The Answer That Would Have Won the Nomination

To say the moment was ripe for any earnest conservative who wanted to capture the Republican nomination for president would be an understatement.  As Diane Sawyer sniffled out a question that makes even the most fanatical bleeding heart look cold, she dangled a low-hanging fruit for any of the candidates to pluck with ease.  To my great disappointment, none of them did.

After spending nearly a quarter of an hour at the recent Republican presidential debate discussing a hypothetical scenario where a state might want to ban contraception, Sawyer put on her trademark pained countenance and, continuing the transparently obvious moderator pledge to direct all issues away from Barack Obama, challenged, "If I could come back to the living room question...what you would say sitting down in your living room to a gay couple who say...we want gay people to form loving, committed, long-term relationships?  In human terms, what would you say to them?"

Anticipating the trap being laid for them, the Republican candidates gave carefully articulated responses that struck a balance between personal freedom and traditional morality. 

But none of the candidates answered the question as they should have.  I don't think I was alone in hoping that one of them would lean into the microphone and, after starting off by incredulously asking, "Are you kidding me?," unleash the following:

Diane, we are living in a country with 9% unemployment, and let's cut the bull -- everyone knows that number doesn't include the enormous number of people who every week throw up their hands and leave the job market.  If those were added, we've got closer to 1 in 5 Americans desperately looking for good, steady work. 

We've got a record number of American families subsisting on food stamps.  We've wasted a trillion taxpayer dollars on a government stimulus that brought no substantive job growth, but added more crushing debt to the backs of our children. 

We have small businesses being threatened by the specter of an ill-advised health care entitlement that was crammed down Americans' throats despite their vehement objection.  And to add to their frustration, all the folks who were clamoring and lobbying for the legislation are mysteriously all receiving waivers exempting them from its dire consequences. 

For the first time in our history we have a majority of American parents who believe that their children will have things worse than they did. 

We have a housing market that's depressed, an energy crisis brewing, and a border that is unprotected to the point where American families living near it are being terrorized by invading drug lords. 

We have gas prices that are two times what they were when this president took office, and those increased fuel prices are driving up the cost of living, placing an unprecedented strain upon the American family's budget. 

We have an administration that is engaged in outright corruption -- from gun-running schemes that result in the deaths of border officers to crony capitalism that sees taxpayer dollars flushed down green energy toilets like Solyndra. 

Internationally, we have upwards of nine countries now under the thumb of the Muslim Brotherhood.  We have a rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq due to our politically motivated rushed withdrawal.  Next door to that, the caliphate-obsessed, apocalyptic madmen running Iran are pursuing nuclear weapons with the promise to use them indiscriminately in their efforts to bring glory to Allah.  They are at this very moment positioned to shut down the Strait of Hormuz and thus hijack 40% of the world's oil -- bringing on an industrial crisis around the world. 

We face an increasingly hostile Chinese regime that is stealing our patents and intellectual property, hacking our computers, deploying advanced weapons systems and buying our debt so as to hold a position of economic blackmail over us. 

Meanwhile, our allies in Israel have never seen us as weaker or less reliable, and our allies in Europe are mired in an economic crisis from which they may not be able to avert total collapse. 

And at precisely such a dangerous moment in world affairs, our president -- who has been conducting social sexual experiments with our armed forces for 3 years -- decides it is the best time to dramatically slash our defense budget and usher in a vast reduction in the size and strength of the United States military.

With all that on the table, Diane, you take valuable time in this debate to ask me what I'd say to a gay couple in my living room?

What a great question.  Let me make sure I state my position on this critical issue unequivocally so that there can be no mistake, because I can't imagine any American finding anything else more significant than this: we'd first pop in a copy of the Bette Midler classic Beaches, then we'd take time to independently journal about our reaction to its message.  Then, after a good cry, we'd grab the acoustic guitar and sing a round of "We are the World" before calling it an evening.

That's the answer that question deserved.  And it's one I think would have brought with it the White House in 2012

Peter is a public high school government teacher and radio talk show host in central Indiana.  E-mail peter@peterheck.com, visit www.peterheck.com, or like him on Facebook.

To say the moment was ripe for any earnest conservative who wanted to capture the Republican nomination for president would be an understatement.  As Diane Sawyer sniffled out a question that makes even the most fanatical bleeding heart look cold, she dangled a low-hanging fruit for any of the candidates to pluck with ease.  To my great disappointment, none of them did.

After spending nearly a quarter of an hour at the recent Republican presidential debate discussing a hypothetical scenario where a state might want to ban contraception, Sawyer put on her trademark pained countenance and, continuing the transparently obvious moderator pledge to direct all issues away from Barack Obama, challenged, "If I could come back to the living room question...what you would say sitting down in your living room to a gay couple who say...we want gay people to form loving, committed, long-term relationships?  In human terms, what would you say to them?"

Anticipating the trap being laid for them, the Republican candidates gave carefully articulated responses that struck a balance between personal freedom and traditional morality. 

But none of the candidates answered the question as they should have.  I don't think I was alone in hoping that one of them would lean into the microphone and, after starting off by incredulously asking, "Are you kidding me?," unleash the following:

Diane, we are living in a country with 9% unemployment, and let's cut the bull -- everyone knows that number doesn't include the enormous number of people who every week throw up their hands and leave the job market.  If those were added, we've got closer to 1 in 5 Americans desperately looking for good, steady work. 

We've got a record number of American families subsisting on food stamps.  We've wasted a trillion taxpayer dollars on a government stimulus that brought no substantive job growth, but added more crushing debt to the backs of our children. 

We have small businesses being threatened by the specter of an ill-advised health care entitlement that was crammed down Americans' throats despite their vehement objection.  And to add to their frustration, all the folks who were clamoring and lobbying for the legislation are mysteriously all receiving waivers exempting them from its dire consequences. 

For the first time in our history we have a majority of American parents who believe that their children will have things worse than they did. 

We have a housing market that's depressed, an energy crisis brewing, and a border that is unprotected to the point where American families living near it are being terrorized by invading drug lords. 

We have gas prices that are two times what they were when this president took office, and those increased fuel prices are driving up the cost of living, placing an unprecedented strain upon the American family's budget. 

We have an administration that is engaged in outright corruption -- from gun-running schemes that result in the deaths of border officers to crony capitalism that sees taxpayer dollars flushed down green energy toilets like Solyndra. 

Internationally, we have upwards of nine countries now under the thumb of the Muslim Brotherhood.  We have a rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq due to our politically motivated rushed withdrawal.  Next door to that, the caliphate-obsessed, apocalyptic madmen running Iran are pursuing nuclear weapons with the promise to use them indiscriminately in their efforts to bring glory to Allah.  They are at this very moment positioned to shut down the Strait of Hormuz and thus hijack 40% of the world's oil -- bringing on an industrial crisis around the world. 

We face an increasingly hostile Chinese regime that is stealing our patents and intellectual property, hacking our computers, deploying advanced weapons systems and buying our debt so as to hold a position of economic blackmail over us. 

Meanwhile, our allies in Israel have never seen us as weaker or less reliable, and our allies in Europe are mired in an economic crisis from which they may not be able to avert total collapse. 

And at precisely such a dangerous moment in world affairs, our president -- who has been conducting social sexual experiments with our armed forces for 3 years -- decides it is the best time to dramatically slash our defense budget and usher in a vast reduction in the size and strength of the United States military.

With all that on the table, Diane, you take valuable time in this debate to ask me what I'd say to a gay couple in my living room?

What a great question.  Let me make sure I state my position on this critical issue unequivocally so that there can be no mistake, because I can't imagine any American finding anything else more significant than this: we'd first pop in a copy of the Bette Midler classic Beaches, then we'd take time to independently journal about our reaction to its message.  Then, after a good cry, we'd grab the acoustic guitar and sing a round of "We are the World" before calling it an evening.

That's the answer that question deserved.  And it's one I think would have brought with it the White House in 2012

Peter is a public high school government teacher and radio talk show host in central Indiana.  E-mail peter@peterheck.com, visit www.peterheck.com, or like him on Facebook.

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