FRED THOMPSON TAKES THE LEAD ON SOCIAL POLICY
In the Florida presidential debates, Fred Thompson made a statement of tremendous historic political significance:
“Part of the problem in our education system and with our children has to do with the societal breakdown that's going on in this country. We need more fathers to stay and raise their kids."
This is the first time that anyone in national politics has connected the dots between fathers not being able to be fathers, and many our greatest social and economic problems. His statement is particularly stunning because it was made discussing education – which is perhaps the least obvious of the many intractable social problems that arise because of the war on marriage.
I regret to say that Mike Huckabee, whose campaign staff had shown great interest in my “Marriage Values” campaign theme and policy changes, has not kept pace on this crucial point. According to his director of policy, Janis Cherry, Mike is “very comfortable” with his message on social issues. I was quite surprised at her response: how could Mr. Huckabee be comfortable with his position on anything when he is trailing the polls with only a 5.4% share?
Fred Thompson might well be the man in 2008: Thompson holds second place in the polls, holding an 18.7% share. If Thompson follows through on this truth with a strong “marriage values” agenda, he could take the lead quickly. The other leading contenders, Guiliani, Romney, and McCain are not electable: they are paper Republicans with fatal flaws that will not galvanize the conservative base to rise to their support. But Thompson will have to be better prepared for these debates in the future: his responses to other questions were weak and disorganized, yielding him last place in the Fox post-debate poll.
Many Americans are now aware that welfare reform remains uncompleted: all our social data is negative, illegitimacy is up 36% since “welfare reforms” were enacted in 1996. The failure of federal government to stop massive funding of the destruction of marriage in 1996 now impacts nearly every American very negatively. Stephen Baskerville’s new book “Taken Into Custody,” demonstrates the tremendous size of this highly-motivated, discontented voting block. Failure of Republicans to proactively speak to this block will result in mainstreamers supporting Democrats, who are promising to take care of all these problems by taxing the hell out of married families, corporations, and rich people.
The mainstream-to-conservative base will not be motivated by boilerplate conservative campaigns. As in 1994, where the Republican landslide came about because Republicans ran on “Family Values,” those who would get behind Republicans and invest their time to help them win expect Republicans to finish what they partially completed in the 1996 welfare reforms.
Anyone who believes this is not true should recognize the fact that Republicans have been losing offices increasingly since abandoning social issues to Democrats.
Values,” in concert with a strong position on national security, are
the two keys necessary to the White House and retention of Congressional
seats. If the G.O.P. and the leading candidates fail to grasp this
fact, November 2008 will be a Ghoulianish nightmare for Republicans.
© 2007 David Usher - All
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David R. Usher is Legislative Analyst for the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Missouri Coalition and is a co-founder and past Secretary of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.
This is the first time that anyone in national politics has connected the dots between fathers not being able to be fathers, and many our greatest social and economic problems.