Political Education and the Future of the Republican Party
Pink Floyd’s monumental contribution to the world is found in this statement: “We don’t need no education!” Despite the political and psychedelic observation, our country needs a lot more education of the right kind. One of my greatest desires over the years has been to educate–imperfectly–friends and family on the virtues of the American view. I am under no compulsion to defend the perfection of the U.S. Constitution. I happen to believe that Patrick Henry’s skepticism is now well justified. At the same time, I am committed to the fact that we must use the tools that we have to fight the present intellectual war.
At this stage in American history, Christians have an important duty to educate the public by inculcating a form of transcendent morality. Politicians will not take this to be their main tasks. By and large they are concerned about their constituents’ response to their decisions and votes. This adds an immense amount of burden to politicians. They need greater burdens, but not the temptation to act even more unwisely. Naturally, I find this to be at least one reason for the vast inconsistencies we find in most of their voting records. Term limits, anyone?
As Republicans re-group, they are beginning to re-fill their savings for 2014. After suffering a loss of two seats in the Senate and a handful in the House, they are wondering what to do to restore those seats.
Is Constitutional education part of this reformation process in their minds? It is certainly not.
Out of the many tools, I believe the labors of the Institute on the Constitution could add tremendously to the general knowledge.
Christians need to be more strategic in their giving. After the tithe, where will our gifts be best used? According to The American Conservative, “Republicans spent $776 million this cycle…while the Super PAC’s put in another $296.5 million.” This is well over a billion dollars, which went mostly to Karl Rove and the “brotherhood of campaign consultants.”
Democrats are ideological in nature. They are seeking and proposing strategies that will genuinely change the make-up of the country–for the worse, we might add. But on the other hand, ideological Republicans are ridiculed. The reason for this–as Steve Deace observes–is that Republicans are seeking to control the party and not the country. When politicians propose tough transformations to the play-book, they are viewed as radicals.
While the GOP seeks to restore the White House to the next Republican candidate in 2017, will she seek this by more compromises or will she seek it through genuine education? We can’t promise immigrants more gifts as a way to secure their votes in the next election. We can’t promise welfare recipients more gifts as way to secure their votes in the next election. The Democrats have already won that fight. But we can go through the arduous task of educating a society. As Joel McDurmon states: “One County at a time.”
What role will Christians have in these next four years? Will we continue to seek another moderate candidate? Are Republican talking heads correct when they assert that we need an even more moderate leaning Republican candidate to reach the independent groups? Or will we pursue to train and participate in local elections and conversations, and thus influence the grassroots? Will we tap into this gigantic Tea Party and Constitutional storm that is brewing?
One thing is certain: Our political investments need to be in education, not enriching political consultants.