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OPINION

The Party of the Family

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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What do conservatives even stand for, nowadays? Is it enough for us to be, in William F. Buckley’s memorable phrase, simply “standing athwart history, yelling STOP”? 

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I don’t think so. Not anymore.

Sure, it’s necessary to yell “STOP!” when the left is pushing insane policies, like permanent masking, forever lockdowns, “vaccine” mandates, and serial currency-printing to “reduce inflation.” It’s even more crucial when they insist on killing babies up to and beyond the moment of birth, mutilating children’s genitals, chemically castrating little boys, and forcing girls to compete against boys in sports. 

To all that, we say not only “No,” but “Hell, no!”

It’s also important to preserve, or conserve, the things that made this country great—like the Constitution and the individual rights it protects, along with Western culture and the Judeo-Christian ethos that together have brought the world so much truth, beauty, goodness, and progress. 

But those two positions—opposing lunacy and promoting sanity—which for decades have defined conservatism, are no longer enough. The first is purely reactionary, while the second, for many, seems nebulous. 

It’s time conservatives in general—and the Republican Party in particular, as (God help us) our representatives in the body politic—adopted a new identity, one that will resonate with people across multiple spectra: race, ethnicity, sex, economics, geography.

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I propose that we re-brand ourselves as the Party of the Family, or the Pro-Family Party. 

Yes, Republicans have always paid lip service, at least, to “family values.” But we need to become more open and intentional about it, highlighting the myriad ways in which our party is genuinely pro-family, whereas Democrats are demonstrably anti-family. 

How so? Well, for starters, the Dems’ favorite neo-Marxist violent radicals, BLM, blatantly declared their intention to “disrupt the nuclear family” on their website. They eventually removed that language, perhaps because it was interfering with donations to fuel their mansion-buying binge. 

More importantly, nearly every element of the current Democrat agenda not only harms families but is designed to do so. Inflation, for which their fiscal and energy policies (not Putin’s aggression) are primarily responsible, hurts families. People are less likely to get married and have or add children if they believe they can’t afford it. Artificially limiting the number and size of families is an attack on the very idea of family.

Taxation and immigration policies that drive down real wages and force mothers into the work force also hurt families. Some women wish to work outside the home, as is their prerogative. But there is no question in my mind that the ideal situation is for mom to stay home and raise her children, if she can. Unfortunately, decades of Democrat policies have made that unattainable for most families. 

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And no, taxpayer-subsidized “free day care” is no substitute. In the long run, it only makes the problem worse by perpetuating the economic cycle that forced unwilling moms into the workforce to begin with. 

Worst of all, perhaps, is that, in many parts of the country, public schools have become openly anti-family: teaching “values” completely at odds with what children are learning at home; accusing white kids of being racists just for existing and convincing black kids they’re nothing but victims; even encouraging children to engage in aberrant sexual behaviors behind their parents’ backs.

Essentially, schools have decided they not only know more than parents—they ARE the parents now. Raising your kids is their job, not yours. Don’t have an education degree? Shut up and mind your own business. 

And Democrat politicians are not merely on board with all the above; in many cases, they’re driving the bus.

Unfortunately for them, none of it plays well with moms and dads, who are potentially the largest voting block in America. We saw that in Blue Virginia last fall, when parents rose up to defeat a Democrat gubernatorial candidate who made the mistake of saying they shouldn’t have any say in their children’s education. 

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Republicans nationwide need to take advantage of the uncomfortable predicament in which our adversaries now find themselves due to their own arrogance and tone-deafness. We must seize that parent voting block as our own.

We can do so by continuing to push family-friendly policies, like lower taxes and limits on immigration. We can place severe restrictions on abortion—which will not, I believe, alienate suburban voters but rather do the opposite. We can outlaw sexual grooming and teaching racist rhetoric, like Critical Race Theory, in our public schools. And we can expand school choice, creating more options for parents. 

Yes, we’re already doing much of that, but we must do more of it in more places while explicitly framing our agenda as specifically pro-family, because that is exactly what it is.

The beauty of this approach is that it will resonate across the board. Given the ongoing “browning of America,” the GOP, to remain viable, must do more to attract Black, Hispanic, and Asian voters. The good news is that those ethnic groups are among the most family-centric in the country.

That point was driven home the other evening as my wife and I sat in an El Paso restaurant across from a large Hispanic family celebrating their daughter’s high school graduation. I thought to myself, “I have no idea how those folks vote—probably Democrat, if demographic trends hold true—but there is no reason they shouldn’t be Republicans.” It was obvious from their appearance and actions that they live quite conservatively and regard family as of paramount importance.

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Those are the voters we should be going after—hard. And we can win them over with the right message: Family first, individual second, government last. The Democrats’ messaging implicitly places those priorities in reverse order. 

We just have to make people see that. We must persuade them that our priorities mirror theirs and will benefit their children in the long run—rather than taking a wrecking ball to their families, which is the Democrat platform in a nutshell. 

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