The Atlantic

Conservatives Are Scared, Even Under Trump

Liberals decry the forward march of a right-wing agenda. But people on the right believe they’re on the defensive.  
Source: Joshua Roberts / Reuters

On a side wall of the lobby of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., there’s a little exhibit that inadvertently testifies to the organization’s current level of influence in Washington. It displays a 1995 photo of Elsa Prince posing with Rich and Helen DeVos at the ground-breaking of the group’s new building on G Street, right across from the National Portrait Gallery. The two wealthy West Michigan families, which have donated significantly to FRC over time, share a daughter in common: Betsy DeVos, the current secretary of education.

For groups like FRC—which exists “to advance faith, family, and freedom … from a Christian worldview”—the Trump era should be a time of total triumph. FRC’s leader, Tony Perkins, is a regular White House visitor and one of the president’s evangelical advisers. The administration has prioritized issues that top the group’s agenda, including religious-freedom protections and rights for the unborn. Officials like DeVos, sympathetic to the religious right, have been working to and for LGBTQ students,

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