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Ken Blackwell / Jan. 30, 2012

A Missed Opportunity

The official Republican response to the President’s State of the Union Address was fine – as far as it went. But Gov. Mitch Daniels missed a golden opportunity to put before the American people a better vision of family, faith, and freedom.

Interestingly, the only mention of family in Gov. Daniels’ response was his praise for President Obama’s own family. Let me stipulate: The Obama family is a model family, apparently devoted to one another. The president even lives happily under the same roof with his mother-in-law. Now, that’s devotion.

The official Republican response to the President’s State of the Union Address was fine – as far as it went. But Gov. Mitch Daniels missed a golden opportunity to put before the American people a better vision of family, faith, and freedom.

Interestingly, the only mention of family in Gov. Daniels’ response was his praise for President Obama’s own family. Let me stipulate: The Obama family is a model family, apparently devoted to one another. The president even lives happily under the same roof with his mother-in-law. Now, that’s devotion.

But Gov. Daniels could have noted that the policies of the Obama administration are the most antagonistic to the family of any administration in history. This is a fact. With 42% of American children born out-of-wedlock, a tragedy of fatherlessness is being visited on millions of homes. Bill Bennett rightly calls this “the broken hearth.” And broken hearths lead to broken hearts.

Does the president address this in his budget? No. Instead, he gives hundreds of millions to Planned Parenthood, the world’s leading trafficker in abortion. We know that the more sexual contacts young people have prior to marriage, the more likely they are never to marry, or to divorce after marriage. You cannot be pro-family and shovel money at this evil enterprise. This is one shovel-ready project we should reject.

Yet, President Obama has told Speaker Boehner that any cut in federal funds for Planned Parenthood is “a non-starter.” President Obama has relentlessly pushed abortion at home and abroad. Obamacare is the most massive expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. Under Obamacare, health care coverage will include abortion. Thus, we will all be forced to pay for the killing of unborn children.

The president is concerned, he tells us, about education. We must all share that concern. But he has taken over college loans, an unprecedented power grab. He does this even as his administration is menacing the liberty of every private and religious college in America. If your college does not want to push condoms in the dorms or dispense abortion-producing drugs at Student Health, the Obama administration threatens you with action.

Dr. Larry Arnn is president of Hillsdale College, a proud independent college founded by abolitionists in the 1850s. Hillsdale takes no federal funds. Dr. Arnn recently spoke of how the intact family undergirds limited government:

The principles of our country stem from the laws of Nature and Nature’s God. This word “Nature” is full of rich meaning. It comes from the Latin word for birth, so of course the nature of man, and natural rights must be understood to include the process of begetting and growth by which human beings come to be…If families do not raise children, then the government will. What then becomes of limited government?

I offer Dr. Arnn’s eloquent analysis to President Obama. That terrible figure of 42% out-of-wedlock births shows up the false promises of those who said that abortion-on-demand would end welfare and poverty. When they said that, the out-of-wedlock birthrate was less than half what it is today.

Social scientist Charles Murray has written a new book, Coming Apart, in which he shows that the dream of upward mobility for millions is being lost. In this important work, he shows that marriage and religion are central to the economic well-being of millions of Americans.

The Obama administration is actively hostile to marriage, refusing even to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. That law was passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by a Democratic president. And Mr. Obama’s administration is seeking suppress the conscience rights of millions – including Catholics, Evangelicals, Lutherans, and Orthodox Jews. His radical demand that every federally-supported institution in the country dispense abortifacients is a grave threat to religious liberty.

To the fires of social discord this administration is adding fuel. To those on the lower rungs of life’s ladder, asserting their God-given right to rise, this administration is breaking the first rungs. These are the issues I’d like to see both of our major parties address in 2012.

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