“You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.” This from Senator–and some say, 2012 Republican presidential candidate– Jim DeMint. http://hotair.com/archives/2010/11/09/jim-demint-you-cant-be-a-fiscal-conservative-and-not-be-a-social-conservative/
With all due respect to Mr. De Mint, it is this sort of either/or mentality that has perpetuated the stereotype of Republicans as hard-hearted, judgmental and out of touch with the common folk. Whereas the left tries to force Big Government upon us, several on the right often do the same with their particular brand of morality. This has only served to marginalize women and minorities who may agree with conservatives on a host of issues but feel left out and judged by them as a whole. Indeed, Democrats have laid claim to entire segments of the population–LGBT community, to name but one–for exactly this reason. There is no longer room for this type of thinking when what is at stake is not only the current economy, but our American way of life, as we head into this new chapter in politics (and hopefully a new administration in 2012).
I speak on this from experience as a pro-choice Republican. When I go to the polls and pull that lever for the fiscally conservative but pro-life candidate, I am okay with that because the prospect of losing the right to choose is (at this point) theoretical. But what if it weren’t? What I were forced to choose between a Democratic candidate who wants to exert control over my paycheck and a Republican who wants to exert control over my body?
In that case, I just may feel compelled to pull that other lever or–even worse–just stay home.