Ken Blackwell

In May, Senator McCain will give a much-anticipated speech on judicial nominations and will speak to the members of the National Rifle Association on May 6 and 16, respectively.

These two speeches are smart moves.

The Supreme Court is the single most-important issue for millions of conservative voters. A candidate’s choice of judges can seal the deal or be a deal-breaker.

And the Second Amendment is a critical issue in this presidential election. Millions of swing voters are solid Second Amendment supporters. When a pro-Second Amendment Republican is up against an anti-gun Democrat, that issue can decide the outcome of a close election. It certainly did in 2000 when President Bush beat Al Gore.

Senators Obama and Clinton have taken a shockingly-radical position on firearms, and with the D.C. gun ban case pending before the Supreme Court, it’s critical for Mr. McCain to reaffirm his support of the Second Amendment to the NRA.

Mr. McCain also is reaching out to swing voters and to those who normally don’t hear from the Republican presidential nominee — he is traveling to areas that don’t often see Republican candidates like New Orleans’ Ninth Ward and Youngstown, Ohio. He has criticized the Bush administration’s ham-handed response to Hurricane Katrina. His outreach to minority voters, acknowledging both the Republican Party’s historical mistakes and his own mistakes, showed humility and a willingness to learn and grow. This is what Americans want to see in a president.

Moderate voters sided with the Democrats by huge numbers in 2006, giving that party both chambers of Congress. Mr. McCain’s continued efforts will win back millions of those voters.

The Arizona senator’s path to victory is eased by the fact that many of the issues facing Americans are priorities to both Republican base voters and swing voters. And core Republican principles such as limited government, personal responsibility, and economic opportunity resonate with many Americans, and deliver results.

An example of this is the cost to our society of family fragmentation — divorce and unwed childbearing. A recent study released last week by the Institute for American Values stated that family fragmentation costs American taxpayers $112 billion per year — a staggering sum. That’s more than one trillion dollars over a decade.

According to the study, divorce hits communities with increased costs for antipoverty and other social welfare programs. And, it also reduces government coffers because it lowers the incomes and tax brackets of those individuals.


Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at Townhall.com, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
 
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