Monday, July 11, 2011

Downsize Government, Except When We Don't Want To

The Free Online Dictionary defines "legitimate," primarily as "being in compliance with the law; lawful: a legitimate business" and secondarily as "being in accordance with established or accepted patterns and standards."

By either definition, support for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is "legitimate." Notwithstanding legitimate polls now showing a plurality of the American people supporting (choose one) gay marriage/same sex marriage/marriage equality, most states still ban it by statue and there are relatively few such unions in the U.S.A. Opposite-sex marriage remains among the nation's "established or accepted patterns and standards."

And so it is unsurprising that The Pledge (text here)e, formulated and promulgated by The Family Leader, a (mostly cultural) conservative organization in Iowa, includes

Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.

It is also not surprising, inasmuch as "social conservatives" apparently are constitutionally required to promote right-wing economic thought, that The Pledge includes also

Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA‟s $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.

Presidential candidates are being asked to sign The Pledge, brainchild of failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats. Given that cutting the national debt is all the rage and conventional wisdom while increasing employment is barely considered, there probably will be little attention given to the obvious inconsistency. But the GOP candidates who agree to the document should be asked: how does one actively pursue radical government action- a constitutional amendment- and simultaneously demonstrate commitment to "downsize government?"

A follow-up question or two should ensue after the candidates give what likely would be a rambling, disingenuous answer. There is a glaring contradiction- and one which is telling about modern Republican rhetoric, if not heartfelt belief.

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