Get the State Out of Marriage

Mark Baisley
Posted: Jan 27, 2014 12:01 AM

It is Super Bowl week; Time for a football analogy to politics: The best defense is a good offense. Yep. Perhaps the most successful head-fake tactic of the left has been political correctness and I think that it is high time that we got our defense off the field and start throwing some play-action post routes of our own.

The leftist playbook includes instructions to accuse the right of being cruelly unfair in response to every assertion of a conservative standard. Reducing taxes is to “fund the government on the backs of the poor.” Opposing Obama’s takeover of health care is to “reveal racist contempt towards a black president.” Contending for the right to life is to “wage war on women.”

Democrats win many elections by painting Republican candidates as insensitive puritans who are absent one heart and the right side of their brain. What the Republican candidates are actually missing is a GOP playbook with instructions to avoid trying to be loved by everybody. Democrats have become experts at tapping Republicans with a small rubber hammer just below the knee. Watching the Republican kick his own legs out from under himself has become so predictable that it is not even humerus (rim shot, please).

You may have heard of one of my fellow contributors, an up-and-comer named Dennis Prager. Dennis effectively explores the tension between standards and compassion on his radio broadcast (see “The liberal tendency is to apply compassion to social policy when standards should prevail and conservatives’ tendency … is to place standards over compassion in personal life and they end up looking cold…”

Playing defense most of the time scores zero points. And decades of compromise just moves you closer to the opposition’s end zone. But we are beginning to see some bold maneuvers by the Republicans recently that have me very encouraged; Two examples:

Across Colorado, conservative communities have begun to take control of their local school boards. In 2013, Douglas County residents fended off a $1MM+ campaign by the union to re-take control of their school board. The first resolution passed after conservatives were elected in 2009 was to declare that the Boy Scouts were welcome on campus, reversing the prevailing attitude. This was followed by instituting merit pay for teachers, implementing a real voucher system, and disengaging the teachers union. The courage began to spread last year as inspired neighboring communities sought coaching from the battle-hardened Douglas County school board members and began replacing their liberal boards with conservative parents.

Now is the time for the Douglas County School Board to drive the conservative stratagem even further. By privatizing a high school, wholesale replacing the curricula with patriotic, anti-common-core syllabi, and banning radical environmentalism as a state sponsored religion, the board could keep the liberals playing prevent-defense. A good measure of success would be when liberal complaining turns into a thousand screams.

In Oklahoma this past Friday, State Representative Mike Turner boldly challenged, “whether marriage needs to be regulated by the state at all.” He floated a bill that would remove the state’s role of licensing matrimony. This was in response to a recent court order that strikes down Oklahoma’s definition of marriage as traditional one-man-one-woman.

Getting the state out of marriage is certainly not a new idea. But now that a state legislator has actually taken the first tangible step in that direction, the left finds itself backpedalling fast. Who would ever have thought that we would see the ACLU coming to the defense of marriage? But that is exactly the awkward role that the ACLU of Oklahoma has stepped up to. Now that they have marriage defined the way they like it, they are on their heels in a panic to keep the state involved.

America’s first Vice President and second President, John Adams, wrote in one of his many intellectual exchanges with his wife, Abigail: “I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics andphilosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture,navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their childrena right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary,tapestry and porcelain."

I have long been intrigued by Adams’ sociopolitical graduation, captured 163 years later in Abraham Maslow's model, the Hierarchy of Needs. Through sacrifice, hard work, intelligence and war, conservatives build the foundations on which liberty can flourish. Subsequently, the compromises of majority rule naturally tend toward losses in that liberty. And when their sons’ sons focus all their attentions on self-actualizing, conservatives come to realize that the foundations need adjusting.

So back to my football analogy; I hope to see conservatives rain aggressive plays all over the field like a million short passes from Peyton Manning. We have surrendered far too much ground. It is time that Americans remember the basics and become champions once again.

Go Broncos!