By Robert Capehert
Per: The New York Times.
Former secretary of state Hilary Clinton, has announced she has experienced an about-face and now supports same-sex marriage. The announcement comes on the heels of speculation that she will once again gather a team together to run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016.
Stranger things have occurred. Barack Obama experienced the same “conversion” of support for same-sex marriage months away from running (and winning) reelection—a decision, many, thought would cost him the election.
President Obama barely lost North Carolina, where gay-marriage was voted down overwhelmingly—a turn of events Republicans thought would benefit their 2012 electoral chances. Consequently, the narrow margin of victory for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in North Carolina against President Obama turned out to be an ill harbinger of Romney’s eventual defeat.
If Romney struggled in North Carolina, so went the wisdom, he would struggle to defeat incumbent Barack Hussein Obama.
Opposition from the Federal government against same-sex marriage will be a tough row for American conservatives. The reason is simple: while many religious and traditional conservatives find same-sex marriage abhorrent on natural law, or religious grounds, our nation’s laws are not based upon such legal parameters.
Especially when related to consensual behavior between adults. Just because it is wrong [immoral] does not make it illegal in English Common Law precedent. Or, as G.K. Chesterton opined long ago, the right to do something, does not mean one is “right” in doing it.
Same-sex marriage needs to be opposed through individual state legislation. Not only does it protect against Federal imposition of same-sex marriage on localities that find such laws offensive, immoral, or whatever else, but it also mirrors the protection of state sovereignty badly needed in conservative Republican politics of late. It becomes, then, a legislative avenue able to be constitutional, but also electorally popular—one of protection of state sovereignty.
Control of local municipalities by those who live within them is one way of ensuring liberty of state and individuals. But also a strident check on the power of the federal government.
The Republican Party has had an allergic reaction to the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and its consequences for too long. In reality, it will be a hinge upon which classical liberals of conservative and libertarian convictions can best limit the federal government’s power. Many conservatives are now seeing the wisdom of such a tactic, evidenced by statements made by radio personality and constitutional scholar, Mark R Levin.
Classical liberals should always seek to animate such state-sovereignty issues. Likewise, it is not so much the legislation of “objective” morality imposed upon the state, classical liberals seek—but the limitation of the federal government along enumerated powers outlined in the Constitution.
It is the limitation of federal power which is the best soil upon which objective morality can germinate in the civitas. Legislation has never given birth to virtue restored. The progressive movement of the early 2oth Century was immensely moralistic. Still, it destroyed many of the social and private associations people maturate in—where virtue and dignity of self and peoples is nurtured.
And it also created an ever powerful federal government. Limitation of government and individual empowerment and control of life, should be our stated political goal. Such limitations on the federal beast, therefore, create better circumstances where legislation can be aligned with Enlightenment concepts of natural law—the basis upon English Law and classical liberal ideas about public and private behaviour.
The consequences are simple: more local control over the property and environs of individual citizens, in opposition to a control of life and behaviour by distant bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
Such reality is always a worthy goal of principled classically liberal political action.