The following was written by Harry R. Jackson, Jr. for Townhall.com.
Four months ago I was a part of a very high level meeting with the evangelical community’s most influential leaders. We spent an entire day interacting with politicians on the Hill and the current administration’s most trusted advisors. Most of us were shocked that the president had not led the charge to protect marriage more aggressively---after all it was May, 2006. In our view, he had used up a great deal of political capital on social security reform, the unexpected Katrina debacle, the war, and other internal squabbles and fights. Frankly, we wondered if we had been pushed out of the “big tent.” Although our concern was universal, everyone sat quietly, hoping to be proven wrong.
Everything was going fine until one of the speakers said, “The values voters did not make the difference in the 2004 election.” The speaker failed to even thank the folks in the room for their efforts to get out the vote, to get the marriage amendment on the ballots of important swing states, and for their unwavering support of President Bush. I am not sure of the speaker’s true intent. Maybe he meant to say: “the three major issues on the minds of the average voter are: 1) the war in Iraq, 2) gas prices, and 3) the domestic economy.” Such a statement would have been understood by the leaders in the room. By contrast, what we heard in our heads was a condescending voice bellowing, “It’s nice that you supported us, but we could have done it ourselves. We admire your passion, but you don’t know how we play this game in
Evangelical conservatives have found that they are in the same boat as fiscal conservatives. Based on everything that is happening with the Republican Party, the leaders of the Party know that they have some problems with their base. They also know that their base has nowhere to go. That can be seen on the conservative blogs where any misstep by the GOP is met with a “but the Democrats would be worse” statement.
What this says to the GOP is they can rest assure that they will not be held accountable for their failures at the voting booths. This is evident when James Dobson of Focus on the Family spins the Mark Foley incident by stating, “As it turns out, Mr. Foley has had illicit sex with no one that we know of, and the whole thing turned out to be what some people are now saying was a -- sort of a joke by the boy and some of the other pages.” source
For years black conservatives have argued that by voting for Democrats, black people subject themselves to a political plantation where they are easily exploited. It seems to me that the same thing may be happening to certain sects of the Republican Party. We will see with this next election but it seems to me that political campaigns are getting much easier to run. It’s simply a matter of filling in the following blanks.
1. “But if a ___________ were to take office things would be worse.”
2. “The _________ Party may not be perfect but I’d rather have them in power rather than the __________ Party.”
3. “Anybody but a __________.”
This is how politicians want it. If political choices are narrowed down the point where the alternative is unacceptable, then there is no need to actually follow through on anything. We are getting exactly what accept. Fredrick Douglas said it best:
“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”