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I know some Republicans that are running the party in fear of shadow puppets. They think that the social platform of the Republican Party is a pariah to be ran from and kicked under the coffee table to be ignored when talking to other people. I had fellow Republicans warn me that the worst thing we could do in North Carolina was to pass the Marriage Amendment because it would doom all of our candidates in the fall election (when we won an unprecedented veto-proof majority in both House and Senate).
I've had several advise that we never speak of social issues and focus on the economy and jobs. Ok, I'm fine with discussing the relevant issues at hand, but I don't agree that we should run from who we are (which is defined in our Platform). In truth, these fellow Republicans are simply believing the perception of what people think, not the reality. The consequence is that Republicans appear to be all over the board when it comes to their platform and the greatest complaint among unaffiliated voters is they don't really know where Republicans stand.
Coinciding with the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a just-released Knights of Columbus/Marist poll reveals that 62% of Americans believe that abortion is morally wrong. 84% want restrictions on abortion, with 57% advocating strict limits to only include cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. This poll agrees with a similar, but simpler Gallup poll that has been run every year since 1975 showing that 72% of Americans want abortion to be at least limited, or illegal altogether. By the way, that number was 76% in 1975. After over 40 years of indoctrination, people's core values have not been swayed.
The KOC/Marist poll goes on to show that those identifying as "pro-choice" are softer in their stance than pro-lifers. For example, while 50% identify as "pro-choice" in this poll, 79% of them (pro-choicers) concede that it is possible to have laws that protect the health of a women while protecting the life of the unborn. 64% of "Strongly pro-choice" and 84% of "Somewhat pro-choice" respondents believe that there should be a waiting period between consultation and the procedure. 62% and 78% of the same groups believe parental notification should be required for underage daughters.
57% of Americans think abortion does more harm than good, and 53% believe that life begins at conception.
A May 15, 2013 Gallup Poll clearly illustrated the problem Republican leaders often have managing by perception. In their poll, self-described pro-lifers outnumber pro-choicers 48% to 45%. Yet, in the same poll when asked what they think their fellow Americans views are, only one-third thought they were predominantly pro-life.
To hit another hot social topic, Gallup did another poll that found that, on average, people thought 25% of their fellow Americans were gay or lesbian. With an unprecedented large polling sample of 120,000 Americans, Gallup found that only 3.4% of the population identified at LGBT. What a difference between the perception and reality.
My dad always said, "Tell the truth. It's easier to remember" and "Remember who you are". Republicans are having a bit of an identity crisis. We need to remember who we are and tell the truth about it. Some folks may not like what we say, but that's the cost of taking a stand. A certain Senator Helms of North Carolina got votes from people who disagreed with him for 30 years simply because they knew exactly where he stood. It's a lesson we can still learn from today.