While everyone is talking about the latest dumpster fire that was the CNBC GOP debate, many have likely forgotten about the appeal some candidates are making to the very fringes of the Republican Party. The other night, 10 candidates on the main stage (and four at the opening act) talked mostly about their ideas about the economy.
The main stage debate was an unmitigated disaster, despite the fact that the CNBC moderators asked some pointed questions which the GOP candidates danced around while angrily accusing them of media bias.
One question the CNBC moderators should have asked them is why three of the candidates, along with possibly Ben Carson, were planning on speaking at an event next month in Iowa which is hosted by a radical right-wing radio host who has called for the government to execute gay people.
Via Right Wing Watch:
The organizer of the “National Religious Liberties Conference” in Des Moines, Iowa, announced today that Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal have committed to speaking at the summit, which will take place next month. One speaker at the conference, Iowa radio host Steve Deace, has said that Ben Carson has also RSVP’d for the event, although Carson’s name was not included in today’s press release.
Kevin Swanson, the conference’s chief organizer, is a far-right pastor and host of the “Generations Radio” program, on which he has frequently claimed that the government should put gay people to death, warned that the Girl Scouts and the movie “Frozen” turn girls into lesbians and blamed natural disasters on gay people and women who wear pants. (Source)
Right Wing Watch points out a myriad of other right-wing conspiracy ideas that Kevin Swanson has preached to his audience, including Obamacare death camps and various plots by gay people to indoctrinate Christian children via the media.
Attending this conference isn’t a fluke, or “trying to reach out to everyone”; these people are the radical right-wing that GOP candidates like Cruz and Jindal have been courting in Iowa. Just a decade or so back, right-wing extremists like this were relegated to the edges of the Republican Party – now they’re calling the shots.
Mainstream GOP candidates like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio are wisely avoiding associating with these groups, but that doesn’t mean they’re above giving a wink and a nod to people like Kevin Swanson. Sadly, these far right radio hosts and pundits are very good at turning out primary voters, which is why Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal have hitched their political careers to the wagons of charlatans who espouse views similar to that of the Westboro Baptist Church.
Ultimately, it is up to us to stop them. There is no doubt that after eight years of President Obama, and faced with a Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders presidency, the far-right is extremely motivated to erase our accomplishments and put a radical religious GOP candidate in the White House. Combine that with GOP-controlled state legislatures and Congress, and we’re looking at a recipe for disaster if we don’t get out to the polls and vote like the future of our country depends on it.
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