Special Feature: Carrying Out the MandateFiscal Restraint, Marriage Amendment, Constitutionalist Judges
[Editors Note: The editors of HUMAN EVENTS asked a group of well-known conservative leaders to outline what they believe the public policy priorities ought to be for the conservative movement following last week's Republican election victory.]
PART 3: Conservatives, both cultural and economic, played key roles in electing Republicans and may now feel they can relax and leave governing to these "friends." On the contrary, this is the time for us to work to support and encourage those friends. Make no mistake the Left will promptly do all in its power to dissuade newly elected senators and representatives from pursuing conservative causes. The Left will call for "unity" and "bringing America together" by which they mean "abandon the issues which got you elected." In fact, there is an unusual opportunity for the Republican Party to energize and attach a large bloc of voters to itself by championing those issues. Look at the numbers: In all 11 states where there were marriage issues on the ballot, those measures passed overwhelmingly by majorities as high as 86% (Mississippi) down to a "mere" 57% (in liberal Oregon). These issues "led the ticket." Knowledgeable campaigners in Ohio have told me that the marriage initiative there is what saved the state for President Bush as it passed with a 62% majority. What is distressing is that about 10% of the voters in Oregon did not recognize that supporting marriage and voting for John Kerry was a philosophical oxymoron.
We must find a way to remain active so that our elected representatives can be continuously encouraged to stand for truth, virtue and the American way. Without our on-going activism–calling them, writing them (and editors), calling talk shows, seeking them out on their visits to their states and districts and the like–we will rapidly be forgotten as they are battered by left-leaning editorials and slanted news stories that make them embarrassed to admit who it was who elected them. They must hear from us that we care about fiscal restraint, a Federal Marriage Amendment, and putting a stop, perhaps via impeachment proceedings, to judges writing their personal immorality into the Constitution. We have won a battle, but unless we follow it up with determination and action we will soon find we might as well have lost. The forces arrayed against us have poured millions of dollars into their efforts to defeat the President and conservative members of Congress. They are not going away. They will try every trick in the book to persuade us to quit so they can foist their misbegotten agenda on America. We are not called to be silent, and if we are, we may get the government we deserve rather than the government we have earned the right to expect. More: