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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
COUNTDOWN TO VICTORY: 294 DAYS TO THE 2012 ELECTIONS
You may have read by now about a weekend meeting of pro-family, pro-life conservatives that took place in Houston, Texas. I, and more than 125 other leaders, attended the meeting to see if we could reach a consensus on which GOP presidential contender to unite around. After hours of discussion and three separate ballots the overwhelming majority of attendees selected Rick Santorum, with a significant minority backing Newt Gingrich.
Media descriptions of the event were often inaccurate and, not surprisingly, in some cases seemed intended to sow divisions. Here are the facts. This was not a "stop Romney" meeting. As I repeatedly told reporters, it was a "stop Obama" meeting!
There were individuals supporting each of the candidates. Our conclusion to support Santorum was a positive statement in favor of him -- NOT a negative statement about the other good conservatives in the race. We realize that reasonable conservatives can reach different conclusions about the best "horse" to ride.
Finally, talking to my colleagues, I found a unanimous view that November 2012 will be the most important election of our lives. America, as a constitutional republic, cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama.
Whomever the GOP nominates, within reason, will receive, in my view, the support of a united conservative movement. Disagreements among conservatives pale in comparison to our disagreements with Barack Obama. Our movement will gain nothing and risks losing everything if Obama is reelected.
We continue to urge all the GOP contenders to stop savaging one another and instead aim their fire at the disaster currently sitting in the Oval Office.
If you need another reminder of just how in the tank the media are for Obama, check out the latest edition of Newsweek. The cover is dominated by a serious-looking Obama and the headline reads, "Why are Obama's critics so dumb?"
Yes, if only the great ignorant masses could comprehend the genius behind the failed stimulus spending, the brilliance that gave us Solyndra and the wisdom behind ObamaCare, all would well in Washington, if not the world. The story is obviously an opinion piece. But that it made the cover speaks volumes about the mindset at Newsweek and what we can expect from the left-wing media throughout the year.
Ship Of Fools
What happened on the doomed Italian cruise liner is a commentary on the division between values-oriented conservatives and pure libertarians. I'm hearing more and more libertarians arguing that we should support limited government and that anything involving morality is off limits. But I agree with the Founders who argued that only a virtuous people could remain free and that the purpose of the law is to uphold the values that promote virtuous lifestyles.
What does this have to do with a capsized cruise ship? The captain and some crewmen evidently lived by the motto "Every man for himself." They saved their own skins before lifting a finger to help the women and children on board. Some commentators today are contrasting their behavior to what happened on the Titanic.
One hundred years ago, the men on that ship were committed to the moral idea of saving women and children before they saved themselves. So much so in fact that proportionally more women in third class survived the Titanic's sinking then did men in first class. And they survived because the men with first class tickets stood on the decks helping women and children of all social ranks into the lifeboats.
Benjamin Guggenheim, one of the wealthiest men on board, didn't try to buy his way off the sinking ship. He helped load women and children into the lifeboats and then changed into a tuxedo when the last boat was gone so that he would "die like a gentleman." It was reported that he gave this message to a survivor, "Tell my wife … I played the game out straight to the end. No woman shall be left aboard this ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward."
Let me make this observation: Before long there will be demands for new regulations of the cruise industry. Perhaps there will be regulations demanding that the captain and crew must remain on the ship. In other words, when morality fails big government grows to fill the gap. The breakdown of the mother/father family, for example, has spurred the growth of the welfare state. And vice versa.
Whether libertarians realize it or not, they have an inconsistent view of government. Their neutrality on issues of morality will guarantee the growth of big government, the very thing they despise most.
Healthy Families Are Key To Economy
While the health of our economy is front and center in this year's election, the health of our families deserves greater attention. Just as only virtuous people will remain free, our country's economic health is linked to the health of our most important values -- hard work, personal responsibility and discipline -- and social institutions -- marriage and the family.
You can read more in my latest column at humanevents.com