Can Democrats Win Social Conservatives?

Strangely, Democrats and leftists could miss a chance to win the votes of 34% of Americans. Social conservatives’ votes could be up for grabs, and Democrats cannot see the opportunity.’

Gallup estimated that around 34% of Americans were social conservatives in 2017. In fact, Gallup estimates social conservatives estimates conservatives out number social liberals. Gallup estimated the percentage of social liberals in America at 34% in 2017.

I think social conservatives political loyalties’ could shift because of President Donald J. Trump (R-Florida). Remember, Trump is a twice-divorced former casino owner with a history of promoting abortion and dabbling in porn.

Is Trump Losing Social Conservatives?

Moreover, there is a little statistical evidence that Trump is losing support from some social conservatives.

White evangelicals are one of the most socially conservative groups in America.Yet, around 20% of White Evangelicals tell Pew Research they will not vote for Trump. Moreover, Pew estimates White Evangelicals’ support of Trump fell from 78% in April 2020 to 72% in June 2020.

Moreover, Trump’s approval rating among Christians fell from 55% in April 2020 to 49% in June 2020, Pew estimates. Note: Pew’s definition of Christian is anybody who claims to be a Christian. However, I assume most professed Christians lean social conservative.

What is a Social Conservative?

I define a social conservative as a person who cherishes traditional values, lifestyles, institutions, culture, society, authority, education, families, and beliefs. For instance, a social conservative is apt to be a patriot, an active community member, and an active believer in a traditional religion.

Thus, a social conservative is not always a Republican. Historically, many social conservatives, including white Southerners and Catholics, were Democrats. In fact, the Democrats were more socially conservative than Republicans until around 1960.

Thus, a social conservative is not always a Republican. Historically, many social conservatives, including white Southerners and Catholics, were Democrats. In fact, the Democrats were more socially conservative than Republicans until around 1960.

The Social Conservative Case Against Trump

Oddly, there is a strong social conservative case against Trump. Unfortunately, Democrats cannot understand that case.

The social conservative case against Trump is:

First, the greatest threat to traditional America; The Woke Left, has grown stronger, more active, more active, more vocal, and more disruptive in the Trump era. The words “defund the police” now trend on social media, for example. That statement was unheard of in 2016.

Likewise, Black Lives Matter is now mainstream, even in conservative institutions such as the NFL. Similarly, leftists are tearing down monuments that have stood for generations and rioting while Trump does nothing but Tweet. In fact, Trump’s presidency has led to chaos in the streets and widespread contempt and disrespect for authority.

Thus Trump empowers the Woke Left and does little to stop its advance.

Second, Trump is a chaos president whose disruptive governance damages and discredits traditional institutions

For example, Trump ignores for political norms such as releasing his tax returns. In addition, Trump sometimes shows open contempt and disrespect for the  Constitution and institutions such as Congress and the military.

I think Trump’s chaos strategy provides an opening for the Woke Left. To explain, Trump creates the chaos but the Wokesters take advantage of it. For example, Wokesters used Trump’s condemnation of NFL players to push sports leagues to adopt their Black Lives Matter agenda. In addition, mobs defaced statues after Trump began defending them.

Third, Trump implements radical libertarian and right-wing policies that threaten traditional institutions and values

For example, Trump’s administration has slashed federal regulations. In addition, Trump signed a massive tax cut that could weaken government and increase the federal deficit.

Fourth, Trump’s policies and decisions favor the rich and big corporations over families, communities, and traditional institutions.

 In particular, Trump deferred payroll taxes a move that could hurt Social Security and Medicare. Moreover, Trump’s tax cuts and deregulation could weaken government.

Fifth, Trump refuses to fight for institutions and programs that benefit traditional families and institutions. Additionally, Trump’s administration works to undermine some traditional institutions including Medicare, Social Security, the Post Office, and Public Education.

Thus, you can argue Trump is trying to implement a radical libertarian agenda that threatens traditional American families, society, institutions, communities, and lifestyles.

The Social Conservative Case for Biden

I think both Republicans and Democrats need to court social conservatives because Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (D-Delaware) offers conservative lite.

Biden, for example, is a devout Roman Catholic who attends mass and wears Rosary Beads. Furthermore, Biden has historically taken many conservative political stands.

For instance, Biden was a vigorous supporter of the War on Drugs, tough on crime messaging, and mass incarceration. In the past, Biden worked closely with some of the most conservative U.S. Senators such as Dixcrat Strom Thurmond (R-South Carolina).

Thus, Biden could be a potential ally for social conservatives. In fact, I think Biden is closer to social conservatives in philosophy than Trump is.

What Democrats Get Wrong about Social Conservatives

Attracting social conservatives will be difficult for Democrats because of liberal myths about social conservatives. Liberal myths about social conservatives that keep Democrats from seeking their votes include:

Myth One: social conservatives only vote on “character.”

 I think this was one of Hillary R. Clinton’s (D-New York) biggest mistakes in 2016. Trump’s success proves that social conservatives value specific issues and policies, such as opposing over abortion, over “character.”

To elaborate, most social conservatives know that Trump is an immoral man who does not go to church or respect anything. However, the social conservatives view Trump as a useful asset.

In fact, 2016 shows social conservatives are more pragmatic and results-oriented than progressives think. Hence, a few concessions on social or cultural issues by Democrats could attract some social conservative votes.

Myth Two: Social conservatives do not believe in separation of church and state.

In fact, many progressives seem to believe The Handmaid’s Tale fantasy that social conservatives want theocracy.

In reality, most social conservatives merely want the state to leave them alone. Only a tiny minority of American social conservatives want theocracy. Instead, what social conservatives want is a government that values their privacy and protects their constitutional rights.

Moreover, the main fear of social conservatives is that government will interfere in their lifestyles, families, and churches. Thus, I think a commitment to respect freedom of religion by Democrats could attract social conservatives’ votes.

Myth Three: Social conservatives view Trump as an outstanding leader or hero

Yes, a small minority of social conservatives thinks this way.

However, most social conservatives view Trump only as a useful ally. Hence, Democrats could win social conservative votes by being useful to social conservatives.

Myth Four: Social conservatives buy into the entire Republican agenda of radical neoliberalism.

In reality, most social conservatives hold mainstream beliefs on economic issues such as Social Security.

Accordingly, 81% of Americans think Social Security “provides security and stability to millions of retired Americans, disabled individuals, and the children and widowed spouses of deceased workers.” Moreover, the National Academy of Social Insurance claims 36% of Americans strongly agree with that statement.

Consequently, I think a firm commitment to protecting or expanding Social Security could attract more social conservative voters to either party. Remember, older people who need Social Security are more apt to be social conservatives.

Myth Five: Social conservatives prioritize values, character, and “spiritual qualities” over practical political results.

Most social conservatives prefer politicians who deliver concrete results to wishy-washy talk of spiritual values. Many social conservatives held their noses and voted for Trump because the Donald promised to appoint conservative judges. Likewise, some social conservatives have been voting for anti-religious corporate Republicans for decades.

Therefore, I think Democrats could make deals with social conservatives and win their votes. A Democratic president, for example, could offer to appoint conservative judges, in exchange, for social conservatives support on issues such as a $15 minimum wage, Medicare, for All, or a Basic Income.

Myth Six: Social conservatives do not understand “practical politics.”

In reality, social conservatives have an excellent grasp of practical politics. In fact, social conservatives are better at exercising political power than some other groups.

For instance, social conservatives confine their battles to issues where they can win such as judges rather than pushing a broad agenda. Moreover, social conservatives understand that some influence is better than no influence.

Social conservatives vote for corporate Republicans such as Trump because they understand they will get some influence in a Trump administration. Today’s social conservatives understand they will have no influence in a Biden administration.

Social Conservative Votes are up for Grabs and only Biden Sees it

The bottom line is that some social conservative votes are up for grabs in 2020 because Republicans take those voters for granted. Unfortunately, the only Democrat who seems to realize that social conservatives could shift allegiance is Joe Biden.

Ironically, both Democrats and Republicans could lose because they cannot understand social conservatives.