The Lord Is My Campaign Manager

Frequently, on Sundays, I get the urge to take a peek at what the religionists are getting up to.  I’m not sure why, it just feels kind of right.

Sure enough, it took no time at all, to come across this guy—Richard Darrell Trigg of Tennessee who is very busy, right now, starting up the Christian Party PLUS setting up a presidential campaign. 

That may seem, to some, to be a particularly ambitious agenda but, Mr Trigg has no doubt that he will succeed because The Lord directed him to do these things.

So far, there is a somewhat sparsely populated website doing double duty—Christian Party launch and an early presidential campaign pitch.

The Christian Party platform is pretty much what you might expect from a Politicos for Christ outfit with a few notable exceptions.  There are the usual extreme social conservative planks regarding abortion, homosexuality, illegal immigration, standards of public decency etc.

A few standout policies involve abolishing the First Amendment; punishing adulterers with jail time; capping the salaries of sports coaches and the CEOs of publicly-traded companies; raising the legal drinking age to 25; changing the statutes of limitations for various crimes; and legalizing medical marijuana.

Apparently, Mr Trigg’s Lord moves in strange and mysterious ways.

So.  That’s Mr Trigg, in a nutshell, and please feel free to further explore the links above to satisfy your own particular level of curiosity. I’m at a stage of my life where discovering one more delusional specimen is hardly notable nor, alas, all that entertaining, anymore.

No.  What I find interesting about this particular story is its indication of which wheels might be threatening to fall off the GOP’s Magical Mystery Campaign bus.

Upon further investigation, I’ve discovered that the relationship between fiscal and social conservatives has always been a little more tense than I understood it to be, mostly due to the intransigence of the latter.  The word Christian, in our society, covers a lot of turf so allow me to say, right up front, I don’t for a minute blame GOP policy problems on your garden-variety Christian.  Some of my best friends . . . etc.

The people causing so much Republican agita and pushing the party to such social policy extremes, lately, are not garden-variety Christians.  They are religious zealots, extremists who brand themselves as Christians and who, by their own core principles, cannot countenance moderation or the mundane give and take of political expediency.  They are the poster children for the rationale behind separation of church and state.  They are capable of instigating great mischief against the body politic in the pursuit of their theocratic objectives.

Some of the recent explosion in Independent voter numbers has to do with the Religious Right’s perception that they are being squelched, compromised or otherwise sidelined within the GOP apparatus and that neither national party is suitably amenable to their ideological demands.  As a result of, or perhaps, in tandem with, the TEA Party movement the hard-core Religious Right appears to be finding that a third way might be possible resulting in people like Our Mr Trigg deciding to create his own party of unapologetic, full-throttle social conservatism.

Recently, former Arkansas Governor, and FOX News commentator, Mike Huckabee warned the RNC’s Reince Priebus that “evangelicals will take a walk” if the Republican Party abandons the conservative Judeo-Christian social agenda.

Of course the numbers aren’t really there to make the Religious Right a viable independent third party, but these people live well within the echo chamber and they believe in miracles.

No doubt a Christian Party exodus would solve any number of problems for the Republican National Committee and the pragmatic, plutocratic old boys of the GOP.  I’m sure many of them are thoroughly over having to pledge allegiance to the King James Bible.

But the Republican Party might not be able to survive without the Christians.  They represent large numbers of the “right” demographic that is unfortunately, for them, but undeniably dying out.  The GOP can’t afford to lose ANY old white voters.  But, far more important than that is the money.  These are people who can get blood out of a turnip and next week’s grocery money out of the starving poor, because WWJD.

Ask any number of millionaire televangelists or pastors of megachurches how easy it is to pry cash out of Christians. Plus, Christian fundamentalists have a mature ground game that puts the Obama campaign to shame. 

As John Hicks, an Asst. Professor of Political Science at Alderson Broaddus College puts it in a recent study:

The parachurch network, originally constructed during the 1930s and 1940s consisted of the means of reaching out to convert the public with the message of the gospel, to bring revival to America. The network included:

Bible institutes . . .

Colleges . . .

Summer Bible Conferences . . .

Radio Preaching and Teaching — With the primary focus on bringing revival to America, fundamentalists adopted technology as a means of sharing the gospel with the nation and the world. Ironically, H. L. Mencken’s “morons” and “yokels” became masters of the technologies of the future and mass-marketing techniques.

Publishing . . .

In other words, Fundamentalism developed a complex, widespread institutional network to sustain its activities. This “subculture” continued to expand with the changing times and would later include television programs, Bible book stores, Contemporary Christian music, the techniques of mass marketing and sales, and the modern proficiencies of direct-mail fundraising.

The description of this as a network is a bit misleading, in that it gives the sense of an innocuous gathering. The modern network is big business, with sales of over 70 million books, 2,500 Christian bookstores nationwide and over $1 billion in music sales and concert tickets, just to mention three of its many areas of interest.  The modern religious right movement is the heir of this parachurch network, and attracts most of its members through mass-marketing techniques refined through years of practice.

No wonder the GOP is in no hurry to alienate the social conservatives, just yet.

And while these folks are less help winning national elections, they’re definitely dug-in in the states.  According to political scientist Clyde Wilcox:

. . . the Christian right’s greatest influence occurs in states that utilize caucuses and conventions to determine party nominees, rather than states with primary elections. In states with caucuses and conventions, more effort is required of the voter to participate in the political process than simply casting a vote in a primary election. One of the keys to the religious right’s electoral success is a well-organized grassroots effort, which is driven by members’ dedication and belief in the importance of the cause. As of 1994, the religious right had dominant control of the state Republican Party in eighteen states, and substantial influence in fourteen others.

It would probably take a lot to persuade religious conservatives to give up that kind of political power access lightly.  But, it’s not unthinkable, especially if a viable Christian Party were to arise at the same time that Republicans seem more inclined to go with the flow to win elections.

Christian Party, 2016?  Darrell Trigg doesn’t strike me as the man to do it, but stranger things have happened in an election year . . .

Posted by Bette Noir on 05/04/14 at 12:38 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '16NuttersRelijun

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Ah, Sunday. Praise the Lord & pass the idiocy.

Speculatin’s fun (‘though I could swear I swore off 2016 speculatin’ until next yr., at the earliest).

If another squishy RINO establishment type is run & loses (Esp. to that woman!) in 2016, then we may see some serious shaking up in the Gosh Offal Party.

I wouldn’t put too much money on ol’ Trigg there, but a younger, teleprompter-savvy, less-hicky weasel might be trouble.

I have a suspicion that the Christian Party is something of a lark (splitters!), but it does underline a big problem with the reliance of the GOP on people who so strongly unite their religion with politics:

Those people aren’t a majority at large (even if they are in certain districts) and to a lot of us, they don’t…seem quite right.  (I would put Santorum in this category—Cuccinelli in VA, this goes backaways, but Ralph Reed lost an election pretty much because at some point, smarmy religiousity wears really thin.) Making a necessary pull-back from things like same-sex marriage bans (which even Maggie Gallagher thinks might be a lost cause) and messing with access to birth control, even if it pisses off the Religious Wrong, might not be a poor idea.

The idea that the 1st Amendment should be done away with is fascinating when a Bible-thumpin’ mainstay like Judge Moore (whose veneration of the graven image of the Decalogue ironically violates the first commandment thereof)declares the 1st Amendment only for Christians. It would be doubly fascinating to see what happens if a fellow like Trigg gets a round of criticism—you’d see a born-again 1st Amendment fan in a hurry, no doubt! But vide the ouevre of Christianist psuedo-historian David Barton (et als, sadly) the “separation of church and state” was never supposed to be a “thing” anyway. Which I think might have been news to Messrs. Jefferson & Madison. (History may be written by the victors, but these cats aren’t waiting for an opportunity to re-write.)

(As a kind of post-script to which, I am amused when the same types of people who doubtless would caution against “creeping sharia” are proponents of a form of in-dhimmi-fication against non-Christians. It’s more proof of their irony-poor blood.)

. . . the Gosh Offal Party.

Nicely played @M. Bouffant

. . . this goes backaways, but Ralph Reed lost an election pretty much because at some point, smarmy religiousity wears really thin.

Ah! @Vixen, you do this to me every time, dragging me back to a time that reminds that maybe things aren’t really 100x worse these days.

@Bette—to be on the purely honest side, the Abramoff scandal was biting Reed in the butt, there, but the funny old thing is that there were more than a handful of smarmy religiousitous types that, surprise surprise, benefitted from Abramoff fund-raising. Now, today, there are definitely Religious Right types who get their backing the upfront (and election-law dubious) way , but I’m pretty unsurprised if, wherever you see people who can’t keep their church/state business separate, you’ll find they can’t keep their church/campaign money separate either.

And this is one of the various reasons the right doesn’t like the IRS or the FEC so much.

(And sadly, there are still deep pockets to be had on the religious wrong. It’s just, they can only buy mental real estate that happens to be for sale, and they may find many young people now occupy their minds with other things.)

Now if we can only just get the less religious, more liberal youngin’s to vote at all, this would work spectacularly.

God:Run for President::Lucy:Run Up and Kick the Ball

Youngin’s and single women: please, please, PLEASE; not just once every 4 years, OK?

Let me put this as delicately as I can:

What is this horse’s ass going to say, do, think, and believe about Jesus Christ, when he fails to become the next President of the United States?

I know—don’t bother asking.  As always, what I wonder is, how sincere is this?  When Newt Gingrich runs, we know it’s a scam.  When Trump almost-runs, we know it’s pathology.  When Mitt runs, it’s weird rich-Mormon vanity.  When whoever gets the GOP nod in 2016 runs, it’ll probably be the usual hubris and greed.

What’s this clown’s motive?  He’s so dull, so mush-mouthed, so not-compelling, you have to believe he IS sincere.  I don’t know whether my response to that is grudging admiration or turbo-charged contempt.  Which should it be?

I don’t know whether my response to that is grudging admiration or turbo-charged contempt.  Which should it be?

At first I had the same response; which quickly turned to shock and awe that these “Manchurian” candidates are actually out there.

Religionists have to be the most effective propagandists for the ages . . . but they want MORE, always more.

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