It would seem that right-wing Evangelical voters would have been devastated by Texas Sen.Ted Cruz's exit from the presidential race, but, in fact, they were never really rooting for him in the first place. As` Samantha Bee explained on Monday's Full Frontal, they actually backed "thrice-married, foul-mouthed tit judge" Donald Trump the whole time, support that can be traced back to the origins of the religious right in America.
As Bee detailed, the religious right wasn't always so invested in politics — they were simply religious — and their pull into the political spectrum had nothing to do with present-day issues conservative voters are invested in, such as abortion.
"It wasn't abortion that birthed the religious right, it was good old white nativism and anti-government anger when the IRS challenged evangelicals' god-given right to go to school without black people," Bee says, before adding a disclaimer about people of faith.
Their conservative support was perhaps most notable in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan, whose platform embraced several religious ideals that now define the Republican party. Though Bee's crude graphic suggests it wasn't the most seamless transition.
As Bee notes, the religious right has been losing ground for a while. "Gay people can marry and serve in the military, and apart from a handful of bigoted bakers, most people are fine with it," she says. But while Cruz seemed like the ideal candidate for the voter base, in comes Trump; and his rhetoric is strikingly familiar to their political origins.
"The new evangelicals are happy to ditch the Bible for good, old white nativism and anti-government anger," she concludes. "Hey, just like you taught them!"
You can watch the full segment below: