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Republican Suicidal Tendencies

March 5, 2011

There has been a theme developing where many are calling on Republicans and, especially values based conservatives, to focus on the economy and give up on the social issues, they’re losers. Like Adam Sparks’ recent article regarding Republicans in California where he states, “Face reality. As much as they’re important to many of us, social issues are a loser in California. Although the GOP won on the defense of marriage initiative; they just barely won. It’s not a winner issue for the GOP particularly if they want to attract new and younger voters going forward. That’s just the facts.”

How about the urging of, “A gay conservative group and some Tea Party leaders [who] are campaigning to keep social issues off the Republican agenda.” In a letter to Senator McConnell and, then, Representative Boehner they stated that, “This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue…. We urge you to stay focused on the issues that got you and your colleagues elected and to resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit holes in order to appease the special interests.”

Even a potential presidential candidate, Mitch Daniels, has stated “that the next president ‘would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,’ until economic issues are resolved.”

As a counterpoint, I offer a perspective from Republican Congressman Allen West at CPAC, where he told a record crowd, “If we are to have a new dawn in America, it means reclaiming our Judeo-Christian faith heritage.  John Adams said, ‘We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.’ ”

“This is not about a separation of church and state.  It is about making sure that we do not separate faith from the individual. You must never forget that the American motto is ‘In God We Trust.’  We in America, we welcome the beliefs of others in America, but our co-existence must be based on a simple premise: When tolerance becomes a one way street it leads to cultural suicide.”  And when politics becomes a one-dimensional focus on economic issues over all else it will lead to political suicide for the Republican Party.

The first president I was able to vote for was Ronald Reagan, and because of him I have been a lifelong Republican.  William Bennett once said that Party’s are a means to an end.  When your Party no longer supports your beliefs and values, than it is time to leave and either join or form another one.  Thankfully the Tea Party movement has been wise enough to see that our 180 year old two-party system has produced the most stable and long standing republic in human history.  And since the Republican Party’s stated values are closest to the Tea Party’s trifecta of “Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets,” it seems to be a natural alliance, albeit a tense one.

While it may elude some in the Tea Party ranks and other “special interests” who urge Republican leaders to avoid the social issues, have we degenerated so far that we are unable to grasp that the financial situation we find ourselves in is precisely because we have performed an intellectual lobotomy between moral decisions and economic outcomes?  The economy isn’t magically or even tragically in its present condition.  It is logically and rationally in its current state as a direct result of the moral decisions we make about money each and every day in our personal, business, and governmental realms.

Does a dollar spend itself?  Did the unaffordable home sing a siren song, luring unsuspecting buyers to their financial destruction?  Is the interest rate a magical entity that remained too low for too long on its own? Do the printing presses spew out money involuntarily? How about all the federal and state spending, does that just happen?  Of course not, but sometimes I get the impression people believe we are at the mercy of some uncontrollable force inexorably moving us toward our ruin like we are caught in the gravity of a Black Hole. Oh wait, maybe we are, it’s called Big Government.

So drop the one-sided prescription Republicans, and realize that a coalition of economic and social conservatives is necessary for winning the future, since I have faith we can walk and chew gum at the same time.  Besides while our side is obsessing about a truce on social issues, the Democrats aren’t.

Copyright 2011 Julie Schmidt.

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