In today's Los Angeles Times I write that social conservatives are pointing to real problems, but the only policy solutions they discuss are completely irrelevant to what they call "the high cost of a dysfunctional society":
. . . Reducing the incidence of unwed motherhood, divorce, fatherlessness, welfare and crime would be a good thing. So why the focus on issues that would do nothing to solve the "breakdown of the basic family structure" and the resulting "high cost of a dysfunctional society"? Well, solving the problems of divorce and unwed motherhood is hard. And lots of Republican and conservative voters have been divorced. A constitutional amendment to ban divorce wouldn't go over very well, even with the social conservatives. Far better to pick on a small group, a group not perceived to be part of the Republican constituency, and blame it for social breakdown and its associated costs.
That's why social conservatives point to a real problem and then offer phony solutions.
But you won't find your keys on the thoroughfare if you dropped them in the alley, and you won't reduce the costs of social breakdown by keeping gays unmarried and preventing them from adopting orphans.