“It’s the economy, stupid!”
That was the previous, and current mantra, since we’re still dealing with anemic economic growth. Hillary Clinton just made this relevant again, with her epic lack of knowledge about governmental regulations strangling small business growth. The big question needs to be for conservatives, which hill do you want to die on this time?
If you ask Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), they’ll both say they’re fighting to the bitter end to save the country from gay marriage. King is pushing legislation that would restrict Federal courts from even hearing cases on marriage, and Jindal just vented his spleen on the issue of gay marriage in an op-ed in the New York Times. Yes, this is a hot button issue, but yet again, it’s being framed by conservatives in a way that makes them an easy target. As long as this issue is being addressed as excluding anyone from getting something, it will backfire on conservatives. Instead of talking about preventing gay marriage, this issue should have been framed as a state problem – states should be encouraged to make it possible for the people to get marriage licenses directly from churches, instead of taking paperwork issued by the state to church. Along with that, it should have been stated that due to the protections of religious observance, the state could not force churches to issue licenses. Then same-sex marriage advocates would be forced to deal with the organizations they should have been in the first place – churches. But, don’t expect to hear that from King or Jindal.
The fact is that conservatives have been giving far too much attention and control to the religious right, and it has lead to races where Republicans are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. What has the religious right done for the GOP lately? Just ask Mitt Romney. It is becoming the definition of insanity. Democrats have been riding on the votes of youths, but that voting bloc isn’t firmly in their grasp anymore. The reality of starting life with massive school loan debts, and realizing that government bureaucracy is the biggest obstacle for young adults looking to start a business is sinking in. After graduation, students realize that all those protests they engaged in that called for amnesty for illegal immigrants were essentially catering to their own demise. Either it gives them higher taxes, or leaves them with few options on the job market. And these people that are being hit hard by these liberal policies will be voting long after the current religious right is gone.
But, we’re still talking about issues that alienate these voters, to cater to a voting bloc that has proven that it isn’t reliable. It’s time to stop the insanity, or 2016 is going to look a lot like 2012.