Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Who said the culture war was over?

Neither the Left or the Right surrendered. Neither side declared a cease-fire. But some pundits out there believed the culture war was over. Enter Sarah Palin. Give her credit because she has brought it back to the forefront in this election:

“Palin signals that the McCain campaign figured out that reports of the death of the pro-life movement, and the influence of evangelical voters, is wildly exaggerated,” conservative evangelical leader Richard Land said, who said he was “ecstatic” over the selection of Palin.

To be sure, cultural issues would be a factor in this election, even if McCain had sought to defuse them. Social issues dominate the 112 ballot propositions in 30 states in November, according to the Initiative & Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California.

California, Arizona and Florida voters are considering constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Colorado, and likely Arizona and Nebraska, will have ballot measures to ban affirmative action. South Dakota and Colorado also have ballot initiatives that would effectively ban abortion.

But the surprise emergence of Palin on the national stage has given a human face on these debates and has guaranteed that they would dominate the conversation here at the Republican convention and in the news media.

“There hasn’t been a lot of discussion of some of these, if you will, culture war issues like abortion and gay marriage and that has now come to the fore again,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women.

Democrats, especially on blogs and in private conversations, have savaged Palin for the news that her 17-year-old, unwed daughter Bristol is pregnant and plans to marry the father. Liberal radio host Ed Schultz, who had already used the words “bimbo alert” to refer to Palin, suggested that she was a hypocrite for having a pregnant child while touting a social conservative platform.

But rather than drawing the ire of conservatives who disapprove of pre-marital sex, the news about Bristol Palin has buoyed many spirits, because she chose not to terminate the pregnancy and plans to marry the father.

“Why does the left think there is a pro-life movement? The pro-life movement is about helping women who get into trouble,” said Gary Bauer, president of the social conservative group American Values.

“The whole discussion up until now has been about national security and the economy and now we see the culture wars back with her appointment,” said Michael Cromartie, director of the evangelical studies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington. “It has re-emerged because of the circumstances of her fifth child and her daughter.”

I told chat-mates and friends that this would happen. I said it after the Saddleback forum, and I re-emphasized it after Nancy Pelosi's stupidity on "Meet the Press" just a couple short weeks ago. That appearance and her remarks ignited a backlash from the Catholic Church. Welcome back to the culture wars circa 2008.

Why does this matter? As the Politico article explains Sarah Palin is the face of these issues. She's the typical American that heartland America can relate to, and she is just as outspoken on these values as we are. The abortion debate alone has brought back the issue of federal judges to the table that had been lost by the wayside over the last year or so. We know what the Left believes about the Constitution -- that it is a "living, breathing," ever-evolving document. We believe that the Constitution is virtually set in stone, save amending it as enumerated within the document. We can't sit by the wayside and let them define this aspect of the election. These are issues that we have to fight for if we are to win the debate.

If she's the reason the wildfire is reignited, then kudos to the McCain camp. This war is not even close to being over, and there is plenty of ground to be covered. If we can shift the election by focusing on cultural issues, it'll be a death knell for the Obama campaign. Forget his relative inexperience on issues like foreign policy, the economy, and the war. His social beliefs aren't in line with the nation's, and if cornered on these issues, he's going to look very bad in the eyes of the electorate.

Publius II


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