One of the biggest mysteries of this election cycle is how a repulsive, hate-filled womanizer and charlatan like Donald Trump was somehow able to steal the evangelical vote away from a firebrand religious extremist like Sen. Ted Cruz or wet pond-stick extremist like Ben Carson.
That’s the issue that former Daily Show correspondent and now host of her own show, Samantha Bee, tackles in this extraordinary sketch. “Seriously, what is going on? Are evangelicals that eager to get the apocalypse going?” she asks. “Instead, most evangelicals said yeah, we’re going to go with the thrice-married, foul-mouthed tit judge who likes Planned Parenthood and thinks Corinthians is a kind of car upholstery!”
She then breaks down in a concise and amusing way just how the American evangelical community became co-opted by the far-right of politics, describing them as a “wasp in an airplane: they’re small and outnumbered but everyone still has to avoid pissing them off – but it wasn’t always that way… It wasn’t abortion that birthed the religious right, it was good old white nativism and anti-government anger when the IRS challenged evangelicals’god-given right to go to school without black people.”
Bee describes how the racial politics of the 1960s re-mobilized the evangelicals into politics after they took a hiatus following their defeats at Prohibition and the Scopes “Monkey Trial.” Reproductive rights were found to be a salient issue as well, which played a large role in the evolution of the Republican Party. “In 1972, the GOP platform didn’t contain a single reference to God or religious issues. But from 1980 onwards, the platform began to read like a Baptist dream journal.”
Noting that the evangelicals aren’t as influential as they used to be, Trump is merely a reflection of the political religious right’s roots in the first place: “The new evangelicals are happy to ditch the Bible for good, old white nativism and anti-government anger.”
Watch it here:
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.