• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

By David R. Usher

CPAC 2013 found itself caught again in a running nightmare: How do we rebuild the Buckley revolution and Reagan’s three-legged stool of economy, social values and defense?

It asks the wrong question.

We must ask ourselves how to build an indestructible three-legged stool. Reagan’s stool had one weak leg that has always haunted the party: social “values.” Values are useful ideals for guidance, but they do not translate into wise nonpartisan socioeconomic policy that most everyone will agree to.

The clash between right and left has rendered much of the Republican Party terrified of social issues. “Values” debates are pie fights that result in little more than Republicans wiping pie off their faces.

Values wars are proxy wars invented by the left to keep Republicans busy while liberals easily pass deconstructionist pork legislation. Liberals deconstruct social policy matters into downstream “tabloid disasters,” while hobbled Republicans are capable of little more than bemoaning the demise of marriage and the deficits it creates.

To build a strong stool, the third leg must stand on “pro-family socioeconomic policy.”

Here are four examples pointing to the necessity of building an indestructible three-legged stool, with the third leg made of appealing socioeconomic policy.

Louisiana: Not only is Louisiana the fifth-fattest state, it also has the third-highest illegitimacy rate in the nation (53.3 percent). Gov. Bobby Jindal might be fantastic with economic policy, but lacking constituent-friendly socioeconomic policy to reverse the trend of marriage absence, Louisiana stays above water only by the largesse of federal welfare entitlements paid for by other states. This certainly disqualifies him for “hero” status in the Republican Party.

Domestic violence” is often what happens when socioeconomic policy fails to properly address drivers of serious spousal conflict. While liberals scream about violence and rape, Republicans respond with “value” statements that become political nightmares no amount of pie-wiping can correct. Liberals have won billions in pork for programs that do not reduce domestic violence.

An unbreakable stool objectively addresses domestic violence at the source and as a simple matter of socioeconomic policy. Substance abuse in the family is the leading driver of domestic conflict and violence. We need to enact a simple, wise policy to help a responsible spouse leverage a troubled spouse into recovery. Missouri House Bill 402 would greatly reduce downstream domestic violence, divorce, poverty and, most notably, gun violence on the streets and in our schools.

The nanny state is in trouble because “values” shaming always results in public anarchy, regardless of the party doing the shaming. Ask Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Bloomberg and Joe Biden. Politicians must focus on upstream policy encouraging good choices.

Obesity and “Big Gulps“: Growing obesity is a consequence of decades of expanding non-marriage. The fattest states are also the states with the highest illegitimacy rates.  Kids growing up in unmarried households worrying about the future store up fat and never learn how to cook a balanced meal. Policy reversing the marriage-absence trend, by establishing self-empowering options ultimately leading to marriage, will reduce obesity without making anybody do anything.

Gay “marriage.” The shift of some Republicans toward liberal gay marriage policy promises terrible economic consequences. The gay lifestyle is more fatal or disabling than smoking, at fantastic cost to the taxpayer.

There is voluminous evidence the gay lifestyle is based on promiscuity, “choice” and hedonism. So far, none of the many dedicated researchers has found a “gay gene.” It is a lifestyle choice with costly consequences our nation is not in a financial position to absorb.

The Centers for Disease Control recently rang the alarm bell about new incurable forms of gonorrhea predominantly incubated in the gay population. One study indicates that up to 33 percent of gay men already have an incurable sexually transmitted disease. If gay marriage is legalized and gay behavior subsequently stimulated in schools, we will see a devastated generation of young adults with incurable STDs who cannot contribute to the economy.

Lessons from the drug revolution have bearing on the gay marriage issue. Colorado recently legalized marijuana. Almost immediately, the drug-testing company handling Colorado’s schools has reported a surge of children getting very high at school, in spite of school programs strongly discouraging drug use. Teachers cannot teach kids who are stoned, unmotivated and whose brain development is stunted by THC. In a decade, Colorado will become a welfare state for under-educated young adults unable to work or think straight. Promoting the gay lifestyle to youth by effecting gay marriage will have similar devastating socioeconomic consequences.

Those who care about children’s health, life and our nation’s economic future must insist on educating youth to avoid the gay lifestyle and oppose legalizing gay “marriage.”

We encourage everyone who once comprised the Buckley Revolution (which includes Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and constitutionalists) to focus on building a new leg for the three-legged stool. The third leg is built on “socioeconomic policy,” not “social values.”

Smart socioeconomic policy reducing marriage-absence will shrink our great human disasters, greatly reduce demand entitlement spending, balance budgets and return government to working within a constitutional, scientific framework that also respects our Creator and operates in parallel with His principles.


David R. Usher is president of the Center for Marriage Policy.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.