Jan. 28, 2011
This weeks State of the Union Address brought reminders of those long ago. TIME Magazine compared President Obamas polished delivery to Ronald Reagan. Reagan had suffered a down economy and mid-term losses in the House of Representatives. Yet, Reagan bounced back and won a smashing victory in 1984. One thinks the wish is father to the thought.
President Reagan in 1982 created a great tradition by introducing American hero Lenny Skutnik in the family section of the House Visitors Gallery. Mr. Skutnik two weeks before had risked his life to dive into the icy Potomac waters to rescue passengers from the Air Florida crash. It was a dramatic, and thrilling moment.
I know, because my young wife and I watched it live. We watched all of President Reagans State of the Union Addresses. Like this week, there would often be heavy snow during, or in the week of, the address. Outside, the weather might be frightful, but inside it was warm and intimate.
It was the Reagan equivalent of FDRs Fireside Chats.
I recall when President Reagan would speak of the abortion crisis. The fate of unborn children has not been mentioned in any State of the Union Address since Reagans last one in 1988. My great chief described abortion as a wound in Americas soul. He condemned no one but he appealed to Americans to rise above self-interest and embrace the right to life of innocent human beings.
There was no hint of the fate of unborn children last Tuesday night. Fifty-three million Americans have been denied the first of all inalienable rights.
Might we consider what those fifty-three million could have contributed to the State of our Union? We face a crisis of illegal immigration. Obviously, we dont have enough workers. We face a government spending crisis. We dont have enough workers paying taxes to support the government we demand.
Government projections tell us the Social Security System will go broke in 2037, just twenty-five years from now. When it began in 1935, there were 17 workers for every American receiving Social Security. Today, there are only three.
And yet our government continues to sluice billions of dollars to organizations like Planned Parenthood. This outfit has given us 53 million abortions, 65 million STDs, and an out-of-wedlock birth rate of 41%. Still, Mr. Obama tells us funding for this group is essential. To do what, further depress Americas population? To further spread anti-family doctrines? To ensnare more young men and women in its web of deceit?
We face an economic crisis that began in the housing market. Wall Streeter David Goldman wrote in Of Demographics and Depressions (First Things, January, 2009) that the meltdown was bound to start in the housing market.
Young marrieds with children are the drivers of the housing market, he says.
And we have no more of these young families today than we had in 1969.
David Goldman says we may not come out of this severe economic crisis until we address the problem of family formation.
There was surely no such addressing in the presidents address this week. His administration is far down the path of abolishing marriage altogether.
And, because the vast majority abortions are done on unmarried women, an attack on marriage is always an attack on unborn human life itself.
President Obama has thoroughly committed himself to the Planned Parenthood agenda. He may yet express shock at Kermit Gosnells little hell in Philadelphia. Some pro-abortion folks have. They even argue that Gosnell is why we need his health care law—to make sure that these things are done right.
Gosnell has apparently been snip-snipping spinal cords for years in a filthy, vermin-infested abortion mill by night that doubled as an oxycontin den by day. Gosnell doesnt kill unborn children and, allegedly, newborn children in the trim and tidy fashion of Planned Parenthood, but he, too, is a beneficiary of Roe v. Wades unlimited abortion license. And thats a license President Obama defends—to the deaths.
President Reagan understood that we could not have a more perfect Union without attending to the plight of the unborn. He saw all of societyas the great Irish statesman Edmund Burke saw it: As a compact, a union between the living, the dead, and those yet unborn. He would also have agreed with Burke that in order for us to love our country, our country must be made lovely.
And President Reagan knew that America needed more men like Lenny Skutnik—someone willing to risk his life that others may live. President Obama wants us to rise to a Sputnik Moment. President Reagan asked us instead to rise to a Skutnik Moment.