Monday, May 23, 2016

Political Religion

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

When elections season is in full force, the politics of religion come into full force.  In the USA this current political season (2016) especially for the republican politicians has been quite active on the religious front.  All said and done and with a lot of pandering to the religious groups (a lot of sounds were made towards the evangelicals) the end product of picking a republican candidate still ended up with choosing Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.  Go figure this out about the politics and combining them with religion, and Trump being the republican nominee.

Trump has made a lot of pronouncements degrading everyone and everything, and by doing so knocked out all his republican opponents.  His words and actions to date have been nothing less than boxing bouts of the worst kind without the gloves.  The republican primary campaign has not been civil, not been policy driven, not been one that has offered any solutions, it has simply been full of personal insults and almost fistfights, without the punching.  As incredible as it sounds Trump did knock out more than a dozen Republican heavyweights on his way to clinching the republican nomination.  It will only be civil to say what will come before the general election should be avoided by anyone who doesn’t like animosity.

Weather Trump is qualified or not, it really doesn’t matter anymore as the Republicans could not find anyone who will block him from their nomination.  No matter what’s out there as his accomplishments and life, there was not enough from other Republican candidate to stop him.  Religion was heavily broadcasted with the Republican agenda, but no one could convince the religious right and white vote bank to vote for anyone other than Trump.  This was one primary election where the personal profile or record of a person really did not matter to the religious groups or Republican voters.  Perhaps the past record of Republican Party’s performance in dealing with the religious groups is what has been the determining factor in them to vote for Trump, rather than their favored and or the so called Republican establishment candidates.

It is incredible that Trump just with crude language could knock out the heavy weight slate of Republicans out of contention in the primary.

The Democratic voters have yet put Clinton on the ballot on their behalf, and Sanders is still contesting for the Democratic party's nomination.  Neither Clinton nor Sanders pander as much as the Republicans do to the religious right.  The Democrats identify mostly with minorities; which itself is a massive conglomeration of hyphenated Americans, who are really fairly wide canvass of immigrants and locals who are a large groups of people of ethnic and racial backgrounds.  The Blacks, Chinese, Indians, Muslims, Hispanics, Women, Europeans, Asians, and whole slew of demographic and religious minorities all makeup of the Democratic Party’s vote bank.  These groups of people don’t necessarily have to be Christian, as many of them practice religion of their ancestral heritage.  It is difficult to distinguish the Evangelicals and Christian right or other religious groups that represent the majority why they would vote with any particular party, the identification of the religious right with Republicans is a political pitch that’s made in the American elections.  It doesn’t mean that all Evangelical Christians go to the polling booth and vote Republican.

Trump and Clinton both are not by any standard demonstrated that they are god fearing.  Clinton has been a lifelong democratic champion, who has a record of public service and there is nothing that people don’t know about her, and the voters are either for or against her.  Trump on the other hand is a new politician who also has a well-documented life which if people were not aware of, will for sure know everything about him before the presidential election.  By and large, the American electorate votes on their party lines; democrat or republican.  The only people in the middle, the so called independents who will probably are the swing voters, who might determine the election of the next President of the USA.  

Does religion really impact the voter behavior?  Most times not, as the party affiliation overrides any other matter.  The voters probably looking for a leader not just with religious leanings but are certainly more interested in economy, security and governance.  Democracies already foster religious independence, and as a political practice, religion simply will align with the party’s platform rather than a driving factor.  The beliefs of individuals and their religion is already aligned with the political parties, and no matter what the current candidates say or do, the religious affiliation of their representative parties is already well documented, and no matter what they say about the religious beliefs or practices will have little sway with the electorate.

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