The Case for Politics: Why Social Conservatives Must Invest Seriously in Politics

The APP Foundation team compiled spending data for hundreds of social conservative organizations involved in public policy, political activism, and election. The report illustrates how little Christian conservatives invest in politics

A Strategy for Social Conservatives

There is a giant hole in the social conservative movement. While some ‘Benedict Option’ Christians argue social conservatives have invested too heavily in politics, the data tell a different story.

Social conservatives are losing ground politically because we do not invest very much at all in direct politics. Given the urgent need for legislative protections, and the cultural decline further political retreat causes, social conservatives must invest in both more and in better political strategies.

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Based on our research, social conservatives need to construct a new political strategy that includes the following:

  1. Organize around specific and concrete legislation, not just generic values.
  2. Recognize key elections and concentrate practical resources to defend our heroes.
  3. Invest in direct political operations instead of indirect, 501(c)(3) tactics.
  4. Target and flip independents and soft Democrats rather than merely messaging to our own base.

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American Principles Project Foundation has undertaken a comprehensive research project to document the failure of social conservatives (outside of the pro-life issue) to invest adequate resources into electoral politics. In total, we analyzed over $3.1 billion in spending by 365 organizations with a mission of changing public policy that work for life, marriage or religious liberty.

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