For some political observers who actually comprehend the danger of a rabid group of religious extremists infiltrating the halls of power from Washington D.C. to every tiny berg in America, Ted Cruz’s Iowa victory was no surprise. In fact, after the lead up to the 2014 midterms when poll after poll showed voters sending failed Republican incumbents home to cry and pray only to win by large margins, it was obvious they had a secret weapon; nasty, virulent and extremist religion. A weapon, by the way, this column spent no small number of words warning would easily give Republicans more power and influence; especially in the states.
Now, it is true that Donald Trump has commonality and support among evangelical fanatics, but he does not run his campaign on pledging to hew to Christian fundamentalists’ vision of a Taliban-like American theocracy like Cruz; and Trump paid the price in the Iowa caucuses.
Since its inception, Cruz has portrayed his campaign for the presidency as a religious war, and Christian crusade, in which evangelical true believers will elevate “god’s anointed one,” Texas Ted, as America’s “rightful ruler.” In fact, the first words in Cruz’s victory speech was an appeal to evangelical theocrats; he said, “Let me first of all say: to God be the glory.” As a clever Muslim woman noted, Cruz uttered the Republican version of “Allahu Akbar!”
Cruz’s maniacal evangelical father Rafael actually claims, and evangelicals believe, that his son is god’s chosen emissary to transform America into the Christian nation according to the Founding Fathers’ original intent; like a messianic figure. Elder Cruz even agrees with Glenn Beck that Ted Cruz’s candidacy is “divine providence” and that Texas Ted is “the prophetic figure who will save us all.” Beck said,
“Everybody was born for a reason. In your son, I am more and more convinced in the hand of divine providence.” Cruz concurred saying, “Oh, absolutely. Who doesn’t want to be the father of the messiah?”
Cruz’s brand of evangelical-driven hate won over Trump’s “generalized” hate with ardent support of religious freaks such as the Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats who agrees with Cruz that “god’s law” supersedes the Constitution, the Supreme Court is irrelevant, and that America must emulate Vladimir Putin and imprison those who speak out for gay rights. Cruz still contends that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling is god-wrong and that marriage equality is an abomination to him and his god, and if it is allowed to exist at all, it is the purview of the states.
Joining Cruz and Vander Plaats in the Iowa campaign was Duck Dynasty religious maniac Phil Robertson who told Cruz’s audiences that as president Cruz will deal a death blow to equal rights and marriage equality. According to the hirsute duck-boy, the 14th Amendment guaranteeing gay couples marriage equality “Is evil. It’s wicked. It’s sinful. We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there. Ted Cruz loves God.” Cruz never distances himself from Robertson’s theocratic rants.
A lot of Americans love god, but they are not all like the hate-driven evangelicals who single-handedly propelled Cruz to victory over Donald Trump; it informs why Democrats would do well to stop perpetually underestimating these dangerous human beings and start calling out their radical intent to control all Americans.
If one was courageous enough to sit through Cruz’s sermon in the guise of a victory speech, they would have heard a litany of biblical references, a slew of actual biblical scriptures and passionate appeals to inject “Judeo-Christian values” as the government. Cruz’s embrace of the Christian right is not new, and certainly not insincere and that is what should horrify Americans; the crazy evangelical Cruz means every radical religious thing he utters as do his equally rabid theocratic acolytes.
There is a reason Cruz launched his presidential candidacy at an evangelical school, Liberty University, and why he courted the endorsements of, and enlisted, the leading theocratic conservatives across America and particularly in Iowa. To organize an extremely passionate and radical Christian conservative movement to get out the vote on Iowa’s caucus day and propel him to victory over equally hateful, but not religiously fanatical, Donald Trump.
As Amanda Marcotte noted, Ted Cruz won Iowa “on the back of the scariest Bible-thumpers in the business;” and scarier still is that they exist nationwide in great numbers. The fact that evangelicals are “allegedly” on the decline, and yet still easily propelled failed Republicans to victory in the 2014 midterms, and Cruz in Iowa, is a portent for disaster and a fair warning to decent Americans. Not addressing the rise of the American Taliban is precisely why Ted Cruz’s nasty evangelical hate easily bested Donald Trump’s generalized hatred in Iowa and likely across America.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.