NANCE: Real Leaders Focus On More Than Just The Economy

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Penny Nance President, Concerned Women for America
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“It’s the economy, stupid.” Yes, the old Bill Clinton campaign slogan has made millions for campaign consultants who constantly tell their candidates not to bring up “social issues” this close to election day.

So, it takes brave leaders to lean into social issues rather than run from them.

That’s exactly what Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) and the Republican Study Committee (RSC) have done with their recently unveiled “Family Policy Agenda,” a comprehensive 12-page document of the critically important legislative priorities specifically focused on protecting the family and helping it to flourish in this country.

No doubt, the economy is hitting American families hard. Americans, and especially women (I represent 500,000 of them), want leaders who put families first, not just in their lives but in the policies they propose.

The policies of a Democratic administration and Congress are causing skyrocketing food prices, rising gas prices, and plummeting retirement plans. Radical ideas, sexualization, and gender ideology have infiltrated schools from the elementary level to universities with the blessing of Democrat-led governments. With this agenda, a Republican-led Congress has an easy way to approach the issues: families first.

Thus, this is the year of the parent.

The third point of the agenda states, “We support policies reflective of the reality that parents — not government officials — are best qualified to make decisions about the physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of their children.”

With 10 overarching principles and more than 80 policy recommendations, the agenda must serve as a blueprint to guide the next Congress, should the GOP take control.

The “Family Policy Agenda” is much more detailed than the Republican leadership’s Commitment to America plan rolled out a few weeks ago and gets to the heart of some of our country’s most troubling social issues as opposed to the latter’s primarily economic focus.

Whether it is protecting our children from radical gender ideologies in school, cyber threats online, and deadly drugs, or policies that help single mothers and family-owned businesses, this strategy will put government on a path to help families succeed – by placing parents’ voices front and center.

Under the leadership of Rep. Banks, the RSC has stepped up the communications strategy for Republicans, understanding not allowing our positions on important cultural issues to be defined by the Left’s talking points, but by being bold in speaking out on issues. In the lead up to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, the RSC provided talking points for its members and the entire Republican conference in order to speak with boldness and clarity about our support for the lives of the unborn.

In June, on the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, Rep. Banks took the opportunity to highlight outstanding female athletes who have had to compete against men on the playing field. These young collegiate athletes were so poised as they explained their troubling challenges to a half dozen Members of Congress including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Although the congressional event received very little play in the media, it won the hearts and minds of numerous women’s groups in attendance and the athletes they sponsored.

It’s remarkable that we have to fight for women’s rights in 2022. Title IX was passed to give women and girls equal opportunities in education and athletics. Title IX required schools to have female athletic programs so women could compete against other women in their own sports and receive scholarships and other opportunities in educational programs once reserved only for men. The law gave women and girls new opportunities in education and athletics that previously had been denied them. That purpose remains true today.

Simply put, defending women, young female athletes and their families is a winning issue. Women vote for people who will keep their children safe and stand up for what the moms believe to be their best interests. They used to be soccer moms, then after 9-11, they became security moms. Now they are the moms who have seen the infringement on their rights to decide what is best for their children in school. And no mom wants to see her daughter’s blood, sweat, and tears go to waste because she had to compete against men.

These moms, especially suburban women, once again have the power to make or break a candidate’s chances. The soccer moms and security moms see what is happening in their schools — the radical ideologies and sexual exploitation — and they are not happy. Rep. Banks and his 160-member body understand that moms and their children matter just as much as the numbers and figures of the economy.

Real leaders will fearlessly tackle these issues threatening families, their values and those of our children. Rep. Banks and the RSC – whose 12-point plan ensures that American women and their families are supported and protected from government intrusion and radical ideology – have shown the way. The GOP would be ill-advised to ignore them. Conservative voters will be grateful when Republicans follow their lead and will repay them with their support.

Penny Nance is the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization.  

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.