EDITOR OF REDSTATE
It Is Time to Throw the Social Conservatives Out of the GOP
It is time to throw the social conservatives out of the GOP. Look at what they got us — Barack Obama. It was the social conservatives who did it. They insisted the GOP support real marriage and children. To hell with that.
I’m getting this, in various forms, from lots of tea party activists. The GOP establishment in Washington is whispering it to each other. They look at Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdock and conclude that they, not Tommy Thompson, Heather Wilson, George Allen, Scott Brown, etc. are the problem.
It is time to get rid of the social conservatives.
What’s really going on here is that the people who voted Republican, but who disagree with pro-lifers and defenders of marriage, have decided it must be those issues. They can’t see how what happened actually happened unless it happened because the issues on which they disagree with the base played a role.
This is a psychological avoidance of larger issues and does not stack up to the data.
Mitt Romney won about a quarter of the hispanic vote and a tenth of the black vote.
Those numbers may not sound like much, but in close elections they matter.
A sizable portion of those black and hispanic voters voted GOP despite disagreeing with the GOP on fiscal issues. But they are strongly social conservative and could not vote for the party of killing kids and gay marriage. So they voted GOP.
You throw out the social conservatives and you throw out those hispanic and black voters. Further, you make it harder to attract new hispanic voters who happen to be the most socially conservative voters in the country.
Next, you’ll also see a reduction of probably half the existing GOP base. You won’t make that up with Democrats who suddenly think that because their uterus is safe they can now vote Republican. Most of those people don’t like fiscal conservatism either — often though claiming that they do.
If you really need to think through this, consider MItt Romney. He is perhaps the shiftiest person to ever run for President of the United States. He shifted his position on virtually every position except Romneycare. Of all the politicians to ever run for office, he’d be the one most likely to come out and, after the Republican convention, decide he’d changed his mind. He’d be okay with abortion and okay with gay marriage.
Had he done that, he’d have even less votes.
Several million evangelicals did not vote for George W. Bush in 2000. His campaign had to work to get them back in 2004.
You may mentally decide, to escape having to deal with the other implications of this election, that if only the GOP would abandon its social conservatism it would do better. But if you do, go find yourself a new coalition because you won’t have half the votes the GOP has now. Good luck with that. In fact, if the GOP really wanted to expand with minorities, it’d keep the social conservatism and throw out the fiscal conservatism.
Richard Mourdock was one of two of the poster children for abandoning social conservatives this year. He was beaten by a pro-life Democrat.
The problem is not social conservatism. The problem is social conservatives have gotten so used to thinking of themselves as the majority they’ve forgotten how to speak to those who are not and defend against those who accuse them of being fringe, most particularly the press. Couple that with Mitt Romney’s campaign making a conscious decision to not fight back on the cultural front and you have a bunch of Republicans convinced, despite the facts, that if only the social conservatives would go away all would be fine.
It’s not time to throw out social conservatives. It’s time to accept that without them the GOP would be even a smaller party even less able to reach out to the hispanic demographic all the smart people say they need to embrace. Addition through subtraction never really works well.