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A 'Conservative' Shows Her Liberalism, Opposing Polygamy Rights

Date: Feb 16, 2006
Word Count: 3000 words
Cross-Reference: Debra Saunders, "same sex marriage", polygamy rights

"Conservative" columnist Debra Saunders used the same "liberal media" tactics she otherwise decried, deliberately misreported about the polygamy rights movement, embraced re-definitions of marriage, revealed her Marxist opposition to free market principles, and - just as pro-polygamists had forewarned - even supported "same sex marriage."

Pro-polygamists have long pointed out the numerous hypocrisies of many supposed-to-be conservatives, calling such big government "liberals in conservative clothing" as "New Liberals." The hypocrisies were becoming so extensive that pro-polygamists had even forewarned that some "New Liberals" would eventually even support "same sex marriage" - the ultimate hypocrisy. 
To the chagrin of true conservatives, a supposed-to-be conservative syndicated columnist, Debra Saunders, has already brought that forewarning to pass. 
For those who do not know her, Debra Saunders is an opinion writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Syndicated through, her opinion pieces appear in several major U.S. newspapers, including The Washington Times. 
On February 16, 2005, Debra Saunders even appeared on the Fox News Channel's program, "The O'Reilly Factor." She was the "visiting conservative" for the episode, titled, "Factor Investigation: A No Spin Look at the Print Media." 
It is highly significant to note that Bill O'Reilly's own acts of "liberal media" tactics had actually been "outed" that next day, by a February 17, 2005, op-ed distributed to the media by, titled, "Conservative Media Acts 'Liberal' Too" - but for a different reason. Specifically, in the previous week's February 9, 2005, episode, Bill O'Reilly knowingly used the same lopsided tactics about which he otherwise calls "liberal" as usually employed by liberal media. He used such lopsided anti-polygamy propaganda even though numerous op-eds from had been distributed to his show, informing him of a true conservative position and polygamists' pro-family perspective. His "New Liberal" show denied a true conservative voice to rebut the lopsided falsehoods made during the episode. 
So, it subsequently becomes no surprise that Debra Saunders was the supposed-to-be "conservative" guest for a February 16, 2005, appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor." She was there to confirm the depth of liberal lopsidedness in the print media - which does, in fact, exist, of course. O'Reilly was rightly concerned about the "group think" mentality arising out of so many writers repeating the same slanted falsehoods and then afterward the views become accepted as if true. Concurring, Saunders pointed out how such lopsided liberalism then deliberately deceives audiences into thinking that the liberal slant of issues is supposedly true and factual. She told O'Reilly, "And when things are skewed, what happens is liberal looks like it's mainstream because so many of the columnists are liberal. So that must be mainstream." 
From that statement, it is clear that Saunders fully understands the deceptive "liberal media" tactic of "group think" repetition of falsehoods and of relying on so many other like-minded published falsehood-tellers to further spread the lie as if it is truth.  
A year later, when Debra Saunders reacted to the polygamy rights movement in an anti-polygamy commentary she wrote for many news media souces throughout the U.S., the significance of her admitted knowledge of that deceptive "liberal media" tactic cannot be understated. 
On January 13, 2006, the Christian polygamy organization,, had issued a press release distributed to the media, including Debra Saunders. It was titled, "Government Study in Canada Recommends De-criminalizing Polygamy." That press release reported how pro-polygamists applaud the study's findings that laws criminalizing polygamy should be ended and that side-issues of abuse must be appropriately addressed as separate issues. Less than a week after that press release had been distributed to her, Debra Saunders wrote her January 19, 2006, column, "A Giant Step Backward for Women." 
Debra Saunders stated that, previously, she had never thought the purported "slippery slope to polygamy" argument by other supposed-to-be conservatives was ever really valid. But now things had changed for her. 
She wrote, "The limit for marriages would remain two, I argued. Two doesn't mean three or four." 
Saunders continued, "Wrong. In these politically correct times, do-gooders expand definitions until words -- or institutions -- lose all meaning. Marriage can mean what you want it to mean. And if you don't prosecute all crimes in a category, you can't prosecute one." 
Saunders's hysteria blinded her to the silliness of her hypocrisy. By her own words, since "do-gooders" expand definitions to mean what they want words to mean, then logically, "do-badders" shrink definitions to mean what they want words to mean. And likewise, the logic of Saunders's statement emphatically declares that anyone who changes definitions - whether expanding or shrinking - to mean what they want the words to mean are the ones being politically correct. Conservative-speak translation: definition-changers are liberals. 
Anti-polygamists were the original, politically correct, "do-badder" liberals to use big socialist government to make marriage "mean what they wanted it to mean." They sought to shrink the total definition of marriage by trying to remove polygamy from its otherwise historically and Biblically proven place within the complete definition of marriage. As polygamous marriage pre-dates the very notion of government itself, the very idea of allowing big government to liberally re-define marriage as excluding polygamy is, by conservative definition, the very liberalism that specifically prepared the way - in the first place - for any subsequent liberal re-definitions of marriage by big government. Factually speaking, anti-polygamy is the original big government liberalism that led to the imaginary invention of "same sex marriage." 
So, by Saunders's own words, her anti-polygamy support, and true conservative terms, she utterly self-defined herself as a liberal.  
However, the contents of the press release by the organization about the Canadian study for de-criminalizing polygamy was only the first half of what instigated Saunders's changed point of view. She was also responding to a front-page report about that same organization in the Sunday, December 11, 2005, issue of The Washington Times. In a special report, titled, "The Marriage of Many," Cheryl Wetzstein, the national reporter for family and welfare issues, reported on the growing polygamy rights movement. 
Wetzstein's report opened with the following quoted sound-bite. 
"'Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle.' So goes the motto of a Christian pro-polygamy organization that has been watching the battle over homosexual 'marriage' rights with keen interest.  
"'We're coming. We are next. There's no doubt about it, we are next,' says Mark Henkel, founder of ." 
Wetzstein further reported, "Two polygamous families associated with Mr. Henkel's organization agreed to speak by telephone with The Washington Times." She then reported the following quotes from those two families. 
"If polygamy were legal, there would be more stable families, fewer single mothers and less welfare, says 'Poppa,' who lives in the Pacific Northwest with 'Momma,' his wife of 34 years, and 'Mom,' a single mother who joined them in 'marriage' five years ago.  
"Contrary to stereotypes, Poppa says, his family is self-sufficient and active in their community. All the adults work and share in household duties and the care of six children. 'We pool our money and our resources and whenever one [adult] has to take off, another will watch the kids,' he says. 
"Momma says she welcomed Mom into the family because she felt compassion for the 37-year-old single mother and knew 'my husband could take care of both of us.' 
"'He's always had more love than I could absorb,' Momma says. Good polygamous men, she adds, 'are not trying to create a collection [of wives]. They're trying to make sure this [single] woman has a support mechanism for her and her children.'"  
In another quote with the same family, Wetzstein's article reported "Poppa" saying, "Polygamy is family. It's us. It's a unity and identity of a family group. ... It is the ultrafamily."  
Wetzstein also cited some quotes from the second family, who similarly involve a single mom and children joining an existing family. "'The only difference between us and any other normal American family... -- it's all the same, except it's just a husband and a wife and a wife,' says the second 'Poppa'... 
"'We're extremely pro-family, we're extremely pro-children,' says Momma, who is 36 and joined Poppa, 29, and 'Mamasita,' 28, at their request six years ago.  
"They say that theirs is a harmonious, loving home -- 'we're sensitive to each other,' Mamasita says -- and having another adult in the house has allowed both women to share child care, go to college and get good jobs."  
Clearly, those (non-Mormon) Christian "ultrafamilies" succinctly explained how their form of consenting-adult polygamous families had afforded them better opportunities and life improvements - which they would not otherwise have been able to obtain individually. 
Despite such genuine testimony in that report, Debra Saunders reacted with a virtual shriek. In her January 19, 2006, commentary, one particular paragraph exceeded the hysteria of all of her other comments, unleashing a rhetorical machine-gun volley of falsehood, propaganda, and outright liberalism. 
Saunders declared, "The Washington Times interviewed polygamous Mormons who argued they lead happy, harmonious lives. That may be, but the practice is poison for cultures at large. Rich men marry many wives. Poor men do not. Women have few opportunities and limited rights. It can't be good for the kids. Consider polygamy's most famous son: Osama bin Laden, whose father sired 54 children with 22 wives." 
Inspecting one statement at a time, each comment in that slanderous paragraph reveals much about Debra Saunders's anti-conservative views and "liberal media" tactics. 
Saunders opened it with, "The Washington Times interviewed polygamous Mormons." Not only is that statement knowingly false, but it is actually part of a standard anti-polygamy propaganda strategy. That well-known strategy seeks to confuse people into thinking that all polygamists everywhere are part of specific, individual Mormon polygamous groups where real crimes have truly occurred. (Even all Mormon polygamists are not part of those individual groups, either.) Contrary to Saunders's assertion, though, Wetzstein's report clearly identified the organization as Christian - not Mormon. That report also included the full internet web-address of . The front-page of that web-site clearly states that the organization is not about any form of Mormonism at all. As such, Saunders's labeling of the reported Christian polygamists as "Mormons" was more than a purposeful falsehood. It is a well-established anti-polygamy strategy to deliberately misinform readers, using the same kind of "liberal media" tactics and "group think" that she decried on "The O'Reilly Factor" in 2005. 
Continuing again, but in more entirety, Saunders wrote, "The Washington Times interviewed polygamous Mormons who argued they lead happy, harmonious lives. That may be, but the practice is poison for cultures at large." Passing right over the testimony of happy lives in the reported Christian polygamy form of polygamy (and ignoring its extremely positive potential impact for society) as actually cited from Wetzstein's report, Saunders instead moved on to make inapplicable speculation about "cultures at large." She neither possesses any basis in fact nor has any empirical evidence with which to substantiate such opinion, of course. 
In the next two sentences, Saunders more fully revealed her unquestionably liberal views. She wrote, "Rich men marry many wives. Poor men do not." In that one fell swoop, Saunders revealed that she is a misogynist, a misoandrist, and a socialist. 
To her, money is all that motivates or matters for marriage. The misogynist Saunders hates women so passionately that she thinks all women, even good women, are either so pathetic, so helpless, or so conniving that they are nothing more than prostitutes who only marry for money. The misoandrist Saunders loathes men so much that she thinks that all men, even good men, only want to buy women in "marriage" as products for consumption. And the socialist Saunders so despises laissez faire free market principles that her class-envying Marxism disables her from realizing that competitively motivating men to grow up and mature into having better marriageable husband-qualities would actually improve the overall caliber of husbands for women all around. (De-criminalized polygamy does not mean that all men become polygynous, after all.) As any true conservative knows well, the class-envying opposition to genuinely good, free market competition - which can and does improve overall quality - is firmly grounded in the anti-conservative ideology of socialist liberalism. 
Saunders continued, "Women have few opportunities and limited rights." That same Washington Times article clearly disproved that claim. The two Christian polygamous families quoted in that report made it clear that their situation improved the life and opportunities for both the former single mothers who joined the polygamous families and for the first mothers too. As the women had indicated, having each other available with whom to trade time in caring for the children and for pooling together their combined incomes as a larger family, the women were able to obtain their desired college educations. Polygamy gave them choices they would not otherwise have had. Without their "ultrafamily" and its dedicated loving support, they could neither have afforded nor have had time to obtain those life improvements. As their lives prove, polygamy actually does present more opportunities and rights for women. 
Having no basis of experience about polygamy, though, Saunders then made the outrageous declaration, "It can't be good for the kids." Current society, with its illogical anti-polygamy hostility, instead forces many children into being raised by low-paid strangers. It also pushes many abandoned single moms into a "hamster in a wheel" trap of working just to pay for the daycare - or they otherwise just "go on welfare." Yet, Saunders's statement implicitly declares that those modern societal tragedies must be "better for the kids" than having some parent always home by their own choice and freedom. Certainly, having a good father - one who actually wants marriage and fatherhood and who is not afraid of such joys - is far better for children than an absent, marriage-phobic "baby's daddy," as so rampantly occurs in these "modern" times. 
Finally, Saunders ended the slanderous paragraph with absurd and inflammatory irrelevance, "Consider polygamy's most famous son: Osama bin Laden, whose father sired 54 children with 22 wives." Using the same absurd logic, anecdotal examples of serial killers born of monogamous parents would supposedly equally imply that monogamy had created those hideous monsters, too. Obviously, such an attempted association is utterly ridiculous and exceedingly inflammatory. 
Saunders's article clearly "outed" her propagandistic liberalism. 
More than just her beliefs, though, Saunders's tactics also reveal how much she, herself, acts like the very liberal media she purported to oppose.  
Indeed, Debra Saunders is not unfamiliar with the polygamy rights movement. She has long been on the media list of The op-eds and press releases from the polygamy rights movement had been distributed to her for some time. Having such long-term knowledge, she expressly knows that her claims about the more typically conservative and very pro-family polygamy rights movement were entirely false. 
Even so, after Saunders's January 19, 2006, commentary first appeared, the organization compassionately extended an act of goodwill and good faith to her by contacting her. She was patiently given time and more than one opportunity to correct her "possibly-innocent mistakes."  
However, she had exploited the "liberal media" style of "group think" of supposed-to-be conservative news sources to unthinkingly duplicate her obvious liberalism, from to to The Washington Times. 
Accordingly, Saunders refused the goodwill from and was simply not going to correct herself whatsoever. She knew what she was doing. 
Beyond the liberal beliefs and intentional misrepresentations, Saunders ultimately took her "outed" liberalism to the next level. She actually embraced "same sex marriage." 
This new profound hypocrisy was not a surprise to conservative pro-polygamists who had forewarned about it two years ago, however. On May 15, 2004, another op-ed which had been sent out to the media by was titled, "'New Liberal' Hypocrisies on Government Marriage." After proving the numerous big government liberal positions of supposed-to-be conservatives regarding marriage, identifying those political hypocrites as "New Liberals," the op-ed concluded by expressing the following forewarning. "Seeing all this, true conservatives wonder, 'What's the next hypocrisy?' Will 'New Liberals' one day be supporting 'same-sex marriage' too?" 
Debra Saunders is the first "outed" "New Liberal" to have brought that forewarned concern to pass. In the sentences immediately prior to her aforementioned slanderous paragraph, Saunders actually declared, "Extending marital protections to same-sex couples bestows equality. Extending protections to unequal unions protects inequality." 
As the quotes in Wetzstein's report had proved, polygamy empowers women. Women are empowered to have greater and more choices. They do not have to settle for marriage-phobic "boys" or otherwise simply male low-lifes. Women can more easily have the choice to either raise children themselves or to pursue career goals (confident that their own children are being cared for by family adults). Obviously, any intelligent person can immediately realize that modern American women, if they do choose a consenting-adult polygamous family, can easily rally together to ensure that their husband has no thoughts of somehow oppressing their rights. Anyone who does not realize that fact is someone who does not know women! Saunders's absurd straw man suggestion is simply not going to happen in most cases. Truly, such women can more ably ensure that a good and pro-marriage man is in the family - for both them and the children.  
Yet in stark contrast to all those advantages, the imagined invention of "same sex marriage" offers none of those empowerments and equality-enhancements for women who want a husband or for children having good parents of both genders. 
Consequently, while slandering consenting-adult, pro-woman polygamy as "unequal," Debra Saunders instead supported the biological impossibility of "same sex marriage" as "equality." By her own arguments, she is a "do badder" liberal who shrinks the actual definition of marriage to exclude polygamy. And she is a "do gooder" liberal who expands the actual definition to add the biological impossibility of "same sex marriage." Bottom line in conservative terms, she is a politically correct liberal who supports re-defining the meaning of marriage to mean whatever she wants it to mean. Saunders has hereby supported "same sex marriage." 
True conservative pro-polygamists had forewarned that such new hypocrisy would inevitably happen. "New Liberal" Debra Saunders indubitably brought their forewarning to pass.


Bibliographic URLs: distributed articles 
Debra Saunders 
The O'Reilly Factor,2933,147839,00.html,2933,146975,00.html  
Wetzstein's report in The Washington Times 
Examples, Duplications of Saunders liberal commentary

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