Does a “Truce” on the Social Issues Serve the Public Good?

Written by Laurie Higgins

The Republican governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, recently called for a “truce” on the divisive social issues. Republican governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, concurs saying, “Any issue that takes people’s eye off of unemployment, job creation, economic growth, taxes, spending, deficits, debts is taking your eye off the ball.”

Earlier I asked, if one of the “social issues” that divided the country were not the slaughter of the most defenseless but were instead the enslavement of African Americans, would these same “moderates,” be chastising conservatives for refusing to subordinate social issues to fiscal issues?

When social conservatives retreat from the cultural and political debate, the cultural and political views of the public are shaped by those who are publicly engaged. Our retreat creates a vacuum that leftists are only too glad to fill with false moral propositions and destructive legislation. Soon there won’t be enough conservatives who think rightly on fundamental social issues, and the ones who do will lack the courage to speak. Society would be much better served by heeding the words of John Adams who said, “Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody….If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not.”

It should be noted that a truce requires that both sides agree to a cessation of activity. Surely, some have noticed that Democrats aren’t participating in the truce. In fact, carnivorous leftists are licking their chops while waiting to devour the carcass of social conservatism. And while they await its demise, they engage in ever more fevered efforts to advance their pernicious goals to preserve the right to annihilate the unborn and destroy the family.

No, Daniels and other likeminded conservatives are not calling for a truce; they’re effectively calling for a forfeit.

One of the social “moderates” about whom I am particularly critical is Mark Kirk. My criticism of him, however, extends beyond his unconscionable anti-life, pro-homosexual positions. My criticism of Kirk includes his penchant for deceit, about which Karl Rove has inadvertently shed some light.

In an appearance on Hannity on September 14, Karl Rove rejected supporting candidates who demonstrate a lack of honesty and integrity:

It does conservatives little good to support candidates who at the end of the day, while they may be conservative in their public statements, do not evince the characteristics of rectitude and truthfulness and sincerity and character that the voters are looking for.

Whatever you may think about Rove, his sentiments are valid and applicable to an evaluation of Mark Kirk as a candidate.

Despite all the bad press about Kirk’s prevaricating about his past military, teaching, and sailing experiences, and his weaselly responses when confronted by the media about his prevarications, many conservatives continue to argue that as bad as he is, it’s better to have a Republican elected than a Democrat.

In the past I shared that view.  I have never voted for a third-party candidate—until now.  I have always been firmly committed to voting for the Republican candidate even if I had to hold my nose while voting—until now. But is there not a limit to how bad a Republican candidate can be before conservatives are justified in rejecting him? I’m beginning to think that in the service of political expediency, many conservatives have a near limitless capacity for capitulation.

It’s unrealistic to expect 100% agreement with any candidate on all issues. But the accretion of troubling votes and troubling lies from Kirk reached critical mass for me. I arrived at a point at which I could no longer rationalize support for him. When I thought about the unlikelihood of unseating an incumbent Senator Kirk, I came to the conclusion that a longer view was in order.

If Kirk gets elected, there’s not a snow ball’s chance in hell that either the IL GOP or the national party will support a Republican challenge to him in six years, whereas they will obviously field a Republican challenge to an incumbent Alexi Giannoulias.  If Kirk gets elected, we will likely have him for decades. With an inexperienced legislator like Giannoulias, a motivated conservative base, and a supportive GOP, we have a far better shot at getting a truly worthy man or woman into the U.S. Senate in six years.

It’s not social conservatives who are naïve and ignorant. It is the social “moderates” who in their failure to see the portentous cultural implications of legalized child sacrifice and widespread approval of homosexuality demonstrate both ignorance and naïveté. If Kirk fails to win the Senate seat, his loss just may send a message to the Republican establishment that they must stop trying to force social conservatives to sacrifice their principles.

I’m amazed when I hear conservatives express more moral outrage about my refusal to nose-hold than they do about Kirk’s support for the slaughter of the unborn or for homosexuality-affirming legislation. Do these “moderate” conservatives actually believe that an economically sound country that engages in the slaughter of the unborn and celebrates sexual deviancy can long last?

It strikes me that there is an important difference between justifiable political compromises and wholesale selling out. Voting for Kirk represents the latter.

All is not lost, however. There are a few bright lights on the horizon. In response to the debate on setting aside the “social issues,” U.S. Representative Mike Pence recently said, “America’s darkest moments have come when economic arguments trumped moral principles.” We in Illinois need to find our Mike Pence.

If all disgruntled Illinois conservatives would band together, stiffen their spines, and say with their votes “no more” — even if that means we’re stuck with Giannoulias for six years — the powers-that-be might finally get the message. They might then busy themselves with the important task of finding a good candidate to unseat him.