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I think I've said this before...

Your Humble Blogger has mentioned before that the social conservatives haven’t actually been very successful since their Party took power, counting either from 1994 or 2000. They were on about the homosexual agenda, abortion, disrespect for Christians (well, for them, anyway), and sex and violence in popular culture. Well, in most of those areas, they have lost ground, by any measure. More and more Republicans in office, more abortions, more gay marriage, more filth on television and radio. In part, this is because the leaders of the Republican party have betrayed ordinary Republican voters by ceding power to a secretive cabal of crooks and incompetents (were you all singing along on that one?), but in part it’s because social conservatism was always a bit of a ruse the big-money boys used to push corporate capitalism. Now and then, the leaders of social conservatism pretend to be shocked by this, and we get headlines such as Conservative Christians Criticize Republicans (on a story by David D. Kirkpatrick in this morning’s New York Times).

My point, though, is that on social measures, and to a large extent on fiscal and foreign policy as well, it’s not enough to put people from Your Party in office. Remember that democracy is not about elections. It’s about persuasion. The Republicans, with their brilliant decades-long discipline of getting people elected to various state and local positions for which they really had soft support, and then using those small offices to build the Party, had this flaw. They got very good at getting elected. They were never as good at getting the country to believe their shit.

Except Reagan, of course, and the whole anti-government thing, which I think is different.

But you are not going to eliminate abortion by legislating restrictions. You aren’t even really going to decrease it. And, in fact, in a country that supports the individual right to make that choice, you aren’t even going to successfully pass that legislation, just because you get your boys elected. And that’s one of the easy ones. You’re surely not going to reverse cultural trends by winning 53% of a suppressed vote. You aren’t going to eliminate poverty that way, either, or prop up unions and working people against employers and banks, and you aren’t going to get national health care with 53% of the vote, either. I’m not saying we on the left should ignore the elections, I’m just saying elections aren’t enough. Mr. Dobson has discovered that.

chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek,

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