After the pick-up of the senate seat in Massachusetts, the announced retirement of Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh in Indiana, and the polls showing other probable pick-ups for the GOP in the U.S. Senate from coast to coast, Kirk’s win is no longer as critical as some people have argued.
In light of this, it’s a good exercise to step back and take the long view. Alex Castellanos posted a great article on the National Review Online website last month that is well worth a read: “The New Republican: How to build the GOP’s next generation.”
Castellanos’ focus is on liberty and on the principles of the GOP. At no point did he suggest that certain principles (like pro-life and traditional marriage) were somehow outdated.
“Our beliefs have an unequalled track record. Now we must explain that our principles are not yesterday’s notions. We must make clear they remain the best way to meet our country’s current challenges and lead us to a new era of American progress and prosperity.”
Those who think we’ve tried to win public support for the social issues and failed overlook the recent polling on abortion. The Gallup organization tells us that more than half of the country now identifies itself as pro-life. And traditional marriage wins every time it’s put on the ballot – even in the big “blue state” of California.
The fact is our side (conservatives and Platform Republicans) have done a lousy job of selling all of our principles. If you haven’t noticed, that’s why government isn’t limited. Castellanos writes:
“A New Republican believes his principles are not only morally compelling but also pragmatically irresistible, since they produce the greatest prosperity and security man is capable of achieving in an era of complexity and change.”
Castellanos’ focus is mostly on the economic liberty issues. But when he writes that the “New Republican values freedom as if it were invented today,” he could be saying the same about religious liberties. In case you forgot, anyone defending the U.S. Constitution is also defending the Bill of Rights which includes the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Religious liberties are as much a part of our heritage as are our economic liberties. And one of the most glaring problems we have to deal with going forward is making up for the mal-education of most of our politicians and too many of our fellow citizens on this topic. Specifically, people fail to understand the incompatibility of the radical “homosexual rights” political agenda and our First Amendment guarantee of religious liberties.
The simple reality that there is no way to successfully separate the social issues (how people behave) from the economic issues (how people behave economically).
If Mark Kirk gets elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican, his pro-cap and trade massive tax increase vote, his pro gun control votes, his failure to lead on fiscal discipline, and his very liberal positions on the social issues will be validated.
If you think Alexi Giannoulias is to be avoided at all costs, you’re taking the short term view and not the long term view.
Even as platform supporting Illinois Republicans work to reform their party during the next six years, a U.S. Senator Mark Kirk would be enabling all the wrong people in his home state’s GOP. The individuals working for and with Kirk are the very people who have been stifling reform and attempting to move the Republican Party even further away from its platform principles.
If you doubt that – or if that’s news to you – I’m sorry to have to tell you this but you haven’t been paying close enough attention to the reigns of Dennis Hastert, Andy McKenna, Tom Cross, Bob Kjellander, Pat Brady, and others. Search their last names in our archives in order to get up to speed.
Up next: Part 4.