The Religious Right’s love affair with the Trump administration will continue with this week’s Road to Majority conference, which is produced by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition and a range of right-wing sponsors, including Liberty University’s Helms School of Government, the American Enterprise Institute, the Charles Koch Institute, Concerned Women for America, and United in Purpose.
There’s no question that the event will feature Senate Majority Leader McConnell and other speakers gloating about the Republican Senate working with President Trump to fill the federal courts with far-right ideologues who will spend the next three or four decades undermining Americans’ rights and legal protections. At last year’s Road to Majority, speakers were explicitly clear that they hope hundreds of Trump-nominated judges, and a few Supreme Court justices, will fulfill the right-wing vision of repealing, in the name of constitutionalism, Great Society and New Deal social programs along with marriage equality and abortion rights.
For example, White House staffer Paul Teller told attendees at last year’s conference that the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was a “huge, huge, huge victory” that “is really going to change America.” He said if Trump gets another Supreme Court nominee, he will create “epic, titanic shifts.” McConnell staffer Erica Suares bragged about the number of vacancies Trump has a chance to fill due to Republican senators’ “slow-walking” of Obama nominees, and she praised McConnell’s “laser-like focus on judges,” saying another Supreme Court nominee could “fundamentally change the country.”
This year, Vice President Mike Pence will give the keynote at Saturday night’s “Patriot Gala,” capping off conference appearances by Cabinet secretaries and White House staff including Kellyanne Conway, Ben Carson, Elaine Chao and Scott Pruitt.
Republican leaders and conservative legislators are also scheduled to be out in force, including McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Whip Steve Scalise; Sens. John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, David Perdue and Marco Rubio; Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Doug Collins, Louie Gohmert, Barry Loudermilk, Kevin McCarthy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Ann Wagner and Mark Walker; and state senators Mike Hough (Maryland), Bryan Hughes (Texas), Bruce Thompson (Georgia).
Right-wing movement leaders scheduled to speak include recently pardoned propagandist Dinesh D’Souza, anti-tax activists Grover Norquist and Stephen Moore, and American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks.
The agenda includes sessions on media bias—laughably featuring the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Trump cheerleaders David Brody and Jenna Browder—tax cuts, support for Israel, opposition to gambling and human trafficking, criminal justice reform, and, of course, getting out the vote for the 2018 midterm elections.
Last month Reed told his supporters that “2018 is an absolutely make-or-break year for the future of our republic.” Reed warned:
The far-left is gaining steam and gaining momentum… and if you and I let them continue to steamroll their way to November without a fight, we risk losing the big victories conservatives like you and me have fought for over the last two years.
And worse, you and I risk losing our bedrock constitutional freedoms–like free speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms–forever.
Turning out conservative Christian voters is central to the mission of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. At last year’s conference, Reed took some credit for the massive evangelical support that helped put Trump in the White House, saying that his group had knocked on 1.2 million doors, made 10 million phone calls, and delivered tens of millions of mailers and voter guides.