Why Conservatives and Christians Lose Elections

By Michael R. Winther
An IPS commentary

The 2006 elections are over. Conservatives, Christians, and those with traditional values won a few, but lost many, many more. There were many hotly contested races—races in which Christians and conservatives invested fortunes of time and money… but still lost. Was this time and money wasted? Not necessarily, but in most cases, it means that conservative Christians are not in touch with the voters. That’s right, conservative Christians are the ones that are out of touch with voters. This is because Christians are outside the norms of modern society. More and more it is true that the voter’s worldview and understanding of the issues conforms more closely with a liberal or atheist candidate than it does to a conservative or Christian candidate.

Many of the election results, whether for candidates or initiatives, were not really decided by the recent campaign. These contests were decided 5, 10 and 20 years ago, by the education of our citizens. Effective education, on any side of the political spectrum, can make even the most sophisticated and most frequently repeated campaign messages useless. Once a person’s worldview is well constructed and reinforced, every message is filtered through that worldview. If that worldview is comprehensive and consistent (regardless of whether it is right or wrong) it is very difficult to alter any opinion held by that person.

The vast majority of education in America, whether formal or informal, is directed by those with an atheist, socialist or relativist worldview. Public schools, colleges, universities, trade associations, professional associations, think tanks and the media are dominated by these worldviews. Who pays for the propagation of these perspectives? Because many of these institutions are publicly funded, everyone pays—including those who disagree. A conservative Christian who tithes ten percent to his church and contributes $500 or $1000 dollars every other year to a political candidate is outspending himself in favor of relativism, atheism, and socialism through his tax dollars and media purchases.

It is time for “traditional values” voters to think long term and begin teaching the worldviews that will win elections 10, 15 and 20 years from now. Those who oppose limited government and biblically based moral standards have worked their long-term plans for decades–while Christians only worked one election at a time. It is supreme irony that our opponent’s strategies come, in large part, from scripture. Whether they know it or not, those with opposing worldviews often use biblical strategy to promote unbiblical agendas. One of these biblical strategies is the importance of laying a strong foundation. The foundation determines the tilt of the structure—will the structure be “true” or will it lean one direction or the other. Unfortunately, the all important foundation is often ignored in favor of attempts to repair the exterior of the structure. Conservatives and Christians will readily invest in the political campaign because it is visible, it is immediate, and it seems so urgent. Fixing a foundation, however, is not visible, not immediate and never seems all that urgent… but it is!

The Institute For Principle Studies exists to teach both biblical based principles and strategies to the church and society. These principles are the foundation repairs that will straighten our societal structures. These foundations create the worldviews through which all Americans will filter messages from schools, media, and political campaigns. Even though the results are not immediate, let’s invest in the long-term plan that will really make a difference.

Download Printable PDF