I believe in liberty for all, capitalism, a Classically Liberal republic of limited government that combines to make this nation (and any other that follows those principles) the shinning city on the hill for others to look to as the model. Which is why, for better or worse, I am a Republican. The Libertarians don’t believe in the first or last point (they seem to think the rights listed in the Declaration end at the border and if another country has a genocidal dictator that’s none of our business), the Democrats abhor the two in the middle. But the Republican Party stands for all of them. And every time we run on those principles we win. Coolidge, Nixon (even though he didn’t believe in them), Reagan (go on, tell me which social issues he made a focus of his campaign…none), the Contract with America (the closest it came to social issues was dealing with the marriage tax and tax credits for care of the elderly and adoption, it dealt entirely with money and the size of government). Every time we run on expanding the government we lose. Hoover, George H.W. Bush (read his lips, more taxes), Ford, Dole, McCain. The two major exceptions being Nixon the first time (and we can blame that on how he looks without makeup and Joe Kennedy buying a lot of votes) and Goldwater (where the economic moderates and big government Republicans actively backstabbed their own candidate).
But overall there is a simple rule: Economically Conservative Republicans win. Economically Moderate Republicans lose. (Certainly not once can I remember an economic liberal and social conservative win).
But, more and more, the Republican Party wants to press social issues? Why? Conservative economics and foreign policy are winners with the American public…liberal stances on those mixed with big government behavior for social issues is always a loser. And I don’t mean just Santorum, there are a lot of “socially conservative” issues out there that are actually taking aim at our economic conservatism and I don’t understand why Republicans are so eager to hype the weakest issues and the ones that will cause us to lose.
Now full disclosure, I am a social moderate. I don’t want the government in my wallet, my business or my capitalist transactions nor do I want them in my bedroom, my marriage or my doctor’s office. I believe in small government (and unlike pro-tyranny Libertarians I think that’s a human right not an American right…yeah Libertarians are really pissing me off too lately, can you tell?). But apparently some in the GOP don’t know that we’re the party of small government, not just the party of small government in the economy.
And it’s getting bad. Even my beloved Heritage Foundation is saying stupid things like “As conservatives, it is important to remember that social issues are central to preserving the Principles of the Founding Fathers.” Uh-huh, looking to the Founders for social conservatives. Ben Franklin who never married the mother of his child but lived with her in sin for most of his life. Thomas Jefferson, and probably most of the Sothern contingent, and their pro-raping the slaves practices. John and Abigail “let’s abandon our children to the care of others for almost a decade” Adams. Alexander Hamilton who had an affair with another man’s wife. They were all heavy drinkers and Franklin was not the only libertine among them. Now don’t get me wrong, I admire these people to the ends of the Earth, but I don’t mistake greatness for sainthood (one, John Dickenson, I think should have been treated to a short drop and a sudden stop for his behavior at the signing of the Declaration and Constitution). But don’t just take my word for it. Go look at some real conservative authors like Larry Schweikart’s What Would the Founders Say? or W. Cleon Skousen’s The Five Thousand Year Leap: 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World…both books are about the Founding Father’s opinions of government. Now while both stress the importance of personal religion and spirituality, of the societal importance of marriage (which anyone with half a brain has to admit) the closest either comes to what modern social conservatives consider important is when in Skousen’s book he points out that the Founding Fathers would not be for government money paying for abortion. That’s it. That’s all I can find of two well researched authors (who I would wager are more socially conservative than I am)…the most the Founding Father’s would care about modern social issues is the economic side of it. That’s probably because if you stop to think about it this motley crew of misfits, smugglers, drunks, deists, and other radicals, when asked about what goes on in their bedroom or what happens with their doctor would point you to the 2nd Amendment…and if the point wasn’t made clear enough that government had no right in those issues they’d drive the point home with their musket barrel in your redcoat face. And before you look to more modern Republicans for your pinnacles of virtues I would remind you that Reagan was divorced and Lincoln, well, it’s the “Log Cabin” Republicans for a reason. The fact of the matter is that most modern social conservatives would criticize that Jeshua of Nazareth guy for his hanging out with hookers and his obsession with alcohol (to the point of making a whole ritual of it).
This is idiotic. We’re Republicans. We don’t trust. We just admit that a little (very little) government is needed for society to run. But there now seems to be the Santorum wing of the Republican Party that thinks, per Santorum’s words:
“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a Libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.” [Italics Added]
Ignoring the fact that Rick Santorum just admitted to knowing less than nothing about history or conservatism…actually no, let’s not ignore that fact, Santorum is about as anti-American as it gets and it is revolting that a man who says such filth could get to any office, let alone a Republican one. You’ll notice that Rick tries to quote the Declaration a lot when in every speech he mentions the last line “we pledge our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor.” (Odd from a man whose life is all about him and his ego, who is actually one of the few millionaires who doesn’t give to charity, and who has no honor). He never quotes “life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” as one can see from his above quote, viscerally opposed to the “liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” part.
But it’s not just Santorum whose “social conservatism” (I want a better term, conservatism in reference to government has for the last 100 years meant smaller government, social conservatism means larger government).
For instance in Arizona, my home state, there are two laws that just baffle the mind
SB 1359 which states:
A. A PERSON IS NOT LIABLE FOR DAMAGES IN ANY CIVIL ACTION FOR WRONGFUL BIRTH BASED ON A CLAIM THAT, BUT FOR AN ACT OR OMISSION OF THE DEFENDANT, A CHILD OR CHILDREN WOULD NOT OR SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BORN.
B. A PERSON IS NOT LIABLE FOR DAMAGES IN ANY CIVIL ACTION FOR WRONGFUL LIFE BASED ON A CLAIM THAT, BUT FOR AN ACT OR OMISSION OF THE DEFENDANT, THE PERSON BRINGING THE ACTION WOULD NOT OR SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BORN.
Translation into human language: Your doctor can intentionally not tell you about medical conditions that might cause you to get an abortion and you can’t sue him for that lie of omission. WTF! Let’s ignore all the social concerns about ethics of aborting a child with severe diseases because people will never listen to reason on that, they’re in whichever camp they’re in…notice, however, that this law is a direct attack on capitalism. You have a contract with your doctor. The contract is you pay them; they give you correct medical advice. This bill condones violation of contract, effectively little more than fraud and theft (I’ll take your money, but not give you what you’re paying for). This is what we have government to stop, not to condone! So social conservatives show they only stand for the quantity of life, none of the liberty and human dignity that is implicit in capitalism and democratic-republicanism.
Or try this one HB 2625.
It’s two fold. First it lets any company, not just religious ones, exempt out of paying for contraceptives. I’m a capitalist, so I’m fine with that part. I don’t think companies should be forced to pay for insurance so I’m for tearing down these laws piece by piece. But then they do something else to the existing law. On numerous occasions this update of an existing law, they strike out the following phrase:
So if your employer finds out you use birth control they can now fire you without fear of a lawsuit? One, I’m not sure if any court would side with an employer if such a suit were brought to court. Two, this endorsement of violating a person’s right to privacy is rather disturbing. Now if you wanted to change the law that an employer can fire you for any random reason they have no matter how insane (before you go to the extreme example I will counter that numerous studies, see Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics to start, show that even racial discrimination hurts the employer more than the employee…if you’re going to fire good workers for stupid reasons, you’re not going to be in business for very long) I would have no problem with that. But to pick and choose is economically inefficient, but to pick and choose in favor of idiocy…well that just goes beyond rational thought.
Oh and over in Virginia they passed a law that requires women to get a “transvaginal ultrasound” to see the fetus before getting an abortion. I am not going to go into this one for long as I couldn’t easily find the bill text and there is conflicting reports on exactly how bad this is (the left wing media makes it sound like something beyond rape and the right wing media makes it out to be a gentle massage…shame on both sides for not providing me with some reasonable information)….but given just how uncomfortable the procedure sounds (gentlemen, switch it to transurethra to get an idea) I’m willing to say that in all likelihood this is a stupid bill. Most Americans would want an ultrasound, a 24 hour waiting period, maybe even a counseling session with a professional (a real professional, not some hack) before getting an abortion; even a die-hard pro-choice person like myself is not going to say that this is a small issue that should be taken lightly or without consideration. But there’s a difference between running the ultrasound wand over a belly and sticking the wand up a person’s genitals.
So called conservatives, don’t you see the hypocrisy of this? Of the government mandating objects be put into people’s bodies. That’s about as intrusive as a government gets.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. These so called conservatives are really just big government liberals, using the government to enforce their will. And if they are not stopped in this party they will sink it (or worse, I fear that after a summer of $8 a gallon gas the GOP could run a sock puppet against Obama and win…even Ayatollah Santorum might stand a chance against this idiot. And I really don’t want to live under the regime of a man who not only whole heartedly believes like Obama that government should be deeply involved in the economy and pick winners and losers, but also feels the government should enforce his psychotic Puritanical views on a form of Christianity Christ would have condemned to no end.)
Now, granted, the left is partly to blame for this. They keep fanning the flames of ultra-liberal social policy in people’s faces. Sex-ed to kindergartners. A pile of paper work for students to get a band aid, forbidding them access to aspirin…but the condoms are in a basket for all to take. Forcing people to pay for birth control when they don’t want to (I have no problem with you buying birth control, when I’m in a relationship I insist on using it, but I’ll split the bill with my partner and not ask you pay for ours, you do the same and don’t demand we pay for yours). Same goes with abortion, you can have it, I don’t want to stop you, but don’t ask that I pay for it. But just because the left is constantly trying to shove government into this, that does not excuse the right reacting with the same level of idiocy.
Now, all that said, a real social conservative would not want government involved in social issues. They would be for a large church presence in society, they would be for encouraging others to attend some form of spiritual life, they would conduct their own lives with temperance and prudence (in all aspects of their personals lives) and encourage others to do so. But they would never demand that government enforce that. Conservatism is supposed to be a belief in liberty, a belief that government is only to stop immediate and severe threats, not to impose the standards that we live by, but to provide the safety and freedom necessary that we can choose to live by those standards. True social conservatism is not using government to force others to live by our codes of conduct, but to live them ourselves and by our example and civil argument with individuals encourage others to do the same