A very large lesson would loom before him if he would only take a moment to glance over his should---no, not at Ronald Reagan, though that's a start. No need to go to politics, an even larger and more frightening example that refutes his thinking is there in the Episcopal church (a.k.a. the church of England).
Since the Lambeth conference, where Anglican bishops decided to accept the use of artificial contraception in very narrowly defined circumstances, the Anglican church has experienced bleeding of membership. Why?
As the years passed that tiny trickle of moral exception has widened into a flood of heresy: The virgin birth of Christ, the miracles, marriage between a man and a woman, the Resurrection and the divinity of Christ, the indissolubility of marriage, the Sacraments and many other long held Christian doctrines have fallen by the wayside as optional, irrational, absurd or mere metaphor–– all in the interest of accommodating one type of modernist idea or another.
Bishop after bishop and scores of Anglican theologians questioned or simply rejected every core doctrine in the Christian faith, all the while, the silence from Canterbury is deafening. Parallel with these events Catholic liberals in America also tried to co-opt the bureaucratic halls of power in the Catholic Church in the 60s and 70s, and control the orders and seminaries. They did a lot of damage, from which the Church is still recovering. But unlike Canterbury, Rome stood firm, and today Catholic doctrines on faith and morals remain unchanged from the ancient teaching. The wildly liberal orders of brothers and nuns that sprang up in the 70s have all but withered on the vine. Liberal seminaries have only handfuls of candidates for the priesthood (including some women who will never become priests), while orthodox orders and seminaries faithful to Rome are bursting at the seams.
The result of this mini-tale of two churches can be summed up briefly in this way: Rome is flourishing while Canterbury is vanishing into oblivion. Large numbers of faithful members of the Anglican church have fled to Rome, and in America, whole Episcopal churches have "Poped." Why? Rome said "Here is something to believe in," while Canterbury said, "Tell us what to believe because we believe in you." In other words, the Anglican church sought to become all things to all men and ended up becoming nothing to any one.
England persecuted the Catholic Church for almost four centuries, the persecution ending formally with the Edict of Toleration in the early 19th century, though much antipathy to the Church remains to this day. But now, little more than a century and a half later, there are many more Catholics at Mass on Sunday in merry old England than Anglicans at divine services. Anglican churches are all but empty.
Get the message, Michael? If not, let me spell it out as plainly as I know how.
Michael Steele cannot have it both ways; he can't embrace the social and fiscal sanity of conservative orthodoxy and try to be all things to all people at the same time. If the Republican message is clear and unequivocal, and the leaders demonstrate that clarity by their actions and votes the people will follow and the party will grow. If not, if the Michael Steele notion of presenting the Republican party as a "Tell us what to believe because we believe in you," gains the high ground, the party will go the way of the dinosaur, the Edsel, bell bottom trousers,... and the Anglican church.
Conservatism is on the rise, not because it is perfect or makes everyone feel good in the short run, but because it saves the society from moral depravation, fiscal destruction and social collapse in the long run.
This is the case Steele and the RNC must make in the most certain of terms.
And the voting group it should target most explicitly is gender, not race, based. It's called winning the female vote by speaking truth to power. Obama and the effects of his insane, irresponsible policies have made that job easier to do today than it has ever been in the past. Let me explain:
For decades now men and women have been divided at the polls, the men voting Republican and the women voting Democratic. Self-seeking politicians have succeeded in convincing the voters that fiscal issues and social issues are at odds. But the times that helped politicians succeed with such dishonest arguments are ending, and more and more people are learning that the argument is and always has been a false dichotomy.
So, how can this truth be brought home more effectively to women voters? Simply by understanding something so deeply fundamental to female nature that is may rightly be called primal:
The greatest weakness of man is woman, while the greatest weakness of woman is her child. If conservatives want women to open their hearts and minds to their arguments and cast out the false promises offered by the statists and socialist all that is needed is to make the case to mothers that the unfunded social and welfare programs of progressives are destroying their children's future. These programs will reduce their children's lives to certain penury and consign them to a life of slavery laboring to pay off the debt incurred by them. What mother could vote to support such a thing?
Chairman Steele and others of his ilk in the Republican party need to see this and get their minds off trying to pander to racial groups---Such pandering doesn't make the Republican party the party of "no." It makes it something worse; it makes it the party of "me too." This cannot help but result in increasing losses of credibility with both liberals and conservatives. The attrition of fiscal conservatives bolting from the Republican party in the Bush years will seem a trickle compared to what will happen should the Michael Steeles, John McCains and Lindsey Grahams persist. Much more of the "big tent," "we believe in you, so please tell us what you believe and we'll believe it too," kind of pandering and the Republican party will go the way of the Whigs.
Maybe that's just what should happen.