There is crazy, and then there is evangelical crazy.

Courtesy of The Intercept

“The Covid virus has been a gift from God,” began Ken Eldred. “The kingdom of God advances through a series of glorious victories, cleverly disguised as disasters.”

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Eldred noted, millions of Americans are turning to Christ, Walmart is selling out of Bibles, and online church broadcasts have hit record numbers.

But while religiosity was growing, there have been setbacks from the disease outbreak. “Satan has been busy too,” Eldred, a major donor to evangelical and Republican causes, explained. “The virus has messed up many of our plans involving our in-person meetings with voters.”

And the rise of mail-in ballots, Eldred added, would undercut voter identification laws, which have been a pillar of GOP election strategy. “The children of the darkness put early voting into this CARES package,” he grumbled, a reference to the $400 million for election assistance programs to states included in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

But the group, whose supporters include major donors to conservative causes, pastors, and political operatives with decades of winning elections, is serious about serving as the tip of the spear to maintain control of the White House. UIP’s 2020 election plan — which it calls “Ziklag,” a town referenced in the Bible — is a multipronged effort to connect Trump with evangelical leaders and increase support among minority voters through appeals to faith-based messages and church outreach.

And, perhaps most importantly, it plans to use data mining to identify millions of new voters and target them with cheap ads on Facebook. The pandemic, speakers noted on the call, means that they must work overtime to compensate for the effects of mail-in voting.

The unprecedented campaign would mobilize what they call “dormant evangelical and conservative Catholic voters,” with a focus on appealing to religious affiliation as a way to compensate for Trump’s relative lack of support among nonwhite voters. They expect to focus on reducing Democratic support among African Americans and older, religiously active Latino voters in particular, as they tend to hold far more culturally conservative, devout religious views than white liberals.

These folks may be off their rocker, but they know how to use social media and to target those folks most vulnerable to their message. 

And while it would seem on the surface that evangelicals would reject the thrice-married reality star who raw dogged porn stars and Playboy models, that would only be accurate if you believed they were actually interested in morality rather than gaining and exerting power. 

And they will stop and nothing to keep Trump in power and keep Democrats out of the White House.