Where is the President who campaigned on traditional values when we need him most?
The George Bush we have seen lately looks a lot different from the one we saw in 1988. That George Bush campaigned heavily on traditional moral values, the family, and a “kinder, gentler” America—stuff most Americans love to hear. For evangelicals, that kind of talk worked: 80 percent of us voted for him. Now we are not so sure where Mr. Bush stands on the issues he at one time thought were important to us.
Exhibit A. On the issue of abortion, the President has gone from being a vocal opponent to a timid observer. He seems satisfied with the views of Vice-president Quayle and Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater that the Republican tent is big enough to include strong prochoicers. As Fred Barnes observes in the New Republic, Mr. Bush says his views haven’t changed, but cannot bring himself to say what those views are. True, he vetoed legislation that would have expanded federal funding for abortions, but as acting RNC spokesman Charlie Black admitted on “Face the Nation,” “The prolife plank of Mr. Bush’s party is merely a gesture toward the prolife position.” The brave, moral leadership we were told to expect on this issue just hasn’t been there.
Exhibit B. To help celebrate the signing of the Hate Crimes Bill, our President made history by inviting prominent gay-rights activists to participate. With the White House doors finally opened to those who would like to see all restrictions to a homosexual lifestyle eliminated, it was not surprising that gay-rights activists attended yet another high-level White House function last month. From a President who courted evangelicals ...1