The religious right, as we know it, isn’t very old. Nor is it static.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University stated earlier this month that “14 states will have new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election.” Enacted by Republican legislatures, “the new laws range from strict photo ID requirements to early voting cutbacks to registration restrictions.” (The states are Alabama, Arizona, Indians, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.) As for what the Brennan Center calls the “myth of voter fraud,” their ongoing examination found that such fraud is “very rare.” One of the central stories in the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant involved his fight against voter suppression.
Plato, it is said, confronted Diogenes as the great Cynic philosopher washed his greens for dinner. “If you had humored Dionysius”—the tyrant of Syracuse who had called Plato as an adviser—”you wouldn’t be rinsing greens now.” Diogenes answered him, “And if you rinsed greens, you wouldn’t have been a slave to Dionysius.”
Why do most white evangelicals vote Republican? How has this affected Republican politics? Matthew Sutton gives us our first good account of how and why evangelical political views developed the way they did. Three elements were crucial—premillennial eschatology, World War I, and the Puritan heritage.