Rush Limbaugh recently recounted a conversation he had with a friend who is afraid for the future of America. Specifically this friend was afraid for the future of his children; that they would not have the opportunities that he had. The answer, The Friend concluded was to focus totally on the economy and forget about the social issues.
I can see why this could be the case. Haven’t we been told relentlessly that the social issues are poison to the Republican Party? That women support abortion, that religious faith is off-putting, that supporters of traditional marriage are just like racists. So strip the pro-life plank, the reference to God and support for male-female marriage from the political platform and focus on … what? Tax rates? Employment? The national debt?
How’s that working out for President Romney?
I wanted to call in to Rush’s show and tell him that The Friend could not be more wrong. Great movements and political coalitions have always been about moral issues. Even the counting-house issues that concern The Friend are, at the root, moral issues.
Debt may be expressed in dollar terms but sliding deeper and deeper into debt without concern is a moral issue. The Left doesn’t believe that the national debt is a bad thing, the Right does for both moral and prudential reasons.
The subject of taxes is always framed by the Left as a moral issue; a path to “fairness.” The actual level of taxation is never discussed and most people underestimate how much of their income the so-called “rich” are actually giving up. Polls show that The Right makes the big mistake of making the case that higher taxes inhibit growth and employment. This may be true, but it’s irrelevant when the case is being made, and won, as a moral issue.
If economic issues were the deciding factor in elections, Romney would be President today. Obama managed to transform one of the most decent and capable men ever to run for public office into a moral reprobate who hated dogs, killed a man’s wife with cancer, hid his ill-gotten gains in the Cayman Islands, failed to pay his income taxes and hated poor people. The election was won and lost on the issue of morality. Don't misunderstand, Obama is a profoundly immoral man who ran an ugly, base and immoral campaign, but he won by slandering the morality of Mitt Romney; the economy was a distant second.
All of the major issues of our time, indeed of most times, are fundamentally, moral. A virtuous nation, one that honors it mothers and fathers; honors work instead of sloth; honors law-keeping over law-breaking; trusts its citizens with weapons because it treats its citizens fairly and in which it’s citizens don’t casually kill each other; maintains traditional moral codes on the sanctity of life, of marriage, of sexual morality is one in which The Friend can be certain his children and grandchildren will have the opportunity that he had.
Economic opportunities are not irrevocably linked to a free society. History provides countless examples of people who amass great wealth in tyrannies and in immoral ways. An immoral nation can provide wealth to those who are favored by the ruling class. Just recently we have the example of Al Gore's wealth based on the Global Warming scam. We need go no further back than current events and the millionaires and billionaire enriched by Obama's green energy "loans" to his political supporters. But in corrupt cultures only the corrupt thrive. Perhaps that's the problem that The Friend should focus on.