(Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse co-wrote this column)
Now that the dust has settled on the Election of 2014, it is worth pausing to consider what exactly just happened here in San Diego. As members of a local pro-marriage non-profit organization, we offer these comments as interested observers, not participants.
Republican Carl DeMaio lost California’s 52nd Congressional District, in spite of the party’s massive victories across the country. This anomaly cries out for explanation.
The local Republican Party leadership endorsed DeMaio by a very thin margin, well in advance of the primary. Kirk Jorgensen was a viable Republican alternative to DeMaio. For reasons known only to themselves, the local Party leadership made this premature endorsement. They could have waited until after the primary process played itself out, to see how the two candidates would perform.
Consider these differences between the two candidates, remembering that the Republican Party platform of California supports natural marriage and the right to life:
— Carl DeMaio is pro-abortion, pro-genderless marriage (aka same-sex “marriage”), and is openly gay.
— Kirk Jorgensen is pro-life, pro-natural marriage and is a former Marine.
No one could possibly believe DeMaio would support the party’s platform on social issues.
A great many ordinary men and women were angry with not only the choice of DeMaio as the candidate, but the way in which the Party rushed to endorse DeMaio, effectively pushing Jorgensen aside. The Base: these are the people who make small contributions, stuff envelopes, make get out the vote calls and walk precincts. Surely the Party leadership could not have expected these people to give of themselves enthusiastically for a candidate so at odds with their values. When the Party leadership put its influence behind DeMaio in advance of the primary, people were left to wonder if they did so because their Big Money contributors and other distant influencers wanted it that way.
But the Base didn’t go along quietly. They did not just stay home and watch from the sidelines. Conservative church leaders actively spoke out against DeMaio. Some conservative activists openly encouraged their people to vote for the Democratic candidate. Some even encouraged people to leave the Republican Party and re-register as “decline to state”.
The margin of victory between the official Democratic candidate and DeMaio, the low-tax Democrat running as a Republican, was small. These efforts of social conservative activists must be taken seriously.
Admittedly, we do not know what would have happened if the Republican Party leadership had allowed the primary process to play itself out. DeMaio might have won, and become the Party’s nominee anyhow. Or, Jorgensen may have won the primary but been defeated by Peters in the general election.
Here’s what concerns us. Many San Diego County Republican Party members saw DeMaio’s pre-primary endorsement as one more step in the state-wide campaign to remove the social issues from the state party platform. It is a safe bet that some of the Big Money people in the higher echelons of the Republican Party will continue to try to push the Party to the Left on social issues.
Promoting the Sexual Revolution has been a bi-partisan Rich Man’s game from the beginning. Here are some facts that California Republicans should know:
— Going all the way back to the 1960’s, Charles Munger Sr. worked with reliably liberal Warren Buffet behind the scenes to finance one of the California legal cases that led up to Roe v. Wade.
— Warren Buffet has pumped over $1 billion into support of abortion between 2001 and 2012. That’s a 1 with nine zeros after it: $1,000,000,000… for abortion.
— Charles Munger, Jr., the son of Charles Munger, Sr., is one of the people quietly (or not so quietly) leading the effort to remove the life and marriage planks from the state-wide California Republican Party platform.
By putting its thumb on the scale so early in the electoral process, the Party Leadership left themselves open to the kinds of criticism leveled by the social conservatives and the religious community of the County. This unfortunate decision divided the Party, an unnecessarily damaging result, regardless of the electoral outcome.
Our conclusion from the Republican loss in California’s 52nd Congressional District is this: We are not the only members of the Republican Party who are fed up with being manipulated by distant yet influential Republicans who think they know better than the rest of us.
Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is the Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, and Jennifer Johnson (Thieme) is the Institute’s Director of Outreach. The Ruth Institute is a non-profit educational organization located in San Diego County, which operated under the umbrella of the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund until last year.