For decades, Republicans have told social conservatives to button it because we cannot win on social issues. Republicans keep telling themselves they cannot survive without reaching out to various niche voting blocs. But empirical evidence shows that conservatives can win on social issues.
Consider gun control. Most Americans now support gun ownership. That's because the facts show gun control leads to more homicides.
The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 went in place after the national homicide rate hit 6.2 homicides per 100,000 people in 1967. It rose to 7.3 the first full year of this act, eventually rising to 10.2 in 1980 under Jimmy Carter -- a 65% increase in the homicide rate in 13 years.
The law took guns away from law-abiding citizens but criminals continued to be armed.
But the homicide rate has quieted in recent years as social conservatives stood up for gun rights. Since President Bush 43 allowed the ban on "assault weapons" to expire in 2004, the homicide rate -- already falling as states issued more concealed weapons permits -- fell to the lowest in at least 65 years in 2013 -- 4.5 homicides per 100,000 people.
The Washington Post recently cried in a headline: "Gun control? Americans increasingly see more guns as the solution, not the problem."
It cited aa poll by Gallup which showed 57% of Americans believe armed, upstanding citizens hep prevent crime.
Gun control was not about fighting crime; gun control accelerated it.
Now apply this to abortion. Republicans will tell you it is a lost cause.
Whigs said the same thing about slavery in 1850.
Defunding Planned Parenthood is just the start. Social conservatives look at the long term. And guess what? They can always start their own party. That's how abolition came about.