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May 23 2020, 3:00 a.m.
photo above: Photo: Marco Bello/Bloomberg/Getty Images
WN: These Evangelicals are very dangerous and scary–like their conservative Catholic counterparts. As they have embraced increasingly the Alt-Right, they like a close relative, will be among the first to take up arms in defence of Trump. They could not any more blatantly reject the Way of the Prince of Peace. In short: They are Alt-Right Anti-Christ Deplorables.
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.
UIP did not respond to a request for comment.
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.
UIP, though not a well known group, has emerged in recent years as the essential conduit connecting the religious right to the Trump administration.
Kelly Kullberg, another UIP official and the founder of a group called the American Association of Evangelicals, previously ran a network of 24 Facebook accounts with a combined 1.4 million followers designed to spread partisan misinformation. The groups, using names such as “Blacks for Trump,” “Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration,” “Veterans for Trump,” and “Nurses and Doctors for America,” were routinely filled with misinformation and hate.
A post shared across the Kullberg network of Facebook groups warned that refugee programs represented “cultural destruction and subjugation.” Another claimed Muslims are incapable of assimilation because a “normal Muslim’s loyalty is to Sharia law and supremacy.”
In a separate UIP conference call in May 2019, Kullberg discussed the need to find messages to inspire conservative voters after conferring with Reid Rutherford, a solar energy executive who has donated to the group. The pair reviewed survey research data to prepare a dossier for the 2020 election.
“Those issues include the sanctity of life versus infanticide,” Kullberg said. “What are the images that most move people? The content that drives those talking points,” she added, noting that she could push these election messages to her social media network.
Kullberg suggested driving a wedge between lesbians and the transgender community by bringing attention to the fact that trans students would gain access to women’s bathrooms and women’s scholarships. “We’ll be pointing this out,” Kullberg said. “When we were involved with exposing the anti-Semitism of Linda Sarsour, that divided the Women’s March. There are some very smart moves to weaken or soften the opposition by telling the truth.”
“Sometimes our side doesn’t really do that very well. We’re too worried about being nice,” Kullberg said. “But then we end up with infanticide. So we just realized we need to play to win this time. This is a hill worth charging.”
Kullberg claimed she could reach 80 million people with her Facebook network during the call. But her network was later shut down after it was exposed in a report by the fact-checking website Snopes.
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