While I haven’t yet read Jeffrey Bell’s book “The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism,” I’ve watched a couple of his presentations and have scanned the reviews. It looks like a must read. In it, he argues that social conservatism has a winning track record for the GOP. That flies in the face of what we usually read, as Lloyd Marcus recently wrote at AmericanThinker.com: “Conservatives are cautioned not to mention social issues or morality.”
“Meanwhile,” Marcus writes, “the left’s actions are dictated completely by their social agenda and sense of morality.” Marcus answers:
Conservatives, stop allowing yourselves to be bullied into silence. Obama and company are hell-bent on forcing their hippie hangover-inspired social agenda down the throat of each and every American. When conservatives say “no” to their attacks on our freedom, liberty, and culture, they accuse us of being the aggressors.
Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal posted a lengthy interview with Jeffrey Bell and intro’d it this way:
“Jeff Bell, an ‘early supply-sider,’ on the roots of American social conservatism—and why the movement is crucial to building a Republican majority.”
You can read Rush Limbaugh’s favorable comments about Bell’s book here.
Bell recently spoke at the Heritage Foundation – you can watch that talk here.
As delineated on this website and others, Mitt Romney has a huge challenge ahead when it comes to winning the support of social conservatives. Robert Patterson at Philly.com has an idea on how Romney could fix this in a column titled “Romney-Huckabee?”
Here’s an excerpt:
As GOP political theorist Jeffrey Bell contends in The Case for Polarized Politics, the conventional thinking that staying glued to kitchen-table issues — particularly under a “big-tent” banner that marginalizes social concerns — can deliver the White House has been a losing proposition for Republicans in the post-Reagan era.
Bell cites the GOP triumphs of 1988, 2000, and especially 2004, when presidential victors skillfully addressed social-conservative themes, and Republican routs of 1992, 1996, and 2008, when the loser diluted social-issue differences with his Democratic counterpart.
Bell’s analysis suggests that Romney needs a vice-presidential candidate who embodies the social issues every bit as much as the former Bain Capital tycoon does economic matters, a wingman who could counter President Obama’s meme that the GOP doesn’t care about the vast number of families who don’t earn six figures and who play by the rules, but whose economic prospects have been plummeting for a generation.
No one could excel in this role or complement Romney better than Mike Huckabee. Like those favored by party insiders, Huckabee boasts all the credentials of a seasoned public servant. But, unlike the short-list talent, the former Arkansas governor has been fully vetted and tested, having survived the fire of a grueling national primary season.