Rebecca Hagelin

How did it come to this? How did conservative leaders lose their way? And what must be done now to get America on the right path before it’s too late? You’ll find all the answers in “Getting America Right,” a new book co-authored by Ed Feulner, a key figure in the Reagan revolution and one of the most effective leaders of the conservative movement for more than three decades in his role as president of The Heritage Foundation.

Feulner draws on his years of experience and diagnoses the malady like a master physician: Too many conservatives are failing to stick to their principles. They’re ignoring crucial tenets of the governing philosophy that brought them to office in the first place.

Like any job, governing can’t be done effectively without the proper tools. Would a boat captain set sail without a compass, a police officer patrol without a badge or a preacher prepare a sermon without a Bible?

By the same token, politicians must stick to their principles. Otherwise, they risk becoming a weather vane -- twisting this way and that, following the wind.

Often, politicians think they have principles. But they haven’t been tested. They may honestly intend to do a good job, but they haven’t had to withstand the crushing pressure those in office feel to go along with the status quo. So many -- not all, but many -- fall into line.

Small wonder, then, that voter dissatisfaction often runs rampant. The current rumblings among conservatives illustrate this perfectly. Voters look at the politicians they elected based on vows to govern like conservatives and try to reconcile those promises with record amounts of spending and a confusing, expensive Medicare drug entitlement.

The latest CBS News poll shows that, among all voters, only 28 percent approve of the job Congress is doing; 61 percent disapprove. Among the GOP voters, 31 percent approve, while 59 percent disapprove.

Sounds like Washington is home to too many weather vanes these days.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Conservatives need to reacquaint themselves with their principles. There’s a reason that conservatism has survived as a popular movement for so many years -- because it’s grounded in reality and proven wisdom. Unlike liberalism, it isn’t based on wishful thinking, shallow reasoning and good intentions. It works.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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