Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Government’s role in social and family values

On more than one occasion – especially when addressing area Tea Party organizations – I have been asked to explain my position on several social issues, highlighted by where I stand on alternative lifestyles and legalization of marijuana. For the most part, these questions are intended to create doubt about me as a candidate among conservative voters. Since I already have written at length about my platform on legalization – I would encourage everyone to read my blog archive on the subject – the focus here shall be on government policy for alternative lifestyles.

To summarize up front, government – especially the federal government – should hold no role in determining what constitutes proper values in society. Values are a matter to be decided by the individual and the family.

My incumbent opponent in this congressional race, Jim Jordan, has commented on more than one occasion that his platform includes defending traditional marriage. The problem here is his unwillingness to explain how he proposes to do that. Jordan is falling back on platitudes and generic, broad-sweeping comments designed to make the average social conservative feel good about voting for him.

What I’m curious if he can do is actually spell-out a legislative plan of action to achieve the above stated goal.

What I can do, in the meantime, is spell-out a host of reasons why government – especially the federal government – keeping its nose out of private citizens’ business is the best option in preserving the liberty of all Americans.

Honestly, none of the three candidates for this seat (Jordan, Doug Litt, or me) oppose traditional marriage. I believe in traditional marriage as much as either gentleman.

However, my challenge on most topics relating to privacy and keeping at bay government intrusion upon and scrutiny of personal behavior typically centers on arguments of a hypothetical nature. I commonly ask people on both ends of the (obsolete) linear political scale – liberal and conservative – if they can give me a guarantee that after the bills they advocate have been passed into law America will not elect to the White House someone with whom they so vehemently disagree that they would not want that legislation in the hands of such an administration.

When having this discussion with conservatives, I don’t need a hypothetical in light of the current composition of Washington’s ruling class.

So, if legislation existed today that put in the hands of the federal government the ability to affect a set of social values policies, are you perfectly comfortable entrusting that authority to a president like we have today who has made comments such as, “I wouldn’t want my daughter to be punished with a baby.”

Is that someone you want setting social values policy?

And then there are cabinet members with whom he has surrounded himself and are now in a position to potentially influence such policy. The list begins with Hillary Clinton who has long advocated for so-called children’s rights: children’s rights being nothing more than a code phrase for “eroding parental rights.”

Is that someone you want influencing social values policy?

Next, we have Eric Holder who has established for himself a pattern of arbitrarily picking-and-choosing when and when not to prosecute federal cases for dubious reasons as well as filing suit against state governments in an effort to brush-aside the 10th Amendment.

Is that someone you want influencing social values policy?

And then there is Janet Napolitano who thinks so highly of our veterans that she attempted to sweep under the rug the infamous MIAC report that suggested (among other outlandish conclusions) war veterans returning home from the Middle East were increasingly vulnerable to extreme right wing propaganda.

Is that someone you want influencing social values policy?

The list doesn’t end with ranking Cabinet members. There is an assortment of midlevel White House staffers to examine, such as Kevin Jennings who has been recorded coaching 14-year-olds on deviant sexual activity.

Is that someone you want influencing social values policy?

Jordan’s assertion that he somehow can defend traditional marriage or any other component of Judeo-Christian values through an act of Congress is false on a purely Constitutional basis.

First and foremost, no where in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution is Congress granted the enumerated power of regulating, sanctioning, or overseeing marriage.

Furthermore, as stipulated in the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In short, that means any law that may pertain to marriage strictly is the dominion of the states. Even then, I would reiterate my previous statement that marriage is a matter that rightfully falls under the essential American principle of individual and family sovereignty. In my opinion state governments have overreached with their respective authority by requiring all couples who wish to marry to procure state-issued marriage licenses.

The next point to be raised regarding Jordan’s rhetoric on marriage revolves around the potential for unintended consequences. My primary concern is the gradual relaxation of individual responsibility. We have seen this in all other aspects of “Nanny State” governance: the current welfare system has steadily drained millions of Americans of their drive and motivation to earn their income; modern public education has encouraged parents to lean on our schools for a source of absentee parenting; and, more and more industries in America have come to rely upon the myriad of federal subsidies in order to stay afloat as opposed to innovating new business models that actually work.

The same principle can easily overtake this aspect of parenting. If you believe in raising children to live their lives through traditional values, what will have a more lasting influence to those ends: once they’ve reached an appropriate age, talk to them and sustain an active dialogue with them about sex and sexuality as it relates to maintaining a healthy system of values; or simply fall back on the failsafe of decreeing, “You can’t marry someone of the same gender, the law won’t allow it.”

Such a change would not happen overnight. But, like the three examples listed above, the transformation of how people view this component of private, individual responsibility will come to pass before we’ve even realized it.

Last I knew, determining what is right and wrong for one’s children is not the place of any level of government. If God sees fit to bestow upon my wife, Marcy, and me the blessing of children it will be our responsibility as parents to raise them with traditional, Judeo-Christian values – not the government’s!

This is because we as a family, much like the individual, will be sovereign. As a result, the laws we pass must be written to respect the sovereignty of the individual and the family – not promote right wing big government.

Many of us today like to quote Thomas Jefferson’s piece of wisdom, “The government that can give you everything can take it all away.” The same logic applies to this discussion: the government that can mandate a particular set of values can turn around and deny you your right to live life and raise your family according to those values.

The simple truth is right wing big government is still just that: big government.

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