Never in my youth did I believe the definition of a marriage would one day be a campaign issue. However, in a bold political move last week, President Barack Obama announced he is lending his support to gay marriage, thus becoming the first president to do so.
The Harvard Law grad is not politically naïve. His advisers must have weighed the pros and reached the conclusion the president had more to gain than to lose.
Although the former Illinois senator does not intend to make it a Democratic Party platform issue, he has clearly thrown down the gauntlet. The ball is now in the Republicans’ court. They must convince the voting public that opposing gay marriage is not anti-gay or homophobic. This places GOP contender Mitt Romney on a slippery slope. As a supporter of marriage being a union between a man and a woman, he can ill-afford to ignore the issue.
Thirty states have laws on the books in support of that definition, which means a majority supports the concept. Rest assured there will be some serious spin to it. The left has been attempting to blur the lines between men and women for decades. Unfortunately, it is easy for discrimination to be in the eye of the beholder, thus allowing a political agenda to be served.
The Republicans must focus on where the president is weakest, beginning with the economy. Although Obama continues to blame our economic woes on the previous GOP administration, that argument is now falling on deaf ears. Our nation’s debt has increased 60 percent during his watch. It is true that he is not entirely to blame, but he has clearly failed to lead. In September, our national debt will surpass $16 trillion with no plan in sight.
Unemployment is at 8.2 percent this month, but that number only counts workers looking for employment. The more accurate number is 15-16 percent.
The president has chosen a course of conflict, dividing the country on issues of race and wealth. The very wealthy are the enemy, the so-called "one percenters." They are guilty of not being more charitable. Although the rich pay the vast majority of taxes, they are expected to pay more in Obama’s redistribution-of-income scheme.
In 2008, voters bought into the Democratic slogan of change. Four years later, the electorate now knows what was meant by that verbiage. The November election will tell us more about ourselves as a society than it will about Barack Obama.
If the Democrats retain control of the White House, look for an escalation of their socialist agenda. More than likely, the one-time community organizer will get to appoint another liberal Supreme Court justice, shifting the balance of power to the left.
Since the Ninth District Court of Appeals has declared the California law defining marriage to be between one man and one woman to be unconstitutional, look for that case to go before the Supreme Court. It is the only place where five votes trumps millions of voters.
Elections have consequences, and the one in November could be the biggest ever.
Laughlin is a Christian Libertarian. He is an economist, teacher, father, husband and most recently a grandfather. He has written a weekly column for The Tribune for 13 years. He and his wife Gina reside in Meadowlakes. To contact him, email email@example.com. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company.