One of the most destructive elements of a society is wrong conviction in religious belief. But due to so many errors in religion one cannot rightly attribute conviction to that, but rather, designate this passion of faith as religious radicalism. When one is radicalized one is literally taken over by the belief and will be ready to give his life in defense of the course no matter how absurd or irrational. This is very dangerous to any society and worst is when millions of people who equally are proactive politically happen to be religiously confused. It is just a matter of time before they burn down a nation in the belief that they are accomplishing a just course. They will do anything but listen to reason, see the need for tolerance and accept the system that upholds freedom and human right.
For decades Evangelical Christians under Republican Party has been a force in political scene in U.S. government. They have pushed their conservative agenda and ideology like anti-abortion crusade which January 22, 1973, ruling in Roe vs. Wade appeared to be a catalyst that set them off to believing that their society is at the verge of destruction by the so-called radical liberals. They are not comfortable that U.S. Supreme Court can legalize such abomination as abortion. Since this ruling every effort has been put in place to overturn it, and criminalize abortion in order to deliver evildoers from the brink of hell.
As if legalization of abortion is not enough, on June 26, 2015, U.S. Supreme court legalized gay marriage. For the Evangelicals this is a confirmation that their country is already taken over by sinners and if they don’t fight like hell, they are doomed. From all over the country the far-right conservative media upped and activated their organ of misinformation. In 2017, Qanon came into media space with conspiracy theory that will radicalize believers and the so-called conservatives to be more determined to fight to death for their country. They believed in the disproven and debunked conspiracy theory that there are cabals and Satan-worshipping billionaire and millionaires in the government and Hollywood who are pedophiles and child-eaters. The claim is that Democrats are the very ones running this criminal ring racket and many in deep state are fighting Donald Trump who is God-sent, and who has set aside the Day of “Storm” to arrest all of them and annihilate.
Prior to now, the Evangelicals has been searching for a leader who will lead in this fight for the restoration of their so-called values; a leader who is fearless and strong to take on the radical liberals and vanquish their enemies. As Trump announced his candidacy in 2015, to run for president with some racist remarks, and feigned strength for the job, the Evangelicals stuck to him like bees in the hives. They saw in him the long awaited Moses to lead them away from Egypt and across the Red Sea. Blinded by their goals in this search, they looked the other way from whatever this candidate did that was against their values. They voted him in 2016, and filed behind him to take their country back. This apparent undermining of conservative values by the conservatives themselves, and the adulation, protection and preference of a political figure to the nation of United States, paint the future bleak.
As Trump lost the 2020 free and fair election, this far-right extremist conservatives and white Evangelicals were stunned and confused. Trump administration challenged the election with about 62 lawsuits across the nation and lost 61 of them. But prior to the election Trump had already stated that if he loses the election it means it was rigged. He has already sown doubt in American electoral process amongst his followers and being people who have nothing to do with reason, they believed the lies. On 6th January when the election was being certified, Trump supporters invaded the chambers where the election certification was taking place and threatened to kill the legislators and the vice President Mike Pence. Five people lost their lives and among them, a police office.
There is nothing a radicalized person cannot believe because what governs the mind is not reason, but myth and passion. This is why he is willing to embrace the unbelievable without shred of evidence and can wreak havoc not only to himself but to others too. As it stands today, with all the judicial ruling to uphold the election and with no evidence of voter’s fraud found, it shows that Evangelicals and far-right extremists are no more interested in democracy. They appear to advocate American version of Iran where religion serves as a platform upon which the government rest. This is the new norm; this is the danger to American democracy.
It is clear many Republicans have abandoned their values and solely hold allegiance to the party. That spirit of patriotism which inspires bipartisan efforts to protect the nation against foreign and domestic threats seemed to have departed. They even appear to be the ones to be afraid of; the ones striking at the foundation of democracy. They listened to the far-right media misinformation that peddle conspiracy theories and believed that they are under attack by liberals who are the anti-Christian socialists. The truth is that it is democracy that is under attack and which stands in the way of pseudo-theocracy they wish to establish. This is why when they were told that free and fair election was rigged by Trump they quickly believed it without asking for evidence. It is clear that they are just looking for any excuse to continue the assault on democracy and they are striking hard on the foundation.
The reason for this sorry situation also lies with self-interest that allowed a demagogue a place in the party. Trump came in with lies and poisoned the minds of Republican base that was already bracing up for war. He charmed the base and won them over with approval rating of about 98%. This explains why no Republican in the government can challenge him without the wrath of the base. Even when The President embraced white supremacy, proud boys, Neo-Nazis and Qanon, the party did nothing. They know he is thrashing the party, but they are afraid of losing an election which Trump’s Republican base grants and determines. They are the enablers!
Until there is a serious and urgent check on media misinformation that will come with accountability and consequences; until there is price to pay by public officials that peddles lies; until both Democrats and Republicans can rise together in defense of United States against foreign and domestic threats, and fight for the interest of the nation first, I am afraid, this beautiful city on a hill might going the way of other empires!