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Why Republicans Still Run to the Right on Social Issues

Pixabay/counseling (CC-0 Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Picture this: A prominent Republican speaks at one of the country's most liberal enclaves, The University of California at Berkeley. Not only is it a full house, he gets a standing ovation.

In that speech, from April of last year, Sen. Rand Paulrailed against the NSA and the CIA, calling the intelligence community "drunk with power." Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, whom the Standard spoke with Wednesday, was there at the event and remembers thinking "Wow, this is different."

But a funny thing happened on the way to 2016 – and if you doubt it, then you haven't turned on the TV in the past 48 hours: Republican candidates are running to the right on social issues.

Is this – as some have put it – a resurrection of the religious right in presidential politics? William Martin is a senior fellow at the Baker Institute at Rice University in Houston. He's also the author of "With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America."

About 40 percent of Republicans say they are evangelical or born-again Christians, Martin says. We don't hear phrases like "religious right" anymore, Martin says, "part of that reason is because the religious right has simply become a major part of the Republican Party."

Hear the rest on Texas Standard.

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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