To some, it seemed hypocritical for evangelicals to support Donald Trump — not exactly a Christian-family-values figure. But his strong evangelical support was the culmination of the embattled cultural politics that gave rise to the modern evangelical movement.
Evangelicals’ identities are rooted in their calling, their task, which is to return America to its Christian origins, because only then will God give this nation his blessing. Evangelicalism, remember, has been this way since World War II. They’ve always had this special mission.
Of course, they will never achieve their task, because their version of America was never real to begin with. But it is an incredibly powerful way to rally the troops, mobilize conservatives, and make them feel like they have lost something that is rightfully theirs — that this is our country, we were once at the center of things, and what needs to happen is that we need to be back in charge because then we can Make America Great Again.