With Huckabee’s withdrawal from the Republican race, commentators are asking who will pick up what they term the “social conservative voters.” While I do recognize the basic validity of that name, it still rankles me that we have created such a divide in the conservative electorate.
The conventional wisdom is that there are social conservatives and economic conservatives, and that the two groups are rather at odds with each other. That does happen, but I submit it’s an artificial division.
I would fit the definitions for both, and I believe most conservatives do as well. If not, they aren’t really thorough conservatives. There should be no dichotomy. Economic issues are moral issues at root. The problems we are experiencing on the economic front are the result of wasting other people’s money, going deep into debt without caring about it, and wanting the federal government to dictate the actions of citizens in areas that combine the economic and the social. I believe healthcare is a prime example of that.
Our values as a culture will affect all areas of our society. Our thinking will be warped if we say we can ignore ultimate right and wrong. We end up with a culture somewhat like this:
And our attempts at social engineering through the courts can even impact our national defense and our security:
While abortion is primarily a moral horror and cesspool of depravity, it also has a direct economic effect: over fifty million potential producers/inventors [add any other descriptor here that is relevant] have been erased from our population.
The big question is not who will pick up the social conservative voters, but who has the foresight and communication skills to help everyone understand the links between all conservatives. Who is going to help them form the coalition that is absolutely necessary to bring this period of electoral folly to an end?
We shouldn’t be looking at this as either/or. It’s both/and.
There is this yearning for “the next Ronald Reagan.” Well, there was only one Reagan. Yet what he did can be repeated in this sense: he was a true representative of all types of conservatives. He drew them together. Who, on the national scene right now, can succeed in this challenge? The one who can accomplish this will be the standard-bearer for all who call themselves conservatives.