This is why all the supplies Israel allows into Gaza on a daily basis to facilitate normal life have little chance of reaching the people. Hamas first and foremost takes care of its leaders and makes sure it has what it needs to sustain its terror-tunnel-digging enterprise and its weapon-production efforts. It then sees to the needs of its members, and then—and only then—what little is left is diverted to rehabilitation efforts that benefit the population.

This is why the argument that Israel is responsible for Gaza’s inability to recover from its plight is baseless. Hamas is the one that determines the priorities by which to allocate resources in the enclave, and the more construction materials that enter Gaza, the easier and faster it is for Hamas to restore its military capabilities. Should Israel sacrifice its own security on the altar of Gazans’ living conditions? I don’t think so.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security