The Spectacle Blog

FRC’s Values Voter Summit and Democratic Virtues

By on 9.18.09 | 3:29PM

As a panelist at this year's Family Research Council Values Voter Summit (going on right now at the Omni Shoreham hotel in D.C.), I can't help but reflect on the strange fears of the American left.  

Garry Wills' charge in the New York Times about five years ago continues to strike a dicordant tone in my mind.  He claimed the importance of Christian conservatives in American politics demonstrates the increasing similarity of the American electorate to the Taliban.  At the same time, I think about a certain liberal professor blogger (whom I will not even deign to link) who used to regularly report on what he called The Texas Taliban.

For some reason, many on the American left fantasize that conservative religionists in America are going to take up arms and impose morality and small government upon them.  But what is the evidence offered by the "reality based community"?  As I sit listening to the presentations offered in Washington, D.C. what I hear are appeals to engage yet more faithfully in the democratic process.  I hear policy arguments offered against big government healthcare, appeals to the text of the Constitution, and encouragement to do the things citizens in a democratic republic are supposed to do.  Speak out, support candidates, mobilize on election day.  What exactly about all that is dangerous?

If anything, I see a "religious right" deeply committed to democratic civic virtues.  There is barely room in the same galaxy for these people and the Taliban. 

Indeed, these are the people least likely to commit voter fraud (like some organizations about which we hear) because they consider actions of that sort to be sinful.

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