Parker on the Religious Right and the future of the GOP
A rabble-rousing column from (former?) conservative columnist Kathleen Parker on the future of religious conservatives-- the so-called Religious Right (RR)-- within the GOP...
Parker had already taken a bold stand (in her usual circles) by ripping Sarah Palin as McCain's VP choice-- even to the point of asking her to step down from the ticket!
In this essay, she asserts that the GOP would be better off without religious conservatives. Aside from the "heresy" of that thought, it doesn't make any sense. As George McKenna describes, there was a day in the 1970s when an allegiance between pro-life evangelicals and Democrats actually made more sense. But the Dems are too far gone-- on "family" and "life" issues-- to make that a reality now.
And it seems like an apocalyptic approach to what may likely be a short-term problem. Obama's charisma plus Bush's failed policies is why the GOP is in this predicament. The worst-case scenario for them: Obama is really popular and perceived as successful, leading to two terms. Some time in the next eight years, I'd be shocked if there is not a GOP resurgence-- or more accurately, a return to control of at least the executive branch.
More likely is the increased or continuing ghetto-ization of the RR. Who else are they going to vote for? Why wouldn't the GOP throw them a few bones to keep a sizable constituency in their camp? This analysis allows one to draw a relevant parallel between the RR and African-Americans-- who are in a eerily similar position within the Democratic party.
Anyway, here's Parker in an Ann-Coulter mode-- with an assortment of colorful or insulting phrases to describe the RR: "armband religion", "an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners", "the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows", and she coins what seems to be a new phrase-- "oogedy-boogedy"
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D....
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.
Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that....
She's probably correct about that. Many GOP'ers and most Democrats are condescending toward evangelicals. Many GOP'ers are not all that principled on other things as well-- most notably, fiscal conservatism-- and dismiss conservatives out-of-hand. Ron Paul's treatment this year is one notable, recent example.
In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle...it isn't necessary to evict the Creator from the public square, surrender Judeo-Christian values or diminish the value of faith in America. Belief in something greater than oneself has much to recommend it, including most of the world's architectural treasures, our universities and even our founding documents....
Either the Republican Party needs a new base -- or the nation may need a new party.