In my time as an observer of, and occasional participant in, Louisiana politics, I have noticed an odd dynamic between Louisiana voters and Louisiana elected officials. There seems to be an overall disconnect between the Republican voting base and Republican politicians in Louisiana.
Let’s first look at the core makeup of Louisiana’s Republican voter base.
Looking at some information from Pew Research, I found three keys facts about Louisiana Republican voters. A vast majority of Republican voters are ideologically conservative, Christian, and married.
Based on those factors, you might assume that Louisiana Republicans would reach out to Conservative Christians in Louisiana. You would think that Louisiana would pass pro-family, pro-Christian, and pro-Conservative legislation. You would think that Republicans would encourage Conservative Christians to get involved with local/state politics. After all, most of the Republican voter base seems to fall under the “Conservative Christian” category.
Unfortunately, little outreach exists when it comes to Conservative Christians in Louisiana.
If you pay close attention to Louisiana Republican politics, then you will notice that Louisiana Republicans reach out to virtually every voter demographic outside of Conservative Christians. Personally, I have seen Republican outreach to the business community, to minority voters, and to firearms enthusiasts. So then, where do Christian conservatives come into the frame?
Moreover, recent legislation from the Louisiana Legislature does not seem to cater to the needs and positions of Christian conservatives in Louisiana.
Now, let’s go through several pro-Conservative Christian legislative priorities that I have NEVER heard discussed by the state legislature in recent years:
-Eliminating rid of “No-Fault” divorce
-Incentivizing childbirth for married couples over out-of-wedlock births (e.g. state income tax break for children conceived within a marriage & not out-of-wedlock)
-Reinstatingvoluntary prayer in public schools
-Ending Drag Queen Story Hour in public libraries in New Orleans
-Promoting a truly patriotic, “America First” education in Louisiana public schools
-Fighting back against Governor Edwards’ closing of churches in 2020 (e.g. where were Republicans when it came to defending Tony Spell and his church?)
-Banning online pornography from being viewed by minors
-Protecting and promoting the right to homeschool in Louisiana (e.g, money-follows-the-child education funding)
It saddens me that the Republican majorities in both Legislative Chambers have failed to even contemplate most of these issues—many of which are important to conservative Christians.
Now, I understand that a Democrat has held the governor’s mansion since 2015. So, the threat of a veto looms over every single piece of contentious legislation. That reality makes life a bit more difficult.
However, I find that Louisiana Republicans often use the mere shadow of “Governor Edwards” as a coping mechanism. The fact is that many Louisiana Republicans in the State Legislature—especially the Legislature’s Republican leadership—do not have the will to act or the fortitude to fight for the priorities of conservative Christians.
Make Edwards veto these bills. Make him show the people who he is. Why give him a free pass to pretend he’s a “moderate,” or worse yet a “conservative” Democrat. He isn’t, but he’s been allowed to skate on these issues for practically two whole terms.
Now, there have been two recent victories for conservative Christians from the Louisiana Legislature in 2022—the recent abortion ban and the prohibition of transgenders from competing in women’s sports. Of course, I am especially thankful that the blood of aborted babies will no longer stain the ground of Louisiana.
Despite those victories, conservative Christians do not get much in return for their votes here in Louisiana. This dynamic needs to change.
Consequently, I have reached out to some young conservative Christians in South Louisiana to encourage them to get involved with local politics—primarily through volunteering for campaigns, attending political events, and general political organizing.
A huge opportunity exists here to revive Louisiana. We can promote authentically Christian, conservative values in Louisiana by encouraging the large swathes of conservative Christians in Louisiana to run for local office, to work on campaigns, and to vote. Little is being done on these fronts.
We can drop your bucket here—with the conservative Christians of Louisiana. We don’t need to focus on peeling off registered Democrats or Independents. We have what we need right here, but no one seems to bother with conservative Christians.
I hope to continue the conversation on this topic because it needs to be addressed. Personally, I am starting to identify and encourage high-potential, young conservative Christians for local political activism. So, please wish me the best in this endeavor!
If anyone is interested in this idea, then you can send me an email here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nathan Koenig is a frequent contributor to RVIVR.com, a national conservative political site affiliated with The Hayride.