I call myself a conservative, both politically and socially. Yet, as I’ve emphasized in previous posts, my conservatism does not stand alone. I am a conservative only because I am first and foremost a Christian. The principles I believe in, which are truths based on God’s Word, are my foundation. These principles then give rise to my political and social beliefs.
There are others, however, who are conservative but do not base their conservatism squarely on Biblical concepts. They may be churchgoers, they may even consider themselves Christians, but they are really more traditional than they are fervent disciples of Christ.
Without the firm Biblical foundation, conservatism can go astray. We are seeing some of that in this election. For instance, Christopher Buckley, the son of the guiding light of modern American conservatism, William F. Buckley, recently announced he was voting for Obama. Why? As you read his rationale, it comes down to a couple of issues. First, he was disappointed with McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin for his VP. Palin, according to Buckley, was not up to speed intellectually. Second, he seemed to feel he had more in common with Obama on the intellectual level. Forget for a moment that he supposedly disagrees with Obama on all policies; he nevertheless decided to vote for him because they are both comfortable in the same intellectual and social circles. This, in my view, is an example of conservative snobbery.
Conservatives like Buckley are at home in the DC-New York City crowd, regardless of political affiliation. They are estranged from what might be called the “down-home” conservatism of what many deem “flyover country,” also known as “the rest of America that doesn’t live in NYC, DC, or Los Angeles.” They disdain someone like Palin because she does not meet their expectations. She didn’t go to “their” schools. She hasn’t traveled in “their” entourages.
Mike Huckabee, when he ran for president in the primaries, received the same treatment. It was rare to find any positive comments about him in the blogs at National Review Online or Townhall.com. It’s almost as if his very name was a personal affront. Some tried to paint him as the second coming of Karl Marx. Again, he was a type of conservative who didn’t fit their preconceived ideas.
Currently, Huckabee has a program of his own on Fox News Channel (weekends at 8:00 p.m.). I have watched each one and found him to be witty, conversational, respectful of guests, yet committed to a Biblical concept of morality, government, and the economy. I have waited to see if any of the bloggers at National Review or Townhall will comment on his program. Thus far, it’s as if this program, which is furthering the conservative cause, doesn’t exist.
Sadly, I believe we are seeing a type of snobbery at work. It’s up to the Christian conservatives to provide the right type of leadership for this movement, all the while praying that we don’t fall into the same trap. More on that in the next post.