For years, Sarah Posner has been one of the most perceptive journalists covering the political activism of U.S. evangelicals and the broader Religious Right. In 2016, she became one of the first reporters to track the rise of the Alt Right, and its relationship to the wider conservative movement, including getting former White House advisor Steve Bannon to admit that he saw his website, Breitbart News, as “the platform for the alt-right.”
PRA: One of your book’s most impressive accomplishments is in revealing the connections between the Christian Right and the Alt Right, two movements people often think of as separate.
PRA: Almost everything written about Trump and evangelicals highlights the contradiction between his personal immorality and the Christian Right’s purported values, concluding that evangelicals hypocritically traded their values for raw political power. You say that’s too simplistic, and that a deeper bond exists between them.
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PRA: You also write that Trump offered evangelicals something more than just political power; that he gave them “new life.”
Roe v. Wade
PRA: You observe that Trump seems to have studied televangelism and used it as a model for his public persona and career.
PRA: Racial grievance is an important through-line of your book, not least in your history of how the contemporary Christian Right came into being.
Brown v. Board of Education ’
PRA: You describe Trump as not an aberration but rather the belated culmination of the New Right’s plans: a figure whom social conservatives could use to punish establishment Republicans for taking them for granted.
’ National Review
PRA: You also report that, although mainstream conservatism treats the Alt Right as marginal, there’s a sort of dance between the establishment GOP and the Far Right in terms of what they admit is part of their coalition. For example, you report that Peter Brimelow, founder of the racist website VDARE, told you many Alt Right people have mainstream roles, staffing conservative think tanks, flying under the radar.
National Review, — National Review,
PRA: You also write about the ways the Christian Right and the White supremacist Right overlap, including on the international stage, with figures who seem different but are fighting similar fights—people like Allan Carlson of the World Congress of Families and former Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
Viktor Orbán— — — —
PRA: Is the Right’s use of religious freedom rhetoric an example of that?
 Sarah Posner, “How Donald Trump’s New Campaign Chief Created an Online Haven for White Nationalists,” Mother Jones, August 22, 2016, https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/stephen-bannon-donald-trump-alt-right-breitbart-news/.