The specter of socialism is haunting America. Fiscal conservatives think that the Great Shellacking of 2010 put that specter to flight. But many of my colleagues believe that by repealing Obamacare-or by having it struck down in the courts-and then putting a stop this to the president's taxing and spending will dispel the threat of socialism forever.
"While pursuing such worthy and urgent goals," they say, "we must let social issues take a back seat." But social issues are exactly what may speed us down the path to a socialistic state.
President Barack Obama has said his view of marriage is "evolving." Actually, it's devolving. He ordered the Justice Department not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Vice President Joe Biden says the granting of marital status to same-sex relationships is "inevitable." All this occurring after Americans in 32 states voted not to grant such recognition.
In Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut, liberals do not dare put the question of abolishing marriage to the people. They know that Americans in liberal, conservative, and middle-of-the-road states reject their scheme to end marriage.
But will granting marital status to same-sex couples really end the institution of marriage? Two years ago, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told a packed house at the Newseum in Washington that the dire predictions that the redefinition of marriage would lead to bigamy and polygamy were correct-and he was all for it. His audience of law students, journalists, and gay activists applauded enthusiastically.
Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan is the man most responsible for putting the marriage question on the public agenda. He boasts that giving homosexuals the right to marry would change marriage, opening it up to newer and broader visions by bringing multiple sexual partners into its very definition. In short, "forsaking all others" would no longer be a part of marriage.
These liberal activists do not want to mend marriage; they want to end it. They know that when marriage is redefined to mean whatever anyone wants it to be, it will cease to mean anything at all. Marriage as a normative social institution would cease to exist.
With 41 percent of all American children born out-of-wedlock and 71 percent of children in the black community born to unmarried mothers, surely President Obama knows that these children will likely suffer deprivation in income, health, education, avoidance of crime, drugs, and their own out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
So why is he so unwilling to defend marriage? The disproportionate influence of homosexual activists and donors within the Democratic Party provides part of the answer. President Obama will shun anything that they call "discrimination."
But there is a larger reason why the president's radical supporters will not tolerate any defense of marriage and the family. They understand that the family is their biggest obstacle. Conservative Edmund Burke called the family "that little platoon in which we move in society." And these little platoons resist the growing power of the state.
Look at the economic issues that have so dominated our national debate in the past three years. Small businesses led the charge for Tea Parties and sparked the resistance to Obama's failed stimulus and his healthcare takeover. Many large corporate political action committees backed Obama's drive for the presidency, and his takeover of GM and Chrysler and his nationalizing of student loans were not denounced by Big Business.
But small business owners have resisted him. This is because small businesses are largely family-owned. Small businesses are the heavy artillery of those "little platoons in society," and they enable families to push back against the encroachments of government.
The mothers of those out-of-wedlock children vote disproportionately for Obama and his party because they want protection and help and have accepted the left's argument that Big Government is the best way to get them. The sad trade-off is that they will be socialized virtually from the cradle. (This adds a new twist to the liberals' major knock on homeschooling-that those family-nurtured kids won't be adequately "socialized.")
A really interesting "gender gap" in voting is the one between single women and their married contemporaries. Since married women tend to vote more conservative, ending marriage becomes an expedient way to try and bring these women into the liberal camp and advance socialism.
Conservatives who spurn social issues fail to recognize this challenge on the marriage front and how the demand for bigger government is fueled by the breakdown of the family. If we continue to ignore this critical factor, we will be bailing against a tide.
Social issues are not "wedge" issues; they are "bridge" issues, allowing conservatives to reach out to poor whites, blacks, and Hispanics with a pro-family message that resonates.
Why would we throw all that away? Why would we let President Obama pull us along toward socialism? Will we allow him and his radical allies "win the future" through this "victory in the cradle?"