Here at RedState I see a continued defense of Social Conservatism, albeit in an issue specific way. I decided to write this to remind all of us why it matters that we remain Social Conservatives, and what exactly that means. For far too long our party has neglected this particular leg of the stool. We’ve gotten a few kind words, but rarely any real action, and never any real support.
Social Conservatives aren’t just against abortion, or gay marriage, or atheism, or militant feminism. Social Conservatives are about defending the foundations of a social structure that has given rise to the greatest, most prosperous, most generous nation in the history of the world. Having a strong military is not what made America into the juggernaut we have become. Having fiscally conservative policies was not the root cause of our economic and social success throughout the world. Behind everything else there was a specific morality that was part of our national conscience since before we were even a nation.
In the words of the Declaration of Independence we read, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” This is what Social Conservatives are for. We are for life, the life of all people. We are against abortion for the same reason we are against police brutality and the same reason we are against gang violence. We believe that all men are created by God, given life as an inherent unalienable right.
We are for the death penalty because we believe that there are some people who cannot exist in a civil society. Not because we want revenge, but because we want justice. There are some crimes that when committed deprive the other party of the ability to live their lives freely, as God gave them the right to enjoy. It may be debatable which crimes these are, but it doesn’t make us hypocrites to say that we support the death penalty and remain pro-life.
We are for liberty. We don’t deny the right of people to love those whom they want to love. But we do recognize that life occurs in a very particular method in humans. Life is only created through the joining of a man and woman. Two women or two men will never be able to naturally create life. Therefore we recognize that your right to live and love who you want should remain a personal choice. That doesn’t mean that you get the right to use the institutions which society has put in place for the protection of future generations as your own private bastion.
We believe in the pursuit of happiness. You have the right to serve anyone you want. You have the right to open businesses and engage in commerce. You have the right to pursue education, to paint pictures, to take photographs, to invent, to do anything that brings you enjoyment. You don’t have the right to use that freedom to engage in harmful actions that deprive that right and liberty to others. You don’t have the right to demand to be served in situations that might bring about moral compromise by others, thus destroying their ability to happily engage in enterprise.
When bills like the so called “bathroom bills” become controversial, we know that the moral foundation of our society has been lost. How does it impugn upon the happiness or liberty of others to say that those who have a specific sexual anatomy must attend restrooms with others who share that anatomy when using government facilities? Isn’t it a greater intrusion upon those who expect a level of civil privacy when engaging in one of the most intimate acts of being human?
It is because I am a Social Conservative that I am a Fiscal Conservative. Because I believe you the right to pursue what makes you happy, I want you to keep more of the results of that pursuit so that you can actually succeed. I want the government to get out of the game of giving people hand outs because I want people to be challenged to do their best, because only in that do they find the greatest reward. Yes, some will fail, and that’s where true charity and generosity come in, just as Americans have always cared for one another in the past. I’m not saying the world will be perfect, but it isn’t perfect today.
It is because I’m a Social Conservative that I also believe in a strong military. We stand on the notion that all people were created with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not just Americans. And we use our military to defend ourselves and to act as a deterrent to would be dictators who would take these rights from others. We hold a balance in the world that allows the greatest promotion of individual liberty that we can manage. We aren’t trying to make every nation in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or Europe into a little America, but we are saying that there won’t be any huge conflagration that disrupts world peace to the point where we lose our strategic partners and have our interests threatened.
It is because I’m a Social Conservative that I stand against Leftists politically. And I think this is where our party has faltered the most. Without Social Conservatism, why not support Hillary if she were to suddenly promise a better fiscal position, and a strong military? Isn’t that exactly what Trump is doing? He is playing up the idea that he can lead us into better financial times and can make us a force in the world again, but he isn’t trying to be a Social Conservative.
His supporters have bought it hook, line, and sinker. I have read more than once about how none of the social issues matter if we don’t get our fiscal house in order and don’t strengthen our borders. The problem is that those issues, the fiscal issues and the military issues, flow from the social issues. If the social issues don’t matter, then why do we need strong borders? Why fight (politically) against new immigrants bringing their culture with them, if our own culture doesn’t matter enough to be the bedrock issue we’re fighting for? Why worry about being invaded and taken over by Islamic Radicals pushing Sharia law if the Western tradition we have been handed isn’t important enough to be the first priority? If you want a strong military and fiscally sound policy, it can only happen if you begin with a position rooted in Social Conservatism.
This is also why I support Ted Cruz. Because he is a Social Conservative. He has fought for the Constitution before the SCotUS. He has fought for Fiscal Conservatism against his own party in Washington, D.C. Ted Cruz isn’t perfect, but he is a Conservative first, and he does understand the importance of our foundation. With his recent rhetoric, Cruz has been preaching optimism in the face of the challenges confronting us. But that optimism can only be successful if we remember what the real foundation of our nation is.
Our nation is built on a foundation that understands the importance of our basic, intrinsic, human rights. I think the most important part of that foundation is an acknowledgment that these rights come from our Creator, and this Creator deserves our undying worship. We need to remember that we are Conservatives, and what we do is in the service of something greater than ourselves.