Almost two years after they helped install a conservative president and elect conservatives all over the country, leaders of the Moral Majority and other New Right organizations are meeting to plan new crusades with many grumbling that President Reagan has not done enough.
The purpose of Family Forum II, sponsored by the Moral Majority and the Free Congress Foundation, is to teach the 500 participants from 37 states how to influence politics. But a common topic at the first day of the conference yesterday at the Sheraton-Washington Hotel, was that Reagan has neglected social issues dear to many conservatives.
"There is a disenchantment with Reagan," said Connaught (Connie) Marshner, chairman of the National Pro-Family Coalition and an organizer of the conference.
"Frankly, there's so much that he has promised that he hasn't done. He said he was strongly for tuition tax credits. He said he was strongly pro-life. He said he was strongly for school prayer.
"And then he got in and said the economy is the problem, and these issues are going to have to be on the back burner."
Marshner, who was chairman of the family policy advisory board of the Reagan-Bush campaign, added, "Reagan's heart is right [but] he's got a palace guard around him -- Deaver, Meese, Baker -- who don't believe these issues are important."
"That kind of advice," she said, "is going to hurt him [and the congressional candidates he supports] in the November elections."
Other participants were more cautious, stressing that change takes time and that there are limits on what the president can do. Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.) said he is satisfied with the administration's performance, adding that any fault lies with the Senate leadership, particularly Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn.), in not pressing conservative proposals.
The focus at the conference is on "family issues," and the disenchantment is not so much in fiscal policy as with social issues.
Participants tend to be economic conservatives, supporting substantial budget cuts and supply-side economics.
But the Moral Majority and similar groups have treated issues of social policy as paramount. They favor prayer in schools and tuition tax credits so parents can better afford to send children to private schools and they oppose abortion and guarantees of civil rights for homosexuals.
These positions frequently are based on fundamentalist religious convictions, and participants in the conference are most upset at lack of leadership in these areas from Reagan.
Gary L. Bauer, a White House liaison with the New Right, defended Reagan at a panel discussion, saying he has pushed for a constitutional amendment to permit school prayer, for tuition tax credits and for restrictions on availability of abortions.
Paul M. Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation, said officials in the administration have been willing to listen to conservative spokesmen.
"We have access running out of our ears," he said. "The problem is that access doesn't always get results."
At one panel discussion, several congressmen discussed the moral issues confronting Congress and included federal deficits among them. Rep. William E. Dannemeyer (R-Calif.) explained that deficits posed a moral issue because they cause inflation that weakens the country and its people.
At the panel, Rep. David Michael Staton (R-W.Va.), said, "I believe God picks certain people.... I believe He's raised Ronald Reagan for this time."
In a speech to the conference plenary, George Gilder, author of "Wealth and Poverty," attacked welfare policies and feminism, which he said had done much to destroy the traditional family.
The "terrible crisis and disaster of American liberalism," Gilder said, was that welfare programs had destroyed much of the family structure of poor blacks because they give so many benefits to unwed mothers they encourage them to have children out of wedlock.
Gilder proposed phasing out Aid to Families with Dependent Children and income tax exemptions for children, and replacing them with a "child allowance." This would be a cash sum sent to all parents, regardless of income, based on the number of children they have.