Posts Tagged ‘Religious Right’

The religious right’s last stand: Ted Cruz

April 12, 2016

[Added 4/14/2016]  I think that of all the five current Democratic and Republican candidates, Ted Cruz would do the most harm if elected.  The reason is that he says what he means, and means what he says.  When he speaks of carpet-bombing and torture, it is not hyperbole.  He should be taken literally.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz

The post-Reagan Republican Party has been supported by three pillars—(1) the so-called neo-conservatives who think there is a military solution to all problems, (2) the so-called neo-liberals, who think there is a corporate solution to all problems, and (3) the so-called religious right, who think there is a Biblical solution to all problems.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is a hard-line supporter of all three, but his championship of the religious right is what is most politically significant, both for him and for religious conservatives.

The reason is that the interests of military contractors and Wall Street bankers are well-represented in both parties, but fundamental Christian preachers are represented only in the Republican Party and, from their standpoint, not too well.   Unlike the military and high finance, they are not part of the so-called “deep state“.

Ted Cruz’s platform on his web site gives more information about the specifics of where he stands than that of any of the other candidates.  It shows that he has obviously given a lot of thought not just to what he believes, but how he would accomplish it.

That makes him a more formidable candidate than Donald Trump, who answers questions about policy as if he were thinking about the issues for the very first time.

I have respect Cruz as a intelligent and committed ideological warrior.  But adoption of his political program would mean perpetual quagmire war, upward redistribution of wealth and a vain and divisive attempt to enforce the morality of an earlier America.

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Why the alliance of Netanyahu and the GOP?

March 16, 2015

The overwhelming majority of Jewish people in the United States vote for the Democratic Party, but it is the Republicans who are the strongest supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  And vice versa.  Why is this?

P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu and Sen. Tom Cotton

P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu and GOP Sen. Tom Cotton

I think that Republican hawks see Netanyahu’s Israel as a model of the kind of aggressive, militarist nation that they would like to see the United States become.

American Jewish voters mostly support Democrats because, based on their historical memory as an oppressed people, they favor civil rights, labor rights and humanitarian causes.   These are values rejected by the dominant faction of the Republican Party and by the Likud party in Israel.

I think that another reason is that Republicans appeal to the apocalyptic Christian minority that believes that the establishment of Israel is the fulfillment of a Biblical prophecy about the End Times.  Jewish people in the USA find these Christians scary, recalling their history of persecution, but they are exactly parallel to the apocalyptic Jewish minority in Israel.

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Rick Santorum and the GOP dilemma

February 24, 2012

Any political party depends on two kinds of people—the people who contribute the money, and the people who do the work.   Within the Republican Party, the hardest workers are the religious conservatives, the so-called religious right.

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich know this, and they catered to the religious right, but the religious conservatives don’t trust them.  Rick Santorum, on the other hand, is obviously sincere.  No politician would take the stand he takes, for example, on contraception unless he really believed it.   The religious conservatives trust him, but in gaining their trust, he may have alienated the majority of Americans.

Many Americans oppose abortion and gay rights, and others are ambivalent.  But contraception is another matter.   The majority of Catholics as well as the majority of the population generally take the right to contraception for granted.   If Rick Santorum is the candidate and contraception is the central issue of the 2012 Presidential election, the Republicans will lose.

The Republican dilemma is the result of the flawed U.S. system for nominating Presidential candidates.  Among all the Republican Governors, Senators and other national figures, there surely are some that would both be more electable and be better Presidents than the current crop.  But many of them probably didn’t want to subject themselves to the ordeal of campaigning and fund-raising, and now it is too late to get into the race.