A part of me cringes to write this diary. It is a hot-button issue in which many have strong opinions. But I think we need to have civil dialogue so that we can work together to restore this great nation.
Post-election analysis has long been a part of the American political process. After our Nov. 2nd victory at the polls, pundits and activists began to weigh in on the whys behind the wins and losses. Much of this analysis was quite helpful and will aid us in winning future elections. However, in some circles the emphasis was on finger-pointing and the blame-game. In many of these instances, it centered around those who self-identified themselves as fiscal conservatives versus those who were social conservatives. I am not going to rehash some the statments that were made. They have been discussed quite a bit on this site. What I do want to discuss is the why behind some of the distrust that exists out there between the two groups and how we can come together to achieve our goal of restoring this great nation.
Trust is an earned commodity. We as social conservatives must be honest with ourselves and admit where we have lost our way. In the past, many of us supported candidates who met our criteria on social issues, but who massively grew government and spent money like drunken sailors. There were groups within the social conservative circle who tried to warn us, but unfortunately they were in the minority and we did not listen.
Sadly, I used to be in the former category rather than the latter until the Tea Party came along. They opened my eyes to the truth that fiscal conservatism and limited government are every bit as important as the social issues. I am confident that I am not the only social conservative who has awakened to these truths. I hope and believe the days are long gone of social conservatives supporting candidates who are not fiscally conservative, socially conservative, and champions of limited government.
Trust is not only an earned commodity, it also cuts both ways. Fiscal conservatives need to understand where social conservatives are coming from. Every day the Left and their media find some way to disparage Christians or those who hold to a traditional moral code. When social conservatives begin to hear what appears to be even remotely similar rhetoric from those who claim to be within their own camp, a general feeling of "Et tu Brute?" arises. It leaves social conservatives feeling disillusioned and angry. After all, no one enjoys being told to be silent on issues that they deem important.
So how do we move forward and build a strong conservative coalition? I have a few general suggestions that will begin to move us in the right direction. First, we need to acknowledge that we will not always agree on things. We need to respect each other regardless of our differences. Agreeing to disagree is a hallmark of maturity. We need to cease the name-calling and disparaging remarks and realize that our goals are not mutually exclusive. In-fighting will only continue to drive a wedge between us and does not promote the conservative agenda. If you study the lives of the brave men who banded together to form this great nation, you would find them to be very different in their beliefs and personal values. But they united around one thing, freedom from tyranny. We would do well to follow their example.
Second, we need to be on the lookout for snakes in the grass in both circles. There have been people who claim to be fiscal conservatives and yet are really squishes when it comes to limited government and fiscal responsibility. They are RINO's in disguise and are faux conservatives. The same can be said for some who identify themselves as social conservatives. We have seen both played out in our government in recent times and we must purge them from our ranks.
Lastly, we must be strategic. Our government officials have lost the trust of the American people. We have a unique opportunity in history as Conservatives to restore some of it. The best way to begin to restore that trust is by being fiscally responsible in government. We must demand that our conservative representatives cut the reckless spending that exists in Washington.
Simultaneously, we must begin to dramatically reduce the size of government and only support candidates who will commit to this principle wholeheartedly. Limited government ensures the maximum freedom for all Americans. At the same time, we can continue to fight the Left as they try and cram their social agenda down our throats. The American people will be on our side in these fights IF we regain their trust by being the champions of fiscal responsibility and limited government. We can fight the war on all fronts, if we stick together. I believe that if we do these things and trust God for guidance, we can restore this Republic to the great country that our forefathers envisioned.