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Win. Confirm. Cut. Control.

"Win. Confirm. Cut. Control." Continued...

Issue: "Bird flu," June 10, 2006

WORLD: You project a 2008 Democratic ticket of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama coming out of that party's convention with a 15-point lead in the polls. How can Republicans fight back?

HEWITT: The GOP must perform in 2007 and 2008 in a way that continues to demonstrate commitment to confronting the existential threat to Israel and possibly even the United States posed by a nuclear Iran. The president must continue to nominate and the Senate confirm great judges. Taxes must be kept low, spending controlled, and the border secured. If it does so, the choice facing the electorate will be stark and serious as Sen. Clinton's record on all of these issues will not be in doubt.

But if the party returns to the lethargy of the past 18 months when it comes to waging political battles, if it refuses to back the president on the war or to stand and deliver a defense of the worldview that animates so much of the conservative base-the belief in God and this exceptional country He has greatly blessed-the base will not rally again. The past few months have shown that. If the leadership of the Republican Party can re-earn the trust of its supporters, they cannot break that trust again. The book's central message is that the GOP is a party of ideas and deep attachment to those ideas. Not every battle can be won, but we insist that the important ones at least be waged with energy and enthusiasm.

WORLD: Novelist Walker Percy in The Second Coming writes that the modern Christian is "nominal, lukewarm, hypocritical, sinful, or, if fervent, generally offensive and fanatical. But he is not crazy." Could that be a description of the typical Republican as well-with the saving grace that he is not crazy, like many Democratic leaders?

HEWITT: Would that Democratic leaders were crazy! Politics would be easy. But they are not. They are very sharp. They settled on a policy of obstruction and obfuscation after the president's reelection and of bitter, dishonest attacks on the conduct of the war and the reasons for the invasion of Iraq. These tactics have wounded the country and continue to do so.

Percy Republicans, to borrow your phrase, need to add energy to the lethargic, contrition to the sinful, and prudence to the fanatics. Christians, whether of the political left or right, should keep in mind C.S. Lewis' admonition that we have never met an ordinary human being. Lewis explained that everyone is either an eternal glory or an everlasting horror, and in politics as in all of life, everyone is everyone's concern, even our opponents who are, after all, our fellow citizens-even if they are wrong, and sometimes dangerously so.

WORLD: So when Democrats say, elect us and we'll solve your problems . . .

HEWITT: No matter what the problem is-if it is a real problem-the answer can never be electing more Democrats.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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