In addition to throwing old Reagan some love, nearly all of the candidates discussed the importance of family. All in all the word “family” came up 50 times, not including references to the Family Research Council. Mitt Romney, the Mormon candidate with five children, used the word “family” 26 times. And those “families” have but one definition: man and a woman. A man and a woman should lay the foundation for a happy home and, in the end, for a happy nation until the end of days.
Despite his familiarity with the subject, even Romney can’t make “family” sound familiar. He simply boils the family down to an economic tool. The emotion and love behind marriage disappears as the resultant reproduction becomes business. Says Romney,
In America the family is a vital economic unit, the foundation of the nation, and it’s the strength of this nation’s families that ultimately determines America’s strength in the family of nations… The most important work that goes on in America today…is the work that goes on within the four walls of the American home.
If Mitt Romney and other social conservatives truly believed in parenting and children, they would broaden their definition of “family”.
The Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law released a study on gay adoption earlier this year which finds extraordinary numbers of gays and lesbians who have had or want to have children.
The Family Pride Coalition offered this analysis:
Over one in three lesbians have given birth and one in six gay men have fathered or adopted a child. Over 50% of gay men and 41% of lesbians desire to be a parent. Lesbian and gay parents are raising 4% of all adopted children in the U.S…. Same-sex couples who have adopted are older, more educated and have more economic resources than other adoptive parents.
Now, there’s no way to know how many kids have gay parents, people have estimated there could be anywhere from 3 million to 10 million: a sizable voting bloc. Unfortunately for these families, Romney and other social conservatives candidates lack the political imagination to embrace people outside their isolated population. And, quite frankly, don’t care about “minority” groups.
The Republicans all declined to participate in a Human Rights Campaign produced gay rights forum. Nor were they free to talk with the NAACP.
Well, that’s not true, Tom Tancredo flew to Detroit to talk to black Americans and then used a disbelieving black cabbie as a punchline for the lily white Values Voters. The only other reference to black people came from Mitt Romney, who used single black women to a nauseatingly mawkish degree. And, what’s more, he cited Bill Cosby as his source.
While many of the candidates used fear-mongering and discussed endangered values, outsider Rudy Giuliani used his speech to talk about inclusion. Don’t worry, though, he didn’t stray too far from the conservative program. Says the former New York City mayor:
…I think we’ve got to find a way to be more inclusive. Christians and Christianity is all about inclusiveness. It’s build around the most profound active love in human history… This is a religion of inclusion.
If Giuliani’s to be believed – and he should be – the social conservatives aren’t simply rejecting political evolution, they’re devolving entirely, including spiritually.
While the Democrats are talking to the gays, the blacks and everyone in-between, the Republicans are stuck in a stagnant, primordial stew of archaic, outdated social stances. If they want to win this election or any others, the Republican leadership needs to accept that fact that America’s undergoing cultural changes. You can’t fight social evolution. You have to work with it and the people who are changing. If the Republican party continues its “valuable” tradition, it’s simply not going to survive. Even a do-do could figure that one out.