Federally fiscal and locally social
The liberally-slanted media is chock full of stories about the right-wing tearing itself apart after Obama’s re-election. Using terms like “Right-Wing Civil War” and “Conservative Blame-Game” they are attempting to get those who vote right-of-center to turn on each other.
Some Conservative voters concentrate on fiscal sanity while others put more emphasis on social issues. Both should and can get what they desire from government. In fact, without both, neither may be achievable. What’s important to think through is where each of those agendas should be focused.
Social issues are much better attended to at the local level. If you don’t like what’s being taught in schools, run for the school board or start backing a candidate for the board that you agree with. The federal government doesn’t have near as much say in your child’s elementary curriculum as you might think. Another example is what’s going on with Marijuana. People wanted a social issue dealt with and starting with city governments, now they’ve gone state wide and will likely affect a change in federal policy. With social issues, starting local is the key.
Thinking that a candidate for President or Congress is going to change what material is in your text book or let you smoke weed is problematic as entirely disparate sections of the nation have to agree with you for your candidate to get elected. Social issues are complex and impossible to get broad agreement. We should discuss these issues in public forums, we should want our communities to mirror our values, but expecting a single candidate or party to accurately reflect the cultural cornucopia that is the right – is unrealistic.
Fiscal sanity is a different bird entirely. As the TEA Parties proved, a huge majority of us can agree that the government should be smaller, less expensive and less intrusive. We all think tax laws are unjustly progressive while allowing some to enjoy the fruits of other’s labor at no cost to themselves. These are the issues that should be taken nationally. Trying to fix the national debt by electing a different city council member wouldn’t be effective – putting TEA Party Conservatives into the House and Senate in the next mid-term election would be.
Candidates campaigns should be constructed along similar lines. I want to hear my U.S. Congressman talking about budget cuts, flattening and broadening the tax base and getting the federal government out of my day-to-day life. I want to hear them talk of limiting Congress to those powers explicitly enumerated to the legislature in the Constitution and that he will hold the Executive Branch accountable for its actions. Kept to that simple of a message, no Conservative should take issue with such a candidate.
There is no need for fiscal Conservatives to be ticked-off at social Conservatives or the Evangelicals to go after the TEA Partiers. Goals for each of those groups are not mutually exclusive if the battles are fought at the most advantageous level.