I write this as someone who is not committed to either major American political party, but–boy oh boy–didn’t CPAC reveal that my Republican friends have their work cut out for them? As I wrote in today’s “On Faith” section of the Washington Post:
The Republican party is a fracturing coalition in disarray. This past week’s CPAC meetings have revealed that, though they recognize their structural problems, the GOP cannot agree on a strategy for righting the ship. The last couple generations of coalition-building has produced odd bedfellows with very different positions on a multitude of issues: from drones to gay marriage to immigration.
The main point of the piece, however, was to give some of my Democratic friends some unsolicited advice. Use the example of Pope Francis–a man who connects his concern for the poor with concern for prenatal human life–and the GOP as we know it would cease to be:
But Republicans are trending away from the view that government should be used to protect fetal human life. Though this pits them against current pro-life trends, it is more in keeping with their small government sensibilities. 30 percent of Democrats are pro-life, and this growing number is also in keeping with their more fundamental views that the government must protect vulnerable populations from discrimination and violence. The libertarian “keep government out of my life” approach to abortion was always an odd fit for a liberal party.
If Democrats can find the will to connect pro-lifers to their message of social justice and nonviolence–using Pope Francis as a model–they will wrap up the key demographics for decades to come.
The key demographics–women, young people, and Hispanics–are all trending pro-life. Can the Dems get on the right side of history and consistently apply their principles regarding government defense of the vulnerable? If not, given the rising pro-life tide, they leave an opening for the GOP to get back in the game.