Christian Right: Inviting Cruz or Trump to Tea?
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Dec 14, 2015 at 12:03:13 PM EST
With Republican candidate Ben Carson dropping like a stone in a pool of confusion, who gets invited to the tea party?

Tea Party activists currently appear to be splitting their votes between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. That's at 9 am December 14, 2005.

Things could be different by tomorrow in this fast-shifting environment.

Over at the Free Republic website, which caters to all things of interest to the Right-Wing Patriot Movement, there is an
ongoing and vibrant discussion about this split.

Putting this in perspective takes a few steps.
First, it is vital to understand that the Tea Party as a diverse social movement has changed over time:

Tea Party over time

Click here to view a chart illustrating this in a new window

Many Tea Party activists now are carrying an ideological portfolio including:

  •         "Free Market" Neoliberalism

  •         White Nationalism

  •         Christian Nationalism

Both Trump and Cruz support some form of "Free Market" Neoliberalism, so which of the two remaining ideologies are the most important to an individual Tea Party activist? That's what is sorting out right now.

Another factor is that the Tea Party Movement is allied with the Republican Party, but independent of it. It exists between the Republican Party in the electoral system and the US Ultra Right which is insurgent and includes autonomous armed units.

Tea Party Inbetween

Click here to view a chart illustrating this in a new window

Here is what Abby Scher and I wrote in 2014:

Nearly half of Tea Party supporters said they were conservative Christians in polling by the Public Religion Research Institute (2011a). Two-thirds say abortion should be illegal. Fewer than 20 percent support gay marriage. Similarly, Tea Party supporters "tend to have conservative opinions not just about economic matters, but also about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage" (Clement and Green 2011).

Some 27 percent of registered voters "expressed agreement" with the Tea Party Movement. Tea Partiers, however, are much more likely than registered voters as a whole to say that their religion is the most important factor in determining their opinions on these social issues. And they draw disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants (Clement and Green 2011).

The studies suggest that "most people who agree with the religious right also support the Tea Party" but that "support for the Tea Party is not synonymous with support for the religious right." Forty-six percent of Tea Party supporters "had not heard of or did not have an opinion about" the Christian Right.

Yet 42 percent "said they agree with the conservative Christian movement" Protestants (Clement and Green 2011). As has been true for roughly 30 years, some 16 percent of registered voters leaving polling places say they support the Christian Right.

= = =

Abby Scher and Chip Berlet, 2014. "The Tea Party Moment," in Nella van Dyke and David S. Meyer, eds., Understanding the Tea Party Movement, Farnham and London: Ashgate.

Clement, S. and Green, J.C. 2011. The Tea Party, Religion and Social Issues. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Washington DC. [Online 23 February].  Available
at: al-issues-conservative-christian

Tea Partiers, however, are much more likely than registered voters as a whole to say that their religion is the most important factor in determining their opinions on these social issues.

Unfortunately, they are also much more likely to vote, and that is why the US is in the miserable place it is currently in. The moderates and lefties are much LESS likely to vote.

by phatkhat on Tue Dec 15, 2015 at 11:43:25 AM EST
are left out in the cold by the Democratic party elites, who push "Republican Lite" candidates on us and don't listen to us.  Plus we have caught Republican moles who were prattling the "both parties are the same" mantra at people and turning them off to voting (even encouraging people to protest against "both parties are the same" by not voting).

You get sick and tired of "the lesser of two evils", or as one Democrat who ran for office and lost (because he listened to the handlers/party advisors and focused on "get out the vote" instead of thinking about name recognition) said: "Hold your nose and vote."  We shouldn't have to do that.

At the same time, if I don't hear of or see deliberate politicking by churches and the de facto endorsement of conservative Republican candidates this election, I will be VERY surprised.  I also have linked to the form to file complaints if I encounter it.

(At least three of the churches I pass by have Republican signs all over their property when I drove by them in past elections - and not a Democrat sign to be seen anywhere, largely because they tend to vanish the night they're put out in one's yard.)

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Dec 18, 2015 at 04:03:12 PM EST

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