36 thoughts on “The Social Issues

  1. Brock

    It’s a good take, in my opinion. But I’m not a “single issue voter” on the matter of abortion. I’m told there are many who are, and the reports I’ve read suggest that the GOP needs the evangelicals for GOTV and other ground support. But maybe that’s all wrong.

    Given we have a plurality voting system, the winning strategy is always the same: Find the political center, and the go slightly left or right of that. Dead center always loses, but so do the extremes. And the Dems have the left-of-center locked up, so the GOP needs to go right of center.

    Abortion? Oppose partial birth/infanticide, be for more sensible adoption rules.

    Immigration? Drop the crazies who talk about deportation. That’s extreme. Talk about rule of law, while being for a more sane regime of work permits and naturalization. Also, open up the country to high-skill immigrants from anywhere in the world, in any quantity.

    Gay Marriage? Let the gays in but push for making all marriages stronger.

    1. Titus

      I’ve been telling Socons forever that they need to ditch the gay marriage issue. The tiny fraction of the 3%’ers congregating in various “boystowns” in the gayest cities in the nation won’t be effecting any cataclysmic change in normative society, at least not by example. Really, if society can survive Feminism: lekking and single motherhood (the jury is still out), “married” homos is nothing.

      Same goes for abortion. Nothing will stop daddy’s precious little college freshman from aborting alpha-sperm oopies, nothing. Princess got a 328i, after all. Daddy has plans for her, understand? Ergo, if rich white girls get abortions of convenience on-demand, so does everyone else. Sure, it’s immoral, but completely unenforceable, sorry.

      Socons need to learn that while patriarchy may be the one true way, they simply won’t be able to propagate that culture through government, but on an individual basis, one heir at a time like back in the day. (q.v. The Diamond Age.)

      1. Gregg

        Very good post, Titus. When I get into an abortion conversation with my liberal friends they are easily handled and usually see it my way. I simply say:

        “I doubt anyone here is overly exercised about aborting a 2 week old lump of cells. And I *assume* that none of you are on board with aborting a 9 month old fetus…are you? anyone for that? No? Ok then what it REALLY boils down to is where do we draw the line? That’s a tough question and since we are talking about killing, I’m pretty happy there are strong advocates on both sides.”

        Only rarely do I run into someone who is willing to kill a 9 month old fetus. Though it does happen. And I know there are socons who are dead set against aborting a week old fetus. But both ends are easily ignored when it comes to winning elections.

      2. Larry J

        Socoms reportedly account for about 20 million GOP votes. Ignoring them and their concerns hardly seems like a successful strategy. How would you like it if they told you to get over your concerns with fiscal issues?

        Both sides need to work together if they ever hope to win national elections. It’s interesting that this year, almost all of the discussion of abortion (in the presidential race, at least) came from the Democrats. How many times did Romney or Ryan seriously discuss abortion as a major part of their platform? Unfortunately, they let Obama define their views to the electorate largely through lies and distortion. Obama ran scare ads for months and Romney did little to counter them. Not a wise move, IMO.

        Back in 1992, James Carvelle used “It’s the economy, stupid!” to focus the various groups within the Democrat coalition into a single winning campaign theme. He basically told all of those groups to put aside their pet issues for the election cycle. It worked and they won. Republicans need to do the same thing next time.

        1. Titus

          Ignoring them and their concerns hardly seems like a successful strategy.

          I’m not ignoring their concerns, I share them. I’m admonishing that those concerns vis-a-vis the government — their concepts of its scope and moral authority — need to change.

          1. Gregg

            Which the liberals do as well: when they fail to persuade, they try to get their personal view codified in law. Where the right wasn’t to codify abortion as murder, the left has the ERA.

            Both sides do this and it chips away at liberty. The candidate who points this out, makes it clear that both sides are harming the nation, and runs on personal liberty will win……so long as the candidate is articulate enough.

          2. Titus

            At some point, maybe. But not today. Times make the men, not the other way around. Reagan and Eisenhower weren’t made by watching reality TV and playing Starcraft.

          3. Raoul Ortega

            Did you mean ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) or the EPA? Because at this point the EPA is the Spanish Inquisition of the Evangelical Pagan Church of Gaia. Their job is to enforce orthodoxy on the believers, to punish heretics and to kill infidel non-believers.

          4. Titus

            Ken, if the world really were to go Ender’s Game with Starcraft, it is the South Koreans who’d be our ruling caste…

        2. Jim

          Unfortunately, they let Obama define their views to the electorate largely through lies and distortion

          Ryan doesn’t support an exception for abortion in the case of rape. Romney said he wanted to get rid of Planned Parenthood funding. The Obama campaign didn’t have to “define” Romney/Ryan’s views, they just had to remind voters what they were.

  2. Dennis Wingo

    Unfortunately Romney and the others simply could not get the point that all of the “small” issues that the deems attacked on were specifically designed to set the battlefield away from their own weaknesses.

  3. Jim

    It isn’t what Republicans say, it’s what they do. The state legislators elected by the Tea Party in 2010 spent 2011 and 2012 passing abortion restrictions, defunding Planned Parenthood, etc. Voters (particularly single women) paid attention.

    Here in Live Free or Die NH the GOP just lost 120 seats in the state House (out of 400); they’ve gone from having a 3-1 veto-overriding majority to being the minority party again. The Dem wave elected a female governor, and the country’s first all-women congressional delegation. The #1 reason cited by voters was the GOP’s actions on social issues.

    1. Thomas Matula

      Jim,

      Exactly. Instead of researching their candidates the Tea Party wing of the Republicans just gives them a pass as long as they loudly proclaim “President Obama is wrong”, “Taxes are Evil” “Cut the Budget” “Restore the Constitution”. The result is that have gotten all types of perennial losers and just plain nuts running under the Tea Party banner, like Christine (I am not a witch) O’Donnell and Richard Mourdock as too classic examples.

      Then when they lose the Tea Party cry that folks vote against them because of their economic views. No! Folks voted against them because of their crazy non-economic views and statements. What the Tea Party needs to do is find good candidates like Governor Johnson, who believe in both economic and personal freedom and support them while not being conned by the nut cases.

  4. Gregg

    Jim wrote:

    “It isn’t what Republicans say, it’s what they do. The state legislators elected by the Tea Party in 2010 spent 2011 and 2012 passing abortion restrictions, defunding Planned Parenthood, etc. Voters (particularly single women) paid attention. ”

    Jim this is pretty disingenuous and you ought to know that. The Tea Party has always been only about economics and not social policy. Now if you have two GOP candidates and one adheres to the Tea Party economics and one does not, then the Tea Party helps the former.

    MUCH the same way as your party hates the fact that Guantanamo is still open and hates the fact that Obama zorches people via drones – killing scores of innocent bystanders in the process – but still votes for him any way.

    No voter gets 100% of what they want, neither Dem or Rep.

    Such childish logic is beneath you.

    1. Thomas Matula

      Gregg,

      Which is their huge mistake since they ignore the rest of the baggage of the individual which makes them unelectable… And by consistently supporting individuals with such social agenda baggage without denouncing such views it allows the Tea Party to be associated with it as well.

    2. Jim

      The Tea Party has always been only about economics

      They elect Republicans who aren’t only about economics.

      1. Gregg

        Jim, once again are you THAT childish?

        Name one politician who has opinions only on economics and nothing else.

        1. Thomas Matula

          Gregg,

          Which is why you decide to support someone on more than there economic views.

          Tell me, would you vote for a politician just based on his views of space?

          1. Leland

            Matula, we already knew you were childish. But damn if it isn’t funny the extremes you go through to show it.

  5. Godzilla

    It is kind of simple really. The Republican party needs to get back to its Conservative roots before Reagan and Bush got into power. Like Eisenhower and Nixon they should disengage from fruitless armed conflicts abroad. The US should save their efforts and expense towards improving US economic conditions. No country can sustain a robust military indefinitely without an equally robust industry.
    The US has to get used to the fact that it has a smaller population than the future superpowers China and India. In order to compete the entire US population must have better productivity than either of these countries. If it is required to tax the rich in order to provide the middle class free college education to enhance worker productivity then it should be done. All this talk about fiscal cliffs and lowering taxes on the rich is only putting the US on the path towards becoming a Brazil where the rich live in fenced luxury houses next to the slums to the underclass. Where the rich need to travel in bullet proof cars to feel safe in their own country. Some people in the US seem to be interested in a future like this but you have to ask yourself if this is what you want for the future of your own country.
    Much like the highways improved worker and cargo mobility in the US there should be more investment in telecoms infrastructure like I said here before. There should be more pervasive fiber optic coverage and there should be more pervasive broadband cell access.

    The financial sector needs to be firewalled and overhauled. Glass-Steagal should be reintroduced and the trade of derivatives should be reconsidered.

    In the business sector there should an effort to simplify and automate the procedures required to start an enterprise and to go public. I read a lot about how companies got funded in early Silicon Valley history and it was much easier to sell company stock than it is today. There should be a roll back of Sarbanes-Oxley and other legislation that makes it harder for a company to enter the stock market.

    The energy sector and strategic materials needs special attention. While oil exploration seems to be in full swing issues like the rare earths episode with China need to be kept in mind. Otherwise in a conflict situation the US may find itself fighting a war with less material resources than the enemy.

    Divisive issues like abortion should be put in the backburner. Either simply delegate to the states or just federally forbid abortion in the later stages of pregnancy.

    I don’t get why Republican voters are tending so much towards extremes lately. First it was their prediction that Romney was going to win on a landslide which was a very unlikely scenario at best. Now they fear they will never win an election again which is an equally unlikely scenario. Like I said US Presidents usually get reelected and Obama is not an exception to this rule. The world will not end in the next 4 years. China will have a beefed up military and the US will ramp up its presence in Asia to contain their expansion. Even if China keeps expanding without hiccups they will not have the material conditions to engage in a large scale conflict for a decade at best and most likely it will take them two decades to be in the position to do it.
    The real issue is the economy. With proper industrial development a quick military ramp up is easily doable. Even if China grows belligerent their interests will lie in Indochina, Southeast Asia, or the Korean peninsula. They are not a direct threat to the CONUS and will not be one for the foreseeable future.

    1. Titus

      There should be a roll back of Sarbanes-Oxley and other legislation that makes it harder for a company to enter the stock market.

      Sarbanes-Oxley did for double-entry accounting what Occupy Wallstreet did for feces-control.

    2. Thomas Matula

      Godzilla,

      I agree. We need to return to a Republican Party that Republicans are able to support. One that doesn’t want to be the world’s cop. One that focuses on both economic and personal freedom. As long as Republican Party candidates support extreme views on social issues and advocate going to war with the world it will just be handing elections to the left on sliver platters.

      Instead of marginalizing folks like Governor Johnson and Rep. Ron Paul it should be building around their views of freedom and liberty.

      1. Raoul Ortega

        Instead of marginalizing folks like Governor Johnson and Rep. Ron Paul it should be building around their views of freedom and liberty.

        So did you vote for Johnson this last time? Would you vote for him had he got the GOP nomination he was originally running for? If not, what exactly would the GOP also have to do to get your vote? Are there any real world scenarios where the GOP could ever get your vote (along with Bob and Chris and all the other concern trolls who hang out here.)

  6. wodun

    All of this talk about where the GOP needs to change makes the assumption that they lost because of something they did or didn’t do and not because of what Obama did. Obama ran a great campaign and changing any of things mentioned in the link would not have prevented Obama from running a good campaign.

    Make a change on gay marriage? Obama would just shift to some other issue to accuse the Republicans as being bigots like adoption, worker rights, or acceptance in religious institutions. The same with immigrants, women, class, age, and minorities.

    The GOP can make any changes they want but the wont stop the Democrats stereotyping them as angry old fat rich white males who only care about themselves. That was Obama’s campaign and he did a great job with it.

    The GOP needs a strategy to overcome this racist stereotyping. Making some of the changes people have been talking about may be a good tactic but not if they don’t counter the Democrat strategy to divide and play social and ethnic groups against each other.

    The Republicans got beat because Obama did a good job selling his philosophy not because Republicans didn’t have X position.

  7. ken anthony

    Romney was going to win on a landslide

    Reynolds was daily reporting, “Don’t get cocky” with trends that suggested just that.

    Each side is now in permanent bubbles. It just seemed inconceivable that so many continue to be fooled by the empty promised of Obama. Now we know the truth. They really do like Obama and he continues to fool them.

    Discernment has died.

  8. Raoul Ortega

    The Republicans got beat because Obama did a good job selling his philosophy not because Republicans didn’t have X position.

    His philosophy? Can any of his supporters here (or anywhere) give a succinct description of what exactly that is. When we describe Him and his philosophy a Marxist or Socialist, we are called names, but never actually refuted.

    And what He excelled at was hiding His true 2nd term agenda (about which we still have no idea) and that hid the fact that He fubared everything He as touched as Chief Executive and as Commander-in-Chief. And that the GOP and Romney never got it through their thick, establishment heads that the press will no longer to their job (of detailing a Dem candidate’s failures) for them any more. (The same goes for a number of Senate candidates.)

    He also showed that negative campaigning really does work, and work well.

  9. cthulhu

    My recommendation (whether asked for or not) is that the Republicans should move at least modestly into libertarian territory: emphasize strong support for civil liberties by rolling back the Patriot act, the TSA, etc.; stop federal prosecution of marijuana sellers in states where marijuana (medical or otherwise is legal) and begin a low-key rollback of federal drug laws; stop opposing gay marriage, emphasizing that it’s a state’s rights issue; shift the abortion issue to the states; stop emphasizing stupid stuff like school prayer; etc.

    Yes, this might piss off some of the current social conservative base. However, frankly, the people who live and breathe the social conservative line are dying off. If the Repubs are going to go after new voters, why not go after voters that are going to be around for a while…

    I can dream, can’t I?

    1. Der Schtumpy

      cthulhu,
      or, like some of the political parties of days gone by, is it time to retire this party and start new? It just seems to me that right after getting our heads handed to us, someone says,
      .
      “…we’ve got to retool this party and find some new blood with new ideas!!”.
      .
      Then we get young, ‘new’ thinking guys like McCain and Romney! It’s the same crap every time, the same faces, with the same ideas, and with the same smiles and no tough rhetoric or even tough defense of themselves, or us. Personally, I’m sick of it.

      I don’t know how you throw out the old party and start anew, but I for one am damned happy to learn over the next 2 to 4 years. Providing of course, we are still a viable concern that long, and I’m openly pessimistic of our chances frankly.

      1. cthulhu

        My take is that McCain and Romney were straight from Central Casting, the country-club Repubs (in Jerry Pournelle’s phrase) putting the conservatives back where they though they belonged (disentangling unclear antecedents an exercise for the reader). I guess I’m sorta thinking more Goldwater…

    2. Gregg

      You have a good point. No politician gets everything they want and the same is true for the Libertarians. So ok you give a little; take a little; and forge a working relationship.

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