Laurie Higgins Takes Republicans to School about Bruce Rauner (Conclusion)

Let’s conclude this series with another batch of comments posted by Laurie Higgins in response to her critics. You can read the first three parts here, here, and here.

Following Laurie’s comments there is a post by the Illinois Family Institute’s David Smith, and then we close with a little humor.

Here is Higgins answering someone writing under the name “Frustrated”:

Two observations about “Frustrated’s” use of the adjective “ultra-right.” First, it’s used as a pejorative, intended to ridicule those who rightly believe that protecting human life, protecting the rights of children to be raised by a mother and father, protecting marriage, and protecting religious liberty are critical issues.

Second, “ultra-right” is a relative term. Not too many years ago, the values and beliefs of what Frustrated condescendingly refers to as “ultra-right conservatives” would have been utterly mainstream. His condescension exposes how relativistic the Republican Party is becoming. Richard Weaver has some important things to say about relativism in his important book Ideas Have Consequences:

“Whoever argues for a restoration of values is sooner or later met with the objection that one cannot return, or as the phrase is likely to be, “you can’t turn the clock back.” By thus assuming that we are prisoners of the moment, the objection well reveals the philosophic position of modernism. The believer in truth, on the other hand, is bound to maintain that the things of highest value are not affected by time; otherwise the very concept of truth becomes impossible. In declaring that we wish to recover lost ideals and values, we are looking toward an ontological realm that is timeless.”

The contemporary claim that opposition to abortion, support for true marriage, and opposition to the normalization of homosexuality are fringe positions reflects the moral relativism against which Weaver warns. Conservative views are only extreme to a society that has rejected the idea of objective, transcendent moral truth. Remember, less than forty years ago, support for abortion and affirmation of volitional homosexual acts would have been viewed as radical, far-left, extreme, fringe positions; and a “truce” on the promotion of these views by politicians would have been unthinkable.

“Frustrated” argues that a conservative can’t get elected in IL. Well, why is that? Is it because “moderate” Republicans won’t vote for them? Is it because they won’t vote for someone who doesn’t espouse their liberal views on the “social” issues? Is it because they won’t do what “moderates” continually demand that conservatives do: hold their nose and vote for Republicans they don’t like?

I hope conservatives take note of the passions my proposal is inflaming among “moderates” who couldn’t care less about the dismantling of marriage or the loss of religious liberty for people of faith. They covet conservative support even while they ridicule conservative beliefs. Conservatives may yet have some power.

To someone posting under the name “vote GOP,” Higgins wrote:

With all due respect, “vote GOP” hasn’t even attempted to paraphrase my argument, let alone refute it. He made a yeoman-like effort to distort it and ridicule it by calling it “bizarre,” “irrational,” and “emotionalistic.” Then ironically he describes me as forming a circular firing squad.

How, pray tell, does “vote GOP” characterize what Pat Brady and Tom Cross did when they endorsed the dismantling of marriage? Was that or was that not a treasonous betrayal of the Republican platform–at least equal if not worse a betrayal than my effort to oppose such a betrayal?

I would be interested to know where “vote GOP” stands on the social issues. That is often illuminating in these discussions as we seek the best path forward.

Now, I will attempt to clarify–rationally–my argument:

I believe that policies on fiscal issues are less important than policies on human life, children’s rights, marriage, and religious liberty.

I believe that fiscal policy can be characterized as foolish or wise, but terms like good and evil are far more appropriate when applied to those issues commonly called the “social” issues. A case can be made that huge debt is harmful, but it’s not a moral evil in the same sense and to the same degree as the destruction of human lives or the destruction of marriage or the destruction of religious liberty.

I believe that conservatives have to enlarge their vision beyond the next 2, 4, or 6 years. They need to think imaginatively and strategically about the dangerous direction in which the Republican Party is moving—and moving relatively quickly. I think conservatives need to anticipate what the party platform will look like in just a couple of election cycles if we continue to hold our noses and carry rancid water for men and women like Mark Kirk, Cross, Rauner, and Topinka.

We need to think about the ideological effect these men and women have when they’re in power. It’s not just the policies they pursue or ignore. And it’s not just the backroom deals they make. It’s also the conversations they have with other influential Republicans.

We need to bear in mind that these men and women are not neutral on issues critical to the future of America. They are antagonistic to efforts to protect preborn lives, to protect marriage, and to protect religious liberty. Most of these men and women are proud of their anti-life, anti-marriage positions. If they are so lacking in wisdom that they don’t recognize how critical marriage is to any society, and if they’re so lacking in wisdom that they don’t recognize that same-sex “marriage” formally endorses the idea that either mothers or fathers are expendable, and if they don’t recognize that religious liberties are daily being attacked, they will never stand up boldly against efforts to deracinate the “social” issues from the Republican Party platform.

Right now it appears immoderate, single-issue Republicans are desperate for conservative votes. Does anyone believe they will be in another couple of election cycles?

Tell me, “truce”-advocates, when does the truce on the “social” issues end and the Republican Party will once again take up the fight to protect human life, marriage, and religious liberty?

Call me crazy–again–but all this sounds completely rational to me.

And again, answering “vote GOP,” she wrote:

I would, once again, humbly disagree. I and other conservatives are not poisoning the well. The well has been poisoned by the poisonous, treasonous beliefs and actions of Pat Brady, Tom Cross, Mark Kirk, Carl DeMaio, Susan Collins etc.

Rather, we’re trying to get the anti-dote into the well before the party has ingested too much to survive or be worthy of survival.

Please, “vote GOP,” tell me if or when the Republican Party will ever end its truce on the social issues.

I’m not exactly sure what you mean when you say that “Many on here want to conjoin their religious beliefs to politically elected offices.” Perhaps I’m wrong and I apologize if I am, but I fear you’re making a serious error regarding the Constitution. I fear you’re saying that people of faith–at least conservative people of faith–are prohibited from having their faith shape political decisions.

Conservative people of faith are as fully entitled to have their faith shape decisions regarding elections, laws, and policies as those who attend liberal churches and synagogues and as those who hold an atheistic worldview. I think Martin Luther King Jr. taught us that lesson.

Here is Laurie Higgins answering “New trier tommy”:

Wow. “Go start your own party”?

You heard it here, folks. Conservatives are unwanted in the Republican Party–oh, except for our votes…and maybe our money.

Until relatively recently, the Republican Party was the party for conservatives. We didn’t change. The party changed. And now they want us out.

After they abandon essential planks of the Republican platform that they don’t like; and after they call us “whack jobs, “crazy,” and “insane”; and after they tell us to get out of the party, they have the temerity to say that we’re “eating our own” and forming “a circular firing squad.” Remarkable.

Perhaps “New trier tommy” could explain how this debate is really not a political debate.

And perhaps he could share what he thinks about this statement from Martin Luther King Jr.: “How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God….” I guess MLK Jr.’s religiously based fight for the civil rights of blacks was really “a religious debate rather than a political debate.”

And a note to all those reading that thread, she added:

I hope conservatives note in “New trier tommy’s” response the anti-religious bias that is revealed. He, perhaps inadvertently, exposes the troubling Leftward tilt of the Republican Party. Not only do many “moderates” reject the so-called “social” issues, but they are also intolerant of or even hostile to faith unless it’s nominal faith.

Think deeply about the future of the Republican Party when its leaders believe that religious beliefs have no legitimate role to play in self-government.

Here Higgins answers poster “Ralph”:

Ralph sounds no different from liberal Democrats. When conservatives make their case for marriage with the same tenacity and passion with which homosexual activists make theirs, liberal Democrats and liberal Republicans call them “hysterical” and “homophobic” and “hatemongers.” And then they demand our votes. Unbelievable.

Here’s IFI’s David E. Smith:

I’d like to know what the threshold is for tolerating liberal Republicans. How far left is too far left for conservatives?

We’ve been snookered into believing that if a candidate merely claims to be a Republican, well, that settles it. We should fall in line and blindly support his/her candidacy for the good of the “team.” In Illinois, the Democrats know this and use it to their advantage. They have infiltrated the GOP. In the meantime, the entire state has slid leftward.

But the truth is, liberal Republican candidates only serve to undermine the GOP team, its vision, and conservative goals in virtually every way. They damage the brand and weaken the Party. They even suppress or chase away conservative turnout, which in turn hurts true conservative candidates.

To echo the late great Ronald Reagan, I believe the Republican Party must vigorously avoid “pale pastels,” enthusiastically and conspicuously embrace mainstream conservatism, and draw, in “bold colors,” a sharp contrast to the vision and goals of the Left.

The Republican Party must avoid becoming the Second Democrat Party.

To conclude this, when I asked Laurie Higgins in an email what might be a better color to use than “red” (as in “turning the state red”) to describe what would be happening if Republicans elected the current batch of candidates, she had a suggestion:

Periwinkle is in the blue family with a tinge of violet, which of course has a smidge of red. Periwinkle is also called “lavender blue.” Blue is the color of depression, and we all know who identifies with lavender. I think periwinkle is just the cutest name for the color of the diaphanous wings of faeries.

Perhaps you’ve never heard of the Radical Faeries:

To read more about Bruce Rauner, click here.