As you likely are aware by now, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels has called for a "truce" in the culture war, especially on abortion, while our nation's leaders look for a solution to our fiscal crisis.
Daniels was getting high marks from conservatives as a potential dark horse for the presidential nomination in 2012, but he just shot himself in the kneecap with this statement, and is now in the "could-a-been-a-contender" category. He's toast.
There are two things that are disastrously wrong with what the governor said.
First, in the culture war, there is no such thing as a "truce." A truce is the same as a surrender. It's no different than the phony truces Muslim nations enter into, which for them are not a prelude to peace but an opportunity to re-arm.
What the governor apparently does not understand is that the other side will never give up, never back down, never quit. They pursue their radical agenda with a mindless persistence, pressing, clamoring, hectoring, demanding, bloviating without ceasing. There can be no truce with such an adversary.
I'm reminded of the homosexuals who demanded sex with Lot's guests, as recorded in Genesis 19:4-10. They "surrounded the house" and "pressed hard against the man Lot" until they were blinded by God. Even that didn't stop them. "They wore themselves out groping for the door."
We are up against tireless adversaries and we ourselves must be tireless and unflagging in our opposition to their life- and culture-destroying agenda.
Whether we want to be at war with them is immaterial. They are at war with us and our values, and we either fight back or we lose our country.
A truce is no different than a forfeit. I learned coaching Little League that if you don't put a team on the field, you lose by default. Gov. Daniels apparently wants us to pull our team off the field in the top of the ninth with the game on the line. There's way, way too much at stake for that.
Secondly, Gov. Daniels has forgotten the most important single truth in the civil war over social values: it is far worse for a nation to be morally and spiritually bankrupt than to be financially bankrupt.
It was George Washington himself who said (emphasis mine):
Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
Washington did not hesitate to question the patriotism of anyone who would work to undermine either religion or morality because it is impossible to experience "political prosperity" without both. I do not question Gov. Daniels' patriotism, since he is not laboring to subvert these pillars, but I do question his wisdom and discernment. If he does understand this most fundamental and basic American concept, as enunciated by the Father of the country, how will it be possible for him to lead this nation?
If those pillars are left undefended by those with political authority, they will relentlessly be undermined by those with a dark agenda for America, an agenda far more corrosive to our body politic even than grossly irresponsible debt.
Holistic conservatives are looking for a torchbearer for 2012. Alas, Gov. Mitch Daniels is not it.