Defending Middle Eastern Christians isn't just morally right — it's politically brilliant

Like all things worth doing, it is potentially risky. The safer course may be to demagogue the issue, as Ted Cruz has. Perhaps, as Régis Debray said, Middle Eastern Christians are just “too Christian for the left and too foreign for the right.”

But I honestly don’t think that’s true. I really believe that most conservative Christians in America — who make up the vaunted base of the Republican Party, the base that plays such a key role in presidential primaries — are Christians first and conservatives second. There is huge political gain to be reaped for a conservative Christian politician to become the standard-bearer of oppressed Christians in the Middle East.

Millions of politically active U.S. Christians are dismayed by the oppression of Middle Eastern Christians. But they’re not sure what to do about it. They need someone to tell them — and to consistently hammer the importance of this issue so that it goes from priority 17 to priority one. And once the time for presidential primaries rolls around, all those voters will surely remember that a politician took a stand for what was right.

So what should this standard-bearer do? Well first, talk to the people involved. I’m sure they have lots and lots of ideas.