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Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential, and respected voices on cultural and political issues. An apologist, Christian political advocate, and author, here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes.
I'm Chris Hughes. Welcome to the Christian perspective where we look in God's Word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. As you know, folks, if you listen to the show at the Citizens for America Foundation, we work to educate and train Christians to develop a biblical worldview and then encourage them to take that biblical worldview into the arena of public policy and politics.
And I know to some of you that's a dirty word, but it's important. Many people that think Christians can't be faithful to the Word of God to be in politics, but I want to tell you, folks, that's simply not true. And our guest today has walked the corridors of politics and power all of his adult life, and he is a man firmly committed to Jesus Christ.
You can be committed to Jesus and be involved in public policy and politics. Mike Meares is really a fascinating guy. We're going to let him tell us more about it, but Mike Meares has served in various capacities with a lot of national organizations. I didn't realize some of the great organizations he had worked for until I started looking at having him on the show.
He was one of the first. He was the first ever director of strategic partnerships at the Republican National Committee. And then when I met him and he was serving the role as a national faith engagement director at the Republican National Committee more recently, if those of you were following the the Virginia race, you know, we talked about that race a lot on the show here of the governor's race in Virginia in 2021.
He served as face advisor to Youngkin for governor in Virginia. And today, Mike Meares is the president of Mordecai Strategies, which is a political consulting firm. So Mike Meares, welcome to the Christian Perspective.
Hello, brother Hughes. Thank you so much for having me. It's kind of great to be on, you know, having been at the RNC for the last eight years, up until August, I didn't do a whole lot of media hits because the red cape involved and the vetting and all that good stuff just made it, you know, cost prohibitive, if you will. So I'm excited to be able to do this. And I'm kind of kind of finding my voice as I as I go along. Well, you know, now is your I know that you're a guy who likes to work behind the scenes. But as you advertise and push your your new company, Mordecai Strategies, you're going to have to bite the bullet here and do more of this. So Mike, people may not know you by seeing you or know the name, but your work has been working behind the scenes for many, many years. Share with our listeners kind of who you are, where you're from and your background, that kind of thing.
Sure. Well, first and foremost, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. I came to know him as my personal savior back at the age of 17 through a ministry at my high school called Campus Life.
I was in another tradition at that point and was actually headed towards maybe being professional clergy in that tradition. And started taking the tires, started reading my Bible, had a lot of questions. And the evangelical Christians next door were happy to answer the questions that others were not. And at age 17, they also had pizza and Dr. Pepper, which I was not allowed to have when I was growing up.
There were probably some girls around too, weren't there? And it was actually a pastor's daughter. But that's, you know, look, as I as I joke, as I joke with her, because they're still good friends, you know, the girl didn't take but I sound like they think Christ certainly did. And, and so from there, God involved with a great evangelical church in Southern California, I grew up in, in the city of Orange, and always felt that God had something. And for me, and not necessarily in the traditional sense of being a pastor or going out and being a missionary. Back when I was coming of age, in, gosh, mid 80s and 90s, there was this new kind of wave of members of Congress and representatives who are believers, Christians, who are getting elected.
And I don't know, I say God gave it to me. But they thought was, who's advising these guys? I mean, there's all these Bible studies for for members of Congress and elected officials, and that's great. But I was concerned about, you know, staff and things like that. Well, rather than go that discipleship route, I, I got involved in politics, I got involved in campaign. And I found myself in the DC area in about 97. And ended up I worked at concerning for America was one of the token guys, as I say, and I ran the path for Beverly and Kim LaHaye for many years. And once I got tired of introducing myself as a concerned woman, I decided to go over to the Family Research Council action. I'm much more of a action kind of a guy.
501c4, if your listeners aren't familiar with that, you've got that the 501c3, which is kind of like your church or kind of like a homeless ministry. And then you find a little empty for a little bit more of, okay, we see a problem. And we know that there is a solution possibly legislatively, we we all know that the ultimate solution is not going to come from government.
But we do have a role as American citizens. So anyway, and lo and behold, in 2013, well, that that 2012 we had lost, or the Republican Party had lost their second presidential race in a row. And the folks that should be rallying behind the Republican Party, conservatives and, and people of faith, Christians, especially, just were really angry.
And the party wasn't really quite sure what to do about it. That's where the strategic partnerships, directorship came into account of all, because, frankly, I've worked for so many people in town, who better than me to maybe kind of build relationships with the party and me, and the RNC members and, and folks like that. And that has reverberated even to this day, there's some relationships that have been started with guys like Tony Perkins and Penny Nance and gosh, Ken Blackwell, who's been around for such a long time, who, who now know who to call within the party.
I probably a lot of your listeners are like me. And I tend to, I don't like to identify myself with one party or another. It's kind of hard for me to do that now, since I, you know, I worked for the party, Republican Party for eight years. But I still say, if our party ever backs away from that platform, you know, I could very well be gone.
However, what I'm very concerned about is what comes out of play. Yeah. And, and, you know, go ahead. Let's jump in with the questions, because our listeners might not know what you mean, when you say platform, folks, the Democrat Party and the Republican Party both have what's called a platform, which is basically, it might might correct me, but basically a statement of beliefs. And, and the average person, it only takes about 15 minutes to read it. But the average person has probably even people that are involved in politics, have never read the full platform of their parties. So you know, I know in the Christian world, sometimes people are critical. Well, you know, why are you always pushing Chris, the Republican Party? Well, read the platforms. You mentioned you work for Family Research Council, Mike, in 2016, as President Trump was taking office, or really at the convention where he became president, Tony Perkins, who runs a Family Research Council was very, very involved and a lot of others to in writing the platform, which is basically the statement of what we believe for the Republican Party and folks, it was and still is today, the most conservative and most pro Christian, pro God platform in the history of the Republican Party.
And if you look, would you agree with that, Mike? Oh, yeah, I got I got to jump in because it gets me excited. That was, that was a privilege I had to be on the staff side, I was assigned to the platform in 2016.
Oh, I didn't know that. And I remember still remember the late Phyllis Schlafly, who was the founder of Eagle Forum. If your listeners know anything about the Equal Rights Amendment, she fought that for many, many years, a very strong traditional woman. And she comes up to me, grabs me by my tie, and says, 2012 platform was really conservative. Don't you mess it up. I just, I just kind of laughed. And, and then after it was all done, she came to me, she goes, I don't know how you did it, or how you guys pulled it off. This is actually more conservative.
And nobody thought that would be the case with President Trump being there. And I know what you mean for for the listeners, you know, Phyllis Schlafly, and I was with her just a few weeks before she died. And she was a frail old woman. But boy, I want to tell you, when you said statue up, she could put you in your place in a hurry. She was a fireball and did not back down. She was a woman of courage. Yeah, I'd like to think that I don't get intimidated by much. But Phyllis Schlafly was was one of those where she was calling me there was a good reason for it. And, and so I you know, yes, yes, ma'am.
How high that kind of stuff. So, yeah, so back to the platform, the platform is kind of this vessel for both parties. It's an opportunity for them to tell voters and activists, especially, hey, this is what we're about. Now, so I would argue, I'm actually on this side, I think that both platforms and the Republican Party is probably a little too long.
Because I'd actually like people to read it, frankly, and I just think it's it's much too long. However, when you start talking like that, and after the Trump administration in 2020 tried to do that, if it wasn't for the pandemic, the platform might have looked a little different. And the one great thing about the platform, and this is for your listeners, because I hope we're going to talk about people getting involved. But that's something you can get involved with is that it is delegates who write the platform. Yes, there's an editor.
And yes, he kind of, he kind of leaves it all together. But it's these, it's these groups of people from all over the country and the territories, who are who get elected through their party process, and they are selected to, you know, to craft the latest version of the platform. And it's been a fight. I mean, they're every year, there's, there's, there's a pro-life plan for the pro-family plank is, is at risk. And so it's really important that that Christian and folks who care about a conservative platform get involved. Okay, well, I'm going to say something really controversial.
So those of you listening, don't email Mike Mears, that you can email me. But I'm going to tell you that I don't see any way that a Bible believing Jesus Christ professing a follower of Jesus Christ can vote for a Democrat candidate. And here's why I'm saying that. If you read the platforms of the party, the Democrat platform is the most ungodly document you will ever read.
And they go against, everything in there goes against the Word of God. So it's not about being a Republican. This show is brought to you by Generous Joes, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.
Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. Democrat is about being what they believe. So if you were voting for a Democrat candidate for public office, then you are voting for someone who says they endorse that platform.
And it is an ungodly platform. Again, you can go ahead and email me. Mike didn't say that. I said it. So Mike, I get off that tangent now. And you mentioned a while ago getting involved. And that's what I want to do is encourage our listeners to get involved in this process. So if someone is listening and say, hey, Mike, it's exciting how you got started, what can I do to get involved in the political world and make a difference?
What can they do? Well, now, if you are sitting here listening to this and you're a Democrat, and you're a believer in the Lord Jesus, one, you are an absolute missionary. And so I really want you to be involved in the Democrat party.
If that's your home, your choice, we really need some people who are going to help reform this because I'm going to get to your question, but I'll tell you something. And that is, I kind of fell into the director of faith engagement at the RNC. My good friend, former director of faith engagement, Chad Connolly had left to kind of go out on his own and started a new organization called Faith Wind. Yeah, he's a good friend. And he's been on the show. Chad's a great guy.
He's fantastic. Well, so I I kind of had to follow in those footsteps. And I'll tell you that there's there's an inch in my heart sometimes, when I think about the church being so closely aligned with one party over another. But hang on.
The problem is with with my reasoning, and my age, is that it's not like this is a vacuum. The Democrat Party has every opportunity to speak to faith voters, to Christians, and they kind of ignore it. They, they go to some of the more liberal progressive churches around the country. They ignore, you know, our good independent Baptist and Southern Baptist and in a lot of our evangelicals.
And so that has gone away. You know, I don't want I really don't want people becoming Republicans first and Christians second. And sometimes, sometimes the conversations I have with folks, it's not it's not hard to slip into that. Remember, you got to be grounded in God's word.
And remember, salvation comes from from God alone in Christ. And so but if you want to get involved, I will tell you that the first thing you want to do is you want to go to your county party. That's your first step.
You can probably go online and kind of check it out. And, you know, there's going to be an email of somebody that you can talk to. And I'm going to just tell you, you will be a fresh fragrance to that person, because they're always looking for new people. I mean, it's not like people are knocking on the door, there's there's an intimidation factor, there's, I really want to be involved.
But you know, the last thing I want to do is, is take up another two or three nights of my week, and I could be with my family. There's a lot of obstacles, but when you like, take that step, you're going to find somebody who's probably going to be very open minded and with open arms. And from there, you can start getting involved.
Yeah, they'll probably give you a job. Maybe it's as simple as, as holding a clipboard at the next meeting. Maybe it's maybe you have a skill, and you help market some things, or there's a lot of things that you can do.
And it's good for you to kind of see that the inside working doesn't take that much time, although I think sometimes we all got to get stuck into it. But it's a great way to serve your community. And what I always ask my fellow believers to do is to bring Christ with you. Wherever you go, you are a witness wherever you go. And even when you're working with the Republican Party, you shouldn't assume that everybody knows Jesus.
That is such a if I can jump in with you, Mike, that is so important. I worked on a national level in the Pat Robertson campaign in 1988. And, and, and Christians who had never been involved before did what you said and went into these county parties. But they didn't do it in a godly fashion. Many cases, they were nasty about it. And it left a very bad taste in the mouth of people who had been working in the party for years. And it really took years for Christian candidates to dig out of that hole, because people claim to be Christians and did not conduct themselves in a Christian manner. In these meetings, it really hurts.
So you I didn't mean to interrupt you, but you're bringing out a good point. You're representing Jesus, and you need to remember that it's probably not going to be the first book on this subject. But I feel like there's, if there is a book inside of me, it's going to be on what is godly anger? And what does it look like? And how does how do you how should we manifest it?
And then also just stability in general? How should we present ourselves? I mean, I don't want to, I'm griping on on my fellow believers, because I feel like we're, we're in a family setting. But I can't tell you how many times when, you know, I was working from Trump campaign, and I'd be at church and Tony would grab me and they want to talk to me and they want to, they want to complain about something.
And their demeanor is just not good. And I'm, I'm looking at them going, I just want to go into church and worship my Lord. And, and so it's out there. And I think, I think it's a knock on on us as believers, that when we enter the public square, we need to continually bring Jesus Christ with us. And am I perfect?
Nope, not. I mean, there's some things that can set me off. And, you know, that's what God's gracious for. And we just kind of keep at it.
Yeah, such great advice. Well, before we run out of time, I want to talk a little bit about what you're doing now. So you've started a new consulting business, is that correct?
Yeah, that's correct. It's, it's called Mordecai Strategies. And it's kind of come out of, you know, my work with, with the RMC and all these other groups I've worked for. You know, when I, when I started, I'll be honest with you, I wasn't sure exactly where I was going to go with it. My very first client was Glenn Youngkin. That's a good client to have.
You did pretty good coming out of the gate. You know, and I gotta tell you, for your listeners who don't even follow this very, very closely. There's a, there's a man, young man, younger than I am, Jeff Rowe, who ran that campaign as a consultant. And yes, he is reaping the benefits of winning that campaign. But he, he really had a very flawless and disciplined campaign plan. And frankly, Glenn Youngkin was a very disciplined candidate. The other great thing about Glenn Youngkin is that he is a believer. And so I came on to help bolster up their, their faith engagement efforts.
You know, if somebody said, you know, well, you know, everybody, and I don't know everybody, but I honestly feel like if I picked up the phone, there's probably somebody else, you know, I can get to just find one or two phone calls, if that makes sense. And so we get that. And it's now kind of a model around the country. And I've been talking to candidates all over the country who, who kind of want the so-called Glenn Youngkin magic, if you will.
It's not magic, it's hard work. And when it comes to the faith engagement part, you know, some of the candidates that I'm talking to may or may not be very comfortable in their faith. And so I'm actually seeing this as an opportunity to do some missionary work, if you will, and defile a ship and, you know, you know, convey to them what faith voters are like, and what's going to appeal to them. Obviously, Glenn Youngkin found Jeannie in the bottle when he took up the mantle of the Loudoun County parents, who were very, very outraged at what was happening in their public schools. For your listeners who don't know, there had been an assault by a young man who was dressed up as a woman who went into a bathroom. I believe I'm characterizing this legally incorrectly. Well, the young lady, yourself and the only in the meantime, the school district kind of quietly, quote unquote, quietly investigated this. And in the meantime, he went to another school district where he did it again.
Yes. And so they kind of tried to cover it up. That may not have been their intention, but it sure does smell like a cover up. And so what happened as a result were these parents were just outraged. And Glenn Youngkin kind of gave voice to those folks. And, you know, that kind of spawned the parents for young kids campaign.
And so all these kids are looking around the country for this. And they're looking at our issues, right? And saying, oh, my gosh, if I'm pro-life, if I'm pro-family, if I'm pro-education, and that means also, you know, parents being responsible for their children and their education.
Well, man, I might ask you if it could be a U.S. senator or a governor in my state. And it's refreshing to see it because as you have worked in the trenches as well, you know how hard it is to get candidates to talk about our issues. Well, there seems to be a willingness to do that. Well, and Governor Youngkin did a good job because he stuck to the issues.
We're almost out of time. But Mike, for the faith community that's listening and they think that their vote doesn't make a difference. It did in this race, didn't it?
Oh, absolutely. I mean, the evangelical vote actually increased for Youngkin than it did for President Trump. You have some disaffected Trump voters, folks who didn't like probably his tweets and his rhetoric and things like that. So they just either stayed home or they left it blank.
There's no indication that they actually came out for President Biden, but those folks came home to Glenn Youngkin. And it was a different two points. I thought maybe we would have to wait until Wednesday before we would know the outcome. And we were very thankful that it was Wednesday at like one o'clock in the morning that we found out. But we were very, very thankful that we had been able to find out the results early on. But it's still very, very close.
Well, it was in the end, the Christian vote makes a difference. Mike, we're going to have to cut it off here. But for a candidate out there, a potential candidate that might want to hire you, how do they find you and learn more about the process? Sure. So they, my email is pretty sort of easy. If you're reading your Bible, you know, it's Mike at Mordecai strategies.com.
m o r d e c a i s t r a t i g. Yes. And I think I got that.com. I think I got that right.
I always spell Mordecai correctly, which is which is the tough part for most people. But, and then my phone number is easy 202-734-1897. And just remind how people remind me where where you heard my name.
We'll put that in the show notes. Mike, thank you so much for being with us today. Hey, God bless you. Thanks so much for having me on. Thanks for what you're doing. Folks, thank you for joining us today. I'm Chris Hughes and this is The Christian Perspective. Please subscribe and like our podcast.
Share it with your friends on social media. Now let's go change the culture for Jesus. Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus. Visit Christianperspective.us. Christianperspective.us. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for. A coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 20:44:10 / 2023-06-03 20:54:51 / 11