There was a time when there typically was a religious right candidate in the Republican primaries. Such candidates would inevitably be beaten by the establishment candidate. Today the religious right dominates the GOP, and almost all candidates promote social conservatism. It will be interesting to see how many candidates sign a pledge from Family Leader. Michele Bachmann was the first to sign this:
Presidential candidates who sign the pledge must agree to personal fidelity to his or her spouse, the appointment of “faithful constitutionalists” as judges, opposition to any redefinition of marriage, and prompt reform of uneconomic and anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy and divorce law.
The Marriage Vow also outlines support for the legal advocacy for the federal Defense of Marriage Act, humane efforts to protect women and children, rejection of Sharia Islam, safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. military service members, and commitment to downsizing government and the burden upon American families.
In addition, candidates are asked to recognize that “robust childrearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.”
In addition, Think Progress reports that this calls for the banning of “all forms” of pornography and states that homosexuality is both a choice and a health risk. Undoubtedly conservatives will fail to see how these conflict with claims to support limited government, not to mention violating the First Amendment.
I would love to see Democratic candidates counter this with a pledge to support individual liberty, including each individual’s right to chose who to marry, uphold the First Amendment, and preserve a social safety net to protect families in need. Unfortunately we know that Democrats are not very likely to openly stand up for liberal principles in such a manner.