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Conservative Crackup? November 8, 2007

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts.

A group of influential conservatives recently raised the possibility of a third-party candidate should Rudy Giuliani gain the Repubican nomination. Their worry is that Giuliani is not committed to opposing abortion or gay rights, which have been the centerpiece of social conservative policy.

There is indeed some polling that suggests dissatisfaction among so called “values voters” with the current front runner. But I am skeptical about the conservative coalition falling apart.

At the end of the day, conservatism is about authority–the emotional need to follow an authoritarian leader who possesses moral clarity and is willing to use government power to enforce his moral vision.

Rudy is nothing if not authoritarian. Put Bush and Cheney in a wine press and squeeze–you will get the essence of Guiliani. So I suspect, despite some grumbling among the troops, conservatives will sacrifice a little spiritual “shock and awe” for a promise to push them foreigners around and kick some liberal butt.

It is not a surprise that Pat “9/11-was-God’s-punishment “Robertson and Rudy “9/11-is-my-epiphany” Giuliani are making nice.



1. Andrew Kopp - November 15, 2007

There is already a “crackup” in the conservative evangelical movement. Evangelical leaders can’t seem to decide which Republican candidate, pro-life or pro-choice, to back. Pat Robertson for Giuliani, Bob Jones III for Romney, National Right to Life Committee for Thompson, and ironically a hang up in the obvious support that this movement should be throwing Mike Huckabee’s way (although maybe James Dobson, maybe).

The question is, will the true believers’ faith in these wedge issues be rocked to the point of defection away from that of their congregational or organizational leaderships endorsements. Imagine the disillusionment that will have to be felt when the most prominent issue of the last thirty years for Evangelicals, abortion, is cast aside by the movement leadership purely and obviously for political reasons. Your everyday Evangelical or pro-life Christian will be faced with the prospect of turning their back on their faith, exposing their hypocrisy, in favor of politics. That’s something I’m not sure most are willing to do.

Your dead right about this being about authority though. Pat Robertsons’ shift from abortion as the #1 issue to national security (and subsequent Giuliani endorsement) is tantamount to an admission that the great issue of the future to see his political gains isn’t going to be abortion, but terrorism. It’s obvious that abortion (the gift that just keeps giving) isn’t going to be overturned by Republicans and just for that reason, it’s the gift that keeps giving. Perhaps Robertson knows that the ruse is up on abortion and has decided that now is the time to move on. The test is now whether or not the true believers will realize that they’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes this whole time…..but stick to their guns (and principles) anyway.

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