Whittaker Chambers, who many conservatives regard as their godfather, once counseled William F. Buckley to quit heeding the editorial intention of National Review — “standing athwart history and yelling stop”–and tactically adjust to history’s drift. He was speaking of the masses’ unwillingness to abandon Keynesian economics and for the Republican Party to accept, even embrace this.
In the aftermath of Obama’s re-election, conservatives once again need to accept history’s drift, not regarding economics but the changing culture. Despite the anger at this president by social conservatives, this group no longer wins elections. Former witch-turned-religous dingbat Christine O’Donnell, who was against the separation of church and state, cost the party senatorial control. The populace has accepted the realities of abortion and gay marriage either because they support them or because they regard them as here to stay. Obama was able to attract moms (but not dads) because of stupid statements by Republicans about rape being God’s will and calling those who want subsidized contraception “whores.”
Let’s be real: Obama was elected for reasons having nothing to do with economics (60% of the country disagrees with his economic policies and Romney led in the polls on who was best able to handle the economy). He was elected because of his powerful photo-op during Sandy (Chris Christie’s bear hug helped as well), because he was black (he commands 94% of the African American vote even though they have borne the brunt of his economic policies), because he supported gay marriage and abortion and federally funded contraception.
There is a strand of the Republican Party that is culturally on board with most of these issues that are apparently of such importance to moms that they are willing to risk four more years of failed economic policies.
They are called libertarians. Because of their fears of the government intruding into personal issues of morality, they support the right of people to live their lives the way they want, which includes the right to marry whoever they want and a woman’s right to choose. But these same big government fears put them at odds with Obama’s socialism. They are committed to getting government out of the way of innovative entrepreneurs.
It is time for the Republican Party to quit putting up Republicans who are moderate in the worst way: economically liberal (John McCain’s attacks on money in politics; Mitt Romney’s support of a healthcare bill in Massachusetts that was a carbon copy of ObamaCare) and socially conservative. Reasonable libertarians are just as moral as the social conservatives. The difference lies in their belief that the government has no business trying to make individuals more moral — that is as bad as the Marxists trying to change human nature.
And that is how to win elections.