- Friday, August 11, 2023

The establishment media are doing their best to scare Republicans away from running on family issues. Stampeding a herd of rabbits isn’t hard.

They claim that the inability of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to gain traction in the race for the GOP presidential nomination is due to his emphasis on the culture, rather than his own shortcomings as a candidate. On the campaign trail, Mr. DeSantis is about as exciting as tapioca pudding.

Republicans’ failure to do better in the 2022 election is attributed to the Dobbs decision (overturning Roe v. Wade), which supposedly sent legions of voters to the polls shouting: “Give me abortion on demand or give me death!”

On the other hand, the disappointing results of the midterms could have something to do with the dismal quality of GOP candidates or former President Donald Trump’s insistence on turning the election into a referendum on himself.

When pro-life forces in Ohio failed to pass a ballot measure last week, which would have made it harder to amend the state’s constitution to enshrine abortion, The Wall Street Journal issued a dire warning to Republicans to stay on the supply side of the street or face doom.

With the nightmare that “Bidenomics” is inflicting on the middle class (brother, can you spare a gallon of gas?), the economy will be front and center in 2024. But it’s the social agenda that mobilizes the Republican base.

The hard-core left that now dominates the Democratic Party insists on shoving its weirdness in our faces: a dude in makeup and an evening gown trying to sell us beer, students punished for using the wrong pronouns, pornographic books hailed as great literature and drag queens who mock the Catholic Church honored by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

These images will flash through the minds of voters’ as they go to the polls next year, if Republicans have the courage to make them issues, notwithstanding the predictable cries of hate.

Middle-class outrage over indoctrination in public schools put a Republican political neophyte in the governorship of purple Virginia two years ago.

Homeowners don’t go to board of assessors meetings and scream about taxes. They raise a ruckus at school board meetings about their daughters being forced to share bathrooms with biological males and risk being raped in the process.

In California, a state senator who is an ally of the California Teachers Association filed a bill to make “causing a substantial disruption” (an intentionally vague term) at a school board meeting a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

That’s how serious the left is about curtailing First Amendment rights that threaten its power.

Despite the momentum that Dobbs seemed to give Democrats last year, issues such as LGBTQ indoctrination, transgender surgery for minors and cancel culture play well for Republicans.

Democrats who claim that they can’t tell you what a woman is — but insist that a man who says he’s a woman in fact is a woman and will have you shamed and shunned if you disagree — will find it impossible to defend the territory they’ve staked out.

When the leader of their party says bans on transgender surgery for children are “close to sinful,” Democrats are swimming against a tsunami.

In a Washington Post poll, reported in May, 58% opposed cross-sex hormones for minors, 57% said gender is determined at birth and 60% opposed transgender women playing on women’s sports teams.

In the 2021 Virginia governor’s race, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate, declared, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” a comment that nailed the lid on his political coffin.

If parents shouldn’t have input on school curricula, why should they be allowed to impart moral instruction at home? In totalitarian societies, nothing interferes with the party’s indoctrination of the young.

Despite a severe shortage of foster parents, Massachusetts has refused to allow a Catholic couple to provide foster care because of their views on marriage, gender and sexuality, which it fears would pollute impressionable minds.

This is one step away from telling parents that they’re not permitted to share their values with their children if they contradict the dogma of the ruling elite.

A word to Republican sachems: If Democrats go after people’s wallets — via taxation, inflation and green energy — it will aggravate them. If they go after their families, the pitchforks will come out.

• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times.

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