Friday, October 19, 2012

Romney and the Social Issues

Recently one of my Facebook friends made the following observation about the election.  She said, “Why are conservative bigoted white men wasting so much time and energy fighting homosexuality? It may take years, decades, who knows...but the LGBT community will eventually win the fight. They'll be able to marry, have rights with respect to their significant others, to be open without ridicule, etc. So why is the whole planet wasting SO much time dealing with this issue? Isn't it exhausting?”

So who are these conservative white men that she is referring to?  I consider myself a conservative who also happens to be white and male and here is where I am at on this issue.  If the citizens of a state, either through their elected officials or through direct referendum choose to expand the definition of marriage and confer these rights on same sex couples, I will respect the law and its citizens.  I feel that my position is shared by many thoughtful conservatives who like Bill Bennett, former secretary of education under Reagan who said on a Daily Show with John Stewart, “John, why do you keep harping on the gay rights agenda? you won! Its over.  Time to move on.”  This was in response to a brow beating that Stewart was giving Bennett on the subject even though it was neither brought up by Bennett nor did it have anything to do with the book Mr. Bennett was there to promote.

Most Conservatives/Republicans can identify with Bill Bennett.  The Gay/Lesbian agenda is a train that has left the station.  It is rolling and not worth fighting over, there are bigger issues to deal with.  For the most part, we simply want to avoid the question and avoid the inevitable beatings.  Its not as if we think that expanding the definition of marriage in this manner is a good idea (we don’t), we simply are resigned to the inevitable expansion/adoption of this right in our communities and have made a decision, it is not worth fighting for.

Not one major Republican leader actively promotes any policy that would suggest that they would interfere with a State’s right to determine its own laws when it comes to most social issues including the marriage issue.  Mitt Romney is a big state’s right guy and this issue would be way, way down on his agenda of items requiring action.  My evidence for this?  In neither of the two debates was the issue brought up.  I have not heard any major policy speech by either Romney or Ryan address this issue from a policy perspective.

Here is what I do hear from Mitt Romney: First, the economy is suffering, GDP has been growing more slowly for the last two years, jobs are down, people are suffering because they cannot find decent work at decent wages.  Secondly, our federal debt is over $16 trillion dollars.  Over the past 3 1/2 years the current administration has added to the debt by over $1 trillion annually.  Finally, we have an administration who is not leveling with the American people about our foreign policy as evidenced by the nearly two week time frame in which the situation in Benghazi was blamed on a you tube video by various administration officials including our Ambassador to the UN, when overwhelming evidence pointed to this being a terrorist attack.  Why would the administration mislead the American public on this issue for such a long period of time, even when their own investigators were saying otherwise?  Why would our State Department deny requests for additional security made by the Ambassador’s staff?

When I consider the issue of whether Frank can get married to Matt or Lisa can get married to Susie in the light of these three fundamental issues that lie at the core of what a federal government should be doing, the gay agenda does not hold a candle.  And I like Bill Bennett (and other thoughtful conservatives) are begging “ENOUGH ALREADY, YOU HAVE WON THE DEBATE ON THE ISSUE” lets move on to more important topics such as:
  • Economic Growth and Job Creation
  • Balancing the Federal Budget and returning our country to fiscal sanity
  • Operating with a realistic and honest foreign policy that respects our allies, condemns acts of terror, pursues foreign policies that are designed to keep this country and its citizens safe.
These are the critical issues.

There is no credible evidence that a Romney/Ryan administration would focus on much if anything beyond these three critical issues (with perhaps the exception of education).  Yes I know social values are one topic of 27 issues addressed on his website, but I would argue that there is nothing in his speeches nor his advocates talking points that suggest that this would be anything besides a low priority issue.  According to his own website, his top issues are: 5 Point Plan, jobs for Economic Growth, Foreign Policy, Smaller, Simpler, Smarter Government, Taxes.  So the Social Issues don’t make it into the top 5 and is relegated to three paragraphs as one of 27 overall issues.  The threat to the GLBT community is way, way, way overblown.

So your concern for the Gay Lesbian agenda is Straw Man.  Meant to point to something that fires up peoples concerns but at the end of the day has little meaningful substance.  Stop with the straw man already, YOU WON!!!!  Let’s focus on the most important issues, jobs and the economy, creating a plan to get the budget under control and a foreign policy that avoids the murder of Ambassadors and keeps American’s safe.

What say you?

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