Thank you, Charles, for your “Newsflash” below. Evangelicals can and do “multitask.” One of my pet peeves is this pesky notion that if you only took abortion and gay marriage (you know, those irrelevant cultural sideshows) off the table, we would automatically fall towards the Democrats because of the Democrats’ alleged overriding concern for “social justice.”
It is hardly the case that evangelicals are (or have ever been) obsessed with abortion and gay marriage to the exclusion of other issues. We have noted this rather obvious fact, and so have other commentators. Recently, Marc Ambinder–in an article about the bonds between evangelicals and Republicans–stated the following:
A final misunderstanding: Some secular intellectuals believe that social issues are what drive evangelicals to the polls, or that Republicans have mastered the art of using class resentments to delude working class whites into voting against their economic interests.
But internal polling conducted for the Republican National Committee shows that evangelicals who support President Bush today are motivated principally by his administration’s national security policies. Sure, the targeted political messages they’ll see in late September and October will mention judicial nominations, but even more, the political ads will draw a sharp contrast with Democrats on national security.
Unless this were so, elite conservative activists in early primary states wouldn’t be seen flirting with a Republican presidential bid by the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. Because Giuliani is the potential nominee who most closely shares their values on national security, these activists are quick to excuse or forgive his two divorces. They must believe many evangelical voters can be persuaded to do the same.
Now recall what we have said here at EFM:
We also believe the War on Terror is not simply a national security issue, but also a values issue. The enemies of our country who are responsible for 9/11 hate our very way of life. They hate our freedom, our values, and our Judeo-Christian heritage.
It turns out–much to the media’s constant surprise–that we evangelicals are real people. We care about the economy and the environment and the war. And–like most Americans–we tend to be somewhat pragmatic and results-oriented. We care about the poor but think the socialist policies advanced by Jim Wallis and others only make everyone poorer. We care about the environment but are skeptical of an environmentalist movement that deifies the planet and engages in repeated (and incredible) scare tactics. We care about peace and seek peace, but we don’t think that peace is achieved by surrrendering to genocidal terrorists. Peace through victory is preferable to the false peace of retreat and defeat.
Has it occurred to the media that it is precisely because we are concerned with the poor and marginalized in our society that we are generally hostile to socialism and want to see real economic growth? Because we are concerned with the poor we seek to protect the traditional family? After all, there is nothing–literally nothing–more likely to cause poverty than a fractured family life.
And this gets us back to Governor Romney. Abortion and same-sex marriage are important issues. But so is the war, and so is the economy, and so is immigration, and so is “social justice” (however that is defined). Only Governor Romney offers realistic and convincing responses across the full spectrum of these issues.
And that, in a nutshell, is why EFM exists.