There are some things in modern politics that simply boggle my mind. One of them is Dennis Kucinich. Another is the "religious right" and the power people think they have over the Republican Party. Recently, a group of well-known religious conservatives floated the idea of supporting a third party candidate if the Democrat and the Republican candidates do not represent their views.
I used to think people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson held a sizable chunk of the Republican vote and could sway an election with their words and deeds. Part of that perception was and still is fueled by one source.
The faux left.
In truth, the "religious right" holds the same political stroke as the pro-abortion side: in volume, not size. This isn't to say religious Republicans and religious conservatives don't have power, but they aren't the ones who are in front of the cameras talking about a third party movement. The religious conservatives I know and respect have one thing in common: deeply held values.
Yet, when we look at some of the so-called leaders of the "religious right," we see...a facade. And this "we'll take our votes and go home" move is proof of it. How do I know? Because they've pulled this crap in the past, and the "religious right" didn't follow through on their threats. And, no, the 2006 election results do not prove that the "religious right" has more stroke than I give them credit for. There were a lot of people who stayed home to protest the GOP going soft, but conspicuous by their absence was...the "religious right." And the reason? Because 2006 was an off-year election, so fewer people would pay attention to them.
Upon hearing the news of the "religious right" thinking of going third party, the faux left cheered, but they really shouldn't. In truth, the people they and the media consider to be the "religious right" don't number that many. The way to look at it is like this. A group of 10 people would have a lot of influence over a larger group of 11-20. But the more people you add to that larger group, the less influence the 10 has.
In essence, the "religious right" that the media identify as such is that group of 10. They can influence smaller elections, but the higher up the political food chain they go, they lose influence because they're not the only ones in the game currying favor. Should the "religious right" make good on their threat (and I have no reason to believe they will), it won't impact the Republicans that much. There's another reason the faux left shouldn't be cheering this, but that's a blog for another time.
Suffice it to say, the "religious right" are not using their heads in this situation if they really do decide to look at a third party candidate. It may not grease the wheels for Hillary to get into the White House, but it will leave them looking extremely foolish and petty, and will leave the religious Republicans and religious conservatives doing what they usually do whenever one of their alleged leaders says or does something stupid.
They disavow them and FAST.