Hot Air conducted an interesting poll among its readers to see just what brand of conservatism was taking front and center attention among its loyal followers. Following on the heels of the letter that GOProud and some key Tea Party honchos wrote to the Republican leadership urging the GOP to avoid social issues, Hot Air polled 3,179 of its readers and discovered that controversial social issues were not the driving concern of its readers.
69% of Hot Air’s respondents described themselves as Conservative. Yet, only 3% of those polled stated that social conservatism was more important to them in terms of Republican policy at the federal level. 73% of the respondents stated that fiscal conservatism was more important to them and 23% declared that both social and fiscal conservatism were of equal importance. The overall results surprised even the folks at Hot Air: Fiscal conservatism won out by a big margin, 73% compared to 26%.
The message gleaned from the results of this survey and from GOProud’s letter is pretty straightforward: pushing conservative social agendas at the federal level is the kiss of death for the Republican party. If controversial social issues take center stage for the GOP, the party will find itself right where it was prior to April 2009. The best advice this humble blogger can offer is simply: Don’t go there. The Tea Party focus on limited government and fiscal responsibility has proven an effective and unifying force. It’s about Big Government. So don’t blow it, GOP.
Excerpts from GOProud’s letter to Senator Mitch McConnell and soon to be Speaker of the House, John Boehner, appear below followed by the letter’s signers.
Dear Senator McConnell and Representative Boehner,
On behalf of limited government conservatives everywhere we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement.
Poll after poll confirms that the Tea Party’s laser focus on issues of economic freedom and limited government resonated with the American people on Election Day. The Tea Party movement galvanized around a desire to return to constitutional government and against excessive spending, taxation and government intrusion into the lives of the American people.
Already, there are Washington insiders and special interest groups that hope to co-opt the Tea Party’s message and use it to push their own agenda – particularly as it relates to social issues. We are disappointed but not surprised by this development. We recognize the importance of values but believe strongly that those values should be taught by families and our houses of worship and not legislated from Washington, D.C.
We urge you to stay focused on the issues that got you and your colleagues elected and to resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit holes in order to appease the special interests.
Sincerely,Christopher R Barron Chairman of the Board, GOProud Andrew Ian Dodge Coordinator, Maine Tea Party Patriots Pam Stevenson Coordinator, Arizona Tea Party Patriots Dianna Greenwood Executive Director, New American Patriots (Ashland, OH) Jim Mason II Chairman and State Coordinator, Nebraska’s Tea Party Patriots Ralph King Co-coordinator Cleveland Tea Party Patriots Co-coordinator State of Ohio Tea Party Patriots Jack Lien Coordinator, Tea Party Patriots of Great Malls (Montana) Tammy Bruce National Radio Talk Show Host JP Weber Coordinator, Annapolis (Maryland) Tea Party Doug Welch, Blogger and member Southern Illinois Tea Party Bruce Carroll Conservative Activist and Blogger Pam Stout Coordinator, Sandpoint Idaho Tea Party Patriots Dan Blatt Conservative Activist and Blogger Everett Wilkinson Coordinator, Florida Tea Party Jimmy LaSalvia Executive Director, GOProud Paul Crockett President Santa Clara (California) Tea Party David Thor Andreasen Cumberland County (Maine) Tea Party