What did McCain do to energize the so-called "base" of the party? He nominated Sarah Palin, a pro-life, Christian, conservative woman --committed to reform in her state. And she had the IT factor --enormous charisma. Her whole family has it!
Many said he did this to attract the Hillary voters. I knew she wouldn't get many of them, because Hillary voters are pro-choice on abortion --and Sarah obviously is not. I think he really knew that he was nominating an evangelical who would energize evangelicals. And she did that.
If you listen to Ann Coulter, you do get another impression of what it is to be conservative. She's a bit more hard-line --and some of that is good. But there is a bit of difference in how she perceives the term "conservative" and how I believe Pastor Rick Warren would perceive it--or even Bush. E.g. I think there is a hard-edged kind of conservativism --that would APPEAR, or be INTERPRETED to be uncompassionate to illegals, the poor and unconcerned about the environment.
We need to get out the message of what environmental remedies may do to the poor in the short run that are worse than global warming.
WE of the evangelical right do believe in "spreading the wealth" through opportunity, public education, voluntarily sharing what we have, and social gov't AND charity programs to help the truly needy, the disabled, ill and elderly. But we also believe that self-reliance is a virtue to promote in the culture rather than dependency on others to do what we can do for ourselves. Why should we reward those who've been indolent, goofed off in school, chosen drugs and promiscuity? We do need to help their children --but we ought not make it of no consequence, perpetuating irresponsibility when one elects to ruin his own life. We need a little TOUGH LOVE in the gov't --and yet, we can't let people starve or live in squalid 3rd world conditions.
The church needs to reach out to all--as the Gospel of Christ is the best force for good in a culture. It draws people into Community --weekly --and this, at its best, is a family --for people whose families may have disappointed them or died off. This family challenges us to life rightly, to love, forgive, and give.
Like the hard-right, Warren (and Coulter) would be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. But Warren is also emphasizing compassion for those with AIDS (as Bush did) and I bet he isn't a hard liner against amnesty for illegals from Mexico-- which Ann is.
I don't agree with affirmative action as forced official policy --but I understand the value of diversity in our schools, churches and our workplaces and think we should voluntarily seek to be diverse racially --and seek peace with other religious groups --not through doctrinal compromise, but through intentional peace-making while maintaining our differences in beliefs and convictions. We don't have to believe we are both on the path to Heaven in order to be kind.
I was in the doctor's office yesterday for a test and another lady and I were quite chatty and friendly on the elevator. And then I asked if her candidate won; she said, he did. And I smilingly said, "Mine did not." And then she started to look at me warily and give me the social chill. Clammed up. REAL PEACE DOES INVOLVE CARING FOR PEOPLE DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES IN VIEWS. HEAR ME, MUDLY!? THAT'S WHY I AM WILLING TO BREAK BREAD AND DRINK COFFEE WITH DEMOCRATS. PEACE MUST NOT REQUIRE AGREEMENT, BUT TOLERANCE.
Tolerance is not APPROVAL of all things or agreement. Homosexuals want us to approve sodomy by granting marriage to those relationships. Even liberal California voted against such approval. Sodomy is against nature and gives us no children. It starts with a first thought and/or action and it SHOULD be shunned at the first thought --just like adultery, pedophilia, rape, and incest should be barred from one's brain at the first thought.
Gay marriage teaches our children that gay is ok, that they may consider it for themselves, that they may mull thoughts of sodomy around in their heads, and experiment to find out what they prefer. We have enough sexually confused and dysfunctional people without encouraging them and stimulating the mind toward immorality by official endorsement. We have a long list of pragmatic and secular reasons (in addition to religious) why sodomy is unhealthy and counter-productive to our national well-being--and not a matter of equal rights at all. AFter all, they have the same rights to marry persons of the opposite sex. There is no RIGHT to do wrong and same-sex sodomy is simply wrong --and this view is the traditional one, not new. So don't anyone say the Christians are trying to CHANGE a nation to suit themselves in their stand on sodomy. It's the homosexuals who are trying to change the nation--and succeeding.
WE MUST WORK FOR A DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE IN THE CONSTITUTION --AS OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, EVEN YOUNG EVANGELICALS, ARE STARTING TO BELIEVE THAT IT'S NOT "NICE" TO OPPOSE HOMOSEXUALITY. They are being brainwashed by TV and liberals in all our schools and online. The NEA (our teachers) actually have in their list of political goals the approval of homosexuality and women's right to choice (abortion.) There is this fear that if we disapprove the lifestyle, homosexuals will stay away from God and Church. We have disapproved adultery, and still adulterers will come into church when they really want forgiveness and a relationship with the Lord. We can't pretend to approve homosexuality to get them into a church that will teach them homosexuality is a sin. And woe to the church that doesn't teach them the truth.
To revive the GOP, we need leadership from the religious conservatives like Rick Warren. We need a clear agenda that we are FOR the environment but for people, first --that we are FOR compassionate works, including faith-based institutions getting federal monies wherever secular institutions are doing so with inferior results (prisons, schools, rehab clinics, mental health centers, and work among the poor, the ill and the homeless.)
We must promote awareness of America's Christian heritage and its positive effect on our culture, civil rights beliefs, abolition of slavery, and on our prosperity --with the protestant work ethic and the value of self-reliance, individual initiative, and freedom without licentiousness, freedom with personal responsibility.
We must demand equal monies for religious schools --like the GI Bill used to be. We need choice in education. Yes, I fear the Islamic Wahabi schools that might rise up. I would say any school receiving vouchers should promote kindness and peace --and prove that they are doing so. They don't have to water down doctrinal differences, but there should be no suggestion of paradise for suicide bombers --support for any kind of murder--or their schools can be closed. I believe in the public school for promoting diversity and peace among people of differences --BUT some of our schools have become agents of the LEFT--or just ineffectual because of dysfunctional homes in the district. So we rightly ask for our tax monies back, to be used for schools of our choice.
In conclusion, if the GOP sticks to the values of its religious, pro-life, pro-family, conservative base --the Ronald Reagan Republicans and Reagan Democrats, the party will revive. But we must shed any impression that we are hard-line against the illegals, against the poor (deserving or otherwise). We need to toot our own horns about the good done in Iraq, the accomplishments of GW Bush --instead of all this misinfo about how everything bad was his fault.
We need united campaign leadership who understands and appreciates the religious right-- who knows how to combat the negative press --who knows how to inspire people about the superior party's superior beliefs and values.
The McCain-Palin speeches seemed to stay away from our core values --to stick to lowering taxes, being mavericks, reforming, bringing change. Give me the old Ron Reagan speeches anyday--where he said things that resonated with people of faith. I noticed that was missing from all 4 candidates this year at their conventions--as they tried to appeal to the "middle" --those people without clear direction for themselves. We've been listening to our critics --as Ann Coulter said --and trying to appease them. Not a good idea at all.
Locally, we need an outstanding candidate to oppose Marcy --say, a black conservative Christian? Or just some young dynamic candidate with charisma who mounts a huge campaign and gets tons of young workers. I'll telephone!
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible