The problem with binary labels

June 30, 2008

What did we learn from the primaries?

Over at Dutch 4 Huckabee, he says the neoconservatives who refused to support Huckabee’s candidacy – even worked actively against it in favor of less conservative political insiders – may have shot themselves in the foot.  He cites analysis pulled a February Christian Science Monitor article on the Huckabee problem.

The Monitor describes the stereotype this way:

“Conventional wisdom has held that evangelicals are driven by a single-minded concern with defending ‘moral values,’ while mainline Protestants focus on issues of social and economic justice.”

Mike Huckabee’s views are more accurate to the modern Evangelical position of the collective defending the “widows and orphans”, especially on moral issues like crime and oppression, and relying on the individual’s diligent work ethic to not be a burden on society for those things the average citizen should be able to take care of.  That means lower taxes, less Government intrusion into issues of conscience, positions the modern Democrat party opposes with their interpretation and extension of Johnson’s Great Society.

The problem with binary labels (left/right, conservative/liberal or religious/secular) is that anytime we let our adversary (that includes the media) define who we are and don’t challenge them, we let their misinterpretation stand.  Huckabee was closer to traditional religious conservatism, but the country – and even the party – had become so secular, they didn’t recognize what would have been taken for granted just a few years ago.

McCain or Obama, the mainstream evangelical – the heart of the religious conservative movement – will feel left out in this election.  Huckabee is right to focus on an ideas campaign, to be ready for the election of 2012,