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A View from the Altar / Something a guy like Mr. Romney just can’t understand
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Something a guy like Mr. Romney just can’t understand

Mitt Romney has been all over the map, politically speaking.  He is the DNA source for ObamaCare but now repudiates it.  He was the governor of Massachusetts but now campaigns as a conservative.  He was pro-abortion but now says he’s pro-life.  I hope that last one is really true, though I’ve seen nothing to persuade me his convictions run any deeper than a focus group.

Romney doesn’t recognize that conservatives have all along doubted he has any core convictions, conservative or otherwise.  Genuine conservatism, by contrast, involves a level of principled commitment — to the Constitution, to capitalism, to individual liberty, to federalism, to the great ideals of American history, just to name a few — that liberals from the northeastern power corridor see as downright gauche.

The Christian species of conservatism also involves principled commitment to Jesus Christ and the moral values taught in the New Testament.  Christian principle means there are certain lines that we may not cross for the sake of party.  One of those values is life.  For millions of conservative Christian voters, there are no circumstances under which they’d vote knowingly in favor of a candidate who is pro-death.

Mr. Romney, being a political critter and only a recent convert to conservative views, does not have a firm grasp of this gravel-in-the-craw kind of principled stand.  The phrase is way overworked but no less true: He just doesn’t get it.  Like a molting bird, he often sheds his political views and grows new ones.

He needs to remember that others won’t do likewise.  Conservative Christians are the biggest single wedge of his political base, and his Mormonism has already pushed them to the outer limit of what they could consider voting for.  An argument could be made that they’re grudgingly supporting Romney only because they’re sure that no rational mind could actually believe Mormonism is true.  That’s certainly the case with me.

Romney’s consideration of Condoleezza Rice for the vice presidential nomination, however, is a step too far.  Rice is pro-death, and therefore supporting her on the ticket is out of the question for me and millions of voters like me.  Christian conservatives see abortion as murder.  If erecting a statue of Molech in the American temple is the only way to save it, then much as we love the temple, we’d sooner see it destroyed.  God can always build another one with greater glory.  (Haggai 2:3, 8-9)

What this further means is that the disconnect between the liberal northeast and the rest of the nation continues to widen.  Romney’s camp would not have floated Rice’s name as his veep choice if he had any grasp of how deeply working class taxpayers loathe the Washington culture that regards our views as beneath serious consideration.  Each holds the other in roughly equal portions of contempt. (Pr 29:27)  The northeastern corridor of cocktail-and-chatter Republicans is offering up hosannas at the thought that Rice could be the nominee.

They should think that through.  The GOP needs Christian conservatives every bit as much as the Democrats need black liberals.  The difference between these two groups is that the black vote can be taken for granted.  Obama doesn’t even have to show up for the NAACP convention, knowing their votes are in the bag.  They will support him, period.

But Christian conservatives, if we’re forced to choose between two tickets with pro-death candidates, may well sit out the election in big numbers.  If that happens, Romney will lose.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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