Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Libertarian Defense of Social Conservatism

I'm not sure I agree with everything that Randall Hoven wrote about liberals, but his piece A Libertarian Defense of Social Conservatism makes some points that are worth not only reading but discussing. A small bit of what he shared:

Who are the true liberty killers?

The most obvious point to me is that it is the do-gooding liberals who are telling us all what we can and can't do. The religious right usually just wants to be left alone, either to home school, pray in public or not get their children vaccinated with who-knows-what. Inasmuch as the "religious right" wants some things outlawed, they have failed miserably for at least the last 50 years. Abortion, sodomy, and pornography are now all Constitutional rights. However, praying in public school is outlawed, based on that same Constitution.

Just think for a moment about the things you are actually forced to do or are prevented from doing. Seat belts. Motorcycle helmets. Bicycle helmets. Smoking. Gun purchase and ownership restrictions. Mandatory vaccines for your children. Car emissions inspections. Campaign ad and contribution restrictions. Saying a prayer at a public school graduation or football game. Trash separation and recycling. Keeping the money you earned. Gas tax. Telephone tax. Income tax. FICA withholding. Fill in this form. Provide ID.

For the most part, the list just cited is post-1960. Neither Pat Robertson nor James Dobson ever forced any of that on us.


John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget "conservatism," please. It has been Godless and thus irrelevant. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

"[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor,
Recovering Republican

Tim Higgins said...

Sorry Mr. Lofton, but I have to respectfully disagree with both you and Mr. Dabney.

Our country suffers because it has turned its back on the true meanings of freedom and personal responsibility. We have allowed government an increasing role in the second, to the detriment of the first. While our Founding Fathers belief in God was at the core of their definition of freedom and liberty, they were rebelling against the repression of a country which likewise considered itself Godly.

This is not to say that there is no attack by the left on religion, but I believe that this is merely an extension of their attack on any set of personal beliefs not supplied by the whim of politicians and bureaucrats. This form of Liberalism is moral relativism at its worst.

The recent failure in Conservatism seems to me to be a desire to attempt to make peace with Liberalism, and such a compromise of principle is always wrong. This is especially true recently of Republicans. Their failure in large part comes from paying little more than lip service to Conservative principles that they once held as core beliefs.

Lisa Renee said...

I'd tend to agree with you Tim, I think there are definitely core supporters that believe in the moral aspect but I also think that the main problem appears to be the lack of fiscal responsibility that drew many to the idea of conservatism. There has also been a huge increase in the lack of concern about personal freedom.