Last weekend, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee attended a conference in Iowa led by a conservative radio host who has repeatedly called for the execution of gay people. Kevin Swanson hosted the National Religious Liberties conference and invited all presidential candidates to attend.
Most candidates had the sense not to RSVP, because who in their right mind would want to be associated with a radio show host who operates out of his basement and has stated people should be killed based on their sexual preference? Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and even Ben Carson had the sense not to attend, but they’re not trying to blatantly appeal to the very worst of the GOP base.
Now Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee don’t have much of a chance to get past New Hampshire, but Ted Cruz is positioned next to Marco Rubio to pick up a lot of steam once Ben Carson and Donald Trump start falling. That’s why Cruz is going to Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday to attend yet another rally – this time with right-wing activists who have claimed that their battle against the LGBT community is also a war against the devil.
Via Right Wing Watch:
Just as Swanson believes that “the homosexual Borg is the power in the principality of the demonic world,” a number of the Religious Right activists who will be speaking alongside Cruz in Greenville have claimed that their battle against gay rights is really a spiritual war against Satan.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has referred to gay activists has “hateful” and “intolerant” “pawns” of the Devil and, like Swanson, has defended the notorious Ugandan bill that would have made homosexuality a death penalty crime in some cases.
Another speaker, Virginia-based activist E.W. Jackson, has described gay people as “spiritually darkened,” adding, “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.” He also thinks that with President Obama “we’re really dealing with an evil presence.” (Source)
Ted Cruz has decided that he there isn’t any such thing as being too right-wing. He knows that the chances of him winning the White House are very slim, but that’s not what matters to him. In fact, losing the election would make him a crucified messiah to the religious right.
E.W. Jackson raised his public profile with his failed bid to become Virginia’s lieutenant governor and his extremism probably cost the GOP the governor’s race as well. That likely didn’t bother him one bit, because running for office has become the most efficient way for right-wing Republicans to raise their public image, all on the donations of gullible conservatives and even Super PAC money.
Ted Cruz knows that no matter how extreme the positions he takes and the people who he associates with are, there will be enough primary voters who think gay people are in league with Satan to give him leverage at the GOP convention – even if he doesn’t get the nomination.
These are voters who want to believe that America is still white and conservative, climate change is a liberal hoax, and many are firmly convinced that the return of Jesus will happen in the near future. To them, Ted Cruz is on a mission from God to turn the United States into a theocracy where English is the official language, abortion is banned, and gay people will be forced back into the closet.
Attending this rally will likely only strengthen support for Ted Cruz in the Republican Party, not hurt it. Mainstream Republicans and the party establishment can’t stand him to begin with, but there’s always room for another grifter on the right-wing speaking circuit – which is exactly why Ted Cruz is running for president.
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