Democrats would make it harder for Trump to vilify them as enemies of so-called traditional values if they talked a bit more about spirituality and religion — including, if applicable, their own.
That might not matter in the bluest parts of the bluest states, said Mike McCurry, a Democratic consultant who served as the White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton and now teaches at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. But, he added, “I sure as hell believe that it would work in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and that’s what it’s all going to come down to.”
The church-state divide shouldn’t dissuade the candidates, McCurry told me. “That’s such a misreading of what the political DNA of America is,” he said. “We have had religion woven into our political structures and our political debate from the very beginning.”
Besides, he added, a Democrat who speaks persuasively about religion has a potentially huge tactical advantage: “Think ahead to the general election. If you’re talking about faith in an authentic, genuine way, imagine the contrast if you’re running against Donald Trump, who has absolutely none of that vocabulary.” While the president may have the farthest reaches of the religious right locked down, many Americans of faith are appalled by him.