Ben Howe has an excellent post up over at Red State titled “Is Scott Walker afraid of social issues?” Of course Walker is afraid, because like so many light-in-the-intellect Republicans poor Scott is swayed by the leftist media much like a 12 or 13 year-old is swayed by their peers.
It was 40 years ago this spring that I graduated from junior high school, but I remember well how it cost me to buck the middle school system. Yes, I write that tongue-in-cheek. Seriously, though, being more influenced by older and wiser people than stupid kids my age kept me out of the school’s in-crowd. In all honesty, however, I really didn’t care then — and the memory of it now makes me laugh.
What isn’t funny is how Republican candidates and elected officials and their staffs act today as if they are scared to death of what the liberal media is going to say about them. It’s junior high school all over again. Childish behavior runs rampant in politics — even in the campaign for the presidency. Few want to risk being outside the cool kids clique.
Cool kids? Being for the murdering of unborn children — or those children in the process of being born (partial birth) — is cool? Treating as legitimate the self-identifying of a group of people by how they like to have sex — is cool? Really?
Where are the adults?
We should be ridiculing this entire “LGBT” (etc., etc. etc.) agenda, as well as the people who want us to take seriously the premise that their sexual predilections rise to the level of race or biological sex. They don’t. These people should be told to grow up and deal with their sex and gender issues privately. They should be told to stop making their personal problems into political issues.
Recently I attended a meeting where a conservative, politically active college student gave a presentation to a group of people that had twenty or more years on her. Afterwards she took questions. The first one was, where are your contemporaries on the issue of abortion? How about so-called “gay marriage”? She acknowledged that most support both. In one corner of the room I could tell there were some older folks who believed the writing was on the wall: the Republican Party had better drop its defense of life and marriage if it wants to be relevant.
The next question was about foreign policy and national security. The college student admitted that her contemporaries didn’t pay attention to those issues — and she implied that the rising generation was isolationist at heart.
So, is the GOP supposed to follow suit there as well lest it become irrelevant? Who wants to be the party of war?
The next question was what did most college students think of capitalism? The answer: they see it as benefiting the one-percent.
Uh-oh, the Republican Party is the party of very rich white guys.
At that point I sarcastically questioned the group whether we needed to re-think only abortion and marriage.
To be fair, the next generation is ignorant because too many of their elders are failing them.
All the issues are the same in that ignorance predominates. The challenge ahead isn’t to decide which principles to abandon, but how we can finally begin to win hearts and minds from coast to coast by effectively fighting the information war.
It doesn’t help at all when most of our presidential candidates are acting like preteens and teenagers, scared to death of being uncool. I should note that would-be candidate Bobby Jindal is doing the best work to move public opinion in the right direction, and declared candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz are tied for second place.
Here is an extended excerpt from Ben Howe’s post; the emphasis added at the end is my own:
[I]t’s important to remember something: running on social issues is not a bad election strategy.
In fact, running on social issues is exactly how some landmark elections, like President Obama’s, were won.
What people began to believe (including me) during the height of the tea party era from 2009 to 2011, was that no one cared about social issues. That social issues should be left to the “culture” to work out. We were led to believe, by no one in particular, that economic issues, devoid of any naughty words like “values” was the key to winning.
In 2010, our efforts were proven right, we thought. We won without really talking about conservative social values. In fact, many went out of their way to quash any attempt to talk about such a thing.
The media and the left decided to throw a wrench in the works in 2012. They started asking questions, mostly about abortion & gay marriage, designed to enflame. And it worked to some degree. Todd Akin being the obvious example.
And again we took the lesson. “See?” we said. “Social issues lose elections!”
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
The proof that it’s wrong was happening right in front of us. While we were freaking out and putting tape over social conservatives’ mouths, Barack Obama and the Democrats were running on gay marriage, legalized abortion, the imaginary “war on women,” and of course, social justice.
While we were hiding from our prolife shadows, they were winning hearts and minds by appealing to the same issues on the opposite side of the spectrum. Of course, the media runs cover for them so it’s a little easier to get away with (after all, when Democrats run on social issues, they don’t call them social issues).
“Ok, so what then” my hypothetical republican construct asks. “They win because people gravitate more to their side of the social spectrum?”
Of course not. Poll after poll and state election after state election shows that the electorate at large sides more with social conservatism than social liberalism.
Our problem is simple and simply solved. We lose on social issues when our candidates treat them like they’re toxic instead of embracing them.
Amen, Ben. Read Ben Howe’s article in full here.
Two recommended articles from 2012:
Social Conservatism’s Staying Power: A Philosophy that the Right Must Not Abandon
Jeffrey Bell’s Book, the Social Issues, and a Mike Huckabee VP Nod
Image credit: ncronline.org.