April 22, 2021

Morality and the GOP

US Supreme Court 1

The GOP is in disarray, with many voices trying to say what the GOP can do to get back into power.  This discussion is absurd, but it is being had because of the vacuum of a coherent leadership of an individual who can articulate republican principles with the force of conviction and with the history to back it up.

So, instead of getting a leader, we have a lot of whiners, trying to say that this or that issue is what the GOP needs to right itself.

End Opposition to Same Sex Marriage

Rob, over at Say Anything, believes that it’s time that the GOP drops its opposition to Same Sex Marriage.  He casts it as an issue of states rights vs. federal rights, but totally misses the point.  He takes the libertarian position that you should live and let live.

Again, this does mean you have to approve of homosexual lifestyles.  It doesn’t mean your church has to start holding gay marriages.  It just means you have to have the courage of your convictions as a conservative.  If we say limited government and maximum individual liberty then we should mean it.  Even when the “liberty” in question may be distasteful to some of us.

The problem is that our system of government was not meant to be libertarian.  Our Founders realized that liberty only survives with a moral code for right and wrong.

And the fact that every time Same Sex Marriage is put to a vote by the people of a state it is rejected, that should tell any individual looking at the facts that we’re dealing with more than an active judiciary (which would not, automatically change their minds if the GOP dropped its opposition to same sex marriage)—we’re also dealing with renegade legislatures that are not voting what their people want.

In this case, the GOP represents the majority on this issue, not the minority.

Abortion as the Wedge

Marci Hamilton believes that the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade is what is the main ill of the Republican Party.  She argues:

In the course of this revolution, the party was transformed from one identified primarily with fiscal conservatism and libertarian principles, to one primarily identified with the evangelical Christians who rose to their apex of power in the Bush Administration. Now, however, single-minded opposition to the decision appears to be the reason for the decreasing size (and, therefore, power) of the Party.

So the party that was once all about libertarianism and fiscal conservatism became polluted by the nasty Christians that wanted to take a stand for life.

One imagines that such articles could have been written before the Civil War about slavery—bemoaning the fact that the Republicans stood against slavery, while the moderates in the party left it.

The Recurring Theme

Do you sense a trend?  The fiscal, high society Republicans are attempting to blame their loss of power on the Christians that took them to power since Reagan.  But what Christians have you seen that do not also support limited government intervention?

Indeed, the people with some position in the party are resounding the theme that it’s the Social Conservatives fault, and that they need a smaller place at the table.  The truth is, it was the Social Conservatives that stood with President George W. Bush and voted for him and against Same Sex Marriage, and it’s the Social Conservatives that sat home instead of voting for Sen. McCain, or “voted for Gov. Palin.”

So yes, the Social Conservatives had a part in what happened, but totally the opposite the way that they’re being characterized.  They caused the party to lose because the party wasn’t listening to them.  They chose not to vote for Sen. McCain because he was not with them on the issues.

What Should Happen

Instead of pointing fingers of blame, which is very common when a side loses—and is very destructive, we should be trying to rally around conservative principles.  We should take this time to differentiate ourselves, figure out our principles, and gain identity.

The best way is to figure out who should be a voice for us.  If a person’s not willing to run for office, they shouldn’t be our voice.  At the same time, the person should be able to convey, with passion, what they believe and how they are different.

Any ideas?

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5 thoughts on “Morality and the GOP

  1. Need someone to speak with the power of conviction, but not so harsh as not to be able to carry and motivate the center.

    Thing is, most people are not activists, with hardened convictions – they’re malleable. They just want to see a leader they can believe in, and who they can relate to. It’s a fine balancing act – to appear to be in the center, speak with conviction, and yet be popular with the conservative base.

    Only one who can do that, out of the current crop of leaders, is Jeb Bush. And he’s too tainted by his name to get elected for the next 8-12 years or so. But if you can find someone like him, then you have a leader who can carry both the social and fiscal wing of the party.

  2. It’s like the whole Miss California fiasco. They didn’t WANT her to pick a side — they wanted her to be malleable and wishy-washy. Tolerance is accepted — for everyone except those who are against tolerance. Now, how does that make sense?

    Lois Lane IIs last blog post..Three

  3. I think you’re going to see a split in the GOP: Fiscal conservatives who are more accepting of social change on one side, and the Christian right on other, probably headed by Sarah Palin.

    The only way the GOP will begin to win again is if it can appeal to the “middle of the road” voters (the kind that vote for Arlen Specter). Right now, that’s not happening in any way, shape or form. Moderate candidates are losing the repub primaries as repub voters back the most conservative candidates. That person then has a very difficult time winning general a election in many parts of the country (this has happened quite a bit in the northeast, and the reason why Specter switched parties). In their minds, a “pure breed” republican on the ticket is more important than one who can actually win. Until that faction splits off, the GOP is in trouble. I’m totally okay with that!

    Musicguys last blog post..Happy Darwin Day!

    1. I think that political calculus is a little bit more complex than you make it out to be. To win an election, any given politician must have a mix of palatable views, personal charisma and character. Hence why Ronald Reagan became President by winning almost every state, but he was not moderate on social issues.

      Each election cycle varies and is effected by what happened with the crew that was just in. The question always is how much change is palatable, where is the country currently at socially/fiscally, and what does the country believe about itself. You also need to throw in “do people want a balance of power.”

      And then, you have the annoying fact that, on a good day, we only get like 40% of the people that are eligible to vote out to the polls– so do we really know what the nation thinks?

  4. This is all a very interesting perspective, Min (the very reason I come to read your blog). I hate it when all the fingers get pointed – how does anything get accomplished when all we do is cast blame?

    As to who a new leader should be, I have no idea. There’s a lot of media-appointed “up-and-comers” but are they really the right people for the job?

    Rachels last blog post..Stressed.

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