Features

No retreat

"No retreat" Continued...

Issue: "Obama," Nov. 15, 2008

"Conservatives can often be ethereal and irrelevant. We must show how our biblical worldview is also a relevant worldview, and that it speaks to what people are dealing with here and now. That means making sure that we're giving them answers for their particular situations, not solutions so broad that they are simply 'making America a better place.' Barack Obama made people on the lower levels feel like they mattered and that their pain was worth making a big deal about. Even if his [policy ideas] weren't the best strategy, they appealed to people on a personal level.

"When Ronald Reagan asked, 'Are you better off today than you were four years ago?' it was a global question, but it required an individual answer. For most people the answer was no, therefore Reagan swept into office.

"When he first ran for president, George W. Bush's faith-based initiative was a big deal. It made the issue [of compassion] practical. Bush said, 'Let's respond to these faith-based organizations who are doing good works across the nation.' It localized the issue in terms of people helping people in need.

"Moral issues need to be heralded so that they are viewed as important. We need to lift those issues up so that they are not seen as peripheral issues, but as central to the well-being of the nation. That's a big order, and it can't be done independently of other issues, such as economic need."

Karl Zinsmeister, White House domestic policy adviser

"True Story: On my way in to after the election, I was cycling down Pennsylvania Avenue at dawn. Just as I passed the National Gallery of Art I heard a thud to my left. I looked over, and was astonished to see a big, strong red-tailed hawk, which had pounced on a rat in the bushes. Quite apart from the beauty and thrill of seeing a wild predator hunting right in the heart of Washington, I found it a very comforting symbol of how the natural order goes on-unruffled, adaptable, persistent, and permanent. Men come and go, but always there are longer-term forces that drive forward, that cannot be suppressed, that accomplish unexpected things with a motive force beyond human orchestration."

U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

"We've got to get back to being more of who we are rather than less. By that, I think of being both pro-life and whole-life. We really have to emphasize that all life is sacred at all stages. We have to emphasize the whole-life side-issues of poverty, prison reform, human rights, immigration-to attract people in a compassionate way. We have to go back to dealing with tough problems to show the country that we believe life is sacred and then proving that by those actions.

"We have to take our faith fully into the public square and when we're debating, it's got to be in truth and love. If that's not evident, our words either come across as tinny or empty.

"I think it will be a good soul-searching time period. I think there should be some real experimentation at the state level on our core philosophical issues. We need to be a loyal opposition.

"It really is a historic election and I'm pleased from that standpoint that the racial barrier has been broken through. I hope our policy differences don't take away from the history-making aspect of this election."

Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

"The conservative movement needs to recalibrate itself as to what are the ideas that we stand for and look at what has happened to our branding, because somewhere we seem to have lost the ideas of freedom and liberty. Part of what made Reagan effective was that he called a spade a spade; he called the Soviets an evil empire and had a clear policy with how we dealt with the Cold War and the ideology of communism and socialism. Now, we too often let go of the righteousness of the ideas of freedom and liberty in exchange for short-term compromise. As a result, we fall into the same dilemmas of moral equivalency as the left. Voters turn off when they realize the inconsistency there."

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