“Do you craft family policy to fit the policies that already exist or do you try to give an ideal outcome? And if so, what is that ideal outcome?” asks Nation Senior Editor Richard Kim. “You’re not going to get a majority for these policies, so then what is your second best strategy?” answers writer Reihan Salam, co-author of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.

Salam thinks that one way to help American families is to structure our tax code “in a way that provides more assistance for parents with children.” Kim also adds that much of the gay marriage debate is backed by concerns for household security. He argues that we need to take a closer look at civil unions “to reflect the diversity of families that exist in America.” The debate needs to be focused less on the “what is marriage, what is not marriage; what is love, what is not love” part of the argument and more on what Salam calls the “economic anxiety” aspect.

—Melanie Breault