This weekend, thousands will descend on Washington for the 12th annual Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. They are coming to D.C. ready to seize a moment that was delivered with the election of Donald Trump and significant conservative gains in both the House and Senate. These voters are coming energized by a president who is working to keep his promises but exasperated by the U.S. Senate that has become the graveyard of promises.
After eight years enduring the Obama administration’s hostility toward everything from religious liberty to the unborn, values voters were eager to see President Trump accelerate the undoing of Obama’s policies. After President Trump’s inauguration, the new administration kept its campaign promises by reinstituting and expanding the pro-life Mexico City Policy, nominating strong constitutionalist Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court, protecting religious liberty through executive order, and shielding our military from the radical social experimentation of the Obama years by ending one of its most extreme policies regarding transgenderism.
While these successes are encouraging, those coming to the Values Voter Summit know this is no time to rest on last month’s or even last week’s success. Activists on the Left, congressional Democrats, the mainstream media, and the entertainment industry are all unified in aggressively working toward the goal of undermining the Trump administration with fake news, scare tactics, and even race-baiting.
Despite President Trump’s successful election, the outright hostility toward Christianity has continued on full display in the halls of the U.S. Senate. In June, Senator Bernie Sanders displayed his disdain for the Christian faith by declaring Office of Management and Budget nominee Russell Vought as “not someone who is what this country is supposed to be about” because of his Christian faith. Three months later, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Durbin specifically targeted the Catholic faith of 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Amy Barrett, insinuating that her “orthodox” religious views disqualified her from public service.
These incidents mark the first time in living memory that multiple sitting U.S. senators have blatantly defied the Constitution’s prohibition of using a “religious test” to determine the qualifications of a nominee for public office.
While Senate Democrats are busy branding themselves as the religious test caucus, the Senate GOP is busy accomplishing little – and in the process branding itself as the promise-breaking caucus. Senate Republicans have failed to deliver on their single-most important promise of the decade: repealing and replacing Obamacare. Americans have watched in disbelief as the party they entrusted with both chambers of Congress, and now the White House takes a knee on seven years of promises on not just healthcare, but also cutting off Planned Parenthood from taxpayer dollars and many other unfulfilled promises. That’s unacceptable, and — as voters made quite clear in giving Roy Moore a huge victory in the Alabama GOP primary — the clock is ticking on the rest of the party to stand up and keep their campaign promises.
Despite outspending Moore 3-to-1, no amount of money could overcome conservatives’ frustration with business as usual in Washington. That’s why values voters are coming to town with a message for the rest of the U.S. Senate: seize this moment and keep your promises.
To hit this message home, Steve Bannon, who helped orchestrate the grassroots political movement that led to President Trump’s success, will join Roy Moore at the Values Voter Summit. Bannon is a man on a mission – with the 2016 election being his Act I, Bannon’s sights are set on the U.S. Senate as his Act II. If Republicans aren’t going to stand up for our values, drain the swamp, and keep their promises – then voters will.
We’ve been given an opportunity by God that not every generation has had; to turn the nation, to change the trajectory of this country and revive our Republic from the spiritual, moral and economic decay brought on by the radical policies of the Left. But the time to act is now – we must seize the moment.
Tony Perkins is the president of Family Research Council.