Friday, March 23, 2007

A Season of Opportunity for Conservative Democrats?

From what little I know about politics, now seems to me an ideal time for moral conservatives remaining within the Democrat Party to press their social conservative agenda.

  1. The recent Democrat legislative victories included the election of putative pro-life Democrats. Social conservatives can argue with a straight face that they have given their party the keys to the kingdom.
  2. The Republican Party could possibly be on the self-destructive path toward nominating a pro-abortion candidate. Even though Democrats have no hope of putting forward a legitimate pro-life nominee, if conservatives could nudge the Democrat Party rightward on social issues, they might conceivably woo back into the fold a sizable number of Southern ex-Democrats who have grown frustrated with the GOP.
  3. The black and hispanic demographics are palpably pro-life and anti-gay-activism. Without them, Democrats cannot win—even this election cycle. Blacks and hispanics have an opportunity in this election cycle to flex their political muscle and demand concessions from the white, liberal, academic coalition that has dominated Democrat platform determinations since the 1970s. NARAL simply lacks the public support to put anyone into the White House.
What concessions might social conservatives demand from the Democrat Party? A pro-life plank in the party platform is probably an overreach, especially since none of the presidential candidates would support such a move. But they might be able to secure a neutral plank on the platform, similar to that endorsed by Democrats for Life of America. And I think there is a realistic hope that the Democrat platform might be altered to affirm marriage as consisting exclusively of the union of a man and a woman. After all, Howard Dean already misstated the platform in just such language to a group of evangelicals (see here), and even John Kerry has questioned the wisdom of supporting gay marriage in Democrat platforms (see here). I'm a Republican, and I don't see that changing any time soon. But social conservative issues are too important for social conservatives to put all of their eggs into the GOP basket. The nation only benefits if godly people are willing to push for the advancement of social conservative issues in every political party. The question is: Do enough social conservative leaders remain within the Democrat Party to make this kind of change, or did the party succeed in purging nearly all of them in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s to prevent any future renaissance of socially conservative Democrats?

11 comments:

Jim Champion said...

Bart

Great post - I almost always vote republican - or at least conservative (except in the case of Kinky Friedman, because I really liked his immigration policy, and knew govenor good hair had the state locked up)

I think one of the biggest mistakes of the conservative voters was to hitch thier wagons to the republican party, they parrotted our views then voted however they wanted to, but I think history has shown that since Ronald Regan (greatest pres of all time IMHO) there has not been much of a difference between the two parties. Newt might try to carry it on, but he has a snowballs chance of being elected.

Govenor big hair has been a huge dissapointment in TX, sat on his tail for four years, then gets reelected and tries to get all of our kids innoculated against HPV, tries to push through a ridiculous tollway deal, tries to sell the lottery to a private group - that one of his former aides has ties to ...

Are we really any better than the African American voters, who for the most part are conservative, yet vote democrat.

Our best bet is keep the pres and congress in different hands - gridlock is our friend - and make sure that we vote for candidates that reflect our views, no matter what party they affiliate with!

Sorry for the rant!

Bart Barber said...

Jim,

I grew up a Democrat. I'm a straight-ticket Republican voter now. Issues other than abortion and marriage further separate me from the Democrats. I'm a fiscal, free-market, limited-government conservative myself, in addition to my social conservatism. Actually, I guess I'm a product of Roger Williams's two-tables-of-the-law theory and James Madison's concept of enumerated powers—something of a hybrid between the two.

Nevertheless, the moral issues trump the economic ones for me, and always will (I hope).

Jim Champion said...

Bart

I am with you on the moral issues - but when you get right down to it, are the republicans any better on those issues than the dems. The best bet on the rep side right now is a noted former NY Mayor who is a dem in reb clothing. Or how about the Mormon. The republicans have as many moral failures as the dems do. I think our failure is to look at one issue and not look at the whole package.

I dont think I could knowing vote for an individual who is pro abortion, unless it is to register a protest (hence my Kinky vote),but I have heard folks at church given a hard time who are life long dems and continue to vote that way - ok true confession time - I gave those folks a hard time :)

I do think it is a mistake for the SBC, or a church to endorse one party over another however, I think that we will be taken as advantage of as I see the dems taking advantage of the African American voters.

I will never be a straigt party ticket voter - if I dont have a clue about the person I am voting for, I dont vote, but it does save time in the booth! If you bring me a conservative dem, I would give them a chance to win my vote.

selahV said...

Unless the good Lord puts someone else into the race worth voting for...I'm staying home next year. Kay say rah say rah...whatever will be will be. selahV

Clyde Key said...

Bart,

There is much instruction given us in the Bible for Christian living and that instruction should affect every aspect of our lives, including our choices in political races and our stands on the moral issues that face our country. Quickly, I can think of four areas (although I'm certain there are more) where Biblical instruction should inform our public actions. These are 1) witness, 2) stewardship, 3) personal and public morality, and 4) compassion.

Voting is one of many ways that we witness about our faith. There is anonymity in the voting booth, and that tends to obscure our individual action. But that does not make prayerfully considered voting any less important. It is sad when voters in any area--but especially in the Bible Belt--elec leaders who compromise solid moral positions for political advantage or for the promise of economic benefit (such as with government sponsored lotteries). It's hard to find candidates who measure up in most of these areas, and it seems almost impossible to find candidates who measure up in all of them. But it still behooves us to make a prayerfully considered choice for the candidates who come closest to Bible standards. It is just not acceptable to skip voting or to make an irrelevant vote.

I disagree with the idea that it it's wrong for SBC or any church to endorse a particular candidate or political party when there are substantial moral or faith-based reasons to do so (And I don't believe the constitution demands it.) Instead, it would be wrong if pastors or other church leaders couldn't publicly notice that one candidat or party was pro-abortion while the other supported the sanctity of life. It would also be wrong of me to support any candidate who would further non Biblical positions on issues like abortion or homosexuality, or who would seek to stifle Chistian influence. I agree with your statement that moral issues trump economic issues.

Intellectually, I find it hard to support straight-ticket voting. However, I have noticed that the last democrat party candidate I voted for switched parties.

Sorry if this is too long, but I could have really got going and spent the rest of the evening on it!

Big Daddy Weave said...

Like it or not, I don't think abortion and gay marriage will necessarily get alot of "play" in 08. The issue at stake will likely be the same as in 06. The Iraq War.

Despite the current polls right now, I do not think Rudy is the man to beat. As more people get to know the "real" Rudy, his infidelity and liberal positions will turn off conservatives who are showing interest in him now.

I do agree, NARAL has lost power. Our platform will remain pro-choice but more and more pro-lifers concerned about a plethora of issues are finding a home in the Democratic Party.

However, for the sake of the party that I identify with - I hope folks like SelahV stay home next time around. :-)

Bart Barber said...

Big Daddy,

I'll go you one further. If Hillary Rodham were not the Democrat nominee, and if Rudy were the GOP nominee, even I might consider a Democrat protest vote.

I don't stay home...I vote EVERY time (even the small city elections).

volfan007 said...

i vote against anyone who raises taxes, or who talks about raising taxes. i vote for the pro life candidate, and i vote for the candidate who is not for the gay agenda. also, i am for less govt. thus, i usually vote republican. but, i'm very independent when it comes to political parties.

bart, like you, where we were raised....it seems that everyone was a democrat..yellow dog dems. but, here lately, due to the issues mentioned above and the gun control issues....a lot of southerners have turned republican in thier voting.

david

selahV said...

okay Big Daddy, for you I'll come out and vote. Actually, I'm thinking about switching back from Republican to Democrat just so I can vote in the primary. I think if half the republicans did that and then the other republicans voted for a clean republican who is not on the ballot in the primary yet (but will be), then we could sweep the whole kitten-caboodle in the final race. I love politics. selahV

selahV said...

Bart; just kidding...I always vote, yeah, even in those city elections. Those are actually the most important...we can do more to effect change on the local level than anywhere else. Most folks just don't realize that. Judges are the most difficult to figure out. I wish there were better ways to inform us of their beliefs. Anyway ya cut it, they will still bring who they are to the rulings in front of their benches. selahV

selahV said...

Volfan: you and I think alike. That's scary. :) selahV