Road to Victory 2004:
By Nikhil Aziz
Let's Take America Back ... a hundred years
PRAccess - Fall/Winter 2004
If the Hill won’t come to the Christian Coalition, the Christian Coalition will go to the Hill. While CC president Roberta Coombs stressed the magnitude of Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) securing the RTV a Senate room, the fact is Republican politicians didn’t have to cross town to address a powerful voting bloc. And so, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Mitch McConnell, Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) main sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment banning same-sex marriage, Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) main sponsor of a bill enabling partisan politicking by houses of worship, and others dropped by to remind conservative evangelicals that the Republican party was the pro-family, pro-life party championing their values.
Past RTVs were grand affairs—thousands of Christian Coalition members across the country converging on Washington to show their clout to the Republicans and the public. This time there were barely 500 attendees, and many of the usual suspects and CC favorites like Alan Keyes went missing. The exhibit section, which used to be a trade fair of fundamentalist and evangelical literature, paraphernalia, and groups had maybe 5 tables. The fact that the Coalition—an organization that once had a budget of $25 million and drew on the energy of Pat Robertson’s 1988 Republican nomination bid—is a mere shadow of itself, is not something to celebrate. The Christian Coalition is not the Christian Right. It’s just one organization that makes up one of the most vital sectors of the U.S. Right. The Christian Right is a strong social/political movement wielding enormous influence.
Noting this, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, pointed out to CC activists at the RTV, “We’re the only group of people that meets regularly two-three times a week.” The implications of a well-oiled machine that runs on consistent voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts cannot be underscored, especially in a close race. Yet, the reality is—and the Christian Right is well aware of this—that less than half of all Christian evangelicals voted in 2000, and a third of Republican evangelicals didn’t vote either. Thus the RTV’s main message: Christian Right activists must ensure that none of their folks stay home this November 2nd.
Note: Nikhil Aziz, Jean Hardisty and three PRA Study Group members attended the RTV.
More articles from Fall/Winter 2004 PRAccess