As delightful as it would be to no longer see the American Taliban as a political force, that’s not likely going to happen any time soon. Fortunately, though, their influence does seem to have peaked.
This year provided a number of strong victories for the left, including huge victories on gay rights, the first openly gay senator, the defeat of two extremist anti-abortion Senate candidates, and two other nutjobs, Allen West and Joe Walsh, as well as the approval of marijuana laws in three states and one city.
Keep in mind that leading up to the election, there were concerns over the number of religious leaders (a whopping 1600 of them, in fact) who chose to ignore tradition and promote candidates from the pulpit. What may have surprised the US religious right is that on Wednesday, the sun still popped up and people carried on living normally — the end was not nigh.
While the US has a much stronger bond with organized religion than most other modern, industrialized countries, stepping back into the Stone Age no longer seems as attractive an option as it was before, even for religious Americans. At the current pace, the extremist religious right and the GOP will continue doing well with the older, white crowd, but long term that’s not a great option for obvious reasons.
And as Gaius noted earlier this morning, America’s Taliban extends beyond the religious right, but fortunately some Republicans are finally starting to stand up to them. Here’s GOP consultant and pundit Steve Schmidt, who was a senior adviser to McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign:
“It’s gotta be shut down, it needs to be repudiated by serious leaders in the party. Look, conservatism is a serious governing philosophy…. Conservatism shouldn’t be defined by fidelity to all of these crazy statements by talk-radio personalities, or by reality show hosts who go out and say outrageous things. And when you have these reality show hosts, like Donald Trump, who are hanging around with our presidential candidates, they are, by virtue of that, given some platform for seriousness, and they call for “revolution” on their Twitter accounts, after the president has been legitimately re-elected by the American people. It’s gotta be shut down by serious leaders in the Republican party.”
From his lips…
“The historic nature of these results are hard to overstate,” Jones said. “Given the strong support of younger Americans for same-sex marriage, it is unlikely this issue will reappear as a major national wedge issue.”
Some conservative evangelical leaders echoed that line. Albert Mohler, who heads the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on Twitter that votes for same-sex marriage suggested that “we are witnessing a fundamental moral realignment of the country.”
A Tuesday ballot measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state is still pending. In Minnesota, voters rejected a Tuesday measure that would have banned same-sex marriage there.
There’s reason to be hopeful for the future and that the knuckle-dragging, Stone Age-loving religious, and political, extremists will become less relevant each election cycle. Personally, I won’t miss them one bit and welcome their complete collapse.
Now, for the schadenfruede of it, here are Donald Trump’s “Obama wins!” tweets one more time: