January 7, 2011 Print

Member Update: Are Conservatives Running Out of Gas?

by Tom Minnery

Dear Friend,

The date was August 31, 1944.

Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army was racing through northeastern France—hot on the heels of a decimated and overwhelmed German army. Only a few more days, and they would cross the Rhine into Germany itself.

But suddenly, the Americans came to a screeching halt.

Just two days before, on August 29, a scheduled delivery of 140,000 gallons of gasoline had failed to arrive. And now, just 60 miles from the German border—with their enemy in complete disarray—the Americans were literally out of gas.1

The Germans couldn’t stop the Americans, but a lack of supplies did. And while our troops sat waiting, the German army reorganized and reinforced their front—prolonging the war and costing many more American lives.

I raise this story because of striking parallels with the position that the conservative, pro-family movement faces right now.

Stuck in a dangerous quagmire for the last two years, you and I “broke free” with a dramatic turnaround election last November. Now we are positioned for some great victories—especially in many of the states, where the opportunities are as big as I can ever recall.

Yet suddenly, there is great danger that our momentum may grind to a standstill for one simple reason: We’re running out of gas.

Ever since the election, donations to CitizenLink® have dropped off significantly. And we’re not alone; other allies around the country are reporting the same thing.

It’s not unusual for there to be some drop-off in giving following elections. All of us—even the most engaged citizens—suffer from political

There is great danger that our momentum may grind to a standstill for one simple reason: We’re running out of gas. fatigue at that point and often feel tapped out financially as well.

Generally, though, support rebounds in December.

The exception is in years when our side does very well in elections. In fact, it’s almost an axiom: The bigger the win, the bigger and longer the drop in giving to conservative organizations. And the 2010 elections were arguably the biggest in the history of the pro-family movement. So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock that financial support has fallen so dramatically.

Why does that happen? There’s a natural tendency in most people to feel that when “our people” get elected, the job is done. The good things will get passed, and the bad things will be defeated.

That, however, is only partly true. Yes, elections matter greatly. And because of last fall’s gains, there are some good, basic measures that will pass without any trouble in certain legislatures, while many of the worst ideas will be easily defeated.

But winning the most important issue battles will require resources to shine the light of truth and to turn the heat up on hesitant politicians. Consider just a few examples:

  • The opportunities in state legislatures are enormous! You and I can make huge progress in protecting marriage from being redefined and in safeguarding religious freedom and the sanctity of life.But nearly every one of those efforts will require heavy lifting. After all, having a Republican majority doesn’t guarantee a socially conservative majority!
  • At the federal level, the Senate and the White House are still run by politicians with a very different worldview from yours and mine. That means that every gain we make will have to be hard-fought. Frankly, it will be just as important for us to keep the pressure on Republicans as on Democrats. After all, when GOP leaders are negotiating or deciding which issues they will go to the mat over, it will be tempting for them to give in on values issues.

    That’s when it will be critical for you and me to remind our elected officials that upholding values is just as critical to the future of our nation as getting the financial mess in order. In fact, the two go hand in hand.

Of course, the new U.S. House and Senate are back in full swing. And already, more than 40 state legislatures are in session, with others beginning soon. CitizenLink’s bank account is stretched very thin right now, and the need for action is mounting quickly.

That’s why I’m asking you to respond prayerfully to this letter as soon as possible.


What can you do?

Your financial help is needed right now—if at all possible—to help us take immediate advantage of incredible opportunities all over the country. Many of these are opportunities that my team and I have been waiting for and working on for years—and which you helped make possible through CitizenLink election activity.

  • Constitutional amendments to protect marriage now have the potential to move forward in at least six states.
  • Badly needed religious liberty protections—which we’ve been working on for nearly three years—now have hope in several states.
  • The promise of pro-life advancement has blossomed in numerous parts of the country.

But opposition groups are already investing heavily to defeat these measures by rallying their supporters and attempting to pick off votes from Republican legislators who are less committed to protecting life, marriage and religious freedom.

We’re also having to muster resources to defend against a host of bad bills, including same-sex marriage or civil unions in six states and physician-assisted suicide in four states.

A significant number of these legislative contests will be decided in the next six weeks. That’s why I must ask for your generous support right now. Your gift, I can promise you, will make a difference on the front lines throughout the country.

However, I also know that many of these battles—especially the ones in Congress—will be scattered throughout the year. And they will often happen with little warning, which means that I won’t have time to come to you or others to find the “fuel” to engage in the legislative arena.

That’s why the most helpful thing you can do—from a financial standpoint—is to join our monthly support team, Friends of CitizenLink. Regular monthly income is not only an incredible help in budgeting, but it also allows us to leap into the action when the need arises, even on short notice.

Regular monthly support is sorely needed, so I invite you to join the elite group of CitizenLink allies who really make our biblical citizenship efforts possible. Just use the enclosed brochure, which explains more and gives you easy options.

Of course, it’s just as important—perhaps more so—that you and I be engaged by speaking up to our elected officials and by lifting our prayers to a just, and yet merciful, God. If we don’t take action, Scripture tells us, our faith is suspect. Yet if we rely on our action alone, we are missing out on the real source of our strength. After all, we are engaged—with you—in the work of transforming culture through biblical citizenship.

And please keep CitizenLink in your prayers as you think of us. The stakes have never been greater for our nation, and my team and I need wisdom and endurance, as well as the resources to engage effectively for God’s glory.

Tom Minnery
Senior Vice President Government and Public Policy

P.S. It’s natural that many people think the job is done after a big election success, which is why financial support has fallen so critically low. But while things are much-improved politically, you and I will still have to fight for every major victory that now hangs in the balance.

Please help fuel CitizenLink’s work to take full advantage of election gains in Congress and the states. Your generous gift today—or, if you can, your monthly pledge using the enclosed brochure—will help equip the pro-family movement to reap the promise of the fall elections.

Thank you for your resolved and prayerful action.

1. Don M. Fox, “Patton’s Vanguard: The United States Army Fourth Armored Division” (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., Inc., 2003) pp. 95-105.