Bryan Fischer
January 17, 2012
Romney preys on evangelical weaknesses
By Bryan Fischer

Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at "Focal Point"

The signs right now are ominous for those who believe deeply in the sanctity of life and marriage. Mitt Romney, a pandering politician who has no core convictions on either issue, is likely to be the GOP frontrunner from now until the GOP convention.

An alarming number of evangelicals and Tea Partiers support Romney. From a rational standpoint, this is inexplicable. But Romney has been able to take advantage of the fundamental weakness of evangelicals: they are trusting souls who want to believe the best about people and have a tendency to take people at their word when they really ought to know better.

If Romney glibly says he's the life and marriage candidate, why, many evangelicals are dull enough to believe him, despite all evidence to contrary.

What evangelicals need, when it comes to an evaluation of Romney, is a reminder that Jesus was notoriously skeptical when it came to people, because he was utterly realistic about human nature, and was impossible to fool. The gospel writer tells us that, "Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man" (John 2:24-25).

The well-meaning and necessary attempt by pro-family leaders over the weekend to find a suitable conservative alternative to the pro-gay, pro-abortion Romney resulted in a consensus vote for Rick Santorum. But this "consensus" is already fragmenting.

A prominent social conservative, Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ, hardly waited until the last ballot had been cast before publicly endorsing Mitt Romney, perhaps hoping for an appointment to the Supreme Court under a Romney presidency.

Today, word is out that the Gingrich supporters are complaining that they got sandbagged, that the fix was in, and that a lot of them left before the final vote. I anticipate that the Gingrich supporters in the crowd will quickly issue either a massive joint endorsement or a raft of vocal and visible individual endorsements. The Santorum consensus could get lost in the backwash and leave the impression on a gullible public that Gingrich actually won the vote.

Unless the Santorum boosters do something similar and quickly, the weekend vote will have virtually no impact on the race.

The best hope right now for social conservatives who are alarmed at the prospect of a Romney nomination is a brokered convention. Huntsman's supporters, as few as they are, will likely switch to Romney now that's he's dropped out (one moderate to another), adding a bit of momentum to Romney.

The most realistic — and perhaps only — way for Romney to be derailed is if he cannot win a majority of delegates by the time the GOP convention rolls around in August. If that's the case, it might be better for babies and marriages and America if all the conservative non-Romneys — Santorum, Gingrich, and Perry — hang in there as long as humanly possible in order to pull as many primary voters as they can away from the man James Carville refers to as a "serial windsock."

If any one of them drops out, a certain percentage of their supporters will drift to Romney. The only way to stop that is for each of them to keep campaigning, keep the heat on Romney and keep their supporters from leaving the pro-family reservation altogether.

In other words, if the pro-family movement cannot gather behind one candidate — and they can't — then it's best for the cause if they all stay in the hunt.

It's worth noting that the GOP primary process has been considerably elongated since the last iteration in 2008, making it much more difficult for a candidate to wrap things up early. It's worth noting that despite all the bloviation, attack ads, campaign appearances and debates, Gov. Romney has just 20 delegates out of the 1,144 he needs to win.

There's a long road ahead, and pro-family voters will want Santorum, Gingrich and Perry to stay on the road as long as they can. For Americans who are passionate about protecting life and marriage, their best hope may be for the social conservatives to run out the clock and send this thing into overtime.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

© Bryan Fischer

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

 

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