How much does Donald Trump’s profanity against Binyamin Netanyahu matter?

I don’t know to what extent Mike Evans, a former Donald Trump advisor, is right about evangelical Protestant support for Binyamin Netanyahu even above Trump.[1] Any schism among Trump’s supporters has to be a tempting prospect for Democrats who, having spectacularly failed to deliver,[2] will need all the help they can get in upcoming elections.

Trump, being the dangerously sore loser he is,[3] recently expressed anger about the congratulations Netanyahu extended to Joe Biden over the latter’s election victory. Apparently Evans, who presumes to speak for evangelical Protestants, is a strong Netanyahu supporter[4] and it’s worth remembering that many on the right face a similar predicament to that of many on the left: As a practical matter in a two-party system, it will be a Democrat or a Republican that gets elected and the question for them will be which of those two parties will get their votes, either by commission or by omission. My guess is that many would choose Trump in 2024 even if they’re holding their noses when they do it.

There are other reasons for skepticism. When I say that Trump unified three tendencies of conservatism, including social conservatism (mostly evangelical Protestants),[5] I omit that, in truth, evangelical Protestants are already split over Trump[6] and I cannot speak to the durability of this union (with authoritarian populists and paleoconservatives) any more than I could speak to the durability of the scheme of conservative tendencies I presented in my dissertation.[7] This can and will, as circumstances dictate, be fickle as hell and I simply can’t rule out that Trump saying “Fuck him” in reference to Netanyahu leads to a further schism.[8] Which is to say that Trump has already lost some evangelical Protestant votes and he might lose some more. But it’s scarcely possible to imagine him losing all of them.

Social conservatives have much to be thankful to Trump for, as the justices he named to the Supreme Court contribute to a majority now likely to overturn or at least to severely constrain Roe v. Wade.[9] Evangelical Protestants long ago made their deal with the devil, an admittedly profoundly immoral—by the very standards they profess—Trump;[10] with Roe v. Wade, they are reaping the rewards of that deal and those who think a profanity against Netanyahu, far from the only powerful or potentially powerful Zionist, particularly fucking important need to explain just how much this really moves the needle.

With his emphasis on Israel and Netanyahu,[11] I rather strongly suspect Evans represents not the whole of social conservatism but rather that especially scary eschatological portion that anticipates Jewish control of Jerusalem precipitating Armageddon, a final battle between “good” and “evil.”[12]

I don’t know how large the subset of social conservatism Evans speaks for is and the most obvious methodology available for assessing this has been rendered wholly invalid at least in part by ludicrously low response rates.[13] But Evans very likely presumes much too much.

  1. [1]Times of Israel, “Don’t make us choose — you or Israel: Evangelical warns Trump over Netanyahu rift,” December 15, 2021,
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Democrats and contradiction,” Not Housebroken, December 7, 2021,
  3. [3]David Benfell, “The danger that still remains,” Not Housebroken, December 11, 2021,
  4. [4]Times of Israel, “Don’t make us choose — you or Israel: Evangelical warns Trump over Netanyahu rift,” December 15, 2021,
  5. [5]David Benfell, “Trumpism, Donald Trump, the January 6 coup attempt, and a smoking gun that may never be found,” Not Housebroken, December 16, 2021,
  6. [6]Elizabeth Bruenig, “In God’s country,” Washington Post, August 14, 2019,; Rod Dreher, “Eric Metaxas’s American Apocalypse,” American Conservative, December 10, 2020,; Michelle Goldberg, “The Christian Right Is in Decline, and It’s Taking America With It,” New York Times, July 9, 2021,; Eliza Griswold, “A Pennsylvania Lawmaker and the Resurgence of Christian Nationalism,” New Yorker, May 9, 2021,; Sarah Jones, “White Evangelicals Made a Deal With the Devil. Now What?” New York, December 6, 2020,; David Smith, “The martyr who may rise again: Christian right’s faith in Trump not shaken,” Guardian, June 20, 2021,; Peter Wehner, “Evangelicals Made a Bad Bargain With Trump,” Atlantic, October 18, 2020,; Peter Wehner, “The Evangelical Church is Breaking Apart,“ Atlantic, October 24, 2021,; Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “After Trump and Moore, some evangelicals are finding their own label too toxic to use,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017,
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  8. [8]Times of Israel, “Don’t make us choose — you or Israel: Evangelical warns Trump over Netanyahu rift,” December 15, 2021,
  9. [9]Irin Carmon, “This Is How Roe Ends,” New York, December 1, 2021,; Ed Kilgore, “Is Roe v. Wade Now Doomed?” New York, May 17, 2021,; Adam Liptak, “Mississippi asks the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade,” New York Times, July 22, 2021,; Ruth Marcus, “The Rule of Six: A newly radicalized Supreme Court is poised to reshape the nation,” Washington Post, November 28, 2021,; Ruth Marcus, “The question is not whether ‘Roe v. Wade’ is overturned — but how,” Washington Post, December 1, 2021,; Amber Phillips, “4 takeaways from the Supreme Court arguments on abortion,” Washington Post, December 1, 2021,; Nia Prater, “Supreme Court to Hear Case That Threatens Roe v. Wade,” New York, May 17, 2021,; Daniela Santamariña, “What abortion policy would look like in the U.S. if Roe v. Wade fell,” Washington Post, September 2, 2021,; David G. Savage, “Supreme Court agrees to hear major abortion case challenging Roe vs. Wade,” Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2021,; David G. Savage, “Supreme Court justices sound ready to restrict the right to abortion,” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2021,; Felicia Sonmez, “Sen. Collins repeatedly asserted that Kavanaugh considered abortion rights settled law. The justice’s decision on Texas’s restrictive law suggests otherwise,” Washington Post, September 2, 2021,; Ariane de Vogue, “Mississippi asks US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade,” CNN, July 22, 2021,; Paul Waldman, “At the Supreme Court, the bell tolls for Roe v. Wade,” Washington Post, December 1, 2021,; Mary Ziegler, “The End of Roe,” Atlantic, December 1, 2021,
  10. [10]David Benfell, “Trumpism, Donald Trump, the January 6 coup attempt, and a smoking gun that may never be found,” Not Housebroken, December 14, 2021,
  11. [11]Times of Israel, “Don’t make us choose — you or Israel: Evangelical warns Trump over Netanyahu rift,” December 15, 2021,
  12. [12]Andreas Andreopoulos, “Eschatology in Maximus the Confessor,” in The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor,, 2015,; Josiah Hesse, “In US evangelical capital, a new progressiveness and differing views on Israel,” Guardian, May 19, 2018,; Brian Tashman, “Bachmann: Obama Is Supporting Al Qaeda, Proving That We Are In The End Times,” Right Wing Watch, October 7, 2013,; Brian Tashman, “Gohmert Gives Netanyahu Book From End Times Fanatic,” Right Wing Watch, November 18, 2011,
  13. [13]Dan Balz, “2020 presidential polls suffered worst performance in decades, report says,” Washington Post, July 18, 2021,; David Byler, “Polling is broken. No one knows how to fix it,” Washington Post, July 22, 2021,; Mona Chalabi, “The pollsters were wrong – again. Here’s what we know so far,” Guardian, November 4, 2020,; David A. Graham, “The Polling Crisis Is a Catastrophe for American Democracy,” Atlantic, November 4, 2020,; Courtney Kennedy and Hannah Hartig, “Response rates in telephone surveys have resumed their decline,” Pew Research Center, February 27, 2019,; Steven Shepard, “Report: Phone polls aren’t dead yet,” Politico, May 15, 2017,; Steven Shepard, “Dem pollsters acknowledge ‘major errors’ in 2020 polling,” Politico, April 13, 2021,