The philosophical principle called Occam’s razor holds that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. That’s worth noting these days when hyperbole, contorted reasoning and convoluted language have become the coin of our political conversation. Take, for example, the [condensed] response of Heritage Foundation Fellow Ryan Anderson when a Times reporter asked if the Supreme Court’s gay-marriage decision “isn’t the ultimate conservative ruling because it [leaves] people’s lives to themselves:” “The reason the government is in the marriage business isn’t because it cares about the love lives of consenting adults. Government is in the marriage business because there is a certain type of union – the union between a man and a woman – that can produce new life. Government wants to make sure that new life has a mom and a dad; and upholding the institution of marriage is the least coercive way to ensure that. When this doesn’t happen, that is when we’ve seen government grow – the welfare state grows, crime increases, the prison population rises, child poverty increases, social mobility decreases. So, everything you care about, if you care about limited government and the poor, about liberty and social justice, is better served by a healthy marriage culture.”
If I understand this breathtaking – and unproven – assertion, we need government to enforce a particular view of the most intimate parts of our lives so that all the problems that require government solutions will disappear, and the state, as Engels wrote, will “wither away.” Good-bye, Nanny State. Hello, Mommy-and-Daddy State.