Frank Schaeffer on the Mid-term Elections

Why did so many white Americans vote against their socio-economic interests in the mid-term elections? They were manipulated by “a Billionaire Lynch Mob” who “peddled a fear agenda,” Frank Schaeffer writes in his recent Alternet piece, “How Republicans and Their Big Business Allies Duped Tens of Millions of Evangelicals into Voting for a Corporate Agenda.” Schaeffer traces three “threads” of the anti-Obama sentiment that caused so many middle and working-class whites to vote Republican: 1) Apocalyptic fantasies among Evangelicals; 2) the influence of the Reconstructionist movement (to apply biblical law worldwide); 3) the culture wars over abortion.

Drawing on his past in the pro-life movement, Schaeffer shows how right-to-life rhetoric against Roe v. Wade has fueled the Tea Party’s “Death Panels” predictions for Obama’s healthcare reform.  And how a number of pro-lifers have made a separate “Christian America”—replete with a “Christian Yellow Pages” advertising “Christ-centered Plumbers.”

Schaeffer’s most incisive insight about the mid-term elections is the collusion between the Supreme Court and corporate America: With its 2010 ruling that political campaigns could get unlimited corporate funding, the Supreme Court enabled corporate interests, the Republican leadership, and the Tea Party to capitalize on “‘biblically-based’ antigovernment passion.” Read Schaeffer’s Alternet piece for more on what the Bible has to do with the mid-term elections.

Ashley Makar works with refugees in Connecticut. She does community outreach for IRIS--Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, in New Haven. She has an e-book of essays, You Were Strangers: Dispatches from Exile. Ashley has published essays in Tablet, The Birmingham News, The Struggle Continues (the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute weblog), Religion Dispatches, and The New Haven Register.