First off, let me be clear. I am a big fan of Governor Chris Christie. From his win over Jon Corzine, to his union busting and fiscal sanity, I have been proud to have him as A leader of my party. However, I would not be proud to have him as THE leader of my party and hope that he sticks with his promise to not run for the presidency.
The reason is simple. I am a social conservative and he is not. And that is ok, I don’t expect him to run as a social conservative in New Jersey, that would be stupid. But to run as a social moderate in this election is also stupid. I realize that he has socially conservative values compared to others in New York and New Jersey, but those views are liberal down here in the South. Not only would his presidency not benefit conservatives that care about the life of the unborn and other issues dear to us – it would probably put our winning the election in jeopardy as evangelicals are not going to turn out for a Chris Christie/Mitt Romney/John McCain/Bob Dole like they turn out for a George W. Bush or a Ronald Reagan. It hasn’t been their pattern. I am one of those evangelicals and from being involved in this community; I can tell you that most of us care about life, marriage and defending religious liberties more than anything else.
The truth is that in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina, like it or not, election day will be a busy day for them. Their kids will need to get to school, football practice, and dance recitals. Dinner will have to be made; they will have to get to work. Many Americans are going to prioritize those concerns over a moderate republican candidacy that they know good and well will never address their issues. Karl Rove knew that if you locked in evangelicals you won, if you didn’t you lost. It isn’t only about getting these people to the polls, it is about getting them talking up their candidate, it is about knocking on doors in the cold. It is about having a candidate that so excites the ENTIRE base that independents want to jump on board to.
Governor Christie is a good guy with great fiscal bona fides. He will likely present a good foreign policy viewpoint as well. But his views on abortion and marriage will not likely stand up. I, like many evangelical Christians, cannot understand how one can be personally against abortion, believing it to be murder, yet for the practice, in the policy sense because other people should have that right. We don’t simply want someone that will espouse our viewpoint in a republican debate, we want a true believer that really wants to work towards ending abortion in this country. We don’t want someone who thinks it’s good enough to campaign about partial birth abortion, while leaving other nine-month abortion practices legal. These types of tricks do nothing to stop abortions.
If we are looking for a Romney alternative – Christie is not it. He is much better. But he is not it. We need someone that can unite the three legs of the party.
We need a fiscal conservative that believes in smaller government, open markets and lower taxes who can foster job creation in the free market.
We need a foreign policy conservative that inspires people to believe that America can make a difference in the world for good and that our government can protect us from threats both foreign and domestic. This candidate must also be able to deal with immigration and protect the people that are here and show them that republicans represent them, while also protecting the future of our borders and Anglo culture.
And finally, although it may not be as glamorous as other positions, we need a social conservative that believes that governance begins with the proper family structure of one man and one woman and that we should encourage less divorce, more adoption, and marriage between a man and a woman – and that we should push to make this the law of the land in every state. And above all, our candidate must always be willing to fight for those that cannot defend themselves. In the Bible, Yahweh’s heart is revealed to us. God cares about the widows and the orphans. He cares about those who cannot protect themselves. We need someone that believes in life unequivocally. That from conception, people are made in the image of God and that the 14th Amendment protects human life and allows the President and Congress to protect humans as well, no matter what half the Supreme Court dictates to us, we need someone that believes that no one deserves to be put to death even if their conception came about by the evil act of rape by another.
Christie isn’t that guy. However, if we have someone that is strong on all of these things, not even the 2008 Barack Obama full of hope and promise and without a record could beat our guy (or gal). That is what we should be aiming for.
Conservatism is nothing if we abandon the issues important to our conservative friends within our party in order to accomplish our goals. There are conservative issues that I don’t care as much about, but I don’t ask my conservative friends to put aside their views for me, we must act as one party. We must work together for everyone’s mutual benefit. If we do that, with the right candidate, we will win.