(UPDATE) How Can Republican Voters Really Trust their Presidential Candidates?
The background to this satire piece was Gov. Scott Walker’s (repeated) refusal to say whether he thinks president Obama is a Christian. Most recently, according to Time magazine:
As someone who is a believer myself, I don’t presume to know someone’s beliefs about whether they follow Christ or not, unless I’ve actually talked with him…
Now, all satire aside, the Washington Post theorizes on the real reason(s) why Walker continues “going down this path”:
First off, it’s worth noting here that repeated polling has shown nearly half of Americans are uncertain about Obama’s faith, and many — especially conservative Republicans — believe he is a Muslim. A 2012 Pew poll showed just 55 percent of Americans correctly identified Obama as a Christian. Another 17 percent overall and 34 percent of conservative Republicans believed Obama was an adherent of Islam.
“That’s a significant chunk of the GOP primary electorate — though nowhere near a majority,” the Post writes, and adds “But it’s also clear that most Republicans (like Walker) don’t identify Obama as a Christian.”
So why does that matter to Walker, the Post asks and immediately suggests that “over the past 40 years Americans have increasingly been letting politics influence their religious beliefs — so much so that they increasingly associate less with their particular church and more with their ideological worldview.”
But, how can Walker benefit from “leaving Obama’s faith as an open question”?
Well, the Post says, religious experts claim that by doing so, “Walker could set himself apart from any number of evangelical Christians also running for president. And by extension, that could reflect on Obama’s party — and potentially Hillary Clinton.” In addition, when viewed through the prism of religious polarization — both of the candidates and “the average American”:
…it makes political sense for Walker — and other candidates — to leave open the idea that Democrats aren’t as religiously inclined (or even Christian at all). The stark theological divide between the left and right means that candidates can increasingly invoke religion to mobilize voters for themselves or against the other side.
That is part of the non-satire explanation for this weird GOP political phenomenon. For more on this, please click here.
Republicans voters find themselves in a serious bind this election cycle.
It is going to be virtually impossible to judge promises made by their candidates and to determine the honesty, integrity, virtuosity, family values and religious beliefs of each one of them.
How will they know that Rick Perry really means it when he promises that people will be allowed to take their guns to the movies and many other places, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Mike Huckabee will really deploy federal troops to stop abortions, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Donald Trump is truly a birther, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Jeb Bush will in fact repeal the Affordable Care Act, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Bobby Jindall will really save them some money by getting rid of the Supreme Court, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Rand Paul will save them even more dough by setting fire to the U.S. tax code, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Ted Cruz will save them even more tons of money and make America finally free from Washington by shutting down the government (except for the Executive Branch), unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Lindsey Graham will fulfill their fondest wish by deploying thousands of ground troops to Iraq to fight the Islamic State and to start another war, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that neurosurgeon Ben Carson will impeach judges who support gay marriage and prove once and for all that homosexuality is a choice, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Rick Santorum will once again make the military’s job to defend our country and not to have all kinds of sexual activities, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Chris Christie will, by example, once again make bullying acceptable, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
How will they know that Marco Rubio will once and for all declare climate change to be a gigantic hoax and reverse the bunch of laws and executive orders that are devastating the economy, unless they’ve actually talked with him?
But most important, how will Republican voters really know that Scott Walker is one of them — a true believer — unless they have actually talked with him?
Since there is no way for Republican voters to actually talk with all candidates, voters may just have to trust their
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