This is actually a very astute question with a rather intricate answer. I like your Ghandi avatar photo, by the way.
Since Reagan/Bush days, I've been monitoring (and investigating) the takeover of the GOP by religious fundamentalists, led by people like Paul Weyrich of Heritage House and "Moral Majority"; Phyllis Schafly, now based in St. Louis; Pat Robertson; Jerry Falwell; et al., eventually joined by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and heavily funded by Richard Mellon-Scaife (a Clinton hater), Koch Family (oil barons) and secretive others. What began as primarily an anti-abortion movement took on a more ominous role as the religious extremists stealthily embedded themselves nationwide into our political system and our media, and the goal morphed into establishing a pseudo-"Christian" (fanatical) theocracy and eventual "dominion" over all levels of government, the media, businesses, and "all nonbelievers" nationwide (Goldman, 2006). Goldman introduces us to Michael Farris, a seemingly nice fellow--father of ten, who decided to declare war on evolution-teaching public schools because he accepts only a purely LITERAL interpretation of scripture as the only "valid law", so he began a very successful campaign to get literalistic home-schooling allowed in all 50 states--and thus the stealth evangelical takeover movement grew at a rather alarming pace. Farris and his supporters (some cited above) taught children beginning "in infancy" (Farris's own words) to be brainwashed cult-evangelical political tools (pawns, really), and "indoctrinated" (the word they tried to project onto President Obama over a simple speech to our public school students) these youngsters with the idea they are "God-ordained" to "take dominion" over "every level of the Beast" (they liken "government" with Satan, even though government in the U.S. is us, the people) and thereby "take dominion over all nonbelievers" (anyone who does NOT use literal interpretation of the Bible). Frank Schaefer (2007), a right-wing Republican who admits to co-founding the so-called "Religious Right" movement actually LEFT the party because of these fanatics, these "crazies for God" as he calls them. A lot of the more rabid religious fanatics in this movement are short men, which adds an egomaniacal overcompensation element to their need for dominance or control (I was married to one who became incredibly violent and paranoid) and which makes these cult-leaders almost impossible (Charles Manson-type impossible) to deal with. They have locked and loaded on the idea (the need) that they are right and everyone who does not agree is "possessed of Satan". There is NO reasoning with these egomaniacal religious fanatics. To call them "Conservatives" (even though they still use the term) is a misnomer or a drastic understatement. Conservative means "cautious about or fearful of change" and perhaps "a bit of a prude". Republican moderates, before they became an endangered species in the GOP, tried to sell us on the idea that, as Conservatives, they were more frugal (and therefore better than Democrats) with a budget---also proven for all three of the last Republican presidents to be completely FALSE...Democrats are better with a budget than Republicans and the whole "tax and spend" Newt-Gingrich-started stigma is actually a POSITIVE instead of the implied negative the GOP proaganda machine tries to paint: Democrats maintain revenues by being job- and labor-friendly in their legislative agendas, which generates taxpayers who sustain local, state, and federal coffers, which enables spending on services, on infrastructure, on all those things upon which the citizenry relies.... The "conservatives" or Republicans, on the other hand, DECREASE revenues and SPEND SPEND SPEND right into record deficits, and then BORROW BORROW BORROW (from Saudi Arabia, from Communist China...like junkies high on falsely-won power and bottomless-pit greed needing a fix).
Repressed guilt and shame is one factor for some so-called "Conservatives"--people like Lindsay Graham, who would be a moderate if he didn't fear the extremists of his party ostracizing him. For the religious freaks and fanatics, however, still pouting about having their well-entrenched "Jacob's ladder" plot for a government takeover foiled by voters in 2006 and again in 2008, led by short egomaniacal men overcompensating for perceived (and frightening) inadequacies within themselves that they project onto innocent others, there's an "in for a penny, in for a pound" desperation that propels them to dig in their heels, commiserate with others of like mind, and simply GANG UP on those figures popular enough and rational enough to pose a "threat" to any validity they have manufactured out of elephant poop (whole cloth) to fool the public into believing what they are selling has any value at all. Democrats can't seem to sense or see how vulnerable these frantic fanatics are right now, so Democrats mi
Goldberg, Michelle (2006), "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of 'Christian' Nationalism." NY: WW Norton.
Schaefer, Frank (2008), "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take ALL (or Almost All) of It Back." Available on amazon.com.
Sharlett, Jeff (2008), "The 'Family': The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power." NY: Harper. Available on amazon.com. [Jeff went undercover at the cult-owned C Street House.]
· 10 years ago