While it’s true that change is sometimes good and that it’s always a smart idea, and not just in politics, to ponder what might have gone wrong in order to improve our lot in the future, there are certain things that ought not to be changed because they are right. Being unpopular is one thing, and if you care about being more popular, then yes, you’d probably be out there (along with David Frum) saying the GOP ought to lose its embarrassing so-cons and move bravely forward to where all the cool kids hang out.
But the larger question is twofold: 1) is it right? and 2) will it work? And my answer is no and no. If you believe, say, that abortion is wrong and you care about it enough to get involved in public affairs, then the idea that you should shut up about it in order to win power so that you can get into a position of power where you’ll be able to do precisely nothing about the issue because you ran away from it during the campaign is horrifying. And for a good reason. Plus it’s unlikely to work anyway; look at Stephen Harper. Ya think supporting him because he’s marginally less pro-abortion (we hope) than the other guys does anything?
So. The answer to Brian’s question is: It depends. If your main concern is to be more popular and win power, then maybe you ought to move away from the uncool kids with their sexual hangups (ugh, people who think having kids is neat – how perverse is that?). But if you care more about the issue than about how personally awesome you are deemed to be, don’t listen to those who are trying to convince you that you should do the wrong thing for the wrong reason. If that means yet another split on the right, so be it.
Like they say, change is sometimes necessary.by