Gingrich, Bachmann and Cain spoke passionately about the social and economic issues. On the panel I was on, Connie Mackey called Gov. Barbour out for seeming to suggest that the social issues are not part of the “main thing” we need to keep our eyes on. “The main thing I want to say,” Emmett McGroarty chimed in, is that life and marriage “are part of the main thing we need to keep the main thing.”
The night before the event I went to a nearby steakhouse and ran into Speaker Gingrich. I thanked him for his help in the Iowa judicial elections, and he told me this was a very important fight. From the podium Newt reiterated that marriage and values are fights we can't surrender.
“This is a defining moment for conservatism--this election will reverberate and have an effect far beyond 2012 on the future of our country,” I told the jam-packed hall.
“You, the people of Iowa, changed the course of human history this last election by doing something elites said was going to be impossible: defeating three sitting supreme court justices.” (The rest of my carefully written line was drown out in wild standing applause from the audience.)
What surprised me most was the kind of awe which struck the crowd when I told them, “We are 31 for 31 public votes on marriage. Every single time the people of this country have been allowed to have a free and fair vote they've voted to protect marriage as the union of a man and a woman.”
Here we are with the grassroots base in Iowa--and our folks don't know our own victories.
You and I know the good news: The people are still with us.
“The bad news,” I went on, is that “elites--many Democrats but some Republicans--think we should somehow throw in the towel on marriage issues. Don't be deceived: 'truce' means unilateral disarmament.”
The other side is not calling for a truce; they are working in our schools, they are working in the legislature to redefine marriage, and we have to stand up and protect it.
I had one big message about the state and national elections in 2012: “Hold these candidates accountable, and do not accept the lie that same-sex marriage is inevitable. You've already proved them wrong once--prove them wrong again!”