Social Conservatism’s Last Stand: Ken Cuccinelli’s Virginia race is make or break time for social conservatives.

Social Conservatism’s Last Stand: Ken Cuccinelli’s Virginia race is make or break time for social conservatives.
July 31, 2013

Peter Ferrara

Peter Ferrara is senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at The Heartland Institute, a... (read full bio)

Terry McAuliffe is a crony of the Clintons, as a former major Democrat Party fundraiser, 2008 Hillary Clinton for President Campaign Manager, and former National Chairman of the Democrat National Committee. He is now running for Governor of Virginia against Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

McAuliffe and his Democrats say Cuccinelli is an “extremist.” How so? Well, Cuccinelli believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Where did he get that kooky, outdated idea? Hasn’t he ever heard of gay marriage? What about the new, even more hip, group marriage, where an entire group of folks get together and “marry” each other? With group marriage, you never have to wonder about your spouse cheating on you. Shouldn’t people be free to “marry” whoever they want, however many times they want?

Terry McAuliffe is far more hip and cool. He wildly supports gay marriage in Virginia. And by extension of principle, marriage “freedom,” where everyone is free to define marriage for themselves. What are his limits? McAuliffe is a modern man. From what he has said, Terry has no limits.

But Cuccinelli’s extremism continues. Ken is pro-life. Indeed, he has long been one of the leaders of the pro-life movement in Virginia. He would consequently deny women the right to kill their own child in their own womb. How medieval! How barbaric!

McAuliffe stands with those who stand behind the right to snuff out human life up until the last minute. Which is apparently until the fourth trimester, or about one hour after birth. That more progressive, more civilized stance maximizes the freedom of women, or at least those women who survive the freedom of other women to choose to end their life before it even gets out of the gate.

Ken Cuccinelli is so extreme that he is a staunch supporter of the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. Really, what are you going to do with firearms in your house? Defend yourself and your family from criminals, robbers, and worse? Isn’t that what the police are for? Can’t you be patient and wait for the police to get there? Somebody could get killed if you are going to try to play around with self-defense.

Cuccinelli has this weird reverence for the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. Really, in the 21st century, what do we care what those dead, white slaveholders thought about anything? Yet, there is Cuccinelli as Attorney General, going into court over and over to uphold the Constitution.

One thing for sure. You will never hear Terry McAuliffe talking about the Constitution, at least not in any positive way. He knows better than to think the government should be constrained by that dead letter. With Terry McAuliffe as Governor, your Second Amendment rights will be as revered and respected in Virginia as they are in Maryland.

Cuccinelli’s extremism even extends to the right of parents to choose to home school their own kids. How are we supposed to pass on a common civic culture to our children unless that is done by a union-certified expert? Isn’t that what the public schools do best, turn out well-behaved members of society well versed in all the politically correct attitudes?

Sure, the proven evidence is that home-schooled kids perform a lot better on average in terms of learning achievement and standardized tests than teacher union-trained children. And with the vast resources of the Internet available to parents today, they can design a boutique, custom-made education tailored to the needs and interests of their child. That is why parents both left and right are increasingly home schooling their children today. But isn’t that going to create a lot of social inequality when home-schooled kids enter the job market with advantages like that? How is a public school dropout supposed to compete with that?

Terry McAuliffe stands four square with the teachers unions to get the best education for your child. He knows that what is good for the teachers unions is good for America, and your kid. Isn’t that the best way for your child to be socialized, with exposure to all of the different social influences he or she will experience in the public schools? McAuliffe knows that if the teachers unions don’t want to have to kowtow to parents and the competition of home schooling, they shouldn’t have to.

But Cuccinelli’s extremism does not stop there. For those who don’t choose to home school, Cuccinelli favors school choice, with parents free to choose among competing private schools as well. Good Lord, if the public schools don’t just suffer exhaustion from responding to all that competition, they might just be driven out of business altogether. Is that what you want? I know the teachers unions don’t.

What do ordinary parents know about what school their children should attend? What if they choose a Christian school, and their son or daughter grows up to become a Christian? Or even worse, a Republican?

What is extreme about Ken Cuccinelli, according to the Democrats, is that he shares your values. And if they can demonize and defeat him as an extremist, then they will have demonized and defeated you as extremist too. For if social conservative, family values are too extreme for Virginia today, they are too extreme for America.

Consequently, this is a Paul Revere moment, not just for social conservatives in Virginia, but across the entire country. Social conservatives nationwide should be hard at work raising money for the Cuccinelli campaign. McAuliffe is badly outraising Cuccinelli from liberal special interest groups nationwide. Cuccinelli and your voice may just be shouted down in the campaign this year. Cuccinelli must have the money to counter McAuliffe’s attack ads, or all will be lost.

Cuccinelli is not any more extreme than Ronald Reagan was. He has the exact same political philosophy and platform that Reagan did. He has been a consistent conservative not only rhetorically, but in his years of public service as a state senator and as Attorney General. He is running on a very strong tax reform plan, proposing to cut the personal income tax rate by 13%, from 5.75% to 5.0%, and the corporate income tax rate by 33%, from 6% to 4%, providing Virginia with the lowest corporate income tax rate of all 43 states with corporate income taxes. The plan would be financed primarily through a state spending cap, limiting spending growth to the rate of growth of population plus inflation, making the entire plan a major net reduction in taxes and spending relative to the economy. It is the most pro-growth economic plan in the entire history of the state of Virginia.

That makes Cuccinelli a true Reagan conservative. But will this generation of conservatives rally to support him?

[First Published by The American Spectator]

Peter Ferrara

Peter Ferrara is senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at The Heartland Institute, a... (read full bio)