President Bush should trumpet social issues, too

David Limbaugh

6/11/2004 12:00:00 AM - David Limbaugh

I realize that the gods of political correctness would counsel otherwise, but I wish that President Bush would campaign more on the social issues. Nowhere is the contrast greater between him and Senator Kerry -- or more important.

Lest you jump to the wrong conclusion, I am not suggesting that the Bush team place any less emphasis on economic or national security issues. President Bush, despite the naysayers, has a respectable record on both.

The economy seems to have rebounded with a vengeance, and the stubborn jobs component has finally responded. It's fairly apparent that there is a direct causal relationship between Bush's tax cuts and the economic growth we are now witnessing. That growth, in turn, may well put a significant dent in the deficit.

While we are still facing difficulties in Iraq, we are also making remarkable progress -- arguably at a much more rapid pace than we helped rebuild war-torn Europe, and there we didn't have local and international terrorists trying to sabotage our efforts.

Truth be told, our remarkable initial military success in Iraq is why Democrats originally changed the subject to spurious allegations that "Bush lied" and "unilateralism."

And our success -- though slower going -- in stabilizing and democratizing Iraq is why they continue to focus on those manufactured issues. I know even many conservatives fret over our problems in Iraq, and I'm not trying to diminish them. But under any reasonable yardstick we are marching forward admirably -- and that's without even considering the boatloads of positive news from Iraq that the media is either completely disinterested in or outright suppressing.

Of course, there's a more fundamental reason Democrats still talk about extraneous issues; they don't have a meaningfully different policy for Iraq themselves. Think about it. They're between a rock and a hard place.

They can't very well say we shouldn't be there. They voted for the war resolution (despite their actual misrepresentations about President Bush's nonexistent misrepresentations), and we removed one of the most brutal dictators in history.

And they can't afford to say that we should now exit Iraq, leaving the job half done and sure to fail upon our withdrawal. So they mumble and complain about our failure to persuade the unpersuadable European nations and U.N. to join us; they try to impute the Abu Ghraib abuse to the president's interrogation policies (see the absurdly outrageous June 10 editorial in the New York Times); and they slander Secretary Rumsfeld.

But even more bizarre, they -- the party of no ground troops -- call for more ground troops. Are these guys without an anchor or what?

They can't even credibly talk about education or prescription drugs. The not-so-conservative-on-those-issues George W. Bush gave them all they could have ever expected there -- though they'll never be satisfied when it comes to big-government "solutions" to problems. Either way, they can make noise about domestic spending, but it will be just that: noise.

So by all means, let's have a referendum on the economy, national security issues in general, and President Bush's performance as commander in chief. But why underemphasize the contrast in the parties' positions on the extremely important social issues, including abortion, same-sex marriage, religious liberty and judicial activism?

There is no doubt that Democratic presidential candidates have to be quite liberal on social issues because of their various constituencies. But are a majority of Americans truly on their side, or even if so, would they be if Republicans did a better job of getting their message out?

Do a majority of Americans believe in abortion on demand -- because when you get right down to it, that's what the leftists to which the Democrats have to cater advocate. Do they believe in permitting partial-birth abortion? Or would even the most callous among them believe in it if they knew the health of the mother is almost never an issue in that procedure?

Do a majority of Americans embrace the radical homosexual agenda, which requires that its opponents sometimes be denied their free speech and that Boy Scouts be denied the freedom to exclude homosexuals from leadership positions over their young male children?

Do a majority of Americans believe that unelected, unaccountable judges should overrule the democratically elected legislative branch on issues, especially social ones? Does the majority believe that God should be completely removed from the public square?

While Democrats have tried to portray George W. Bush as an extreme conservative, the real extremists among us are those disparate radical groups that together constitute the base of the Democratic Party.

Republicans shouldn't shy away from the social issues.