by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz
There’s an old saying in academia, “the biggest fights are over paper clips and post-it notes.” In other words, it’s the littlest things that at the end of the day that don’t amount to much which cause the biggest problems and headaches. And someone just dropped a truckload of paper clips and post-it notes over at the Indiana Republican Party on Ohio St.
As you have probably read, the state party’s convention is this weekend in Evansville, and although there are no contested races, there is a very public battle brewing over language in the party’s platform regarding the concept of a “family”.
The original draft went like this…
“We believe in strong families. We believe that strong families are the foundation of society and that such families bring forth citizens capable of self-government, as well as properly-motivated public servants so essential for a successful republic. We support traditional families with a mother and father, blended families, grandparents, guardians, single parents and all loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day.”
This is a change from the 2016 language….
“WE BELIEVE, in strong families. We believe that strong families, based on marriage between a man and a woman, are the foundation of society. We also recognize that some families are much more diverse and we support the blended families, grandparents, guardians and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day.”
Now if you’re a regular person, you probably scratching your head because you don’t see what the big deal is. Well for folks, many who have nothing else better to do with their time, the fact that the line “based on marriage between a man and a woman” was edited out got a lot of them worked up (particularly the group of social conservatives who got their clocks cleaned in the May primary and need some scapegoat to raise money).
The change in the language wasn’t happenstance. The Indiana GOP held hearings across the state and actually, the change stemmed from testimony from a lot of single mothers who thought the language should be more inclusive. Heaven forbid a political party that is demographically older and whiter in a nation that is getting younger, blacker and browner try to be more inclusive?. The last time I checked politics was about addition, not subtraction.
Needless, because of this political consternation, Republicans will offer two version of the language at their Saturday convention and the delegates will decide which to pick. Since the convention is in Evansville, and there are no contested races, the conventional wisdom is that the more ideologically conservative wing will show up and get their way. We’ll see.
The bigger issue though is because of a fight over language that a regular person really couldn’t see what the big deal is, instead of talking about how Indiana is the envy of the Midwest, how Secretary of State Connie Lawson, Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, and Auditor Tera Klutz have all done a really good job serving Hoosiers, Indiana Republicans are dealing with a fight that not only should have never happened in the first place, but when the convention ends by 2 p.m. Eastern Time, no one who lives and works the real world will really care.
In fact, no one in the real world cares now. Why? Because It’s just a big political box of paper clips and post-it notes.
Abdul-Hakim is an attorney licensed to practice in Indiana and Illinois. He is also the editor and publisher of IndyPolitics.Org. His opinions are his own, but you are free to adopt them.