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November 28, 2011

Obscure GOP Family Values Debate Hits Hard

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is the champion of liberty. (UPI/Andrea Melendez)


   On Tuesday, CNN hosted the 13th Republican presidential primary debate. Millions of viewers tuned in to watch the Wolf Blitzer-run oral contest, which primarily focused upon national security. The debate had its moments of flare and tension, with the usual prohibitions against lengthy, explanatory responses.

   Putting CNN’s giant show on the back-burner for a moment, another little-known GOP debate occurred last Saturday on a website called Citizen Link. Under 20,000 people viewed the live stream of a table discussion, which featured just six of the candidates – Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry. Missing were Mitt Romney and John Huntsman, who chose not to weigh in on the social issues and family values topics which were designated as the matters of conversation. The debate, titled “Thanksgiving Family Forum,” was hosted by pollster and Fox News Channel contributor, Frank Luntz.

   Dominated by abortion, gay marriage, education, liberty, war, and personal stories, the presidential hopefuls were passionate and, sometimes emotional, during the event. The tone among candidates was an abnormal, but refreshing, “civil,” with plenty of time allotted for responses. Michele Bachmann was genuinely passionate about her role as mother, an aniti-abortion activist, and leading foe against ObamaCare. Rick Perry clearly stated, without gaffes, his conservative principles and the important role that God plays in his life. Herman Cain and Rick Santorum told earnest, touching personal stories, explaining how they relate to their powerful views on life and faith.  Cain overcame stage four cancer, with the great help of his wife and Christian beliefs. Santorum and his wife have been blessed with a three-year-old daughter, who has far exceeded the life expectations predicted by doctors at her birth.

   Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, however, rocked the evening with standout commentary. Here’s a breakdown on their thoughts about wholly important topics, which have somewhat gotten lost in the hype and short-answer style of the numerous other debates.


   Ron Paul, the liberty-voter’s champion, advised that Americans should obtain guidance from their families and churches. He cautioned, however, that the law should not “designate our beliefs,” and that the “defense of liberty is what we need in this country, because we are losing it.” The Texas congressman has, for years, been advocating that the federal government should be minimally involved in Americans’ lives—rather, only in matters of national security and in upholding citizens’ constitutional rights. Citing the Tenth Amendment, Paul asserts that it is a constitutional mandate that most laws and decisions are to be left to the states. When applying this principle to education, he said “why in the world do we allow this casualness to violate the constitution? We don’t need the federal government in these areas.”

   In addressing abortion, Paul, a pro-lifer, who has consistently argued that the federal government shouldn’t be involved with this atrocity, stated, “The [Supreme] Court should have never heard Roe v. Wade, because they nationalized it…I have been pushing for a law that could have repealed Roe v. Wade.” The proposed law, We the People Act, which has been slated to limit the jurisdiction of the federal courts, “would’ve saved millions of lives” according to the congressman. The act, which is still pending in congress, “forbids all federal courts from hearing cases on abortion, same-sex unions, sexual practices, and establishment of religion, unless such a case were a challenge to the constitutionality of federal law.” This bill seeks to make federal court decisions on those subjects nonbinding as precedent in state courts, and forbids federal courts from spending money to enforce their judgments.

   Paul, a physician by trade, who specialized as an obstetrician, noted that he “brought thousands of lives into this world,” and called his work “a very joyous passion.” He also said that he “supported an amendment that defines life at conception.”

   “St. Augustin came up with the principles of a just war, and I believe in them,” Paul stated, in explaining that he believes there are appropriate times for America to go to war. However, he reaffirmed his longstanding demand that the United States can only legally engage in war through a declaration of war by congress. Paul, in pointing out that Barack Obama and numerous past presidents have breached their constitutional authority by deploying American troops in deadly foreign conflicts, stated, “All wars since World War II were illegal, immoral and unwinnable.” The congressman, if elected as president, would never bypass the constitution and use an executive order to bind the United States military in war, as he concludes that the same is too much power for just one person. However, if congress declared war, he would abide by their decision and, as commander-in-chief, he would use all efforts to obtain an American victory.  


   Early in the debate, the current GOP frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, quipped that the fundamental difference between parties is that “conservatives tend to be happy and liberals tend to be miserable.” Frequently citing history with a mastery of knowledge that leaps beyond most professors, Gingrich stood out, as usual, as the best speaker among the field of candidates. He referred to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, a quote from Thomas Jefferson, and the French Revolution and its “anti-God” dogma.  

   Gingrich, pro-life like all of the candidates attending the “Thanksgiving Family Forum,” offered a little known mechanism to make abortion illegal. He suggested that “congress can create a law redefining ‘personhood’” where personhood begins at conception. “This can block the court and undue Roe v. Wade in one legislative act,” Gingrich proclaimed.

   Invoking the reality of war, the former House Speaker said, “We don’t send soldiers, sailors and marines into war. We send our children, fathers, brothers, and sisters.”  And then he railed an emotional jolt of uninterrupted words that ended the debate with a burst of applause:

   “I believe that we should not go to war if we can avoid it. If we do, we should be decisive with overwhelming power…You come into our country, and you kill 3,100 people, then we do whatever it takes…I would say to the government of Iran today, ‘You have a very short time to settle this [nuclear weapons production] yourself. And if you don’t, we’ll settle it for you. And quite frankly, I don’t care what the rest of the world says.”

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