OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former President Donald Trump is riding high in the polls and appears to be on a glide path to win the 2024 GOP presidential nomination again, if not the White House, and he dropped a big campaign pledge this week should he defeat President Joe Biden.
He pledged during an impassioned address to his supporters in Waterloo, Iowa, that he would end what he termed the “conflict against Christians” throughout the country.
Vowing to “end the war on Christians,” he also promised to reinvigorate religious liberty and uphold Christian principles while expressing his disapproval of the policies pursued during the Biden administration.
“As soon as I get back in the Oval Office, I’ll also immediately end the war on Christians,” Trump said. “I don’t know if you feel it. You have a war. There’s a war under crooked Joe Biden. Christians and Americans of faith are being persecuted, and the government has weaponized against religion like never before.”
“They’ve targeted conservative parents of school board meetings who don’t want filth taught to their children. It’s filth. What they’re teaching in schools is filth.”
Trump vowed that the government would never be used to discriminate against Christians or other individuals who hold religious beliefs during his entire term in office. As Trump makes arrangements to potentially reclaim the White House, the protection of religious liberties remains a cornerstone of the Make America Great Again (MAGA) platform.
“As soon as I get back in the Oval Office, I’ll also immediately end the war on Christians.” — President Trump in Waterloo, Iowa
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Regarding next year’s presidential race, Trump likely got some help from a federal court in Georgia this week after a judge approved a new congressional district map that favors Republicans in the newly minted battleground state.
Democrats had hoped to be able to have the map changed in the hopes of flipping one congressional seat from red to blue, but “U.S. District Judge Steve Jones approved the redrawn maps on Thursday, ruling the Republican-drawn boundaries sufficiently complied with the court’s previous order to include a second black-majority district in the state,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“The decision likely guarantees Republicans will preserve control over nine of the 14 House districts in the state as well as their majorities in the state legislature,” the outlet reported further.
State lawmakers were mandated to redraw congressional boundaries following a ruling by Jones in October, declaring the existing map violated the Voting Rights Act. Georgia Republicans submitted a new proposal in early December, incorporating a majority-black district west of Atlanta. However, that resulted in the dismantling of a nearby district with a majority of minority voters.
As a result, Rep. Lucy McBath’s (D-Ga.) district moved even further into GOP territory.
Democrats and voting rights groups quickly contested the maps after they were approved by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), arguing that the revised lines diminish the influence of minority voters.
In their court challenge, the groups accused Republicans of moving voters from outside of the “explicitly defined vote dilution area” into the new black-majority district while also ignoring some 50,000 black voters from the outlined “vote dilution area.”
Nonetheless, the court dismissed that argument, pointing out that it did not confine Republicans to specific districts and that it merely directed the creation of a black-majority district in west Metro Atlanta, a requirement fulfilled in their proposal.
The ruling, if it stands, will give Republicans a better chance of holding onto their slim majority in the House in next year’s elections.
It comes as Biden’s poll numbers continue to fall.
In early November, New York Times/Siena College polls indicated that Trump was leading in four of the six swing states; however, additional signs of Biden’s electoral danger quickly surfaced. The president’s advantage over Trump in head-to-head matches is decreasing.