“We are Liberty students who are disappointed with President Falwell’s endorsement and are tired of being associated with one of the worst presidential candidates in American history,” the statement said. “Donald Trump does not represent our values and we want nothing to do with him. … He has made his name by maligning others and bragging about his sins. Not only is Donald Trump a bad candidate for president, he is actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose.”
The Liberty University student manifesto against Trump comes as college Republican groups across the country reconsider support for the candidate. On Tuesday the University of Virginia College Republicans announced that the group voted to rescind its endorsement of his candidacy for president. The chairman of the College Republicans at Hampden-Sydney College, Tanner Beck, posted a statement on Facebook noting that Trump “has gone from simply being an embarrassment to our party, to a potentially permanent stain on our brand and our country.”
— Liberty University students protest association with Trump, T. Rees Shapiro and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post
I think the most significant part of this is that while it took the sexual-assault and voyeurism revelations of the last week to decide to break with their leaders, they had, apparently in large numbers, concluded long ago that Trump should not become president. They’d been deeply offended by his maligning of groups and individuals.
There is, in other words, the same chasm in certain respects between millennial evangelicals and other evangelicals as there has been between millennials generally and older people generally.
Even more significant is the dramatic swing in Ohio in the last two weeks among blue-collar traditional Democrats (and also apparently some blue-collar Republicans), away from Trump and toward Clinton. It has escalated since the disclosure of the Access Hollywood video and continues to gain as more revelations come out.
But the tide there turned with the publication of those three pages from his 1995 federal income tax return, as its dual meaning became clear: Trump suffered yuge business losses because of a series of awful business decisions, and he parlayed those losses into no federal income tax liability under the Tax Code for 18 years. The revelations which led to actual news media focus on his massive-gifts-to-multimillionaires tax proposal.
Trump is left with his base. And not much more. But for some supporters, at Ieast the Rust Belt, the break came with the tax revelation, before the before the videotape was published. This matters for what happens in Washington after the election. At least is certainly should.
I renew this suggestion to the Clinton campaign, and suggest it now also to Dem Senate and House candidates.