It does members of a political cause, party or ideology no good to fight a battle from fifty years ago. In the 21st century, conservatives are fighting and winning some battles well. Others are either being fought the wrong way, or are a waste of time.
This doesn’t mean that one has to give up beliefs, but it does mean that people should make sure they are fighting things appropriately. Conservatives and Republicans, like me, should always make sure that they are approaching things the right way. The following is a list of what conservatives have right, and what they could refocus on.
Gay Marriage: Poor
President Obama recently ‘came out’ and personally endorsed gay marriage. Many conservatives and Republicans have flirted with the idea of a federal ban on gay marriage. This is a monumental waste of time. Even if you do disagree with the idea of it, do you really need to push for a constitutional amendment?
Each of the 32 times it has gone to the ballot box it has not only lost, but gotten crushed. There is no need for a federal ban on gay marriage. Conservatives should be federalists at heart. Allow the states to do as they wish. Vote your conscience, but stay out of it federally.
Free Speech: Could Be Better
Conservatives love free speech, but sometimes step in it when they claim that entertainment is bad for children and families. Is it really, or are some just trying to get rid of things that they think are immoral?
An upcoming movie called On The Road, starring Kristen Stewart, shows the actress engaging in sexually provocative scenes. Some conservative groups have cried foul, claiming that Stewart’s fans from the Twilight series will show up and be instantly corrupted. Ridiculous.
Actors, authors and musicians have a right to put out whatever they want. If people don’t want their children to see it, then they should be firm parents and say no. But enough with trying to say that entertainment is bad for people. It’s not bad for people. Some people can handle it, some cannot. Use some judgment, and stop protesting people who make movies, albums and jokes that you don’t like.
Abortion: Half and Half
Abortion is an issue that Republicans win and lose on. If you believe that the unborn child is a parasite and can be disregarded without being considered a life form, you’re on one side. Most conservatives believe that the child is a human being, and should be protected from harm just as any other would be. For the past few years, the number of people agreeing with conservatives has been growing.
Where they go wrong is how they choose to fight it. A federal ban on abortion is never going to happen. If the historic 1973 ruling were overturned the power would automatically return to the states. Given that more people than ever are against this practice, letting the states do as they wish would be the best shot at severely limiting the number of abortions performed.
Taxes and Spending: Pretty Well
Higher taxes are not the answer, particularly in an economy that just went back up to 8.2% unemployment! Raising taxes on anyone would have the effect of dropping a bomb on the already fragile economy. While it’s a good idea to close loopholes, it’s also a good idea to keep some taxes flat, and cut others. If taxes are going to be cut, then so should spending.
President Obama came into office in 2008 not even pretending that he would cut spending, or that he was a fan of lower taxes. He certainly delivered on spending, and would love nothing more than for the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of this year. No matter how much of his spending is suddenly moved into President Bush’s column for some reason, the GOP is poised to win this argument in 2012.
The Debt:Really Well
With the national debt skyrocketing past $16 trillion, conservatives were right to organize against the heavy spending in Washington. While Republicans by their own admission fell off the wagon on spending, most are willing to admit that it was wrong and needs to stop. Right now it seems that the only people who do not agree on this are members of the current administration. This is beyond a winning argument, and is one that both Republicans and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney should be mentioning with each sentence.
From Mitt Romney and Ron Paul to Paul Ryan and Tom Coburn, almost everyone on the right has been coming up with ways to bring down the debt. No one has the perfect plan, but at least conservatives are trying. The left is surprisingly silent on this issue.
One has to know when and where to fight. By making sure that they fight the right battles the right way, conservatives will be even better poised to show why their ideology is the right path for America. Until then, every nonsensical or outdated argument is a distraction, and a big waste of time.