Janet Porter is president of Faith2Action*: turning people of faith into people of action to WIN the cultural war TOGETHER for life, liberty and the family. Author of "The Criminalization of Christianity," she hosts a daily radio program from 2-3 p.m. Eastern and a daily radio commentary heard in 224 markets and at www.f2a.org.
* Title and affiliation for identification purposes only.More ↓Less ↑
Every column I write I write as an individual, but I want to be especially clear that I am writing this particular column not as the president of Faith2Action, a radio host or as a member of the Values Voter Debate committee, because in this column I want to tell you how I believe those who value life, liberty and the family will regain the White House – and who I believe is the man to do it.
The dilemma we face is that we have a conservative vote-split between some very good candidates and the only way we can win is if we unite. The question is whom to unite behind? Let’s set up the ground rules: the one the values voters unite behind must be pro-life and pro-marriage. Not a particularly high standard, but a disqualifying one. Secondly, he needs to be able to win – which of course, happens when we unite behind him.
That life/marriage disqualifier rules out:
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama: rabidly pro-abortion and anti-marriage. Duh.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani: wants you to pay for child dismemberment with your tax dollars and is against the Marriage Protection Amendment – other than that, he’s a nice guy.
Gov. Mitt Romney: His position, perhaps best summarized by the question asked by Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth to an empty podium at the Values Voter Presidential debate:
“Governor Romney, you are running as a pro-life, pro-marriage candidate, but you have a history of being strongly pro-abortion on demand and pro-homosexual. You supported Roe v. Wade and said abortion should be ‘safe and legal.’ In 2002, you opposed a state constitutional amendment that would have stopped homosexual so-called ‘marriage’ in Massachusetts. You said homosexuals should be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America, and as governor, you officially celebrated ‘Gay-Straight Youth Pride Day.’ You sat on Marriot’s Board of Directors for 10 years while it profited off the sale of hard-core pornographic videos to its guests. Why should voters trust you after you spent so much of your career aggressively promoting anti-life and anti-family positions? I understand a ‘change of heart,’ but a ‘change of position’ on life, marriage, gun control, pornography, and immigration all preceding your run for president?
One of the reasons Mr. Romney was the ONLY candidate to receive ZERO votes from the Values Voter delegates.
Sen. John McCain: one of only seven Republican senators to vote against the Marriage Protection Amendment. He also tried to silence our voice with his “campaign finance reform.”
Fred Thompson: against the Marriage Protection Amendment that would protect the sacred union of a man and a woman from being redefined by state legislatures like California, New York and New Jersey, who have announced plans to do so. I’m also not comfortable with a guy that brags about not going to church.
There’s a reason why none of these candidates came to the Values Voter Presidential Debate – they were afraid. Sure, they’ll come and speak to pro-family groups, but they won’t go where they have to answer any tough pro-family questions. Beyond cowardice, there’s also arrogance. They have the mentality of far too many in the Republican party – who have shoved values voters into the back of the bus and believe we have to support who they say because “we have nowhere else to go.”
We must now leave the back of the bus and get into the driver’s seat by picking a candidate and uniting behind him. With two-thirds of evangelical Christians sitting on the sidelines, we were still the largest voting bloc – 36 percent of the president’s vote – in the last election. So with an average presidential primary turnout as low as 7 percent, if we unite, we will select the nominee … period.
All of the seven with the courage to face our questions profess to be pro-life and pro-marriage. I went into the debate with loyalties to Sen. Sam Brownback, our best friend in the Senate, great fondness for Reps. Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo, the strongest voices on the border, and Alan Keyes, the most articulate. I liked that Gov. Mike Huckabee came in second in the Iowa straw poll (at five cents on the dollar that Romney spent to win) and respected Rep. Ron Paul’s courageous stand against U.N. threats to American sovereignty.
To find our answer, the first thing we did was ask people around the country to fast and pray for 40 days before the debate for God to “reveal the David” from among “Jesse’s sons.” The second thing we did was select delegates to represent us. Unlike other straw polls, which are flawed by design, the Values Voter Debate straw poll wasn’t open to the undue influence of candidates who bought votes or bussed in supporters. Hundreds of delegates were chosen by 40 pro-family leaders to best represent the largest voting bloc in America: the Values Voters.
Here’s what I saw: While he’s been a courageous defender of the Constitution, Ron Paul had too many wrong answers at the Values Voter Debate to receive our support. Save your angry e-mails until you’ve seen the video of his podium lit “red” with “no votes” while everyone else voted “yes” to questions about whether they would protect disabled patients like Terri Schiavo from a starvation death, agree to prosecute all violators of the federal obscenity law, and support a trade policy with China contingent on improved human rights and quality standards.
Joe Glover of the Family Policy Network clarified it further when he asked Paul: “Many libertarians oppose laws against same-sex marriage, prostitution, and illegal drugs. Do you share this view?” Go watch it for yourself at www.ValuesVoterDebate.com. His answer was “yes,” he’s a libertarian and doesn’t think the government has any business protecting marriage and human life. It was Thomas Jefferson who best outlined the role of government when he said, “The care of human life and not its destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” Mr. Paul, to protect human life is the only reason government exists – even if that human life is disabled and unable to ask for food and water themselves.
But as I sat on the debate panel, I began to worry that we blew it. The questions were great, but they didn’t seem to differentiate and separate the rest of the candidates. Apart from Paul, everyone answered nearly every question right. How were the delegates going to choose a winner?
Fearing a massive tie, I was shocked to find the results were exactly as we had prayed: crystal clear. The winner, with five times the votes of anyone else, was … Gov. Mike Huckabee. See them for yourself. Gov. Huckabee, pro-life, pro-family and supported by the best representation of the values voters we have.
While you may have pledged your allegiance to one of the other good pro-family candidates, consider this: only one president came directly from the U.S. House – James Garfield – and that was 128 years ago. Only two people went directly from the Senate to the White House: Warren Harding (1920) and John F. Kennedy (1960). Four out of five of the last presidents were governors, and only one governor meets the life/marriage standard: Mike Huckabee. For those concerned about his immigration stand, after the debate, I asked the governor to further clarify his stand on immigration. His response: “We must first secure the borders before we even discuss anything else.” Sounds like a good place to start.
Newt Gingrich put it this way on Sunday:
I think Huckabee is very effective, and if Huckabee can find money, he will be dramatically competitive almost overnight. He’s probably the best performer in terms of giving speeches and being appealing. … I mean, there’s something about him that is just – you just have to like Mike.
– Newt Gingrich, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” – Sept. 30, 2007
Unity not only gets us a pro-family president, but it could get us an administration that looks something like this:
President Mike Huckabee
Defense Secretary Duncan Hunter
Director of Homeland Security Tom Tancredo
Attorney General Sam Brownback
Director of Heath and Human Services Alan Keyes
If we combine the votes of these good men, we move from the back of the bus into the driver’s seat and select the nominee. It’s not only our best way to win the White House, from where I sit, it’s the only way. United we drive, divided we crash.