With the 2016 political election coming to an exciting climax, both sides of the aisle are accusing the other of basically being Satan himself. While many chalk it up to an especially harsh election, the truth is that the idea of the devil in politics is not new.
In 1776, author William Dafoe wrote The Political History of the Devil, a book in which he asserted that the Devil has been a participant throughout world history.
Dr. Susan Brook Thisthethwaith, a professor of theology at Chicago Theological Seminary chalks the idea of the devil in politics not up to a Satanic entity, but to fear. She says, "Fear works because it leads us into temptation, the temptation to hate and despise the religious other, the immigrant other, the racial other, the sexual other. Fear is very tempting to politicians who want to acquire power because it makes people irrational, hateful, and easy to manipulate."
Charles Chaput of the Witherspoon Institute suggests that our moral convictions and belief in God is what possibly drives people to believe that a candidate they don't believe in is the devil: "We also need to remember that most people—not everyone, of course, but most of us—root our moral convictions in our religious beliefs. What we believe about God shapes what we think about the nature of men and women, the structure of good human relationships, and our idea of a just society."
Either way, there is little doubt that the political election cycle has brought out the worst in not just candidates, but human beings on all ends of the political spectrum.