When George McGovern lost the '72 election to Nixon, he was without bitterness, except in a phone call to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., (Journals, p.364) wherein he spoke of Nixon: "… really a diabolical son-of-a-bitch. He knows all the ways to divide the country - and to profit from divisions."
This caught my attention, as I have watched the politically conservative link arms with folks like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson to create the "culture wars," to pit Americans against Americans and profit from the divisions - a profit, not of wellbeing for the nation, but of power and position. Reagan did this with an uncommon elegance; Dubya did it through men like Rumsfeld and Chaney. Ralph Reed became the power broker between the religious right and conservative politicians.
History will make it abundantly clear that religious "leaders" like Falwell and Dobson, who sought only power, all in the name of Jesus, were men of great evil.
It shouldn't surprise anyone that religious leaders can be evil - history makes that abundantly clear.
And where there is evil, there is splintering. I think it was Tillich who suggested that the "splintering effect" is the clearest evidence of evil.
The splintering effect has had free play in America since Reagan, and it has engendered nothing but heartache and failure and a crippled government. Unless checked, it will run a disastrous course.