Sarah Posner, writing for Religion Dispatches, explains how Donald Trump is creating a rift within the Religious Right:
Trump is the first Republican presidential candidate in the post-Reagan era to pin his campaign on a macho, chest-beating, self-aggrandizing view of what America is without invoking either his own salvation testimony or a paean to America as a Christian nation. For Trump, America is Trumpnation, not a Christian nation. What’s appealing to Christian nation diehards is often not the notion of America as a pious nation, but rather the affirmation that America is strong, brave, or just generally the best. For Trump, America risks not being the best anymore not because of the decline of religion (typically the heart of Christian nation ideology), but because of the rise of immigration.
It’s incredible, really, how Trump appears to be winning over evangelical Christian voters, even in Iowa. He’s removing the greatest weapon people like Mike Huckabee have: the ability to say “I’m one of you and I speak your language.”
Just look at the numbers from a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.
It goes without saying that a Trump presidency would be a disaster. The guy has no clue what he’s doing. But if he can siphon off Republican votes as an independent candidate, or eliminate the threat of the Religious Right voting bloc by creating a fissure between the people who want a Christian theocracy and the people who just vote for the craziest candidate out there, he could be doing liberals a *huge* favor. (Sorry. I meant yuge.)
This article from The Onion isn’t a joke. Trump is allowing us to see where the Right’s loyalties lie. He’s tapped into a way to trump Christianity (no pun intended) when it comes to getting votes from Republicans. And along the way, he’s pointing out how money influences politics by saying he gave money to politicians so they’d listen to him. He’s ignoring the politician playbook and it’s making the other GOP candidates squirm.
Sure, he says a lot of over-the-top idiotic stuff. That just means he fits right into the Republican Party. Along the way, though, some of his bluster is welcome. Hell, even Pat Robertson occasionally gets it right every once in a while.
It’d be even more hilarious if the prospect of Trump winning the nomination wasn’t so far-fetched.