Other people can write about Howard Dean and his latest tirade. It’s too easy; like fish in a barrel, although I will say that if the guy really thinks there’s too much divisiveness in American politics, he sure is going about getting rid of it in a funny way.
It frustrates me, though. Just as the Democrats are often accused of taking for granted support from minority groups (with the result that they only pay lip service to their “constituents”), the Republicans face the same charge when it comes to social conservatives. (“Maybe you don’t like Bush, but who you gonna vote for? Kerry?”)
That’s why it pains me to see the Democrats (or at least Dean) treating Christians with such obvious scorn. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a pro-life Democratic party would create an extremely interesting political landscape. (Several commentators have remarked that the best thing that could happen for the Democratic party would be for abortion to be taken off the political table.) Maybe that ain’t gonna happen (OK, it almost definitely won’t happen), but a party that at least didn’t appear to go out of its way to express such contempt for Christians and the issues that resonate with many of them – abortion, homosexual marriage and the like – might, just might, result in a few conservative Democrats that pro-life conservatives with a concern for social justice could support.
Perhaps I’m not expressing this very well – I admit I’m not taking as much time to compose this as I should – but I think of Barry Goldwater’s slogan, “A Choice, Not an Echo.” What social conservatives need more than ever is a choice, not the prospect of having to echo support for the Republican candidate simply because he or she represents the lesser of evils. What we need is a competitive Democratic party, one that can appeal to our conscience across the political board.
And with Howard Dean and his cronies, that’s exactly what we’re not going to get.