It seems that nowadays everyone has an opinion on the Republican Party. In fact, how could you not when you look at its current state? You have Donald Trump leading the pack and dominating the headlines by making bombastic remarks, while on the other end of the spectrum you have people like John Kasich who are willing to work with Democrats dwindling in approval. Unfortunately, it now appears that preaching populism and non-cooperation are sure-fire ways to gain public endorsements.
A lot of misgivings people now have about the GOP can be attributed to the rapid rise of Tea Party movement. In many senses their views are simply libertarian and fiscally conservative; lowering government spending and cutting the national debt are examples of this. These are not the ideas that are alienating people. What the issue with this faction of the GOP is however, are the more personal yet unashamedly overt opinions of their members. Most of them continue to reject the science on both evolution and climate change. I shouldn’t be having to point out how regressive this kind of thinking is. Michelle Bachmann, a former Republican candidate for President and founder of the Tea Party caucus, has described climate change as being “voodoo”, “nonsense”, and a hoax among other things.
Another thing which many members of the Tea Party claim to take pride is their strict and literal interpretation of the constitution.
Why then, is that Ted Cruz, a darling of the religious right and poster-boy for evangelicals, (whom I have already taken the liberty of criticising continues to call the USA a country founded on Judeo-Christian values. I don’t think being an atheist precludes you from having some moral bearing, nor do I think love for your neighbour is an exclusively Judeo-Christian trait.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. But as founding father John Adams once said:
The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion
Because of the rise of this movement, a lot of candidates who once were written off as being have been flung to the front of the Republican pack, such as the aforementioned and Ben Carson, a man who does not even have any political experience. Even Donald Trump has attempted to appease the pious evangelicals in party by claiming the Bible to be his “favourite book”. When asked further about the religious text, here is what he had to say:
Not particularly flattering, is it?
I think we can all agree that the Democrats are not as burdened by having to claim to be overly religious, and perhaps this is because many of them are aware that religion is a personal matter, and as such it should not be nefariously politicised just for political gain. I am sure many Republicans share this sentiment. However the GOP risks becoming (many would say it has all succumbed to this) imbibed in religious zealotry and consequently becoming unelectable for years to come. If the Tea Party had stood for inclusive principles rather than misguided piety, perhaps we would not be in the situation we are in now.