Friday, May 09, 2008

Conservatism = Social conservatism?

I have become more and more unhappy with the idea that conservatism is defined by social issues. I have used the term traditionalist to describe those that promote social conservatism in a political realm.

Their arguments are consistently along the lines that society should not just change for the sake of changing. It is a simplistic and often useless observation. Society doesn't JUST change for the sake of changing. People didn't wake up and decide that children should be in charge, they abdicated their responsibilities over several generations.

Further, they will often suggest that long history has determined what works and we should not just toss those workable solutions - the most common time for this argument is in the area of marriage and their opposition to gay marriage. But no one is suggesting straight people have to start marrying gays, or that straight people have to get divorced.

Social conservatives have been in the GOP because they oppose the Democrat/liberal positions - NOT because they are politically conservative. Seldom do they make their arguments from a perspective of individual/constitutional rights. They use history, tradition, and very infrequently except by inference, Scripture.

If you support socially positions, great. I think you should be active in your support. Just don't call it conservatism, especially in the political arena.

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