Yes, Values Voters Are Dangerous — When They Vote

Republican supporters applaud during a rally in Orlando, October 20, 2007.
Republican supporters applaud during a rally in Orlando, October 20, 2007. | (Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria )

Joy Behar, host of The View, recently made headlines when she called Vice President Mike Pence "mentally ill" for saying he hears from Jesus. After much pressure, Behar offered a brief apology for her remarks.

What's gotten little attention, though, is what her cohost Sunny Hostin said seconds before.

Hostin said Vice President Mike Pence has put a "religious veneer" on "values voters." Though she was interrupted by Behar's now infamous words, Hostin seemed to insinuate that values voters represent the liberal secularism widely espoused by the Left. In her estimation, Pence is creating a "dangerous situation" by hijacking that term to make traditional Christian values, which could only be fringe, appear mainstream.

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Hostin's comments show just how out of touch liberal elites have become with mainstream America. Never in our nation's history has liberal secularism been linked with values voters. The values that values voters have voted on have always been Christian values, regardless of whether the voter knew it or not. The term was first used to describe voters who widely supported George Bush's reelection. In reality, it appears Hostin is the one trying to redefine "values voters," not the vice president.

So what are the values of values voters? Religious freedom. Sanctity of Life. A belief in the positive influence of strong families and traditional marriages. Caring for others in times of need in a way that promotes personal responsibility and human dignity.

In his Value Voters Summit speech, President Trump defended these values as being "America's spiritual bedrock." Trump seconded George Washington's assertion that "religion and morality are indispensable" to America's happiness, prosperity and success. The Founding Fathers themselves acknowledged the vital role of religion in a country's society by mentioning God four times in the Declaration of Independence.

But when it comes to those who oppose traditional values, history doesn't seem to matter.

Some people, like Hostin, are trying to redefine America's values and say they've never been Christian values. Others are openly attacking the people who hold those values. This intolerance was once only expected from Hollywood elites and New York liberals, but it has crept into everyday America, even including the country music world.

Gov. Mike Huckabee was recently bullied into resigning from the Country Music Association Foundation board after just one day in office. Huckabee stepped down after overwhelming personal attacks on his religious and political values.

The harshest critic was Jason Owen, the co-president of country record label Sandbox Management. Owen threatened to withdraw his clients' support of the CMA because Huckabee's view on traditional marriage opposed his openly gay lifestyle.

What's ironic about this whole episode is that the CMA's core constituents are the very people whom Owen is maligning. According to the CMA's own statistics, the average country music fan is a middle-aged, married Midwesterner, and historically conservative. These men and women have strong traditional family values. They're a lot more like Huckabee than they're like Owen.

Country music is embodied by the everyday American and should be represented accordingly. From this estimation, Gov. Huckabee has more credibility to influence CMA decisions than Jason Owen.

Yet, because a few in the country music industry don't like Huckabee's values, he is disqualified from serving on the CMA Foundation — even though he has spent decades promoting access to music education programs and instruments for kids across the nation.

It's easy to think this secular progressive worldview is in the majority. Its proponents dominate mass media like television and movies. Yet it isn't; its cheerleaders just have the biggest megaphone, which they've used to create the impression that their views have been universally accepted and only a small, ignorant few disagree. What we learned in 2016, though, was that values voters have a megaphone of their own — election day.

Values voters must speak up. Otherwise the few, the loudest and the persistent, like Hostin and Owen, will continue to force the majority in this country to follow the secular liberal dictates of the minority. The America built on conservative Christian values will become unrecognizable. The 2018 midterms are an opportunity for values voters to express the power of their voice.

Sunny Hostin is right — this is a dangerous situation. Because when values voters show up to the polls, they change our country.

Jason Yates is the CEO of My Faith Votes, which is a nonpartisan movement focused on motivating Christians in America to participate in local and domestic elections. By partnering with local churches, pastors and national faith leaders, My Faith Votes mobilizes and resources Christians to lead the conversation on the place of faith in culture and politics.

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