Q & A: Bishop Harry Jackson
Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of a large, charismatic congregation in Maryland, is one of the leading voices in black religious conservatives. He spoke to me about how the McCain campaign can rally Christian conservatives to vote on November 4.
"I think the election so far has been like being on a roller coaster at a strange amusement park for the first time. You know you're going to have ups and downs but you don't know where the turns are. I was very concerned the McCain campaign was dead on arrival, meaning we stand for some good things but we might see him not incurring excitement in terms of winning. I was very concerned about his commitment to the pro-life community. He has a great record in terms of being anti-abortion, but his position on stem cell research is questionable. I don't think it's as major as abortion is but I do think it shows a little bit of inconstancy."
What do you think will get people mobilized enough to get out and vote?
If they can rally the base of the faith community who work through the largest potential grass-roots organization in the world, the church, he could really see the number of workers on the ground floor multiply amazingly.
If I were advising them - and they didn't ask for it but I'll give it to them - first of all I would say they need to make a huge media blitz of Sarah Palin going to all the radio and television networks and having her just interview. Tell her advice, offer anecdotes about her life.
But is Palin enough? She's not the one running for president. Are conservatives convinced she'll make a difference to the ticket in the future?
People who are Dr. Dobson's age these are the "I'm not voting" type. She becomes an important emissary to our community that can cross generational lines, the gender gap, and basically say to them we're all right, we're going to do right for you.