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Offensive conservatives

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted November 24, 2008

Scanning through the headlines, trying to find one that does not contain the phrase ‘president-elect'--does anyone remember George W. Bush being called anything but ‘Governor' until his inauguration?--I happened across a piece from the BBC humorously titled, "Uncertain times for US Religious Right." In it, the left muses on its favorite dream; that humbled by defeat in the last two elections, "Christian conservatives may find themselves working alongside Democrats" on certain social issues.

BBC's Matthew Wells hopefully focuses on the "tension between the narrow social agenda of Christian conservatives and the broader, more pragmatic ‘low tax' wing of the party." Well, I hate to disappoint our British brethren, but the ‘religious right' has never been more certain that its cause is just; given that the "narrow social agenda" we defend originates far higher up the food chain than Washington, DC. And the events of November 4th will only make true conservatives even more determined to fight for it.

We lost this election not because this agenda wasn't important to voters, it's that their pocketbooks were more so. One has only to look to statewide elections where bans on same-sex marriage passed, to know that even in California, the radical left agenda did not hold sway across the board. The thought that a big win by Democrats will make the conservative movement dry up and blow away, is as laughable as the notion that 20 years of Reagan/Bush decimated the liberal agenda.

Of course our challenge is much greater than that of the left because of the stranglehold they still retain on the media, the public education system and especially the courts. As we are seeing in California, even when the people exercise their right to self govern by amending their Constitution, liberals seek to circumvent this process through their willing allies on the bench.

But such efforts will only serve to further strengthen our movement and commitment, especially as our very identity as Americans comes under assault. We are called conservatives because we seek to preserve that which every American should hold dear: our founding document, the U.S. Constitution.

This is why many conservatives never fully supported John McCain; we remember his political free speech-busting Campaign Reform Bill. And although he naively signed it believing that the Supreme Court would strike it down, President Bush deserves credit for appointing our current Chief Justice who, in negating some of its most offending aspects last year, wrote:

[W]hen it comes to defining what speech qualifies as the functional equivalent of express advocacy subject to such a ban--the issue we do have to decide--we give the benefit of the doubt to speech, not censorship. The First Amendment's command that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech" demands at least that.

Again, many think that because McCain and Obama never fully discussed other issues important to conservatives, these will somehow magically fall off the political table. Not a chance. Just as Chief Justice Roberts calls the First Amendment a "command," so do we believe that its protection of religious freedom is sacrosanct.

Barack Obama is notoriously supportive of abortion in all of its vile forms. He has promised that, "The first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom Of Choice Act." As we all know, FOCA would erase all existing bans on abortion, and worse, force all those whose religious convictions now prevent the government from making them participants in this heinous practice, to toe the murderous line. The repercussions of this would be disastrous, even to Americans allowed to be born, as explained by Bill Donahue of the Catholic League:

[R]eligious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment and cannot be trespassed upon lightly, and certainly not by abortion zealots.  Those who support FOCA must realize that if Catholic hospitals are ever required to perform abortions, the bishops will close every one of them; no one would be hurt more than the poor.

The left must realize that we will fight legislation like FOCA with all our strength. For the past eight years we have been on defense; especially on the War in Iraq and the economy. But Conservatives are never more united and focused than when our Constitution and our values are under direct assault, as they will most certainly be in the next four years.

Let us take the offensive in the culture wars and leave the navel-gazing and hand-wringing to those paid to do it. Let us not worship the cult of personality as the Democrats do, but let our positions on the issues lead us instead. Let us, as Ronald Reagan said, be known for communicating great ideas.

In closing his article with a burst of wishful thinking, the Beeb writer opines that if Obama "steers clear of a social and cultural policy agenda, preferring to focus all efforts on the economy and foreign affairs, the Religious Right will have nothing much to react against." Those on the left assume that they will continue to have conservatives in a defensive position; let us prove them very wrong. ESR

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.

 

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