Unholy Alliance

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The term Unholy Alliance is used generally to designate political alliances between groups with widely divergent cultural or religious characteristics. The term is a play on the phrase Holy Alliance which was a coalition of of Russia, Austria and Prussia created in 1815 at the behest of Tsar Alexander I of Russia and was eventually signed by most European sovereigns. The avowed purpose of the alliance was to uphold Christianity in European political life but was mainly used to combat revolutionary ideas in central and eastern Europe.

In this article Unholy Alliance refers to the political union of industrialists and management aristocrats with middle class and disadvantaged Evangelical Christians.

Contents

Motivation

The wealthy take advantage of the financial Lorenz curve that is an inherent quality of capitalist systems. This means that 1% of the population owns 10%, 20%, or more of the wealth in the country, while 50% own 30%, 20%, or even less.

In a democracy with elements of majoritarian rule, it is easy to see that the wealthy would quickly be stripped of their wealth or forced to flee if they didn't have some means of striking an alliance with significant portions of the disadvantaged in that country. In response, various schemes to win the favor of the voting masses have been explored over the centuries that democracy has returned as a system of governance.

History of the Unholy Alliance

The current approach used by many of the wealthy, supporters of the Republican Party, is to blend church and state into a capitalist theocracy.

This is an outgrowth of the Southern Strategy employed by Richard M. Nixon for his 1968 presidential campaign in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement. The South had long been a Democratic stronghold, with members such as Strom Thurmond (an eventual Dixiecrat). When Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court, he was noted to have said, "We've just lost the South."

In the wake of the largely successful Civil Rights Movement, bigotry became too stigmatized to employ openly in political campaigns. Ronald Reagan discovered the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision could be used to extend the Southern Strategy using the topic of abortion as a wedge issue in his political campaigning, reasoning that these whites could shift their moral outrage at being forcibly equated with blacks onto other pronouncements from Washington. It worked.

So well, in fact, that by the end of Reagan's presidency the Christian Coalition had assembled, with overturning Roe as its rallying cry. This movement had legs, and presented a political conundrum: would it split off and form a third party? Could the Democrats use its base of Catholics to absorb it, or would that party's secular liberals never fit in the same tent?

The Republican Party decided to continue to embrace the movement at the risk of alienating its own secular moderates (especially women), noting that neither a Supreme Court decision nor a constitutional amendment reversing Roe was likely. Thus the movement was a perfect vehicle for harnessing and motivating likely voters, while keeping them distracted enough that they would never realize they were voting against most of their other interests, especially financial ones. The Republican elephant was somehow squeezed through the eye of the Christian needle in what is now seen as legendary political legerdemain.

Political Utility

The Christian Right is a relatively non-volatile group politically, in that they are individuals unlikely to switch parties or platforms. They have been waiting for the return of their messiah for millenia, and can easily continue to wait while various upper-class politicians promise them an overturn of Roe and throw them the occasional steak, such as the ban on "Partial-birth abortion." A self-selected group of evangelicals for whom faith is a constant presence in their lives, ideological gadgetry such as Faith-based Economics that would be sniffed out and rejected by more skeptical groups are effective as means of mind control. The pervasive need for group membership and approval in this demographic renders them malleable and easy to keep in line.

While the Unholy Alliance has eroded long-held separations of church and state, even invoking the largely agnostic Founding Fathers that established the separation in their arguments, it is unlikely their conjugation with the self-infatuated wealthy would be sustainable without additional impetus. This was found, conveniently, in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Since the attackers were devout Muslims, the prospect of a return to the Crusades through holy war was raised. And since the then-current political dynasty (the Bush family) had its financial interests in the oil industry--largely controlled by Muslim governments--the Unholy Alliance was given new legs by the coincedence.

Future Prospects

The future of this Unholy Alliance between evangelicals and industrialists is uncertain at the time of writing. However, some believe it will eventually collapse in a "Re-enlightenment" that reaffirms the necessity of separation of church and state. Its Faith-based Economics and other policies are hollow and are likely to disappoint both sides of the alliance in the long term.

By tying a religious faith to a politcal party, the leaders of these evangelical sects are playing a very dangerous gambit. While they might enjoy having their personal beliefs declared the law of the land and forced upon everyone else, and they might receive government dollars for "faith-based" charity programs, they also stand to be discredited by having their belief systems and internal management examined and debated by the broader public, and severely tarnished by association with politicians who fall into disrepute.

Furthermore, the Unholy Alliance is not immune to the natural lifecycle of political movements: to the extent its agenda succeeds, it loses the energy and interest of its proponents. To the extent those proponents are kept waiting for no apparent reason (e.g. during the control of all three branches of government), its members may become impatient and realign themselves.

For this reason, it may be in the interest of the Alliance to return to minority influence in all areas save the core economic interest of its primary movers: that government should never interfere with any man's effort to make money, no matter what is destroyed--lives, planets, cultures--in the process.

See Also

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