Party of Family
We must forcibly show the Republican Party that the only electoral path forward for them is to elect at least fifteen more Senator J.D. Vance's.
How do we elect fifteen more Senator J.D. Vance’s in the next election cycle?
This question has perplexed various thinkers on the right for the last few months, especially after the 2022 midterm elections, but it speaks to a broader question that commentators and voters have been asking for the last decade: what direction will the Republican Party take?
Political commentators hypothesize one day that the Republican Party will become the party of pure “Magadonia.” The next day they will argue that the correct path is “Zombie Reaganism.” The day after that, they will say that the party will just continue wandering aimlessly in the wilderness for the next forty years.
However, Republican voters are showing a very different path forward for the party than what the commentators have presented to Americans. With the rapid growth of social conservatism across the nation, the rise of the parent’s rights movement, and the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Republican voters are indicating that they want the party to have the policy priorities of the Senator and his like-minded colleagues. They want the party to explicitly become the party of the American family. They want a party that orients all policy decisions for the sole purpose of revitalizing married and family life in society.
Thanks for reading The American Postliberal! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our mission.
Even though Republican voters are showing that they want the party to move in this direction, most Republican lawmakers have failed to capitalize on the desires of their constituents. Platitudes have been used and certain winks have been made towards advocates of robust family policy in various conservative institutions, but the Republican establishment has failed to live up to the moment. They have failed to even move towards what Republican voters desire: a pro-family agenda for the survival of the nation.
Casual observers of politics might wonder why many Republican lawmakers refuse to listen to the pro-family desires of their constituents. After all, lawmakers should represent the interests of their constituents, especially the ones who vote for them. However, this fundamentally miscalculates how our political elites make decisions. For decades, Republican lawmakers have listened to the libertarian ideals espoused by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, libertarian think tanks, and their big donor allies rather than the concerns of the worker and homemaker. The worker and the homemaker also usually lacked the connections and capital that the managerial class possessed, causing them to lose control over the direction of the party and its policies.
Consequently, the family became the splintered, wobbly, and left-behind third leg of the Republican stool. Lawmakers and their staff introduced a few messaging bills a year to ease the concerns of pro-family voices, but no one truly advocated for the family until Vance and his ideological allies entered onto the scene. However, these few voices are still demeaned by large swaths of the Washington intelligentsia.
As a result, it is up to the average conservative thinker, writer, and voter to communicate to Republican lawmakers that the party must move in the direction of the family. We must overpower the powerful voices that demean the family. Voting alone will not create a pro-family party, but rather pro-family voices must organize, take over institutions, and dedicate their lives to presenting a robust national vision for the American family.
This national vision must begin at the foundational element of the family: marriage. It is imperative that before we even talk about how to help married couples form families we help and incentivize these couples to get married, succeed in their marriage, and stay married. If American society does not have healthy and long-lasting marriages, then we will never have healthy families.
Republican lawmakers must prioritize legislation such as banning no-fault divorce, granting equal status for homemakers in social insurance programs, removing marriage penalties in the tax code and social welfare programs, and grants for first-time homebuyers. These pro-marriage policies will create an environment in which Republican lawmakers can pass explicitly pro-family policies that will lead to a healthier and more virtuous nation.
The party of the family’s work does not end when couples have formed into the bonds of marriage. Rather, the work is just beginning. The party cannot become explicitly “pro-birth,” as we should not encourage individuals like Elon Musk to have ten children with three different women, but we must encourage natural birth within the married family unit. A pro-family party should seek to provide some form of financial support for child-rearing at every level of government, ban commercial surrogacy, and limit access to in vitro fertilization.
Currently, Americans irrespective of background feel great anxiety about their ability to form stable families, and they also feel like their lawmakers do not listen to their desires. This Republican Party will signal to the American voter that it does listen to their anxieties and concerns, and it will pursue substantive action that actively promotes their ability to form stable marriages and families.
We can only elect fifteen more senators like J.D. Vance if we actually listen to the desires of Republican voters. All voters, regardless of party, want the party to move in a more socially conservative direction. They want the party to recognize that they need to be supported in their efforts to form stable marriages and families. Voters recognize that the government exists to serve the common good, along with the needs and interests of its citizens and the American family. A pro-family party will inherently make sure that the party recognizes that their job is not to manage the American decline, but rather to usher in the revitalization of the American family.
It is our job as conservatives and constituents to demand that the party have an attitudinal change in the way that it formulates policy. We must forcibly show the party that the only electoral path forward for them is to elect at least fifteen more senators who, like J.D. Vance, recognize that the family must always come first. If we do not present this vision, then J.D. Vance will be a fluke senator rather than the beginning of a fundamental reorientation in American politics.