In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, progressive evangelical Jim Wallis had plenty to say about President Barack Obama’s victory and the overarching political direction the nation seems to be moving in. After describing the divisiveness embedded in the current political climate, Wallis derided Republicans’ “war on religion” and spoke out against conservatives’ “non-negotiable” stance on issues like abortion and gay marriage.
“The results of the presidential election showed how dramatically a very diverse America is changing; people are longing for a vision of the common good that includes everyone,” the liberal faith leader wrote. “As one commentator put it ‘the demographic time bomb’ has now been set off in American politics — and getting mostly white, male, and older voters is no longer enough to win elections, as the Romney campaign learned on Tuesday.”
TheBlaze has explored some of the issues surrounding the election and, undoubtedly, demographics are a problem for the GOP; unless Republicans adjust strategy, some critics claim the party could be in trouble in future electoral seasons. However, Wallis’ other contentions about social issues — particularly in an election dominated by unprecedented economic themes — may be off base.
While it is true that the “war on religion” did little to prevent the majority of self-described Catholics from embracing Obama, social issues appeared to be somewhat less pronounced in the 2012 race.
Wallis, though, characterized the Republican Party’s method as focusing upon social issues, while invoking Obama’s supposed threats to religious liberty — a tactic he dismissed as “failed.” But for the majority of the campaign season, Republican Mitt Romney generally avoided issues like abortion and gay marriage, as the majority of conversations and dialogue focused upon the economy, health care and similar issues.
“As for religious voters, it appears a strategy of citing a ‘war on religion’ — and doubling down on the long-failed strategy of citing abortion and traditional marriage as the two ‘non-negotiable’ religious issues — once again failed,” he continued.
From there, Wallis went on to praise the notion that “evangelical,” as a term, is changing in America — and that it now includes minority groups who came out en force for President Barack Obama. While the progressive faith leader praised this development, he also noted that many religious people feel stuck between two extremes and Wallis urged believers to get engaged on the issues and to get “above personalities and partisanship.”
The Sojourners leader also touted the need for immigration reform and for fiscal policies that protect America’s poor. Traditionally, he has called for redistribution as a means to ensuring that those in need are properly cared for. He did note in this piece, however, that fiscal responsibility, too, is a “moral issue.”
“Trust has been lost in the fairness and opportunity of our economic system, and must be restored by asking what a ‘moral economy’ would look like,” he wrote. “More people think everyone deserves a ‘fair shot’ and believe both our economic and political systems have been rigged on behalf of the wealthy and powerful. New senate voices like Elizabeth Warren are promising to be ‘champions’ on those issues.”
Read Wallis’ entire article here.