This is a short (17 minutes) Christian Coalition video from 1990, after Pat Robertson had made his run for the White House and decamped to Virginia Beach to … do whatever it was he did. I think it’s fair to describe the history of the Religious Right in three phases so far: Moral Majority, Christian Coalition, and Focus on the Family. This video is from that second awkward phase, when Pat Robertson ran for President and Ralph Reed was more or less the tastemaker until he ran aground due to his association with Jack Abramoff, and the Founding Fathers somehow became the Puritans, not Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin.
It’s amazing how poor the production values were twenty years ago, and how it seemed reasonable to have Ralph Reed stand at a flip chart and talk about a quarter-million-dollar media buy as if it were going to change American politics.
It’s also interesting to see the overt attempts to get Catholics into the fold. Note in particular the real clinker Robertson lets loose when he refers to John F. Kennedy and the moon landing about four minutes into Part 2. Seriously; who wouldn’t see that as blatant pandering? I have to admit that in 1980 I couldn’t have told you the difference between Pat Robertson and Jim Bakker; I can’t believe that in 1987 that the average Catholic could have either. If there was a big “Catholics for Robertson” campaign in 1988 I don’t remember hearing anything about it.
I think it’s a crying shame there isn’t more of this sort of media available on the Web. This stuff is really valuable as either a guiding light or a cautionary tale, and it’s a shame that only People for the America Way has possession of this one.