Moral Issues Win Every Time

I’ve been reading the blogs and comments over at The Iowa Republican and over 50% of the comments are about how the “religious right” or “right wing nutjobs” aka (Christians) are destroying the Republican party. Some claim that they are trying to create a theocracy and others claim that the GOP will lose if we nominate a “religious right” candidate whose moral values might be offensive to the rest of the general electorate. In this blog, I will debunk the myth that the “religious right” is to blame for the downfall of the Republican party. In fact, I will argue that they were the ones that brought victory since Reagan.

For those of you who label Christians as “theocrats” or “nutjobs” need to read the book “In Defense of the Religious Right” by Patrick Hynes. The author is not a member of the “religious right,” rather he is a historian and gained some insights on the “religious right” by being a campain operative and consultant. He discovers that “some Republican bigwigs regard Christian conservatives to be a useful part-time ally, good for churning out votes, but hardly worth placating.” He discovers that if these bigwig Republican ignore the “values voters” or “Religious Right” they do so at their own peril. He states “the GOP would never have obtained power in Congress in 1994, and they never would have reasserted their control over Washington in 2004. And yet GOP congressional leaders appear to have forgotten who put them into power. And this obstinately dismissive attitude might cost them that power.” If the GOP dismisses their base, they will be as relevant as the Whigs who focused soley on fiscal issues and ignored the uprising of the new GOP party who focused on moral issues of freeing slavery.

Our Founding Fathers would be Considered “Right-Wing Nut Jobs” and “Theocrats” if they were around today.

John Adams: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”

Abe Lincoln: Abe Lincoln is perhaps the greatest president the United State ever had, and yet, if he were alive today he would be labeled as a “Theocrat” or “Religious nut job.” He pointed to biblical passages to explain why the Civil War was necessary. The following passage is Lincoln explaining the terror of way and why it was required by God for the nation’s previous sins.

The Almightly has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but who to that man by whom the offense cometh!” [Mathew 18:7 KJV]. If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as thw woe due to those by whom offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether” [Psalm 19:9 KJV].

The 2004 Elections: Why Bush won a 2nd Term

Hynes also points to the 2004 Election exit polls where John Kerry walloped George W. Bush in all the issues except moral issues. Those concerned about the war, the economy, education and healthcare went for Kerry; however, those that voted on Moral Issues voted for Bush 80-18%. 48% of the people who voted for Bush in 2004 defined themselves as “values voters.” Purging these values voters who be the end to the GOP.  

The Moral Majority in 1994

The 1994 election was the first election in which a voter’s religious faith was a greater determiner than his class or income of how he would vote on election Day. With issues facing the country such as gay marriage, stem-cell research, and the decline or moral values in America, Christians decided not to stay on the sidelines anymore and in 1994, Republican took control of congress with even a popular Democratic President. Hynes writes, “The growth of the Religious Right’s political strength and its subsequent ‘take over’ of state and local Republican Party committee led to the overwhelming revival of the Grand Old Party, which, in 1993 and 1994, had precisely zero power in Washington DC. Moreover, to deny the Religous Right its due with regard to the GOP revolution in 1994 is to ignore election data and to discount some of the most observant liberal political reporting during that time.” Journalists reported from accross the nation after the loss in 1992, that “Christian Conservatives” were “taking over” local Republican Party committees across the country-Much like the Iowa GOP are claiming the pary is being overtaken by them now. Calls for the GOP to rid themselves of these new Christian Conservatives were at an all-time high. John Danforth warned against the possibility of the Religious Right taking over the GOP. He said the GOP should rid themselves of the Religous Right “if you want to be a majority party.” However, the GOP became a majority party less than two years later with the “overtaking” of the GOP by the religious right.  State who reported to be overtaken by the religious right prior to the 1994 elections had a greater number of new congressman that brought the GOP takeover in Congress in the 1994 elections. In Texas, 62% of white evangelicals helped put George W. Bush in the governor’s chair and shocked the nation by upsetting the popular Anne Richards. In Oklahoma, Democrats controlled the executive, legislature, and enjoyed a 5-3 majority in the congressional delegation. However, after the 1994 election, the GOP had won the governor’s office, and gained seats in both chambers of the state legislature, and they won all but one seat in the congressional legislation all because of Christian Conservatives. These Oklahomans were none other than Steve Largent, Tom Coburn, J.C. Waats, and Frank Lucas were commited Christian conservative candidates. Also, States like Michigan, Minn, IOWA, California, and Washington saw the number of GOP in their legislature increase after 1994. Journalists who were predicting that the Religious Right takeover would result in huge Democratic victories were dead wrong. At a speech at the National Press Club in June of 1994, Rep. Vic Fazio, former head of Dem. Congressional Campagin Committee, lambasted Christian Conservatives and predicted they would cost the GOP votes in November. He said, the Democrats would be “picking up seats that are being fought out over issues of intolerance, issues related to the agenda of the radical Right as the agenda of the Republican Party.” Hynes said that the Democrat’s message was clear: “vote Republican in 1994 and you are voting for the ‘radical Religious Right. However, Americans voted Republican anyway…Democrats had spent the entire summer attacking Republicans for being puppets on Christians’ string, and by the end of the summer most Americans told pollsters that’s exactly what they were looking for.

Moral Values Win Every time

Hynes states that conservatives succeed when they “talk more about those dreaded social issues than when they promote a small government philoophy or advocate spending cuts.” In 2005, Texas voted to ban gay marriage. 3/4 of people voted to ban it, and only 1 county voted against it. Also, in California, in 2008, voters rejected gay marriage. California!-The most liberal state!

Hynes best sums up my attitude towards GOP moderates who want to purge the Christian Conservatives from their party.

But woe unto them who any longer try to win election by making Christian Conservatives into politcal scapegoats and convenient whipping posts. They are left only to pray for an act of God to alter the polical environment to their benefit. And sincerely asking God for guidance is something they are disinclind to do.  -Patrick Hynes

 Bob Vander Plaats, Chris Rants, Terry Branstad, Jerry Behn, Rod Roberts, Paul McKinley should talk about moral issues if they want to win in 2010. It is a winning issue.

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