Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Who Will Defend Family in 2012?

The Republicans bill themselves as the party of the family. They defend family values, or at least they oppose certain anti-family policies such as abortion and same-sex marriage. The reason for this concern is that the family is the bedrock of society. The family is the little society in which human beings receive their moral formation, fitting them for the larger society. As goes the family, so goes law and order and prosperity and decent service in the check out line.

The other reason for this concern--the negative one--is that the family has come under devastating assault over the last two or three generations. In some communities, it doesn't even exist. Those communities are the poorest, most crime ridden, most blighted in every way.

In my Worldmag column this week, "The Semi-conservative Republican Party," I take the GOP to task for not going beyond the defense of individual liberty (political and economic) to the rigorous and systematic defense of the family, the social unit on which the enjoyment of that liberty depends fundamentally.

I write: "Ronald Reagan appointed a Special Working Group on the Family to examine all policies for their impact on the family. That was good as far as it went, but the work needs to be less reactive. A thoughtfully crafted, fully coordinated family policy should recognize the requirements for and impediments to healthy family life, and inform the president of whatever measures are necessary and constitutional to strengthen it. State governors and local governments should do the same.

"Conservatives these days are hawkish over how a given tax or regulation will affect small business and job creation, and that’s good. But the family deserves the same protective scrutiny."

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