The January 12 Gallup poll (click to enlarge) tells us three things:
- Despite the din, conservatives outnumber liberals 2:1.
- Conservatives are winning over coveted moderates, not liberals.
- #1 and #2 have occurred since Obama took office.
An eye-opening point from the Wall Street Journal, January 18:
Social conservatism, Mr. Bell argues in his forthcoming book, The Case for Polarized Politics, has a winning track record for the GOP.
“Social issues were nonexistent in the period 1932 to 1964,” he observes. “The Republican Party won two presidential elections out of nine, and they had the Congress for all of four years in that entire period…. When social issues came into the mix – I would date it from the 1968 election… the Republican Party won seven out of 11 presidential elections.”
I had an epiphany when reading this from that same piece:
In Mr. Bell’s telling, social conservatism is both relatively new and uniquely American, and it is a response to aggression, not an initiation of it…
American social conservatism, Mr. Bell says, began in response to the sexual revolution, which since the 1960s has been “the biggest agenda item and the biggest success story of the left.” That was true in Western Europe and Japan too, but only in America did a socially conservative opposition arise.
I realized that while the Left perpetually blames conservatives for pushing social issues, it is in actuality always them pushing a social agenda.
I realized that when I drew attention this weekend to the Left’s preposterous attempt to blame conservatives for the current uproar over contraceptives, this was a microcosmic example of the way they always try to blame us for what they do. It is the Left that thrusts aberrant social changes on America, and social conservatives are merely fighting for a return to morality. More from the WSJ piece:
The roots of social conservatism, he maintains, lie in the American Revolution. “Nature’s God is the only authority cited in the Declaration of Independence…. The usual [assumption] is, the U.S. has social conservatism because it’s more religious…. My feeling is that the very founding of the country is the natural law, which is God-given, but it isn’t particular to any one religion…. If you believe that rights are unalienable and that they come from God, the odds are that you’re a social conservative.”
Whereas since Republicans won back the House in 2010 the liberal mantra has been, “Instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, Republicans are focusing on social issues,” it is actually Obama and the Left who have been the aggressors on social issues, starting with Obamacare, then authorizing gays in the military, and now attempting to force religious groups to pay for contraceptives, abortion drugs, and sterilization.
Conservative politicians need to stand strong. They should laminate and carry that Gallup poll in their pockets. The liberal strong suit, particularly in light of the Internet and social media, is noise. Their bark is way louder than their ability to bite. Liberals are by nature uncivil. Conservatives are by nature civil. Uncivil is always loud, intimidating, boorish. Civil is the opposite. That is why liberals appear bigger than they are.
Why do liberals try to intimidate conservatives away from discussing or taking a stand on social issues? Why did they invent the contraception controversy and then blame Republicans for it? From Rush Limbaugh this week:
I bring it up just to reaffirm the point that Jeffrey Bell makes in his recent book that social conservatism has led to victory in presidential elections. It’s the dirty little secret the Democrats know and the media know, and it’s why the social conservatives (one of the reasons why) are so despised. They’re also despised on principle. But they’re also despised because there are so many of them….
Why do you think Obama and the Democrats all of a sudden try to concoct this contraception issue? ‘Cause they’re losing the independents! They believe, from the age-old pages of their playbook, that if they can revive this notion that the Republican Party is nothing but a bunch of theologians that want to dictate from the pulpit in the White House, that they can scare the independents back to Obama’s camp. They know they can’t attract ‘em with economic issues. They know they can’t attract the independents back by being positive about Obama’s record, ’cause there isn’t anything there to be positive about. They know that social issues are a winner for the Republican Party.
Which brings me to Rick Santorum. As someone wrote this week in a post I can’t now find [which Kel did, thanks!], even if Republican presidential candidates were to try to avoid social media issues, the liberal media won’t let them.
So who best can articulate our views, with an eye toward winning over moderates? One of the reasons I wrote I was endorsing Santorum was because he has the ability to do just that. Furthermore, Santorum has the credentials to point out Obama’s extremism on abortion.
Here’s an example, from an interview Santorum did with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation this past Sunday. As Rush said, “Schieffer actually seemed like he was talking to somebody from Mars. He looked at Santorum and he literally could not fathom that a living, breathing human being believes – much less would say – these things.” Watch the entire ridiculous interview here. Following is the relevant clip on the pro-life issue. Note how Santorum speaks with authority on pro-life nuances, like amniocentesis and preborn eugenics. Also note how Santorum brings it back to Obama, which is what we have to do – and what Obama and the Left dread – to persuade moderates…