Let me preface this post by stating what most who know me would say is obvious: I’m VERY conservative. I am a self-branded “Republitarian” with strong libertarian roots and a Biblical worldview that places me firmly in the “social conservative” camp.
That being said, there are political realties that are being ignored by my fellow social conservatives and our RINO (Republicans in Name Only) friends:
This chart illustrates that the era of the moderate is over. It’s not unlike the rules of radio marketing: if you try to be all things to all people you end up annoying most potential listeners. If you have a specific target demographic you are laser-focused on hitting, you’ll get their families, friends, and others that respect that focus even if they don’t appreciate everything about it.
What am I getting at?
Republicans can’t win a campaign by being Democrat-light. John McCain is a good example of this. They can’t win a campaign (outside of the most conservative districts) by being an evangelical ideologue, either. Iowa’s three-time gubernatorial primary candidate Bob Vander Plaats is a good example of this. There are many exceptions. Sometimes RINOs and ideologues win. But the perfect candidate will run not in the center of the American political spectrum but right smack dab in the middle of the Conservative spectrum.
I don’t believe social conservatives like myself need to have every one of our issues championed by every candidate. But I want a candidate that is solidly conservative, will not work against the party’s platform, and will show respect for each of the wings of the Republican party. We need a uniter that holds a judeo-christian worldview but shows respect for and a desire to work with those who just want lower taxes and government to get out of their lives.
The trick isn’t to be as extreme as possible or as moderate as possible. The trick is to govern from the correct middle. I agree with Glenn Beck’s recent comments that we just need solid Americans who care about sustaining American values and ideals. Family Values, thrift, hard work, individualism with compassion on those that need a hand-up (not a hand-out). These are not only evangelical ideals. They are American ideals.
Unless we switch to a more parliamentarian government, we are stuck with a two-party system for the foreseeable future. I don’t believe you have to be militant and marginalized in order to avoid being “mamby-pamby,” as one of my critics recently accused me of being.
I’m as solid a conservative as anyone. I just choose to win people over with love and respect…not by coming across as an angry, spiteful ideologue as too many do. I believe that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The actions of the Obama Administration, Congress, and the Iowa Legislature deserve a reaction. But I believe we have a choice to react on their level with spite, militancy, and political drive or we can react by being what the American people really want: peaceful, loving, hard-working advocates that will oppose this current administration’s policies with verve and vigor but with an attitude and fortitude that reflects the following:
Matthew 5:43-45 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Galatians 5:14-15 – “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
Galatians 5:25-26 – “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
I don’t always agree with the tact of my fellow Christian conservatives although I respect their zeal and agree with their positions on the issues. But what saddens me is when it comes out that one of their own feels differently about a subject – especially politics – and the slander and vitriol begins to ooze out…
We should be better than that.
Eric has more than sixteen years’ experience in state government and nonprofit organizations including the roles of Development Director at Iowa Christian Academy and Des Moines radio station Q99.5 KZZQ/Pulse 99.5. Eric has also worked in Governor Terry Branstad’s office during his fourth term and in the Division of Criminal Investigation. Eric ran for Iowa State House in 2004.Eric serves as a Curriculum Committee Member at the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, is President of Iowa Advocates for Choice in Education, and is Chair of the Iowa Educational Opportunities PAC. He is a thinker, hunter, hiker, backpacker, movie watcher, traveler, soccer-lover/player, and music fanatic with a predilection for theatre and art; especially photography. His two children keep him and his wife very busy and very grateful.
Eric also can be found on Twitter.
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