Social Conservatism: Don’t Go There

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
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