Here's how the US evangelical right, to this day, monkeywrenches US politics and (as one piece of its agenda) prevents even modest action to address climate change. It's called "The Fifteen Percent Solution" but even that overstates the necessary numbers. theocracywatch.org/taking_over_fi…
All the movement really has to do is hold at least one branch of Congress. But start here: "The formula they've concocted has been called the "15 per cent solution" by the Christian Coalition. Even in a well attended presidential election, only 15 per cent of eligible voters..."
"...determine the outcome. Here's the simple math: about 60 per cent of the qualified electorate is registered, and only half of them vote. Half again of that 30 per cent determines the outcome, hence the all powerful 15 percent."
4) But in reality, it takes far less than that. Because an even smaller percent - as low as 4%, as high as 9% (or even 10%) in #GOP primaries control what candidates advance to general elections. Additionally, since the late 70s or early 80s, the evangelical right began...
5)...a concerted, stealth effort to take over #GOP party structures. By the early 2000s, the project had made major inroads (see: theocracywatch.org/campaigns_elec…). Now, almost all of the old-guard secular and traditionalist Republicans have been hounded out of the party.
6) Conservative icon Barry Goldwater warned of this: "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me..." theatlantic.com/daily-dish/arc…
7) "Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them..." In the 2000 election primaries, Senator John McCain had harsh words for those preachers...
8) McCain called people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (he specifically named them) "agents of intolerance". There was a bit of family history there - see, McCain's father, a Navy admiral, had participated in a secret Navy admiral's cabal that sought to fight the influence
9) of Curtis LeMay and his would-be "Christian fascists" (the admirals used that term) in the Air Force. Their key objective was to wrest the exclusive nuclear franchise away from the USAF, which they eventually did via nuclear subs & the Polaris missile...
10) But I digress. The point is, John McCain was, like Goldwater, an old guard traditionalist Republican. But, he went after the religious right far too late. By the late 90s, support from the movement was essential for Republican candidates, especially presidential candidates...
11)...and so McCain's attacks on the preachers doomed his bid. Another, closely aligned with the movement (one of its own, many say) won the nomination - George W. Bush. McCain did not repeat the mistake. Leading up to the 2008 election, he relentlessly worked to curry favor...
12)...with the preachers. It worked up to a point. He won endorsement from rising Christian Zionist John Hagee. Then, whoops!, it was exposed (my doing) that Hagee claimed God had sent Hitler to persecute Europe's Jews. Thus, McCain renounced Hagee. This created a problem...
13)...which McCain rectified by picking, as his VP running mate, Sarah Palin - who had been raised in the bosom of an even more radical strand of the Christian right, the New Apostolic Reformation movement. "Prophets" close to Palin, in Alaska, actually prophesied that the...
14)...McCain/Palin ticket would win, and then Palin would ascend to an even higher political office following a sudden, unexpected death. Donald Trump relied heavily on these NAR types - he was repeated "anointed" by their leaders and one, Lance Wallnau, led the charge to...
15)...consecrate Donald Trump as God's anointed, a heaven-sent "King Cyrus" who was not a believer but who would do the right thing on behalf of God's people. Thus, Trump's cabinet is stuffed with movement fanatics who appear to believe that climate change cannot happen because..
16)...of a promise God is said to have made to Noah, a promise of no more Heaven-sent floods or (by extension) especially bad weather. (see: twocare.org/pence-sessions…
17)...now, the "Fifteen Percent [or less!] Solution" works in conjunction with the shortcomings of the American electoral system - the electoral college system (that gave us Trump) but also the over-representation, in the US Senate, of sparsely populated rural states where...
18)...the religious right is especially strong. All the #GOP and the religious right (to the extent that the 2 are distinct - they used to be, but not so much anymore) need to is hold the Senate and block all legislation on climate change or pretty much anything else to move...
19)...the nation constructively forward. And during the Obama presidency, Mitch McConnell throttled Obama judicial appointments with the expectation that the #GOP might retake the presidency in '016. Now, religious right judges are flooding into federal circuit courts.
20) So, at this point, you're probably pounding your head on the table and wondering "if a small radical bunch can so effectively hold America (and to a disturbing extent the world as well) hostage on key issues like climate change, why bother. With anything?"
21) Well, to begin with, we've come to this point because most of America has been in collective denial about its political system getting hijacked by a small, radical minority. Back in 2005 I co-founded a group website for writers, journalists, and researchers who focused on...
22)...the Christian right (as a political problem) and by 2011 we were getting attacked from authors with big megaphones - USA Today, WaPo, and so on - for allegedly demonizing Christian conservatives. Now, the issue is pretty much out in the open and people don't so much talk...
23)...about it, I think, because they honestly don't know what the hell to do about it. If we're truly dealing with a "Christian Taliban"... But back up a bit. This is a movement, a very complex one. There's structure, people play different roles, there's various types of glues..
24)...that are used to make the movement cohere. Glues can be melted with the right solvents, and stones can be split by hitting the right fracture points. One big fracture point is racism. The evangelical right is not a uniformly racist monolith because 1) it includes POC, and..
25)...the movement has a vast international component, the project of evangelizing the world - a project that *cannot* be carried out by racists, or tainted by the stink of racism.
26) Then, there's the issue of funding. The movement has rich funders who very much want to remain obscure. I've studied these folks at length (see: twocare.org/the-gathering-…
27) But dig this - there are fracture points among the funders too. The younger generation is just not so worked up about the alleged threat of LGBTQ people, and they're even increasingly worried about climate change. These people can - and should - be shamed. Social pressure...
28) I could write much more about this, but have to go for now. If you think this thread has some value, please send it the way of @MichaelEMann
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