Tag archives: GOP

Pro-Life: Right Policy, Good - and Imperative - Politics

by Rob Schwarzwalder

December 2, 2014

In a post-election article in Politico, James Hohman describes what he terms “fault lines” as the 2016 Republican presidential field emerges. Among the issues he mentions are Common Core, NSA eavesdropping, immigration, Medicaid expansion and gay marriage. Noticeably absent: abortion.

Why? One reason is that advocates of protecting unborn children and their mothers from a predatory abortion industry are winning. According to the Guttmacher Institute (ironically, once the research arm of the country’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood), “In 2013 alone, 22 states enacted 70 antiabortion measures, including pre-viability abortion bans, unwarranted doctor and clinic regulations, limits on the provision of medication abortion and bans on insurance coverage of abortion. However, 2013 was not even the year with the greatest number of new state-level abortion restrictions, as 2011 saw 92 enacted; 43 abortion restrictions were enacted by states in 2012.” Guttmacher also notes that by mid-2014, “13 states (had) adopted 21 new restrictions that could limit access to abortion.”

The implications of these new laws and regulations are profound: As noted by Catholic Family Association president Austin Ruse, “How effective have some of these state legislative efforts been? A few years ago, Texas had 40 abortion clinics. Now, it has less than ten and counting.” Put another way, thousands of unborn children in the Lone Star state will be welcomed into life and their mothers defended against the abortion industry’s exploitation.

Although Barack Obama’s commitment to unrestricted access to abortion-on-demand is almost legendary (infamous, more accurately and sadly), the new Republican House and Senate can still pass pro-life bills that not only will set the stage for victories in a future pro-life Administration but which will remind the GOP rank-and-file that they can rely on those for whom they voted to keep their word. A promise to defend life is especially worth keeping in an era when cynicism about politics and politicians is too well-deserved.

A second reason is that the potential contenders for the GOP presidential nomination two years from now are smart politicians: In the Republican Party, abortion is as settled as a difficult issue ever can be, and those vying for the party’s top electoral slot realize they must commit to defending life or fail in their effort to win the nomination. Last month’s election verified this: Brad Tupi of Human Events observes that “Of those voters who said abortion should be illegal, 73 percent were Republicans and 25 percent were Democrats. These results conform to the stated platform positions of the two major parties.” Tupi rightly comments that “voter turnout was abysmal, about 36 percent. This is the lowest turnout since World War II.” However, it’s also noteworthy that those who turned-out last month compose the core of the GOP’s voters, the men and women who will also vote in the 2016 primaries and whose votes will determine the next Republican presidential ticket.

Overwhelmingly and nationwide, Republican office holders are pro-life. All but a handful of the Republican Members of Congress, both House and Senate, are advocates (actively or at least passively) of the sanctity of life from conception until natural death. And as Dave Andrusko writes in National Right to Life News, last month a “diverse field of Republicans (won) in state legislative races; almost all are pro-life.” That’s why, in a lengthy analysis piece, Politico reporter Paige Winfield Cunningham argues that “the GOP victories in the statehouses and governor’s mansions … are priming the ground for another round of legal restrictions on abortion.” Cunningham predicts “a wave of anti-abortion laws” in the states.

We at the Family Research Council will welcome that wave. For those of us committed to protecting lives within the womb and helping their mothers with their little ones, born and unborn, that wave will be more like a cleansing flood. Let it come.

How Important is Election Day Turnout? Ask Anthony Brown.

by Peter Sprigg

November 11, 2014

On Election Day (or, with early and absentee voting, during election season), not every citizen who is registered to vote will actually vote. There are a variety of reasons. Some have not put in the time and effort to educate themselves about the people and issues on the ballot. Some don’t believe their vote will make a difference. Some may be confident that their favored candidate(s) will win anyway; some may be fatalistic that their favored candidate(s) will lose anyway. Some may have logistical problems getting to the polls; some may simply forget.

Because of all these factors, it is a given for anyone who has ever been involved in a political campaign that “turning out your voters” is a key to victory. Success hinges not just on persuading a majority of your fellow citizens that you are the best candidate; it also hinges on success in motivating those voters to actually vote.

It should be no surprise that the highest voter turnout generally comes in presidential election years. That is when the media coverage of politics is at its most intense. Even people who pay no attention to local or state legislative races, or even races for Congress or Governor, will generally form an opinion on which candidate should be the next President of the United States, and will make an effort to express that view at the ballot box.

That means, however, that in a non-presidential year, like the 2014 mid-term elections, fewer votes will be cast, and therefor “turning out your voters” is even more crucial.

Anthony Brown learned that the hard way.

Brown has served two terms as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland under Gov. Martin O’Malley, the former mayor of Baltimore. O’Malley is leaving office and is considered a dark horse candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Brown was his designated successor for the governor’s mansion, easily winning the Democratic nomination.

The election should have been a shoo-in for Brown. Maryland is one of the bluest of deep blue states. President Obama carried the state in 2012 with 61% of the vote.

In one of the biggest (and most under-reported) upsets on election night, however, Brown lost to his Republican opponent, Larry Hogan, 51%-47%.

I was curious as to how big a role turnout played in this surprising outcome, so I went back to look at some vote totals I compiled after the 2012 election. (I had written a blog post then about how even in the four states which did not vote to defend the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, the pro-marriage vote had well exceeded the vote received by Republican nominee Mitt Romney.)

Comparing those votes with this year’s governor’s race confirmed the importance of turnout. Although Hogan won in 2014 with 51% of the vote, and Romney lost Maryland badly in 2012 with only 36% of the vote, the raw number of votes Hogan received in victory was only 91% of the number of votes Romney received in defeat.

What does that say about Brown? He received less than half as many votes as President Obama did in 2012—only 792,000 compared to Obama’s 1.6 million.

A similar trend probably prevailed across the country. Masses of Obama voters just stayed home on Election Day—leading to the Republican wave we saw on Election Night.

Are Christians Relevant?

by Family Research Council

November 15, 2012

In a recent article in the Washington Times titled Evangelicals Struggle to Stay Relevant in Republican Politics the inevitable question following the recent elections was asked- do evangelicals need to change to be relevant? The simple answer is no. Christians will always be relevant because Christianity is true and the truth is always relevant. People in America, and particularly in the political realm, often forget history. Christianity started in the middle of a hostile, Roman-controlled Israel when its Founder was brutally executed on a cross. Christians were then persecuted, killed, maligned and had no political power. Then they turned the world upside down with their doctrine. They proceeded to spread the message of God who came to earth as a man, died to redeem all mankind to Himself, then rose again conquering death forever. Now you can find Christians in every corner of the globe and the Gospel message has not changed for it transcends all time and all culture and is always relevant.

It is a mistake if one thinks that evangelicals derive their relevance from their politics. The politics of a Christian are merely an outworking of the message of salvation in a sin-cursed world. All have sinned and the punishment for sin is death, Christ bore our sin in His death on the cross and by His resurrection we can live forever with Him. Our earthly leaders die and new ones rise and some of them bow to Jesus the King and some defy Him. Christians dont fear irrelevance nor do we fear even death. Christ has conquered death and He reigns and will one day return and make all things right. As a Christian I seek to influence the political process because I love my neighbor and know that following Gods standards will bring blessing on the nation and glory to God. If my fellow man decides to follow a path contrary to God I am not worried about my own relevance but about the terrible consequences of sin.

I believe evangelicals are very relevant politically to both parties. They have in recent years been much more in line with the Republican platform than the Democratic platform. The Democrats were not always the party of abortion and homosexual advocacy. The Democrats moved away from the principles that evangelicals hold and so evangelicals moved away from them. Evangelicals vote on principle and if neither party supports their principles they may feel inclined to sit out or to vote for a lesser known party. It is vital that the major parties appeal to the values of evangelicals because evangelical values such as natural marriage and a respect for all life are best for the country and because so many people ascribe to these beliefs as evidenced by the many conservative members of the House elected with evangelical support and by the fact that natural marriage was more popular than Mitt Romney in the four states that voted on it.

It is interesting that people wonder if Christians can stay relevant to the GOP. I wonder if the GOP can stay relevant to Christians. Men have tried to silence us, governments have tried to kill us, and cultures have tried to drown out our message. But we just keep moving forward and we often thrive in spite of persecution. What seems like defeat to those who oppose us is merely the mercy of God delaying His judgment while desiring that all would turn from sin to Him. Man can defy Gods law and ignore His created order but man will never change it. The Republican and Democratic Parties will fade away, and America will fade one day too. But Christianity, never. While Christians should strive to elect those that hold our values we should remember that salvation will never come from the GOP but only from Jesus.

Has the GOP any Hope?

by Family Research Council

May 6, 2009

Pat Buchanan’s latest column tracks the impact of values voters in 2008. He reports on a new book by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, who chronicles the woes the GOP faces among the fastest-growing portions of the electorate: African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and the young (single women, in particular). While the news is bleak, there is an aperture of light for the GOP, much like the narrow windows in the Tower of London. First, the largest segment of voters in 2008’s presidential election based their decision on change a theme that helped Obama then but will be stronger for his opponent in 2012. And the second strongest motivator was values, where, as Buchanan notes, McCain beat Obama two-to-one:

Among values voters, fully 30 percent of the electorate, McCain won 65 percent to 32 percent, or by two to one.

What these numbers demonstrate is that liberals and neocons instructing the GOP to dump the social, moral and cultural issues are counseling Republicide. When African-Americans, who gave McCain 4 percent of their votes in California, gave Proposition 8, prohibiting gay marriage, 70 percent of their votes, why would the GOP give up one of its trump cards not only in Middle America but among minorities?

A conservative who could have sharpened the social, moral and cultural differences might, from the exit polls, have done far better.

McCain’s diffidence on life, affirmative action and gay rights, his embrace of amnesty and NAFTA, all help explain the enthusiasm gap.

As we know all too well, the GOP is all too prone to dumping trump cards. Buchanan calls this tendency “Republicide.” It could be taken as referring both to the GOP and the future of the Republic. The latter deserves the first priority. Will the GOP be part of it and will conservative Democrats make the same commitment? If they are listening to voters, yes.