No matter what you think about him, you can’t deny it: President Donald J. Trump is the center of national attention. And he loves it.

In his book Trump Aftershock, award-winning journalist and best-selling author Stephen E. Strang explores what has changed in America and across the globe since Trump took presidency in 2016.

Apart from exposing the ruptures in our nation’s political and ideological fault lines, President Trump has:

  • Repealed Obamacare.
  • Prioritized border control.
  • Replaced Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy with conservative Supreme Court justices.
  • Recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
  • Empowered American manufacturing and energy production.
  • Enacted far-reaching and widely popular tax cuts.

To his voters’ delight, Trump fulfilled the above campaign promises. And his presidency continues to keep major news networks, both liberal and conservative, on their toes with his every tweet. 

Religious Liberty
A closer look at the shockwaves reveals why it’s not so surprising that 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for such a brash, unpredictable leader.

With American evangelicals bemoaning the increasingly progressive, counter-Christian culture, Trump was seen as a beacon of hope as he spoke openly in favor of religious liberty.

Strang’s previous book, God and Donald Trump (Frontline, 2017), includes his interview with Trump in which he asks about his beliefs.

Trump said, “Religious liberty is the foundation. Without religious liberty you don’t have liberty. I feel that so strongly, and so many other people do, and plenty of politicians do, but they don’t express it. Religious liberty is something that I cherish, and you will never be disappointed.”

Trump has acted consistently with his conviction. On the National Day of Prayer in May 2018, he signed his second executive order intended to protect religious liberty. The order established a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative which aims to empower faith-based organizations by ensuring protection from all departments of the federal government. 

Apart from addressing how this affects small business owners such as cake baker Jack Phillips, Strang also pinpoints how Trump’s actions dealt with another troubling issue for today’s evangelicals: abortion.

By signing H.J. Res 43 into law on April 13, 2017, Trump overturned the Department of Health and Human Services’ rule that prohibited states from defunding abortion facilities. U.S. Representative Phil Roe released this statement after the signing:

“States will now no longer be forced to use Title X money to fund Planned Parenthood or other entities that provide abortions. I believe states should be able to consider whether or not an organization provides abortions when granting them taxpayer funding, and I thank President Trump and Rep. Diane Black for their leadership on this important piece of legislation.” 

Despite Trump’s character—”his multiple marriages, the negative things he has said about illegal immigrants, or his Twitter battles with celebrities and political opponents”—Strang emphasizes how the president’s evangelical base holds strong because of his alignment with conservative Christian values. The president’s views on abortion, traditional family and religious freedom are the reasons so many evangelicals chose him over the political alternatives. In exploring these motives, Strang not only provides a big picture of the aftershocks of Trump’s election. Trump Aftershock also gives insight into what we can expect for the future with Trump’s presidency now in full swing.

Date published: 24/10/2018
Written by: Rachel Sammons 
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