Expanding the Horizons
Compassionate Conservatism and the New Demographic
Young voters, Hispanics, single women, and black folks, that was the coalition Mr. Obama used to win a second term last night. And, you know the problem with conservatives post-Ronald Reagan is that for some odd reason we’ve been too afraid to be conservative. I know you guys have heard this before and will continue to hear it from the establishment types inside the Beltway and in Manhattan.
I had a conversation on Twitter with a young man who was a progressive and a Christian. He was apart of a group of people that are Christ followers but also adopt progressive principles such as social justice and environmentalism. After speaking with him I thought to myself: Why can’t conservatives appeal to these same voters who share our Christian beliefs, but vote Democrat?
Why can’t conservatives in the Republican party talk about caring for the poor and taking care of the environment, not from a global warming big government perspective, but from a true church perspective according to the gospels. Why is it that for decades we’ve allowed the left to define the terms of caring for those less fortunate than others?
When it comes to social issues and poverty conservatives have come off like a cross between John Lithgow’s character in Foot Loose and Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol.
I can’t tell you how wrong headed it is for Todd Akin and Richard Murdock talking about rape. I’m not bashing them, but as I said on Twitter last night, old white men talking about rape is never good. Absolutely no good can come of such components being in the same realm of each other.
We ought to serious consider a new approach: Jesus
Why not? Why can’t we communicate on the issues of the poor, the environment, and morality in relation to Jesus Christ? Are we so afraid to be viewed as some kind of religious zealot that we’ve abandoned what comes so natural to a lot of us in order to embrace this hobbled old horse of a platform that consists of tax Cuts, more tax cuts, spending cuts, and capitalism?
Do we know anything else? It’s like some words I can start a drinking game with if I dipped, but I don’t drink. Mitt Romney’s entire economic plan was tax cuts and spending cuts, nothing else.
We need to give more of a shout out to the poor beyond saying we spoke with three poor people on the way to a fundraiser in Ohio.
Am I a compassionate conservative? Absolutely, I believe it works. You don’t have to blow up government to be a compassionate conservative. Compassion comes from tone, your appeal to those who need compassion, not the programs you think you can create in government. George Bush failed in this regard and the compassionate conservatives like David Brooks and David Frum don’t have the answers either. To them government is the central force behind compassion, I don’t agree.
Essentially they’re arguing for liberalism but under a new alias. I’m every bit the small government, spending cut, lower taxes, free market conservative, but I can also talk with people on a level that lets them know I genuinely feel their hurt. No one can feel that better than Christ followers who are commanded to help those who cannot help themselves. If nothing else conservatives and Republicans need to listen better, and thus be able to respond to people who would otherwise believe the GOP has little concern for them.
I’m not advocating we water down conservatism and I’m certainly not suggesting we water down the word of God. But it would prove beneficial if conservatives and Republicans drop the anger. We don’t always have to be the angry ones guys. All throughout this campaign conservatives were either vengeful, angry, sad, or unreasonable. Let the other side be that way, we’re better than that; Jesus is better than that.
That’s not how we win souls to Christ, and that’s not how we win elections.