Robert Knight

A free, self-governing republic can work only if a nation has a self-renewing supply of social capital, which comes primarily from strong, intact marriages and families.

As Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski write in their new book, Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America:

“You cannot stop a decades-long march toward a socialist and authoritarian state if the family breaks down. Those who say we need to maintain a laser focus on government spending miss the forest for the trees, or refuse to accept what the Founders embraced. If we balance the budget and rein in government but do not rebuild and protect families, then the popular will for government intervention will irresistibly grow over time.”

Surveys show the vast majority of Tea Party members are also socially conservative. Yet, most major Tea Party leaders have bought the idea that breathing a word about Obama’s titanic assaults on the moral order will cost them independent support. Never mind that addressing this with confidence could bring tradition-minded Hispanics, blacks and other minorities into the conservative camp.

The political Left has long been at war against sexual morals for strategic reasons. People conditioned to think as short-term opportunists instead of as members of the family tree with long-term moral obligations are easier to manipulate. Given the false promise of a painless future free from individual responsibility, they are less likely to recognize, much less oppose, trespasses on their liberty, such as Obamacare.

Eventually, they don’t even notice that the Constitution, which is supposed to be a check on government, has turned into a blank check for statists. Can you imagine an earlier generation of Americans nodding meekly while the government, under threat of force, dictates that they can buy only poison light bulbs?

The marriage-based moral order has been in the bull’s-eye of socialist activists since the French Revolution. Strong families interfere with that vision by inculcating personal responsibility, faith and different loyalties.

In his 1884 opus, Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Karl Marx’s co-author Friedrich Engels argued for “free love” as a byproduct of the advance of communism:

“With the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society. … The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whether they are legitimate or not. This removes all the anxiety about the “consequences” … Will not that suffice to bring about the gradual growth of unconstrained sexual intercourse and with it a more tolerant public opinion …?”

Who knew that a commie philosopher like Engels could probably make a living today as a Sex and the City scriptwriter?

It’s not too late to save what’s left of marriage and to re-order public policies to strengthen rather than corrode the sanctity of the home. There are efforts underway in several states to add to the total of 30 with Constitutional marriage amendments. The abortion industry is losing public support. And many young people are discovering that the hook-up culture is a dead end.

A great reservoir of sentiment for the permanent things is waiting to be tapped. What’s needed first is moral leadership from those who purport to be leaders.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.