Understanding social conservatives
By J.B. Williams
Because the religious right is the most visible champion of social conservative values today, and the secular socialists have worked so hard to make sure that social conservatism is defined as some right-wing religious extremism, it is in vogue to refer to social conservatives as some mutant breed of social Nazis.
As a result, even many Republicans now fear being painted with that broad brush and seek to rid their party of this false stigma, proving how socially progressive they can be by nominating a social liberal to lead their party to victory in 2008.
However, in reality, social conservatism actually has little to do with religion. In fact, until recent years, when the Democratic Party became run by Democratic Secular Socialists, it wasn't even an idea limited to the right or Republicans. It was a very fundamental American precept shared by most Americans on all sides of the political spectrum. It was simply about individual responsibility and accountability, always inherent with individual right's.
Is it just a right-wing effort to legislate morality?
Indeed, for some it is. Those who support amending the constitution every time some social difference crops up are looking to use federal powers to limit personal freedom and liberty. There's no getting around it. Let's face reality. Evangelicals are called to evangelize. They are perfectly happy to do so from the pulpit, on the subway, on the street corner or from the White House or halls of congress. This is not new. The founders spoke of these same principles often. The issue is legislating on those principles.
This accounts for a very small segment of the social conservative constituency. This is why the founders made the amendment process cumbersome.
On the other hand, those who have used activist courts to pursue equally un-American ideals are guilty of the same thing in reverse. Those who used a single court decision to "legalize" murder in the form of abortion, or label every progressive perversion as some quasi-civil right are guilty of the same things of which they accuse the extreme right - just via different federal powers, from a different branch.
This is unfortunately a majority in today's DNC and that's why the founders never intended for the courts to be a legislative branch of government.
But most social conservatives are not right-wing religious zealots. There are actually very few extreme right-wing zealots in America. We have many more left-wing nuts and they are not a majority either. Both are just active and loud.
If not an effort to legislate morality, then what?
It is a fundamental American concept. That less government is better than more government. That nothing threatens personal freedom and liberty like government does and that our federal government is the very last institution that should ever be trusted with power over the life and death of its people. "Unalienable" right to Life, remember?
America was founded and built upon the idea that life, not death, is an unalienable right of every innocent American citizen. This precept was forever recorded in our nations founding document, our Declaration of Independence, where the founders stated unequivocally which basic ideas we would hold as self-evident and unalienable.
So, most social conservatives support life rather than death, because it is a fundamental American precept. If one does not respect and protect the sanctity of life, what other unalienable rights can they possibly be trusted to protect and preserve?
This is why social liberals have a hard time earning the trust of social conservatives. It has nothing to do with religion really, other than the fact that our founders chose this fundamental American right on the basis of their moral convictions for individual freedom and liberty.
It's all about the fact that if you don't respect and protect something as basic as life, there's no way to trust you with anything more complex.
Why is it so important to have socially conservative conservatives?
Politically speaking, it actually comes down to two very valid reasons, tough to argue with.
The same way that conservatives understand that a weak national defense system will result in war, not peace; weak social policies will result in social ills that require ever increasing government solutions at taxpayers' expense. You can't be fiscally conservative under liberal social policies. The math won't work.
To be conservative is to understand that every action or inaction has a natural set of inescapable consequences. If you mismanage money, you won't have any money and there will be nobody to blame but yourself. I know this, because I've tried it…
Likewise, if you mismanage your personal life, your personal life will spin out of control and you will be looking for someone to help pick up the pieces. Today, it has become all too common to look to the federal government as the remedy for such natural individual consequences.
The federal government through its legislative branch, could in fact be given legislative authority over the issue of life, by way of amendment. I don't think this is a good idea. And even if we did, I don't think the legislative branch would ever pass a law legalizing abortion. That's why the legislative branch was circumvented by an activist court on the matter. An act that will one day be overturned, once Americans come to grips with what they have allowed to happen in their country.
It also has nothing to do with controlling reproductive rights. Nobody is working to control our right to reproduce. It's only about our right to kill, after we have reproduced.
How does this apply to other social issues?
America is built upon a belief in individual rights, not special rights for individual minority voting blocs. America is nothing more than a vast collection of minority blocs, none of which have more power than the other, or at least they aren't supposed to have.
This means that individuals are free to make their own choices so long as they don't infringe upon the rights of others. This means they are free to make mistakes, but not free to force others to face the natural consequences of those mistakes.
We operate by majority (not minority) rule, but not a simple majority. A simple majority would be a pure democracy, mob rule. America was instead, purposefully designed and formed as a Representative Republic, whereby a complex majority view would be upheld as relates to the limited public affairs assigned to the government, those of equal interest to all, not of special interest to some.
The Tenth Amendment says simply that all rights not assigned specifically to the federal government in the constitution, remain the rights of the people and their individual states. As you know, the constitution assigns very limited powers to the federal government, though the fed has overstepped all of those boundaries by now.
Again, there is indeed a small right-wing contingency that would like to legislate their moral beliefs that say homosexuality is a sin, an abomination, immoral and therefore, should be illegal. But the constitution assigns the federal government no such power to make such individual choices, nor should it by way of amendment.
On the other side of the debate are those seeking to use any federal or state branch of government willing to legislate special rights for the homosexual community. Because our government has involved itself in promoting traditional family values via its tax code and other social programs, this group, among others, now seeks access to those federally mandated benefits by redefining the definition of marriage.
But again, the constitution affords the federal government no such powers. The federal government has no power to either re-define marriage, or outlaw the private personal sexual practices of consenting adults.
Simply stated, it's not a federal issue and we must stop making a federal issue out of every little social difference. We have lots of differences. Do we really want the fed this deeply involved in personal affairs? The federal government can not play peacemaker or equalizer for every little private matter. It's the wrong venue.
Economic Social Engineering
We have been involved in social engineering ever since the graduated tax system was installed in America. There is no other way to describe the taking of one's rightful earnings against his will, and redistributing those earnings to others who did nothing to earn them. It is a form of Democratic Socialism, the redistribution of wealth, not to be confused with the very American tradition of charitably caring for those "unable" to care for themselves.
This social conservative and many like me
Given the opportunity to publicly interview any of the socially liberal candidates from either side of the political aisle who support abortion on demand, I would ask only three questions and listen very carefully to their answers.
Question # 1 – What do you think the founders meant by these words?
Question # 2 – Why do you not uphold and defend this most fundamental American right, life?
Question # 3 – If Americans cannot trust you to uphold and defend the most basic of unalienable American right's, why should we trust you to uphold and defend any other?
Then I would finish my interview with one simple statement…
I will agree to be as socially liberal as you want me to be, if you will agree to spend not one more tax dollar on any government program designed to deal with the natural consequences of liberal social policies.
© 2007 J.B. Williams