Republicans need to… (fill in the blank)
Before we start talking about winning elections, we need to start with more basic questions. What is the right thing to do? What policies will most benefit the country? What policies will protect the family and preserve moral standards necessary for a healthy society? What policies will protect the most vulnerable among us? What policies are counterproductive to these goals?
The Republican Party has done a lot of soul-searching after Mitt Romney’s loss last year, and there have been many arguments about what needs to be done to help the GOP win future elections. The most prominent recent entry into this debate is a report by the national College Republicans, which Abdul-Hakim Shabazz commented on last week in the Indianapolis Star. But the most important question has been pushed aside.
What is the right thing to do?
It is true that one of the primary purposes for a political party is winning elections, though we should not forget that another purpose is the pooling of resources under a common banner to advance shared principles. If we cannot win elections, we cannot implement our policies. But the primary question should be right and wrong, not political expediency.
The three primary areas where Republicans are having an internal debate are illegal immigration, homosexual marriage and (to a lesser extent) abortion. All of these have been debated through the perspective of winning votes rather than doing the right thing, which makes Republicans look terribly insincere and lacking in principle.
For immigration, how do you balance the reality of dealing with millions of people already in the country illegally with border security, cultural assimilation and the Christian tradition of treating the stranger in our land well, as commanded in Leviticus 19:34? The primary focus of this debate is winning Hispanic votes, which is patronizing and a disservice to the real policy issues surrounding it.
We have seen what appears to be a significant cultural change in acceptance of homosexuality and support for homosexual marriage. Those who argue that Republicans should embrace homosexual marriage on the grounds of equal rights can be debated on the merits of their argument, but those who argue that it is necessary to change the party’s position of political reasons shouldn’t be taken seriously. As with immigration, it is patronizing.
Scripture teaches that homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God and Christians who love homosexuals do not want to place a state stamp of approval on their sin, instead wishing to call them out of it. Christians also worry that cultural acceptance of homosexuality will lead to further erosion of our moral standards necessary for a healthy society – standards that have already been shredded by the astronomical illegitimacy rate and no-fault divorce.
Republicans should debate this on policy merits, not political expediency.
With abortion, it is simple. Is abortion the willful, intentional termination of a human life or not? If the answer is yes, Republicans should not compromise, period. You cannot compromise on basic human rights.
It is true that someone who agrees with us 80% of the time is not our 20% enemy, and we should be reasonable in allowing some deviation from our own ideas – after all, there was only one time I have ever voted for someone I agreed with 100% of the time, and that is when I was on the ballot. Perfection is a good goal, but we do need to be realistic in what we can expect, especially somewhere like Massachusetts.
So, yes, let’s have a debate over where Republicans should stand on illegal immigration, homosexual marriage, and abortion. But let’s have that debate on the merits of the issues, not on what will win is the most votes.