This is why the Trump phenomenon is, frankly, so disconcerting to me and many other young evangelicals. It smacks of politics first. To give such overt Christian support to Trump seems like a repudiation of values that evangelicals have been most vocally in support of in decades past. The caustic rhetoric, the chauvinism, the unquestioned devotion, the dehumanizing antics, the amateurish actions—the entire Trump campaign is marked by an audacious pragmatism unmoored from the Christian understanding that the nation-building we’re seeking is still yet to come (Hebrews 13:14).
The wave of populism Trump is riding reminds young evangelicals of the revivalist politics of Christian America. It channels a lost nostalgia by promising simplicity. My generation has a special sensitivity to being exploited for votes, and we reject the solutions Trump offers as inauthentic.
This generation of Christians grows more and more cynical as evangelical leaders make the trek to Trump headquarters to symbolically powwow under the guise of Christian solidarity with someone remaining proudly unrepentant of his immoral conduct, machoism, and predatory enterprises. Younger conservative Christians are approaching politics differently. And the Christian support for Trumpism further cements this generational divide. Thankfully, the younger evangelical Christians I know would rather lose an election than surrender our credibility.