Tim Goeglein was an aide to former President George W. Bush for more than seven years. He’s written an excellent account of those years in the book, “The Man in the Middle.” In the latter portions of his book he writes that if we want to change America we must change the culture.
Culture in fact is preeminent. Conservatives must always remember that politics is downstream from culture and not the other way around.
This is the reality, yet too much of the Left and Right presume that the most pressing problems of our time can best be addressed through politics.
This is a miscalculation of the first order.
Then what is the solution to change the culture? Goeglein answers:
It is to actively reenergize what [Edmund] Burke called the “little platoons,” those voluntary associations the American philosopher Robert Nisbet termed the “intermediary institutions” of family, church, synagogue, fraternal groups, neighborhoods, healthy communities, and civil society in general. These are the institutions that can most effectively address our most pressing social problems, and of these primarily the healthy, intact family and not more government.
Government cannot cause a family to fall in love again; government cannot repair a broken marriage; government cannot parent a single child, much less millions; government cannot tuck a child into bed at night.
Goeglein adds more Washington-directed solutions won’t work, but will make already difficult matters worse. Which is what the 1960s politicians and social engineers did.
With more government comes more potential for tyranny. Intentions may be good, but they result in “strangling community spirit and works of charity.”
The challenges are great, but if we are successful, a new American renaissance may await us.
In conclusion, I say that elections are important. But it is changed hearts that will make a dad stay and be a faithful husband to his wife and father to his children. Changed hearts make abortion unthinkable. Changed hearts make a teen choose graduation over gang involvement. Changed hearts will make a person elevate ethical, moral behavior and responsibility over selfishness and frivolity.