Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Watching the Republicans Choose Their Issues

It's funny to see the GOP fret and argue about which issues they should drop in order to have a 'bigger tent'. I've not had much respect for the Republican party for a long time, but I will say - if the GOP keeps insisting that conservatives need to drop some issues in order to start winning again, the ones saying so may not like the issues that end up being dropped.

For my part, I'd sooner capitulate on economic principles than on certain social ones, like abortion. If they simply mean that pro-life advocates should stop focusing on rape exceptions, I'd have to agree. Even people like myself who believe that life begins at conception need to be willing to take what we can get, not hold out waiting for the all-or-nothing approach.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Romney Loss, and Lessons Therein

Romney was, in the end, a nice guy. In personal terms, he actually seemed like a great guy. Rather the ideal conservative by many metrics - an upstanding family guy. He started a business, he made jobs. Yes, his social politics were rather liberal - he was a Mass. guy. He was a very positive fellow, moderate and upbeat in tone. I like him, now.

But he lost. And from here, it seems that part of the reason he lost is because he never really went negative. Really, there's more to it than that - there's also the shifting demographics of the country, etc. But in a terrible economy, on the heels of a foreign policy disaster, by a president who's been exposed as not having much to him, he couldn't manage a win - after being savaged as a tremendous extremist and a horrible human being, for months on end, by his opposition. And so he concedes the race, urging the country to get over its partisan divisions and work together.

That's naive of him. It was the weak spot of his campaign to try and be the guy who rose about the negative politics, and I wonder if the GOP will eventually learn that lesson. In the meantime, America continues its march towards the European model which should have been exposed as an unsustainable goal and a bad idea the moment troubles started in Greece, to say nothing of elsewhere on the continent. In the end, I doubt - unless he was (in Vox Day's words) performing the Mormon equivalent of taqiya - Romney would have stopped this. I suspect he could have slowed it, and maybe Ryan would have offered a chance at stopping it in the future.

If there's any silver lining to this, it's a pretty tarnished silver. The idea that many of the people who are so in favor of these economic and social policies may still be alive when the full cost of them comes to be experienced. See, I strive to uphold Christian ideals, which means - trash talk aside - I can't actually wish ill on people. But I have to admit, there's a part of me that imagines the day coming when the disastrous effects of these policies whip around to inflict serious harm on the lives of the very people now advocating for these policies. You know, that irony when the guy who angsted about universal health care goes to use it, and is denied it because he's judged as not being important enough, or the money simply isn't there, and there's not a charity to turn to. It's a bad thought, it's an unChristian thought, but it's there, and damned if it doesn't sound like a grimly amusing scenario.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Christian Left? Are You Sure You Know What You're Doing?

I checked Victor Reppert's latest postings, and found a very brief link to a site touting the Christian Left.

Look, I don't doubt there can be Christian liberals, in a sense. I think they're gravely mistaken, but I could easily see a Christian believing that there's a government duty to provide for the poor, and further that this duty should manifest in socialist policies. Victor himself is, as near as I can tell, a Christian like that - I'm sure it's more complicated than that for him, but it'd be along those lines. And he seems to reach those positions from a sincere Christian faith, which I can respect.

But the Christian Left site? If I were Victor, I'd be profoundly worried at its existence.

Let's go down the list on the main page alone and see what problems there are to point out.

A Political Puzzle

Here's a political puzzle for you to figure out.

How do you address, as a socially conservative christian, a 40% birth rate to unwed mothers? 

Now, keep these factors in mind.

* They're unwed mothers, so they didn't have an abortion. And a socially conservative Christian is going to have to regard that as praiseworthy, even if in a 'basic human dignity' sense. "You didn't murder your unborn child. Well done!"

* Not only is the praise there, but any criticism will be immediately taken - even by many pro-life Christians - as encouraging abortion. After all, if women are going to be stigmatized for giving birth to their conceived-out-of-wedlock children, that's all the more encouragement to procure an abortion, right?

So, how does the socially conservative christian handle this issue?

Keep in mind, I realize it's entirely consistent to be against abortion, yet also critical of unwed mothers (and, of course, the guys who got them pregnant). But in a practical sense - in terms of being socially effective - this seems like a fiendishly difficult problem. The sense I get is that most Christians have coped with it by completely dropping any negative reaction to a girl getting pregnant outside of marriage Even the socially conservative Christians will fall back to 'we have to be compassionate, this girl's life is going to be tough enough as is, let he who is without sin cast the first stone!' in large part. (Of course, it's a different story for the male half of these equations.)

It's a puzzle.