Two short excerpts from Herbert London’s review of Jeffrey Bell’s book “The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism“:
Social conservatives remain a key constituency in the Republican Party; socially conservative principles continue to come to the fore in public debate; and social issues have helped Republicans more than hurt them at the polls.
The book’s thesis—that Republicans who embrace social conservatism can win, and that social conservatism is in keeping with American tradition—is a useful one in this political season. Bell holds that the narrative of the nation is tied inextricably to religious influences. To deny these influences comes with a hefty political price; to embrace them requires courage, but in the end, they foster respect for the national purpose. As Bell sees it, America needs social conservatives, even if their presence leads to polarization.