People have said that it’s time for Republicans to give up when it comes to social issues. No one wants an old white guy telling them how to live their lives. No one wants a preacher in the White House. Adhering to this advice, we’ve seen the GOP largely abandon its social agenda in recent years. Fiscal conservatism, foreign policy, and national security are now the three heads of the elephant. That’s not a terrible thing – those three issues are of paramount importance – but what are we losing in the process?
Liberals Dominate the Social Sphere
What these progressive conservatives fail to realize is that social issues form the backbone of nearly every concrete government policy. Do you not think liberals are jumping on social issues every chance they get? Worse, they’re changing the way America thinks about problems by reframing the conversation. They’ve so successfully painted Republicans as the party of whites and racism that a major left-wing blog was able to illustrate Republican racism with a picture of George Wallace! This barely earned a whimper from its liberal readership.
The first Republican president was none other than Abraham Lincoln. Now, I’m not going to pretend that the party was the same in the 1860s as it was in the 1980s, but facts are facts. Where would the country be today if one of our greatest presidents had not taken a principled stand against the stain of slavery?
Today’s Republicans seem to have thrown in the towel when it comes to important social topics like abortion. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are located in predominately-black neighborhoods and cater to predominately-black patients. Would this not be an excellent platform with which to reach out to minority voters?
But the greatest failure of all is in the spread of the conservative message. Republicans no longer seem to know why they are fighting for things like lower taxes and 2nd Amendment rights. They attack their Democrat opponents, they attack Obamacare, but they never drive home the message of why it is that these concepts are so harmful to the country.
The truth is that everything is a social issue when it comes right down to it. And where the country goes politically will be determined by which brand of ideology wins out: conservatism or liberalism. What Republicans need to realize is that young Americans are getting the left’s side of the story at every turn. They hear it from their television, from their movies, from their teachers, and from their music. In a culture where conservatism is demonized and liberalism is celebrated, how can you make a case for your policies without showing people that they’ve been sold a lie?
At its heart, conservatism is about nothing less than human liberty. That’s a message that people will never grow tired of hearing because it’s a basic human truth. Unfortunately, Republicans have let their opponents dictate the conversation for so long that young liberals don’t realize that they don’t need government interference to succeed beyond their wildest dreams. That society doesn’t need the government to legislate their every action. This is the true social issue at the core of all the rest, and it’s high time Republicans start talking about it again.