Religious voters alienated by liberal agenda
The piece examining religious voters' political affiliations by Tiffany Stanley in The New Republic is curious. She notices that religious voters have fallen away from the Democratic Party after the latter engaged in some successful outreach. But if one only read this article, one would be mystified as to why. It's not, I can assure you, because the Democrats shut down a bunch of campaign-style outreach efforts.
You have to imagine that value voters lack core convictions -- an obvious bit of cognative dissonance -- to miss why it is that religious voters disapprove of the Democrats these days. It's the agenda. Religious conservatives are staunchly pro-Israel. They don't like Obama's approach to Israel. They are pro-life; Obama has reversed the Mexico City accord, appointed two pro-choice Supreme Court justices and reversed Bush administration policies on stem cell research. Value voters have a commitment to "traditional family values;" the Democrats successfully championed the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Value voters bristle at efforts to restrict religious expression in the public square and at government interference with the free exercise of religion (e.g. they favor a conscience clause for health-care providers with regard to abortion and birth control). The administration has generally ignored such concerns. And finally, religious voters generally care deeply about religious freedom around the world; Obama's record is woefully deficient in this regard.
Moreover, religious voters have traditionally been suspicious of the power of the state. It comes as a shock to many on the left, but it is entirely understandable, that while the agenda is focused on fiscal matters, many in the Tea Party identify themselves as religious conservatives. Once again, the Obama administration and religious voters are at odds on fundamental policy issues.
So the real question is not why value voters have fallen away from Democrats, but why a significant number were lured into the Obama camp in the first place. I suppose they gave him the benefit of the doubt. But it is indicative of the left's fundamental lack of simpatico with religious voters that a liberal publication like TNR is clueless as to the reasons why so many of these voters have now reconnected with the party that shares their concerns.
And given the conflicts over substantive and deeply held policy views, there is, of course, another explanation as to why the Democrats' religious outreach failed: They were never serious in the first place. As with so many others enticed by fuzzy campaign rhetoric, religious voters are simply part of a long line of disillusioned voters (e.g. fiscal conservatives, immigration reform advocates, pro-Israel advocates) who thought Obama was something other than what he turned out to be.
Posted by: cajunkate | December 20, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ZoltanNewberry | December 20, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rcaruth | December 20, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MsJS | December 20, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rcaruth | December 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: TD01 | December 20, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: danw1 | December 20, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: laboo | December 20, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: K2K2 | December 20, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: googleguy | December 20, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: paulflorez | December 21, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.