A few days ago I wondered whether Christopher Hitchens had accurately described Karl Rove as “not a believer.” The answer seems to be yes. Christopher Schipper sends along this transcript of Wayne Slater on Fresh Air last September, talking about The Architect, his book about Rove:
SLATER: You know, I remember seeing Ralph Reed in Texas when Rove tried to bring him on board back in about 1998…Ralph Reed is an Evangelical Christian who was successful in bringing Evangelical Christians around for political ends. Karl Rove is just the opposite. He is, in fact, an agnostic. He has told–he told a friend in high school that he grew up in a largely a-religious household. He told a friend at the University of Texas, where some years ago he was teaching, that he would like to be a believer but he’s an agnostic and he couldn’t be otherwise. So Rove’s approach has always been not that religion and the values of religion ought to have a place in our public policy, which is the message that he sent. Rove’s approach is that Christians are a marvelously effective voter delivery system that can be rallied, motivated, energized, and delivered for the political candidate of your choice.
GROSS: Are you confident that Karl Rove would still consider himself an agnostic?
SLATER: I know that he felt that way two years ago. I don’t know of any reason to think that he has changed that view. He certainly hasn’t told me that he has. It’s certainly possible. I think the evidence and the history is that he remains something of an agnostic, though he sees the Christians, and not just Christians but also orthodox Jews, to some extent, as a valuable voter source. With Rove, it’s about winning. With Karl Rove, it’s how can you put together a team and a constituency or a cluster of constituencies that delivers you 50 percent plus one of the vote? And that’s what it’s all about.
Thank you, world, for validating my world view!