Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Dems (Try To) Get God

Ok, I admit it. I didn't watch Clinton's and Obama's little town meeting on faith that aired tonight on CNN. I know. It would've made a great post, but I just couldn't bring myself to sit through it. I couldn't bring myself to endure what I suspected would be a blatantly obvious political ploy to win over religiously conservative voters, a ploy Dems have been using for a while now.

Dems have been trying hard to get religion ever since they lost the presidential election in 2004. Before then, the Democratic party had been staunchly secular. It was the party of choice for most unchurched voters, polls showed, as it supported a host of liberal causes rooted in a rejection of traditional, Judeo-Christian values. The defeat in '04, attributed to the overwhelming support "values voters" gave Republicans, forced the Dems to rediscover their collective soul. God became acceptable to them again...to a point.

While wanting to make inroads into the (conservative) faith community Democrats, especially liberal ones, didn't want to get too touchy feely with the divine. Rather than actually changing their fundamentally secular worldview Dems sought to convince the faithful that it was compatible with their God-centered one. And to a large extent they've succeeded. In the '06 midterm elections the Democrats received a larger than expected share of the White, evangelical vote and they stand to do the same in '08. The trick has been to get people of faith to "broaden" their concern from their usual hot button issues, i.e. abortion or gay marriage, to include such things as protecting the environment and caring for the poor.

I find this strategy insulting. It assumes that religious conservatives were backward, one dimensional voters until shown the way by enlightened liberals. Of course, this is garbage. Conservative people of faith have been concerned about a wide range of issues, especially helping the poor, for many years; they just haven't been inclined to view government as the solution. That's why the issues they actually voted on were rather narrowly defined. It had nothing to do with being narrow minded, ignorant, or uncaring. Religious conservatives don't need to be "enlightened" by anyone.

Still, the Dems' success in convincing a portion of the conservative faithful to rethink their political allegiance can't be denied, and tonight's forum is an attempt to solidify those gains. Will it work? Will Hillary and Obama be successful? I'm not sure. As disappointed and even disillusioned many people of faith are with the Republicans they also know that the Democrats haven't exactly been their friends. Hillary and Obama will have to walk a fine line trying to woo a lot of still skeptical "values voters" while reassuring their secular base they haven't gotten too cozy with the faithful. Watching the Dems trying to stay on that tightrope during the entire election season is going to be very funny.

5 comments:

Roadhouse said...

Thanks for the comments on my blog. Your post is right on tonight.

Kendra said...

Ohhh I agree. I don't think they can do it. If Obama's pastor hasn't ruined it for him yet...something will soon!

If a politician, let’s say McCain, would stick to the core conservative values he would be elected by a landside. When push comes to shove and Americans go out to vote they will vote conservative. Faith is a huge part of it….Faith is what our country was founded on.

Btw ~ I am voting Hillary on May 6 for our primaries! Operation Chaos. Yay!

Tapline said...

Seane, It'll take more than a meeting of the minds to change some people into Christian believers. They have been trying for quite some time to illiminate God from American life. They almost succeeded. stay well....

JMK said...

"In the '06 midterm elections the Democrats received a larger than expected share of the White, evangelical vote and they stand to do the same in '08." (Seane Anna)


I have a very different analysis of what happened in 2006, Seane Anna.

Yes, the Dems made overtures to the "faith-based community," BUT they didn't do so by merely diverting their attentions from things like abortion, they did so by a strategy (engineered by Rahm Emmanuel and Chuck Schumer) to "expand the Democratic hegemony" by including more Conservative candidates.

That's why the likes of N.C. Heath Schuler (an Evangelical Christian) was elected in 2006 as a Democrat.

What that election did was to bring to more than 20% the number of Conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats in the House and Senate!

Today, over a fifth of the Democrats in Congres are Conservative Dems and they've consistently voted AGAINST the Pelosi-Reid agenda.

Conservatism is a wide encompassing value system which includes groups as diverse as Religious Conservatives, Secular Libertarians and non-religious pragmatists (usually small government, Conservatives).

There are times and their issues over which those factions can honestly disagree, but they tend to be more consistently Right than Left, more tradionalist in outlook and values and more independent minded.

The post-Gingrich GOP embarked on a disastrous path of "joining in the pork-fest," and "acting too much like Democrats."

As a result, they lost a lot of their support among much of America.

The hard-Left Democrats are proving that the GOP's and Conservative's best friend is the far-Left Dems themselves, who never fail to demean, insult and plain old piss the American people off.

I'd thought that perhaps America NEEDED a Carter-like Obama Presidency as a sort of ideological high colonic, but I'd rather nott go through that mess.

You'd think with so much more information being available instantaneously that more people would be aware of the failures of Keynesianism ("big government liberalism").

There are proofs all over the moder world that Supply Side (market-based) policies work, including the 25 years of unprecedented prosperity we've had in the U.S., but even Ireland today, with one of the lowest corporate tax rates, a low flat tax (income tax) and negligible taxes on dividends and Cap Gains has moved from being "the basketcase of Europe" (economically) under Keynesian policies, to being one of Europe's most dynamic economies today, under Supply Side policies!

The Republicans HAVE to get back to Conservative principles.

Whether John McCain is they guy to do that is impossible to tell right now, BUT at this point at least, he's the only real chance we've got.

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