Some people are saying the Republican party has to ditch social conservatism, which is to say its support for unborn children and the family based on marriage, if it is to regain the White House.
But you might as well argue that it should dump its espousal of self-reliance and free enterprise given that so many people now seem happy to rely on the State and don’t care much for the free market.
On the Obama side (and even on the Republican side) are those who say the Republicans are on the wrong side of ‘history’ and need to get on the ‘right’ side if they want to taste electoral success again.
Frankly, everyone needs to get a grip. First, White House incumbents rarely lose and secondly Romney lost by only two percentage points nationwide.
However, I’d like to deal briefly with the idea that any party seeking majority electoral support has to ditch social conservatism because it is becoming so unpopular, especially among young people.
I simply repeat that Romney lost narrowly and a better candidate who couldn’t be so easily portrayed as ‘Richie Rich’ might well have won, as might someone who could court the Hispanic vote better. George W Bush won 40pc of that vote, Romney only a quarter.
Also, while it is true that the same-sex marriage side won its first ever referenda on Tuesday (four out of four), it comes after a losing streak of 32 out of 32. In addition, the referenda were in blue states. Finally, thanks to huge donations from seriously rich people they outspent their opponents by eight to one. And they still only won by an average margin of four points.
However, when all electoral and political considerations are stripped away, it remains the case that ‘social conservatism’ (for want of a better name) rests on a number of extremely sound, bedrock principles which society badly needs.
Among these are the right of a child to be born, to be cared for by their natural parents, and for the elderly and infirm to be looked after until natural death.
Any society which abandons these principles is in serious trouble, and if those principles become unfashionable or find themselves on the ‘wrong side of history’, then we simply need to do a better job of persuading people of their wisdom. For the sake of society, and above all for the sake of our children.