This GOP Ticket Is The Only One That Can Beat Trump And Hillary

How to stop Trump? That’s the collective mantra of the mass media. It’s a natural question to ask of a man curiously portrayed as some sort of Republican juggernaut, which he’s not. I sat in speechless befuddlement and amusement as I watched Fox News analysts on Saturday night marvel at a proclaimed political superman who corralled not even one-third of the South Carolina vote.

Donald Trump is actually consistently drawing a lower percentage of Republican votes than Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are drawing Democrat votes. The very revealing reason, at least to anyone who understands math, is easy to add up: Hillary and Bernie are in a two-person race, whereas Trump has been in everything from a six-person to, gee, even a dozen-person race. Trump grabs a third of Republican votes, while the other Republicans split the remaining two thirds.

This is a political colossus? A one-thirder? Are the math skills of Americans really this challenged? Another triumph of our public schools.

Either way, with too many Republicans in the race, the Donald is top dog until the number of legitimate GOP candidates narrows. It will remain this way, with Trump winning race after race, until the politically dead Republicans in the race prove they’re not brain-dead and pull the plug on their futile campaigns—as Jeb Bush, God bless him, smartly did on Saturday. The Republican race has been and remains a three-man race between Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. Nobody but one of those three will win the crown. Jeb Bush grasped that, and now John Kasich and Ben Carson need to as well. I’m concerned they will not. (Kasich is still living off the false hope of 16% in New Hampshire, handed to him compliments of Captain Destruction, a.k.a., Chris Christie, elector of Democratic presidents, blowing up Rubio there, before quietly retiring back to New Jersey.)

An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey last week showed Cruz and Rubio both overwhelmingly taking Republican voters in head-to-head contests with Trump. Each gets around 57%, with Trump—the supposed juggernaut—about 40%. (Rubio takes Trump 57-41% and Cruz takes him 56-40%.) This is no surprise. Trump caps out at 40%, with (amazingly) an even higher unlikability percentage, which is why he would lose the general election and hand the nation to Hillary Clinton in November. That is the disastrous course America is set upon, and it means that Cruz and Rubio (absent Kasich and Carson not leaving) need to make a big move, taking an action they should be planning anyway: They need to come together on the same ticket, pooling their support.

Yes, a Cruz-Rubio Compact is needed, leading to a Cruz-Rubio or Rubio-Cruz ticket.

I have been making the case for such a Republican super-ticket for some time. Consider what it would offer:

First, it would be an ideological tour de force for conservatives, with two men whose American Conservative Union rating has always been not just reliably conservative but staunchly so. Despite the misgivings of many conservatives with Rubio over immigration, the man is a rock-solid conservative. Conservatives will not find a conservative as generally electable and acceptable to so many Democrats and independents (not to mention moderate and establishment Republicans) as Marco Rubio. The demands of absolute, 100% perfect ideological purity among individual conservatives for their candidates (a definition of purity that, impossibly, differs among individual conservatives) is a fit of political insanity that kills conservative unity and their candidates—and which the left never makes the mistake of doing. For too many conservatives, if you don’t agree with them on 100 out of 100 issues (99 isn’t good enough), you’re impure and unworthy of their enlightened support. That is a recipe for political failure, and it’s rearing its ugly head right now among conservatives who have decided to label Rubio everything from a pariah to a closet communist because they don’t like one of his immigration votes. That is foolish. Marco Rubio is a rare complete conservative who has the cross-over ability to attract Democrats unlike any Republican since Ronald Reagan.

Second, a Cruz-Rubio ticket would bring together the “outsider”/Tea Party candidate, Cruz, with a Rubio supported by the establishment, and who can pick up the Jeb Bush-Kasich-Christie vote. And at the same time, Rubio is no establishment Republican in the Rockefeller mold of a John McCain, Bob Dole, or Mitt Romney.

Third, it would balance Cruz’s lower likability (including among the wider electorate) with Rubio’s very high likability that extends to Democrats and independents.

Fourth, it would coalesce the evangelical vote (Cruz) and the Catholic vote (Rubio).

Five, it would win Texas, of course, but also Florida. Most remarkable, these two Latino conservatives on the same ticket might even bring into play a state like California, totally banished from Republican possibilities since Reagan.

Six, it would solve Rubio’s immigration problem by bringing in Cruz, who does not have one. It balances them both on immigration.

Seven, it would trump Trump. Speaking of whom, a Cruz-Rubio ticket not only wouldn’t repel Latinos in droves, but draw them. More than that, such a Latino ticket could single-handedly save the Republican Party for not just a generation or two but for much of the 21st century and beyond (I’m serious) by making a huge number of Hispanics (probably even a majority) Republicans.

This point is crucial, and especially imperative amid the Trump factor, the nomination of whom would send probably upwards of 90% of Latinos further into the arms of the Democratic Party, where they do not belong. I have long argued that Latinos, especially because of their social conservatism, work ethic, and devout Roman Catholicism, are a much more natural fit in the conservative movement than in the liberal-secular asylum that dominates today’s Democratic Party.

Yes, I know that some voices on the right see Latino immigration as the end of the Republican Party. What I’ve long liked about Marco Rubio is that he understands the inevitability of Latino voters. They are irreversibly the future of the country. They are the largest immigration group and the fastest growing demographic. Their presence and growth is a done deal. Rubio, with a Reagan-like optimism, realizes that you must persuade them rather than alienate them. You must win them over. You must create a party and movement that appeals to them. You cannot truck them all out of the country. At some point, you need to convince them, not banish them.

If white Republicans want white Europeans to dominate the American landscape once again, then they better start reproducing themselves. If they’re not making babies (they’ve sent their kids to liberal universities where they are systematically brainwashed), then they will be out-voted by Latino voters.

Cruz and Rubio on the ticket in one fell-swoop would obliterate the image of the GOP as the party of old white guys. And it would undercut the Democrats’ attempt to draw Hispanics four to eight years from now, post-Hillary, as they will, given the Democrats’ infatuation with identity politics. This time, however, Democrats are stuck with Hillary, an un-dynamic and un-exciting candidate who offers little new and interesting.

That speaks to another Cruz-Rubio ticket advantage: It will appeal to young people in a way that Hillary Clinton absolutely does not. This time, unlike in a while, the Republicans could be the party offering the much more youthful, energetic, and fresh and new faces.

Both Cruz and Rubio are competitive in a direct general election against Hillary Clinton. In fact, Rubio is the one and only Republican who consistently and easily defeats Clinton by an impressive margin.

Finally, these two men both eloquently communicate the American dream because they and their family experiences truly embody it. Rubio in particular understands America and American opportunity in a uniquely Reaganesque way that I haven’t heard from any Republican presidential contender since Reagan. He has that American exceptionalism understanding in the gut, because his family lived it. Ditto for Cruz. The stories of Rubio’s and Cruz’s fathers alone, let alone their own stories, are very moving.

Alas, should it be a Cruz-Rubio ticket or Rubio-Cruz? Who’s at the top of the ticket? Resolving that is fairly simple (math again): It depends on which of the two ends up with more primary votes.

Again, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio need to be on the same ticket anyway. So, better to do it now to stump Trump. The only question is precisely when it should be done. There is still time. But without Kasich and Carson getting out of the race, the time becomes more imperative quicker and quicker.

It is time for a Cruz-Rubio Compact. Without it, my fellow conservatives, Donald Trump wins the Republican primaries, and then Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States of America.

Donald Trump On Bush’s WMD ‘Lie’: Ludicrous Canard

“George Bush made a mistake,” said Donald Trump in the South Carolina debate last week. “We should have never been in Iraq.” Trump added that “we destabilized” the larger Middle East.

Those are legitimate points of contention—though Trump should not exclude President Obama’s decision to prematurely pull troops from Iraq. That move by Obama in 2011 was disastrous, as so many (including Bush himself) warned it would be. It unquestionably helped enable the surge of ISIS and its establishment of a self-proclaimed “Islamic State” caliphate.

But then Donald Trump went way overboard.

“I want to tell you, they lied,” said Trump. “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none.”

The “they” means George W. Bush, and (we must assume) basically Bush’s administration and entire security and foreign-policy and intelligence team.

Trump’s accusation is outrageous.

Given a chance to walk-back that remark in an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump seemed unwilling.

“Some people felt like you were going conspiratorial,” said Hannity, “suggesting that they knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction.”

Trump answered: “No. I don’t have—you know, I can’t tell you that. I can only tell you that getting into the war was a disaster.”

That was all that Trump said. No further elaboration. Was he backing down a bit? Maybe, but it was hardly a major retraction or apology.

Either way, Trump’s initial assertion should be dealt with. The idea that George W. Bush lied about WMDs is an old, ludicrous canard that needs to be dispatched to the ash-heap of history. It is a very unfair smear.

Let’s recall the history leading up to 2003:

The war debate was not over whether Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Everyone was convinced he did, including Democrats, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Kofi Annan at the U.N., the French, the Russians, the world’s intelligence agencies, and on and on.

The debate was not if Saddam had WMDs but how to best go about disarming him. The debate within the international community was whether an American-led invasion should be pursued to disarm Saddam (the approach favored by George Bush and Tony Blair) or whether sanctions and arms inspections should be pursued to disarm Saddam (the French-Russian approach), but never whether Saddam had WMDs.

For years, since at least 1990, the world was certain that the Iraqi dictator was ever-assuredly securing WMDs.

If I may, my personal experience is instructive:

I began working this issue at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in 1991, and then continued in graduate school, as a professor, and as a researcher for various think-tanks. All along, I supported the Democrats in the White House—that is, Bill Clinton and Al Gore and crew—when they bombed Iraq because of its ominous WMD threat. The last such occasion was December 1998, after Saddam again kicked out U.N. inspectors as they demanded entry to clandestine WMD sites. By 2003, inspections had not occurred in Iraq in five years, which concerned George W. Bush and his team greatly in the post-9/11 world.

In my lectures on Iraq still today, I quote lengthy articles from The New York Times to Newsweek that detailed Saddam’s frightening covert biological and nuclear programs. Check the Washington Post (Barton Gellman, “Iraq Works Toward A-Bomb,” September 30, 1998); The London Times (“Defectors say Iraq tested nuclear bomb,” February 25, 2001, and “Iraq ‘will have nuclear bomb in months,’” September 16, 2002); The New Yorker (Jeffrey Goldberg, “The Great Terror,” March 25, 2002); U.S. News & World Report (Richard J. Newman, “Stalking Saddam,” February 23, 1998); Newsweek (John Barry, “Unearthing the Truth,” March 2, 1998); or Time, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal or other publications. Some of these articles laid out not merely nuclear programs but supposed secret nuclear tests conducted by Saddam. Peruse transcripts from major TV news broadcasts: CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, CBC. Check the BBC and NPR. And don’t neglect the full-blown books published by top houses, like Khadhir Hamza’s Saddam’s Bombmaker.

Watch the terrifying November 23, 1997 clip of Bill Clinton’s secretary of defense, Bill Cohen, on “Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” laying out the Clinton administration’s horrifying projections on Saddam’s WMD production in the absence of inspections. Russert, usually merciless in grilling people, naturally accepted Cohen’s details; there was no reason to doubt them. I used to show my students an amazing video of Clinton’s security team—Cohen, Sandy Berger, and Madeleine Albright—being shouted down by extremely rude students in a forum at Ohio State University in February 1998, which CNN broadcast as an “International Town Meeting.” Despite the embarrassing behavior of the students, the Clinton team hung in there, urging that America “must get those WMDs.” I also regularly showed my students the November 1997 CNN special report, “Showdown with Iraq.”

This is just the tiniest sample of what was always fresh and available.

I began collecting such material at CSIS. I maintained the briefing book (actually, literal briefing boxes) on this subject for our senior analysts, who were CNN’s regular analysts, and most of whom voted for Bill Clinton. In one case, we discovered and blew the whistle on a suspected Iraqi WMD site near Kirkuk. Dan Rather grabbed the story and made it his lead in an October 1992 “CBS Evening News” broadcast. Yes, that was way back in 1992, when even then we were being told that Saddam was on the cusp of an operational nuclear weapon.

George W. Bush, like all of us, first heard about suspected Iraqi WMDs from the media in the 1990s, long before he was governor let alone president. The press was unanimous in reporting daily that Iraq was producing if not harboring WMDs in defiance of the 1991 U.N. ceasefire. There were never-ending reports that Saddam was months away (estimates ranged from six to 18 months) from a nuclear bomb, on top of his equally alarming bio and chemical weapons arsenals, which he previously employed against “enemies” ranging from Kurdish children to the Marsh Arabs to the Iranians and Israelis. He promised to “scorch half of Israel” with “chemical gas.”

It was because of Saddam’s obstruction, remember, that the Clinton administration unceasingly bombed suspected Iraqi WMD sites throughout the 1990s, so often that Thomas Friedman of the New York Times quipped that Saddam Hussein was the reason God invented the cruise missile.

Thus, by 2003, President George W. Bush had correctly calculated that Saddam’s WMD arsenal, after at least five years of no inspections, was an intolerable, unacceptable risk in the wake of 9/11.

This was a fully legitimate fear, with Bush’s suspicion of Saddam’s stockpiles first informed not by his advisers but, instead, by the media that informed all of us in the 1990s, years before Bush became president.

In short, all of that very recent history was forgotten by an emotional, angry political left after our troops didn’t find the WMD stockpiles we all expected.

Of course, we did discover some WMDs in Iraq after 2003 (everyone forgets this), and chief inspector David Kay found both Iraqi “infrastructure and intent” to ramp up WMD production once Saddam later figured he was in the clear. We did not, however, find the warehouses of WMD stockpiles we expected. (The better question is why not and what happened to the WMDs.)

Finally, aside from these facts, imagine strictly for the sake of argument that George W. Bush did lie about WMDs. That would mean that he and his administration went to war in 2003 for a fallacious if not treacherous reason they knew would be exposed the moment we got to Iraq and found no WMDs. They would have pursued this self-defeating tactic realizing it would be revealed as a farce very soon, certainly by the next year, meaning the very year (2004) that Bush ran for re-election. It would have been a mission of political suicide, probably even impeachable.

In short, Donald Trump can legitimately question Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. But his charge that George W. Bush lied about WMDs is outrageous.

This is an old smear that needs to be ended, not resurrected by the Republican front-runner for president.

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Planned Parenthood And Hillary Clinton

In what is being embraced by Hillary Clinton as the highest praise, Planned Parenthood, America’s longtime leading provider of abortion, is enthusiastically endorsing Clinton as president. Clinton can boast the first-ever endorsement of a candidate in a presidential primary in the century-long existence of Planned Parenthood.

The Planned Parenthood endorsement contains this eye-opener from its leader, Cecile Richards: “Everything Planned Parenthood has believed in and fought for over the past 100 years is on the ballot.” And the organization believes that no one fights for this more than Hillary Clinton, whom Richards and friends rightly view as the truest true believer.

As someone who wrote an entire book on Hillary Clinton, and has long followed her very carefully, especially on matters of her faith and abortion beliefs, I can say without equivocation that she is not mildly or even strongly pro-choice; no, Hillary Rodham Clinton is fanatically pro-choice. There is nothing more ideologically worthy to her. To borrow from Nancy Pelosi, this is political “sacred ground” to Mrs. Clinton.

In a statement, Clinton said she is “honored” by the endorsement. She assured Planned Parenthood, “As your president, I will always have your back.”

When Cecile Richards invokes Planned Parenthood’s past 100 years aside her glowing endorsement of Hillary Clinton, it naturally brings to mind the matron of Planned Parenthood—one Margaret Sanger, a hero to Richards and Clinton.

I’ve written here before of the checkered history of Margaret Sanger, especially on race, which her devotees either excuse or avoid like the plague. There was her Negro Project, her May 1926 speech at a rally of the women’s chapter of the KKK in New Jersey, her general championing of an ideology of “race improvement,” and much more. It is no surprise that a group of African-American pastors are demanding the removal of the bust of the progressive icon from the Smithsonian’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit.

Sanger deemed certain human beings “morons,” “idiots,” “imbeciles,” “human weeds,” and “misfits.” She wanted her Planned Parenthood to spearhead a movement to generate “a race of thoroughbreds” from the misbegotten “dead weight of human waste” soiling the national landscape courtesy of undesired and “unfit” breeders. She extolled Stalinist Russia’s birth-control policies, and urged after a fact-finding visit there in 1934: “We [in America] could well take example from Russia, where there are no legal restrictions, no religious condemnation, and where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.”

That’s exactly where Clinton and modern progressives stand today: they demand that birth control be part of the regular welfare service of the government, and funded by taxpayers regardless of religious objection. If you disagree, the Obama administration will take you all the way to the Supreme Court. Just ask Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood Specialties, and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

None of Sanger’s sordid history has deterred Hillary Clinton’s unflagging admiration, just as none of the video exposes of Chianti-sipping Planned Parenthood personnel fingering their Caesar’s salad as they discuss crushing unborn babies has deterred her crusade to keep America’s largest abortion funder awash in tax dollars.

“I don’t have all the facts but Planned Parenthood has apologized for the insensitivity of the employee who was taped,” protested Mrs. Clinton of the Center for Medical Progress[‘s video-sting revealing a Planned Parenthood employee casually discussing the “harvesting” of babies. “But for more than a century Planned Parenthood has provided essential services for women.”

To Mrs. Clinton, the bad guys in the video-sting of Planned Parenthood were the video-makers—that is, the exposers, not the perpetrators. “I think it is unfortunate that Planned Parenthood had been the object of such a concerted attack for so many years,” she complained, “and it’s really an attack against women’s rights to choose.” To Mrs. Clinton, it’s the exposers who are the attackers, not Planned Parenthood.

Clinton, whose spokeswoman says she has not actually seen the videos, nevertheless reaffirmed that Planned Parenthood does “really good work” and she remains “proud to stand with Planned Parenthood.”

The organization gives more money to Mrs. Clinton (by far) than any other Democrat.

Fittingly, in 2009, Clinton proudly accepted Planned Parenthood’s self-described “highest honor,” its coveted Sanger Award. She gushed that she was “in awe of” Sanger. The then-secretary of state accepted her award at Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s annual Awards Gala.

The admiration is mutual; thus the group’s historic endorsement of Clinton.

Someone in the media who can get near Mrs. Clinton should ask if she’s willing to repudiate Margaret Sanger and her organization’s highly questionable and objectionable history in everything from race to the literal business of baby parts. Now that Clinton has received Planned Parenthood’s endorsement, and promises to have its “back,” it seems a fair thing to ask, doesn’t it?

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The Gift Of Ignorance And Sophistry

Another “Holiday Season” is behind us. And every such season, the purge of religion in our public schools just gets worse. In fact, the season now serves to remind us of one thing for certain: the God-purgers are on an unyielding secular crusade that gets more self-righteous ever year.

This past season seemed to reach new levels of absurdity. What we’re seeing now is remarkable not only for its vigorous assault against everything religious, but for the apparent willingness by secularists to embrace ignorance and sophistry in the process. They are willing to make their students—whom they’re supposed to educate—dumb about historical reality and to look downright silly in the process. I’ll illustrate with two examples, starting with this past Thanksgiving, the kick-off of the long “Holiday Season.”

It was fascinating to observe the new tendency by our educators to frame Thanksgiving Day as about anything but giving thanks to God. I detailed this at length a few weeks ago, and will not revisit it fully here, but I checked out the Thanksgiving Day lesson at the website, a go-to source for teachers. On the main page was a lesson plan titled, “Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving.” The lesson did back-flips in a painfully obvious attempt to mention giving thanks to anything but God. There were bountiful references to Native Americans, corn, stuffing, and turkeys, but nothing of the Almighty. The Creator even got trumped by cranberry sauce.

There was nothing in the “lesson” plan about the salient historical fact that the Pilgrims fled religious persecution, that their Thanksgiving feast was about giving thanks to God, and that Presidents Washington and Lincoln—not to mention a long line of White House successors, including the most liberal among them, from Woodrow Wilson to FDR—honored a national day of Thanksgiving for that reason.

This is historical fraud, forgery, perjury. I ask my secular-liberal friends: Is it any wonder why so many people are homeschooling? You can dislike religion, if you prefer. You can even despise it. But a truly “inclusive” education cannot exclude such essential historical facts.

So, what kind of child are these secularists educating? One who will not even learn what the original Thanksgiving was truly about or why our early presidents enacted the day to begin with.

As for Christmas, where do I start to illustrate the madness?

Well, this year the award goes to an elementary school in Kentucky, where the Constitutional geniuses at the Johnson County School District censored from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” the subversive section where Linus recites the Gospel of Luke’s nativity narrative. Sure, the school couldn’t avoid the title “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” but it would not dare tread on any explanation of what “Christmas” is.

The irony here is rich. Consider that Linus’ dialogue is prompted by a question from Charlie Brown, who in exasperation pleads: “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus explains, giving an accurate answer from the New Testament. Most ironic, Linus holds forth in front of fellow students in a public-school auditorium.

Like students today, Linus’ friends are free to believe or not believe, but at least they will not be ignorant.

It makes me wonder what this school’s officials would have preferred that the kids watch instead. I have some suggestions for their curriculum next year: How about the old Rankin-Bass productions? “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” has some intriguing stuff about a Winter Warlock. The old guy officiates the first Christmas wedding (so I’m told) in the woods around the North Pole with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Or, how about “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” The kids can take notes wide-eyed as they learn about how Santa and Rudolph swept down and saved Christmas not only for the entire world that year (no Christmas that year otherwise) but even for the poor souls on the Island of Misfit Toys.

Hey, at least Jesus Christ is avoided. That’s the chief goal, right?

In sum, what all of this makes plain is that our secularists prefer not only ignorance over religion for their students, but sophistry.

And why? Because they want to fundamentally transform, to borrow from the signature phrase of our current president. To really fundamentally transform America and the culture, they need to remove as much religion as possible, period.

And when they do, this is the gift of ignorance and sophistry they bestow.

Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is Takedown. His other books include 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative, The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.


When Hollywood Celebrated Christmas And Marriage

A few days before Christmas, I checked the schedule for Turner Classic Movies, one of the few TV channels I watch. I was looking for Christmas movies, maybe the 1938 Reginald Owen version of “A Christmas Carol” or something like that—something for the family. I was pleased to find three favorites back-to-back that I’ve seen with my wife and daughters, all nice Christmas romances—and all with a similar happy ending.

The first was “I’ll Be Seeing You” (1944), starring Ginger Rogers and Joseph Cotten, with a smaller role by a charming teenage Shirley Temple. Cotten is a World War II veteran struggling with what we would call post-traumatic stress disorder. Rogers is on Christmas furlough from prison (of all things), unjustly serving time for an accidental death that was purely self-defense. Wonderful as always, Ginger Rogers doesn’t dance or sing in this one (no Fred Astaire), but plays a compelling role. The Rogers and Cotten characters fall in love, with Christmas as the suitably warm and fuzzy back-drop.

The next film on TCM’s offering that day was “Christmas in Connecticut” (1945), starring the great Barbara Stanwyck and the lesser-known Dennis Morgan. Here, too, the guy was wounded in World War II. Stanwyck is a food writer for a home magazine. She is initially confused for a married woman, which (thankfully) she is not, clearing the way for a snowy Christmas romance, replete with the horse-drawn sleigh through the countryside.

The third movie was “Holiday Affair” (1949), with Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum. Here again, the background is Christmas and World War II, as the Mitchum character, another veteran, pursues Janet Leigh, a single mom who lost her husband in the war. It’s a touching, fun movie, well-written—back when dialogue was more important to moviegoers than non-stop action sequences.

What strikes me about these and other films from Hollywood’s Golden Age are two things: First, Hollywood once made lots and lots of major films with major stars celebrating Christmas. Second, in each case, no matter how different the plot, there was always a common end-goal: marriage. From the outset, marriage is the assumed, unquestioned objective, from the moment the guy and gal catch one another’s eye or heart. The goal isn’t a one-night stand or wild weekend or trip to Vegas, or living together to try out each other for a few months or years.

The one predictable plotline is a heartwarming romantic pursuit—set within a sparkling Christmas context—that ends in holy matrimony. What is the happy ending? What does it depend upon? Marriage.

Think about other favorite Christmas movies from the era. At the core of “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the wonderful life Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed forge together. Look at “White Christmas:” another war story, with Irving Berlin’s magical music, that’s all about getting together Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney in a church before a preacher. The two that conspire to bring them together, Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen, end up marrying as well—after they all sing “White Christmas.”

Or, take the precursor to “White Christmas,” the 1942 musical “Holiday Inn,” with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. The boys battle over the lovely Marjorie Reynolds for her hand in marriage. The ambition for the boy is not to get the girl to bed and move to his next conquest, but to get her to the altar and stay with her forever.

That America, sadly, is gone. For countless Americans, marriage is no longer the goal. It has become redefinable, optional, replaceable, switchable, less preferable to living together. There’s a popular term now in our culture: “baby-mama” or “baby-mother,” which a man uses to describe the single mother of his child (or, conversely, “baby-daddy”). It’s extremely common.

I recently spoke to a pediatrician from a small town that’s as close as you can get to traditional values. He told me had 12 new babies to attend to in the maternity ward, born over the previous couple of days. Only two of the mothers were married. Yes, the moms chose to give life, which was commendable, but they didn’t have marriages and homes with fathers for their babies.

I don’t know how long America can survive this. When marriage isn’t being merrily redefined, it’s being shrugged off as merely optional. We’re no longer celebrating marriage as we once did. Hollywood certainly isn’t.

I don’t see a happy ending to this story. We need a culture that celebrates not only Christmas but marriage.

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