Ralph Benko

Facebook very recently introduced a drop-down menu with 56 gender identity choices to embellish the classic Male and Female. It includes arcane categories such as “neutrois” amd “two-spirit” and takes one over the 6-colored rainbow Gay Pride flag. Facebook now takes us somewhere very far over the rainbow.

This columnist fully shares Alex Schultz’s, Facebook’s director of growth, aspiration to contribute to “a more understanding and tolerant world.”

Still, this caused a brief splash of national incredulity. Brilliant cultural critic Steven Colbert, for instance, reportedly skewered it. Understandably so.

Cultural forces determine political forces. Facebook’s quiet cultural support for deconstructing gender contains an important clue as to something big that is happening. Something with profound political implications.

Advocates of traditional values (such as this columnist) are resurgent inside the GOP. This most notably has emerged with extensive elite political media attention to a counter-autopsy of the RNC’s autopsy of its 2012 loss performed by the American Principles Project (with whose sister organization this columnist has a professional association).

The argument for traditional values, too often unfairly equated with quaint atavism or bigotry, deeply resonates within the Republicans’ conservative base. It does so also with that sector of the electorate known as the Reagan Democrats, and even the social-democratic leaning Hispanics and Blacks. There is a stronger case for traditional values to make than the traditionalists yet have made: a strong social fabric is the recipe for happiness. The GOP credibly can offer such a recipe.

Ralph Benko

Ralph Benko, author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to use the Web to transform the world. He serves as an advisor to and editor of the Lehrman Institute's thegoldstandardnow.org and senior advisor to the American Principles Project.