Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Advice To Social Conservatives

I said last week that social conservatives have not done a great job winning over the public on social issues. There are some minor advances here and there, but for every advance there is full retreat in some other area. I think a change of strategy is called for on all fronts.

Let me start with three broad principles:

Principle One: It’s time to get rational about the goals social conservatives want to achieve and how to achieve them. This means putting an end to pie-in-the-sky ideas like constitutional amendments to force change. Not only is that easily lampooned in light of the conservative claim to states’ rights, but it’s pointless because there is simply no way to get any constitutional amendment through the Congress and then passed by enough states. It is impossible, and talking about it wastes time and diverts resources from better causes. Moreover, talking about changing the constitution, scares the public, who will automatically see this as extreme and dangerous. So drop the idea of trying to solve everything with one shot and learn the art of incrementalism, i.e. achieving your goal little by little. This isn’t sexy, but it’s the only effective way to achieve controversial goals under our system.

Principle Two: Drop the harsh rhetoric. The fiery pulpit speeches may work well in church, but the public sees them differently. To the public, they are evidence that social conservatives are hateful people who can’t deal with the modern world and who want to judge everyone else. This is a self-inflicted wound.

Principle Three: You can’t win with religion-based arguments. Those simply don’t work with the modern public because the vast majority of the public doesn’t see the Bible as the thing which runs their day-to-day lives. Indeed, while 90% of the public claims to believe in God, only 40% claim to go to church “regularly” (there is reason to believe the real number is closer to 20%). And even of those who go, there is a disconnect between what the churches teach and how people live their lives -- the classic example of this are Catholics, who love the Pope, but ignore his rules. And even then, different denominations and different religions have different views about what their religion tells them, e.g. some accept gay marriage, some don’t. So premising arguments on religion is a bad start because you lose most of your audience. Moreover, in making these arguments, social conservatives end up bypassing the stronger arguments they should be making.

Ok, now let’s look at specific policies.

Abortion: Abortion is an area where social conservatives are largely doing it right because they’ve adopted incrementalism. In the 1980s and early 1990s, abortion opponents kept looking for the home run, and it never came. It wasn’t until they learned to take the issue step by step that they began to make progress. The goal right now should be to entirely eliminate public funding, which is what keeps the abortion lobby alive, and to impose restrictions which the public will find reasonable.

One thing that needs to be dropped is this ridiculous idea of extending 14th Amendment rights to fetuses. Not only does this scare people, and thus is counterproductive, but it cannot pass, and it is almost the classic example of unintended consequences. Give fetuses rights and they can sue pregnant women if they don’t stop smoking or drinking or otherwise fail to follow doctor’s orders. This is a Pandora’s box of legal insanity which liberal interest groups will gleefully use to invade families. Think twice people.

Gays: The gay marriage battle is lost. Yes, it won’t gain any more support in conservative states for the moment, but this issue is inevitable because the younger public really doesn’t see gays as a threat. Indeed, gays have pretty much proven there is nothing to fear from gay marriage. So so-cons better find proof fast to refute this.

A better strategy would be to switch over to a religious freedom argument. Right now, social conservatives have let themselves by placed on the wrong side of the gay marriage debate because gays have argued they are the ones seeking “freedom.” The reality is they have freedom and they are really seeking to use government power to impose their beliefs on others. But so-cons aren’t arguing that. Instead, they talk about “morality,” which is a loser. What they need to do is argue the religious freedom aspect, i.e. that gays are seeking to take away freedom by forcing others to accept them. Americans always vote for whoever is offering the greater freedom, so-cons need to learn to explain this better.

I also recommend giving serious thought to getting the government out of the marriage business entirely, as I discussed HERE.

Drugs: Social conservatives are losing the drug war, particularly marijuana, because they’ve adopted the wrong argument. They’re arguing that drugs are bad for you/society. But that’s a nanny state argument. And indeed, the pro-pot people have merely had to argue that pot isn’t that bad to slowly win over a near-majority. The better argument involves civil freedoms. If we allow people to take drugs, then we either need to change negligence laws dramatically (in ways people really won’t like), or we will end up imposing huge costs on employers, employees and the economy because of the need for widespread drug testing. Why? Because any company that makes any product or provides any service which can injury someone (i.e. any company) will need to take steps to ensure that their workers are not high when they are working. That means widespread drug testing of everyone with a job. Right now the argument is “should the government be allowed to stop Person X from smoking pot at home.” But the argument should be, “are YOU willing to undergo constant drug testing to protect your employer from lawsuits just because the government decides to legalize drugs for the few who want it?” That’s a very different matter. I’ve discussed this HERE.

Religious Freedom: This one’s a can of worms. A lot of social conservatives are going down a very dangerous path with the idea of religious freedom laws. Specifically, they are pushing bills which prohibit employers from stopping employees from engaging in religious practices or wearing religious items, e.g. crucifixes. This should send up huge red flags for conservatives. For one thing, conservatives have opposed employment-discrimination-based lawsuits almost across the board when it comes to gays, blacks, women and disability. Why make an exception for religion? Shouldn’t a private employer be entitled to impose whatever restrictions they want on the people they pay to be their employees? Can’t the employees just go elsewhere if they don’t like it?

Further, there is an obvious flaw here which social conservatives are overlooking because they tend to equate the word “religion” with their brand of Christianity: our Constitution doesn’t allow discrimination amongst religions. Thus, if you give people absolute power to act out their religious beliefs at work, that would include things like the wearing of the Islamic veil or separation of men and women, the handling of snakes, the smoking of peyote and whatever other crazy ideas these fringe religions can dream up.

This also applies to things like prayer in schools. If you seek legislation to allow that nice Protestant Principal to say a prayer each morning, except that your kids may also find themselves forced to sit through an Islamic prayer or Buddhist ritual or even an atheist’s speech. Unless you want other religions forced upon you and your children, it is best to always keep in mind that any new power you give yourself can be used by others as well.

Frankly, the best bet here is to vote with your feet and your wallets. Don’t support businesses which are hostile to your religious beliefs. Do support friendly ones. Stop seeing movies, watching television shows, or buy videogames with bad messages in them. Use the power of boycott. Send your kids to religious schools and volunteer to make sure those schools are the best (a shining example). In this regard, support legislation which lets federal money follow the students to whatever schools they choose -- trust people to make the right choices rather than trying to use the government to force the right choices upon them. Remember, you have to win people over, you can’t force them to believe what you want them to believe.

The big takeaway here is that social conservatives need to learn to speak to people who don’t share their religious beliefs -- framing things in religious terms simply will not work for anyone who doesn’t agree with your religious beliefs. They need to learn that a thousand small victories are better than the false hopes of complete victory in fell swoop. And they need to think more about the unintended consequences of the policies they propose and they need to realize that others will get to use the same powers they create in the law.

Thoughts?


P.S. Don't forget, it's Star Trek Tuesday at the film site.

156 comments:

DUQ said...

There are excellent points here Andrew. Much to think about. I will be back with questions. :D

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, The article is self-explanatory... no questions allowed. ;)

Just kidding of course. Take your time.

DUQ said...

Ok, first question. You're not saying social conservatives should give up their views, are you?

T-Rav said...

Does calling non-socons idiots count as "harsh rhetoric"? Because, I call lots of people idiots, not just them. ;-)

On abortion, I largely agree, and I think that's one sphere in which we're gradually winning. (And for the record, if I had to pick victory for either the pro-life group or the anti-gay marriage group, I would pick the pro-life group in a heartbeat.)

On gays, the only thing that comes to mind is we need to push back against this idea that every gay person is like the characters on "Glee"--super-smart, really nice and sweet, blah blah blah. I haven't known a whole lot of gay people thus far, but I've known enough to know that is absolutely untrue. In fact, none of them lived up to that caricature. It's okay to admit it: Some gay people are just jerks.

AndrewPrice said...

Nope. What I'm saying is that social conservatives are approaching many of these problems the wrong way. For example, trying to win the public over with religious arguments is a loser and means they will lose. Relying on something like "drugs are bad" is a loser because it lets the other side chip away with drugs that aren't that bad and create a slippery slope.

You can make those arguments, but they won't win. So what I'm talking about here is coming up with ways to win over the big middle part of the public which isn't socially conservative but can be won with appeals to freedom and common sense.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Nope, "idiots" is fine. LOL! Actually, the types of things I'm talking about are like this video of the kid today singing an anti-gay song and people like Rick Santorum spitting fire and snarling as he rails against gay and women as unAmerican and suggesting they need removed from the public sphere. Or running around telling people they will go to hell and bring on the apocalypse if they vote for certain ballot measures. Those are the kinds of things which become a self-inflicted wound.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, The abortion thing is interesting. You're probably too young to know this, but in the 1980s the anti-abortion movement was mixing freely with clinic bombers and talking about changing the Constitution to ban all abortions. None of that went over well. It wasn't until the movement distanced itself from those people and started going for little things -- defunding, parental consent, waiting periods, banning partial-birth abortions, that the public finally realized the crazies were on the pro-abortion side. That's when the victories started piling up.

On gays, the big problems so-cons have there is that Hollywood has spent the last 20 years portraying gays as smart, professional and happily monogamous. They have completely cleaned up the image. Even the MSM works to hide the loonier groups who show up at the parades and demand things like eliminating age of consent.

The best thing social conservatives could do there is either take away the power from the government to redefine marriage and force gays to win the public over person by person, or start doing a lot of research to disprove the image Hollywood has given -- assuming that's what the research shows.

My guess is that social conservatives have lost the gay issue and should probably just accept them and then focus on stopping other things like polygamy, lowering the age of consent, incest marriage, etc.

DUQ said...

Next question. What kind of changes to liability laws are you talking about?

AndrewPrice said...

The problem is this, DUQ. Right now, if I hire you to put together a lawnmower, and you are high as a kite and forget a bolt which means the blade flies off an kills someone, I'm liable for not monitoring you. Ditto if you are my driver or even an accountant. To protect myself, I need to institute programs that show that I made a good faith effort to stop people who are high from working.

In the current world, that means telling employees they can't use drugs and maybe some random drug testing.

In a world where drugs are legal, the employers duties would be much more significant because drugs would be a known, common hazard. That means a dramatic increase in drug testing. It also likely means fitting heavy equipment and cars with breathalyzer machines. And other similar issues. It will be very invasive and people will hate it.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, Interesting points. I absolutely agree about your three principles, particularly the constitutional amendment position. It has struck me for a long time that politicians who promise constitutional amendments are simply lying to their supporters. They know these things will never pass, but they also know they can excite their supporters by claiming they will pass it. It's like a great way to sound like you're a strong extremist on an issue while knowing you will never need to actually do anything about it.

ScottDS said...

Hmm... I can't disagree with any of this. As one of those "moderates who's sympathetic to some conservative arguments but is turned off by the religious rhetoric," the fire and brimstone thing is definitely a problem. Not only that, but it reinforces the notion that conservatives are the ones who are against the fun stuff. "Want to have a big soda in NYC?" "Those conservatives won't let you!" and so on. (Yes, pop culture can be blamed for this stereotype, too.)

Re: gay marriage, yes I wish they would learn to take a joke AND I wish they would do a better job of controlling their fringe elements (though you could say that about a lot of groups). I'm perfectly happy with the idea of civil unions... but then again, I'm not the one who wants to get married!

And something needs to be cleared up. You have one group who says that if gays can't get married, then things like hospital visits are impossible. But you have another group who says it's not a problem as long as there is legal paperwork (i.e.: anyone can visit anyone as long as it's in writing). So which one is it?

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, The constitutional amendment thing frustrates me because it's "sucker bait." And it's not just social conservatives who fall for it -- a lot of conservatives of all stripes do: "if we just passed a constitutional amendment to..." Yeah, good luck. . . chance of success = 0.0%.

And politicians know this. So when Ricky or Michelle Bachmann talk about passing such an amendment, they know they are playing their audience for suckers. And conservatives need to start realizing that and stop putting their faith in the hands of people who are making false promises.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The big soda thing is liberals, but otherwise you are correct. I know many moderates and moderate-conservatives who have real problems with the fiery rhetoric. They see it as angry, hateful and obsessive and they won't support someone whose goal seems to be to impose a theocracy on the rest of the public. They would rather have daffy liberals who tax people than angry conservatives who want to put police in the bedroom.

I'm not sure if supporting civil unions is a smart move or not for social conservatives. Assuming they want to stop gay marriage, how do they justify that if they then say that gays can have all the substance of marriage except the name? And if you're already forcing people to accept gay marriage except for the word "marriage," then the religious freedom argument dies too. I think this is an all or nothing deal. And right now we are slowly heading toward all.

You can do anything with legal paperwork. What they are upset about is the things the law does automatically without anyone planning ahead. A spouse, for example, can see another spouse in the hospital without legal paperwork. Anyone else needs to fill out the right forms. So what the gay lobby has said on that issue is misleading.

LawHawkRFD said...

Not much to add and nothing to disagree with. I do feel very very strongly about the danger of gay marriage becoming another "basic human right" that trumps religious freedom, which is why my consistent stand has been that for legal purposes only civil ceremonies should have status, and religious ceremonies should remain religious, according to the religious belief of the participants. I'm not concerned if some guy wants to "marry" his boyfriend, but I am concerned that if civil unions and religious ceremonies are comingled by the government, my pastor will be required to perform that marriage despite our religious objection. That is already happening in England and Canada. Our First Amendment should afford protection, but I don't trust Democrats or liberals to apply the First Amendment properly.

My only other comment is that social conservatives need to lighten up, just as you have suggested. Too often, so-cons come off as scolds and nags, and we don't want conservatives to start acting like Mayor Bloomberg (we have met the enemy, and he is us).

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I'm just old enough to remember that sort of thing, and that it made the anti-abortion movement the issue, not abortion itself. Happily, the past decade has seen the change in focus you mention, and the polls seem to be indicating its success.

On gay marriage, I actually have not been in favor of the constitutional amendment proposal for quite some time. Not because of the intention, but because of the unexpected consequences such a thing could easily have. That said, though, while you may be right about the ultimate fate of this issue, I don't believe moving on and focusing on polygamy etc. is the answer. Full acceptance of homosexuality, in my opinion, represents a paradigm shift that makes opposition to those other behaviors exponentially harder. Not right away, maybe, but 20 or 30 years down the road. So I probably will continue to be contesting the gay issue long after everyone else wants me to give it up.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, For me, one of the bigger problems is that the Religious Right keeps going back to the Bible for their arguments. I honestly don't care what they think the Bible says. I don't agree with them and few of the people I know do. And even if I did, this is government we're talking about, not religion. So when they start hitting me with "the Bible tells me," I don't want to hear it, even if I agree with them on the issue. I find it very frustrating having people like that as my allies because they are blind to the fact no one cares about their arguments.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, "We have met the enemy and he is us" LOL! And he's holding a very small cup.

I agree. I don't care one way or the other about gay marriage. Gays don't bother me in the least. But I do care when the government starts telling people what they need to believe and how they need to behave. And that's the case with gay marriage (and even civil unions). The more I think about it, the more I really do believe that just getting the government out of the marriage defining business would be best for everyone.

Lighten up is a good way to put it. You can't win the public with stridency and anger. You can win them with humor and being good-natured, however. And as long as social conservatives choose leaders who foam at the mouth and play an us v. them rhetorical game, I think the social conservative cause is in trouble because it obscures the good values of social conservatism.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, You could well be right, and if that's the case, then I recommend finding a way to explain these problems better because telling people it's "immoral" isn't working anymore and will work less and less over time.

Constitutional amendments are problematic for several reason. One is that they just can't pass. There are enough deeply liberal states to prevent any of them from every happening. So working on that is a waste of time and a distraction from better avenues.

Moreover, you have the unintended consequences problem. Any time the federal government declares a broad rule of law, there have been a ton of unintended consequences that accompanied it. The religious freedom amendments and the 14th Amendment thing they are talking about are particularly prone to that and if they pass those somehow you will see all kinds of things people hate. Unfortunately, too many people here "it will protect the unborn" or "it will protect Christians" and they jump on the bandwagon.

People need to remember, government interference in society is almost always a huge problem.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, Each side has friends who "don't get it," and they are often convinced that everyone really supports them. And I wouldn't say that's a uniquely so-con problem on our side either. The libertarians don't seem to grasp that the public likes the government. The moderates don't understand that the public is much more extreme than they realize. The grumpy conservatives don't understand that the world passed them by and really does like modern music and under-dressed girls. And so on.

That said, I know what you mean. I've argued with many people and the so-cons just don't understand that their arguments fail on a fundamental level because few people subscribe to their assumptions.

I've seen this a lot in the evolution debate, for example. I can't tell you how many people have told me, "I researched it in the Bible and that proved to me that Creationism is real and evolution is not." Yeah, ok. First, the Bible does not exclude evolution because it doesn't limit God's methods. Secondly, Genesis is a poem, it is artistic, it is not meant to be taken literally. Third, the Bible is not proof. Sorry. The Bible is proof of what someone wrote down 1700 years ago, that's it. And it has a tortured history of how it became a book and it's been revised many times. To site that as literal proof and then read things into it and out of it) is entirely unpersuasive.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, I've run into that too on the evolution issue. And you're right, there are always people who take things too far and get so extreme they start to sound obsessive.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I think the key which people need to remember is that you don't have to give up your beliefs (whatever they are) but if you want to win people over, you need to learn to speak their language, not yours. And that's true for any group on any issue.

Kit said...

On constitutional amendments, look up the "Balanced Budget Amendment" push.

God I hate it when Conservatives push for it.

As Thomas Sowell said "A Balanced Budget Amendment is more likely to produce creative accounting than a balanced budget".

For proof: California has a balanced budget amendment.

Doc Whoa said...

According to Drudge, exit polls show Walker with a 5% win tonight.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's a great point. That's also why Democrats often support the Balanced Budget Amendment because they know it's just for trick. And not only can they spend whatever they want just by tinkering with the numbers, but they can also blame the BBA for their tax hikes.

Sowell is 100% right on this. The only way a BBA will work is if it's tied to the prior year's revenues. And that's the only form neither party is willing to support.

T-Rav said...

Doc, I was scanning some blogs earlier, and word is that turnout in GOP counties in Wisconsin (Washington, Waukesha, etc.) was abnormally high, with long lines from the moment the polls opened; Democratic turnout in the Madison and Milwaukee areas was no better than average, and in Milwaukee maybe considerably less than average. A Barrett win is not credible at this point.

(Not even bothering to apologize for being OT, because you know this is all we'll be talking about in a few hours anyway.)

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I figure that's how things will turn out tonight. As I said in my article yesterday (LINK), the only unknown is two Senate seats, and the results actually don't matter.

Doc Whoa said...

T-Rav, Drudge is talking about the unions bussing in people and Holder has said DOJ will watch the eleciton and the Democrats are already screaming voter fraud.

CrisD said...

Hi Andrew!

Lately, due to my new job, I have been reading along but not having the time to comment. I thought I might say something on this post because it is really about people like me.

I am a social conservative. I was born in 1957 and was one of the few stay-at-home moms in my age group. I believe in the rights and wrongs taught to me when I was young. I was a pre-teen in the hippie era and they all struck me as maggot-infested creeps (nod to Rush). Anyhow, nothing has changed with my believes but I do believe we are losing the war on abortion and focus on the family. I believe leftist wish to pry the parents away from children and replace them with "the power of the State". I am against that and I think we are losing that war.

Maybe your prescription will help but I think it is the decline of the culture. We have become a fat, bloated nation without morals.

Don't get me wrong! I still love a great sunset while watching a glass of wine! Cheers!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That doesn't surprise me actually because everything tells me the momentum is on the Republican side rather than the Democratic side. In fact, as I wrote yesterday, the Democrats are deeply demoralized.

Yeah, it's on topic enough. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I wouldn't be too worried, they always say things like that. But that said, expect them to sue about each result. But in the end, it will only make people angrier. And if November turns out like expected, then none of this matters in any event.

T-Rav said...

On the Bible thing, let me say this:

1) I take the Bible more or less literally. I believe God created the world, I believe there was a real Garden of Eden, even that Lot's wife got turned into a pillar of salt (which is awesome, by the way).

2) However, because of translation issues and the like, it can't be taken literally on a word-for-word basis. (For example, regarding the "God created the world in six days" thing, "day" also translates as "era" or "age" in Hebrew, so we're not necessarily talking 24-hour days here.)

3) As far as evolution goes, I don't believe in it 100%, but mainly because of gaps in the evidence trail. I have no problem with the idea that humans evolved per se; after all, there's not that much difference between the idea that man developed from fishes and then monkeys, and the idea that God fashioned man from the clay in the ground. I do, however, think that evolution was guided by God, if it in fact happened at all. Within that caveat, though, evolution doesn't bother my faith much.

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, I think you are right. Our culture has drifted into a bad place. It's cynical and selfish and people have been taught that they have no responsibility for their own actions and that they should rely on government to take care of them in every facet of their lives. Those are all bad things and they all flow right back to the counter-culture values imposed by the left in the 1960s-today.

The problem is that conservatives abandoned the culture -- liberals control television, films, books, and the news. And they abandoned education to liberals in the 1950s.

So right now, generations of people have been taught lessons which are inconsistent with the arguments social conservatives make. The long term fix is to wrest away the culture, the schools and the media and fix this. But to get there, conservatives need to stop denigrating those things, need to see the value in them, and need to jump in and participate. T-Rav will do more good as a professor someday than a 1,000 bloggers will ever do.

At the same time, social conservatives (and conservatives generally) need to win people back, and that means speaking the language they now speak. When social conservatives start talking about something being immoral, I can tell you that most people just roll their eyes and tune out. But if you explain to them the consequences in terms of damage and destruction to people and the loss of personal freedom, then you get their attention fast.

That's my point here, not to surrender, but to realize that the only way to win is to change the way these values are sold to people and to be more careful about mapping out the steps that need to be taken to achieve those goals.

T-Rav said...

CrisD, that's because they were (and are) maggot-infested creeps. :-)

Despite being much younger and more directly exposed to MTV and the like, I've never had much flirtation with the left-wing whackos either. All the values of my parents' and grandparents' generations kind of got locked in at an early age, and the pressure I was put under for it tended only to crystallize them. So don't worry, not all the Gen Y kids are amoral. Only most of them.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, "which is awesome by the way" -- LOL! Bravo! :)

On your point, I would agree with you entirely actually, except I'm not sure about the Garden of Eden... could be, I just don't know (it could also be a metaphor for Earth).

I firmly believe God created the universe. I see the evidence in existence itself and in the universe having structure and order.

I don't think the Bible can be read literally word for word, but it seems pretty insightful if you ask me. And I don't think the idea that God created the Earth is incompatible with Evolution nor is Evolution incompatible with the Biblical view. And I think it's only ideological folks on both sides who claim these two are incompatible. I do think Evolution is a fascinating theory and I think it's probably right, but it is absolutely missing some major pieces that still need to be explained. But then, humans are a young people and there is much we don't know yet.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I had a lot of friends who grew up with smelly-hippie-turned-selfish-yuppie values in the 1980s. They often had no parents at home or came from divorced families, and they very much bought into a lot of the leftwing crap the television pumped out because they had no counter-balance at home to explain to them why those values were destructive.

tryanmax said...

Shrewd as serpents; innocent as doves.

It seems that religiously-motivated SoCons don't understand the first part of that. I was actually taught that shrewdness and innocence are at odds with one another, as though God had thrown up some kind of impossible test to stymie us all. The reality is, most SoCons just don't understand the meaning of the word "shrewd."

As such, they decide to err on the side of "innocence" and demand pure purity from everyone. What they fail to realize is that, as soon as you entreat the government to enforce your morals through coercion, you've checked your innocence at the door.

tryanmax said...

As to the veracity of the Bible, all I can offer is that there will be a lot of surprised individuals who thought they had it figured out come Judgement Day. I don't pretend to know jack, so I take comfort in that I won't be one of them.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, well I'm sure it sucked for Lot, but tell me you wouldn't want to watch that happen if you were there. :-)

My chief objection to evolution is that it often seems to explain things after the fact, as it were. That is, it looks back on past events and tries to explain them as evidence of evolution--"Birds begin appearing here in the fossil record because they had now evolved from this species of dinosaur"--but does a much poorer job of explaining present phenomena. Most of the contemporary changes it points to, such as physical modifications within species, can be attributed to mere adaptation and not evolution into a new life-form. Also, keep in mind that there are very few cases, as far as I know, where anything has really benefitted from the genetic mutations the theory of natural selection relies on.

This may be a little unfair, since evolution is supposed to work on a much larger time-scale. And I'm not a biologist, so I may be missing a lot of "proof." But it often seems to me that evolution is one of those things people, even scientists, take for granted without looking into too closely.

T-Rav said...

"The long term fix is to wrest away the culture, the schools and the media and fix this....T-Rav will do more good as a professor someday than a 1,000 bloggers will ever do."

Awwwww!!! (takes a bow)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, You raise two issues and I agree with you.

On the first, there is a sense from the so-con community (and conservatives generally) that it's "wrong" to engage in smart politics. For example, any time you tell a conservative that they need to sell their ideas or that they should adopt marketing principles to win people over, you get these looks like you told them to lie, cheat and steal. That's simply not the case. The way to win people over is to find out why they would want to adopt your believes and explain that to them in the way they are most likely to accept. There is nothing untoward about that.

And on that point, let me stress again, I'm not all suggesting that social conservatives should abandon their values or should suddenly decide something is moral when they believe it's immoral. All I'm saying is that they need to learn to speak the language of the people they want to win over.

On your second point, this is something which often frustrates me with conservatives. Conservative claim to believe in smaller government and in trusting individuals to do the right thing without government forcing them... but when they come to their pet peeves/issues (crime, religions, military, etc.), they happily demand that the federal government force people to do as they please. That needs to stop.

Giving the federal government the power to regulate our lives creates a weapon the left can use against us. That's all that achieves.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, You remind me of the South Park episode (or maybe it was the film) where Kenny dies and goes to Heaven and learns that the Mormons were right and everyone else was wrong. LOL!

I figure it's out of our hands. But the universe is fair, so live a good life and you'll probably be ok.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Heck yeah, I'd want to see that. Biblical rubbernecking... LOL!

That's exactly where the problem lies with evolution. The mutation theory so far doesn't really seem to work and the theory isn't predictive, which makes it suspect. I also wonder about the lack of half-evolved creatures.

But on that point, here's an interesting explanation I came across a couple years ago. A scientist (can't think of the name) argues that evolution happens much more rapidly than people realize because what happens is retroviruses modify the DNA of animals, which leads to nearly instant evolution when it happens. There is a lot of evidence to support this, though evolution scientists don't accept it yet.

What this explains, which is why I think it could be very important, is how species can suddenly evolve to have new traits they never had before -- because their DNA is actually changed by the viruses.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Seriously, conservative teachers and writers and filmmakers will do more to change the world than all the conservative editorialists you can find because those are the people who influence others who aren't already believers.

Doc Whoa said...

T-Rav, I once hear that Genesis is a methaphore and thus the days and things are not meant to be taken literally. And the person who said that (a Methodist minister) told me, what makes it so amazing is that it gets the order of creation right, something man really wouldn't have known in 0 BC.

T-Rav said...

Andrew and tryanmax, I'm not a Southern Baptist or a Pentecostal, and I think some of what they advocate is wrong, but when Judgement Day arrives, if it turns out they and the other fundamentalists were right all along and everyone else was wrong, I am going to laugh and laugh....

AndrewPrice said...

That's the spirit T-Rav! LOL!

ellenB said...

I would say this is all solid advice. I still don't understand why people believe the constitutional amendment pitches?

Kit said...

Here's a thouht: A world with natural selection, "Red in tooth and claw", where only the fittest can survive, is probably the perfect punishment for a being that ate an apple after being told "ye shall be as gods" and that it would give them knowledge of good and evil.

With that knowledge comes choices and the only way to make those choices responsibly is to live in a world where your morality is constantly challenged. A world "red in tooth and claw".

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ellen. People have always fallen for "too good to be true."

K said...

I have quite a bit of sympathy for the SoCons.

IMO, what separates the 3rd world from the west is the Judeo-Christian ethic. When you worship the Truth, you're less likely to cheat on your research project to get another grant even if it means the economy is eventually destroyed.

You're less likely to set up junk bonds using crap loans or encourage a bubble just to make your fortune - even if it destroys the economy.

The underpinnings of freedom is morality. When more people vote stuff from other people just because they want it, when "do unto others before they do unto you" is the rule rather than the exception, then freedom is dead and the people are poor.

That's why I think libertarians should also be hard core anti-anti-Christians.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That or six months in "Apple Boot Camp" followed by six months house arrest and community service. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

K, I think you're right that the underpinning of freedom is morality. And I think a lot of the problems we've seen over the past 50 years have been the result of a loss of morality and it's replacement by a "trust the government" mentality.

I have much sympathy for libertarianism, but the problem is that they tend to go too far in the anti-government realm and they have let themselves be blinded by libertine thinking which isn't based on freedom+responsibility but is instead based on hedonism as freedom.

ellenB said...

Any word on Wisconsin yet?

BevfromNYC said...

ellenB - No word yet. The polls do not close until 8pm CT (9pm ET). One more hour and the returns should start to roll in.

ellenB said...

Bev, I'm anxious about this one. I saw that they bussed in union people today to do something, probably vote twice.

tryanmax said...

All I know is that I should have invested in W's. The big question of the last few weeks has been "Will Walker Win Wisconsin?" "Will he Win With a Wide spread?" "What Will Walker's Wife Wear When he Wins?"

AndrewPrice said...

Wow, What Wordplay!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and Ellen, I'm anxious too. Tonight could really kick start the end of Team Obama in a big way. Or it might not.

tryanmax said...

Try this one on: "Will a Walker Win Weaken Wisconsin Workers' Wrights?"

StanH said...

As a small (l) Libertarian/Conservative, I agree with most of what you said. However, I believe it’s imperative that we do not extricate the Judeo-Christian ideals from this great land. Without that, there’ll be no boundaries on society, and the Founding Fathers knew this. What was it Lenin said, too paraphrase, “elixir of the masses.”

AndrewPrice said...

I think we should stop this before somebody loses an "i".

T-Rav said...

Whoever's been spiking tryanmax's drinks, you need to stop. Now.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I agree with you and I'm not saying to abandon that. What I'm saying is that the sales pitch needs to change to reach the people who don't consider those values as the basis they use to make decisions.

Willy Wonka Whiskey said...

It Was I Who Whiskey'd his Water!

T-Rav said...

Yeah, this might come as a shock, but I'm extremely distrustful of the hedonistic libertarians. People like that are all too happy to have the government off their back as long as it means getting to do whatever they want, but as soon as the consequences for those actions come due, they have no problem demanding that DC step in to do something. The only kind of freedom they believe in is what you can smoke and who you can screw.

tryanmax said...

Stan, too right. But I also think you've expressed a false dichotomy that SoCons have bought into, that unless government takes up enforcing morality it will disappear. But this nation was founded on an opposite premise, that overreaching government is a hindrance to leading a moral life. Just look at what Obama is trying to do to the Catholic Church on the matter of contraception. Regardless of your individual attitude on birth control, the government is attempting to make it impossible for Catholics to live a perfectly moral life by their standard.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I agree. For one thing, I find the libertine wing of libertarianism to be intellectually inconsistent. They are as bad as liberals when it comes to looking only at one side of the equation -- "person X wants freedom, so he should get it..." and they never consider whose freedom is being taken in the process.

And you're right about the hedonist wing, especially the drug folks who very often want to live on welfare while enjoying their freedoms.

ScottDS said...

All of those W words... all I can say is, "Whoa..." :-)

Not to open this particular can of worms but I don't completely understand the idea that, if we abandon religion and morality, we'll all turn to the government instead. Why is the such a binary equation?

tryanmax said...

Full disclosure: I had some dental work done today and am commenting under the influence of powerful narcotics. In Beatles terms, I'm somewhere between Revolver and Abbey Road, though I am hard pressed to say whether I'm on an enchanted cryptic excursion or a jaundiced aquatic submersible.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's very true. Morality does not come from government and if government got out of the morality business and just became an arbiter of economic matters and a protector of people from crime and war, then morality wouldn't suddenly go away. It would instead come from the places where it should be coming from -- churches and the community of people rather than by fiat from Washington. Never forget, government destroys everything it touches and mixing government and religion only guarantees that the government will slowly destroy religion -- look at Europe as the classic example.

tryanmax said...

Scott, It shouldn't be a binary equation. I think it is a symptom of our media age that things get boiled down into opposites, even where it doesn't make sense. I have high hopes that the internet age will reverse that, but it will take time.

Kit said...

"Will Walker Win Wisconsin?" "Will he Win With a Wide spread?" "What Will Walker's Wife Wear When he Wins?"

Say it 5 times fast!

T-Rav said...

What Whimsical Wordsmithing! Oh crap, now I'm doing it!

As a note, there's no telling what the vote total will be in WI. National Review's Robert Costa is saying on Twitter that people have been coming in and using their cable bills and electric bills as forms of ID (even when they have out-of-state driver's licenses) and are being allowed to register to vote (presumably Democratic). On the other hand, turnout in the heavily Republican Milwaukee suburbs continues to be astronomical, so there's that.

tryanmax said...

And that brings up another thought: How can the media talking heads keep straight faces lamenting the lack of compromise in Washington when they spend night after night painting every issue as an unresolvable conflict between polar opposites?

It's a rhetorical question. I am fully aware that they have no souls...

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, it sounds like you feel the way I did when I was 16 and had anesthesia before my wisdom teeth were cut out. For several hours afterward, whenever someone asked me a question all I said was "O-kay!"

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, It's a binary issue for two reasons.

First, laws tend to define morality by establishing conduct norms. When the government imposes a drinking age or tells you that certain people can be married and others can't, those laws tend to replace whatever was considered moral before.

Secondly, and more importantly, our legal system prevents the government from imposing values for the things it hands out. In other words, it can't discriminate and tell people like welfare recipients to behave in more moral ways or to change their values as a condition of getting the benefits. In the past, people had to adopt the values which worked because they either had to take care of themselves or they had to seek the help of religious/charity groups, who would require the person to change their ways as part of the help they got. Today, you just get the check without any strings attached.

Also, because the government takes this value-less approach, liberals have long pushed to eliminate the stigma associated with things like being on welfare. That stigma is morality in action, which tells people they should feel shame for depending on help from others. Over time, eliminating these stigmas wipes out morality bit by bit.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Can you see Maharishi Mahesh Yogi yet?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, See my answer above. I think it's a more fundamental problem with the way government is supposed to represent everyone, which tends to make it act in a value-neutral sort of way. And the more people who rely on the government the more people you having living in a value-less world. Which is why they end up in a crime ridden underclass.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I'm not seeing the Yogi, but I'm pretty sure I've got a bead on Mia Farrow.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I acquiesce to your more salient (and presumably sober) response.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That could be come a new game!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I guess we'll see if they break 100% turnout anywhere. I wouldn't be surprised.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Who said anything about being sober? I'm high on life... and Frosted Flakes.

Kit said...

re: hedonistic wing of libertarianism.

‎"The worst advocates for pot legalization are advocates for pot legalization." -Andy Levy

T-Rav said...

Andrew, one Waukesha County town (very red) is expecting 93% turnout. Looks like both sides have their GOTV dials turned up to 11.

T-Rav said...

Kit, you could also probably replace "pot legalization" with "libertarianism" and that quote would still be accurate. Even if you believe in it, have you seen some of the hard-core supporters?

AndrewPrice said...

Wow! 93% can't be legit. Still, let's hope this is a good sign.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit and T-Rav, I think the hardcore supporters of anything (from Libertarianism to liberalism to the NFL to the Girl Scouts) are the worst advocates for whatever their cause is.

T-Rav said...

Very true. As my college advisor once said, "The only real problem with McCarthyism was that it had McCarthy representing it."

Scant results in so far from WI, but the early indications are that GOP turnout is in fact way up. No telling yet what things will be like in Madison and Milwaukee, though. And so you don't run out of things to worry about, the WI Dems are now being assisted by Al Franken's legal team from the Minnesota election. Great...

BevfromNYC said...

WI "W"ecall: I read an unconfirmed report that there was 118% voter turnout in Madison...

The race is too close to call right now.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I saw that earlier as well. Amazing isn't it?

T-Rav said...

Bev, I think they've since backed down to 96%, and I hope even that is just blowing smoke.

Walker's maintaining a narrow lead so far, though it's bobbing up and down.

BevfromNYC said...

Walker - 57%
Barrett - 42%
4% reporting

AndrewPrice said...

My prediction:

Walker 56%
Barret 52%

LawHawkRFD said...

I did hear an explanation for the high numbers which, if not Democrat vote-rigging, is new voters and previous voters who have changed districts. Don't rely on this as being correct, just an explanation I've heard.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, if I'm not mistaken, 56 + 52 = more than 100. Is this the "new math" they were doing back in the '60s?

BevfromNYC said...

But Andrew...that's 108%...

11% reporting
Walker 60.7%
Barrett 38.8%

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's what you get when you count all the people who vote and compare them to the numbers who should have voted. That's old-school voter fraud math.


Lawhawk, Even then, I just can't believe a 90+% turnout except maybe in a town of ten people.

BevfromNYC said...

Phew T-Rav - It's not just me...

T-Rav said...

11% in:

Walker 155,242 (60%)
Barrett 102,186 (40%)

Democrats said...

Math is biased against the poor and minorities.

LawHawkRFD said...

I don't know about ten people, but there are a lot of small towns in Wisconsin. Still, the figures can't be true unless you can add up the number of new voters on one hand, and see a corresponding drop in numbers for those who have changed districts on the other hand. But it does make for a fun discussion, and probably does indicate a high turnout. At this point, I think high numbers work in Walker's favor. I certainly hope so.

Reality said...

Arrrrrrrrrgh.

T-Rav said...

According to Sean Hannity, Fox News may make its call on the election in the next few minutes (probably top of the hour). Based on revised CNN exit polls and the trend of the county results, it looks like Walker's going to win, by around a 52-48 margin. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and three of the four GOP state senators are ahead right now as well.

BevfromNYC said...

Percentages haven't changed much with 25% reporting - still about 61% 39%

CrisD said...

CNN is concentrating on the Queen's Jubilee.

BevfromNYC said...

Lt. Gov. Kleefisch is leading by the same percentage.

BevfromNYC said...

NBC just called it for Walker...

LawHawkRFD said...

Fox just called it for Walker. The Lt. Governor is in good shape as well, but I haven't seen reports yet on the four Republican senators who were recalled. Let's hope it's a clean sweep.

BevfromNYC said...

Wow, let the spin begin...MSNBC is saying that this is because of "Citizen's United"...

LawHawkRFD said...

The margin is so large (if it holds) that the dirty tricks Democratic recount machine can't get involved. Some pundits have called it a defeat for the public sector unions and a victory for responsible government. Hugh Hewitt was blunter. He called it a massive Obama failure that has trickled down to the states.

If I have my history right, this makes Walker only the third governor to face recall, but the first to survive it.

T-Rav said...

Real zinger from the NYT's fivethirtyeight blog, regarding initial exit polls which showed the race a toss-up: "Exit polls have been highly accurate in every recent election except 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010."

T-Rav said...

Bev, I read that Ed Schultz was saying it was because of out-of-state money and that "Walker may be indicted in the next few days anyway." Love the meltdown.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: The liberal MSM has spent more time in the last month preparing their excuses than they did reporting real news. They knew they were facing a rejection of their lockstep liberalism, and had to come up with something sinister to explain it.

AndrewPrice said...

Indicted for what? Offending liberals?

LawHawkRFD said...

As The Carpenters sang: "They've only just begun--to lie." Or something like that. LOL

CrisD said...

T-Rav, heard Ed Schltz, too...lol...pathetic!

BevfromNYC said...

Someone on Huffpo opined that they may try another recall in 2013. MSNBC ODonnell and Maddow are shocked that the electorate can vote to keep a Republican Governor in Wisconsin and still favor Obama 54/46.

All politics is local...

tryanmax said...

Ed Schultz is so far off the deep end, I find him hilarious. He also is the canary in the leftist clean-coal mine, so if he's melting down, the rest of the LSM will follow tomorrow.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, he's going to be indicted for the same stuff that Bush was always just about to be indicted for, week after week.

To give some indication of what the final margin could look like, I found the numbers on Door County, which is just north of Green Bay. Walker won the regular election there in 2010 by a 213-vote margin. With 95% of the precincts in the county in, he currently has a lead of...1,677 votes.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It sounds like the more they try, the worse this is going to get for them.


Bev, Rational people wouldn't try. But the democrats aren't rational. They would rather destroy and bankrupt Wisconsin that give up.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I get the feeling the meltdown started a couple days ago and is only finally becoming visible.

Let's hope the Democrats don't get that one seat and have something they can claim gave them "the real victory."

tryanmax said...

Winsome Walker Wagers a Win in Wisconsin despite Worn-out Welcome with Wiley Workers’ Unions

BevfromNYC said...

Tryan - "W"excellent!!

T-Rav said...

Three of the four state senate seats are definite holds, and the incumbent had a lead in the other one last I checked.

A few counties have now finished reporting. In each of them, Walker outperformed his election in 2010.

AndrewPrice said...

I'm liking the headlines that this spells "doom" for the public sector unions.

Also, Romney said "tonight's results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin."

Excellent start creating momentum now!

T-Rav said...

And here's video from earlier where Ed Schultz finally takes his leave of reality. LINK

tryanmax said...

I dunno. "Doom" doesn't have enough Ws in it.

ellenB said...

This has been a lot of fun to watch. What a great night! I hope this is a dry run for November.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks for the link T-Rav, Schulz is really just spewing sour grapes everywhere. He's trying to characterize this as a win because now the forces of labor know the evil they are up against, etc. etc. He's a fool.

Ed Schultz said...

Calamity! Despair! Walker's reign of terror is nigh! No place is safe. Flee Wisconsin while you still can!

AndrewPrice said...

Thank you Mr. Schulz. It truly is a night of shame for America.... that you're side decided to waste so much taxpayer money on this. Jerk.

Doc Whoa said...

This is a good night.

Did you see the asinine quote in the sidebar from a liberal (what else) Wisconsinite hoping that Kleefisch dies of colon cancer? Standard liberal hate. Well frankly, I hope the person who said that dies in a fire.

Doc Whoa said...

Is anybody seeing the result for the Senate members? I can't find those anywhere.

T-Rav said...

I also saw somewhere where a protestor in Madison said tearfully to a reporter, "This is the night democracy dies." Yessir, it's a banner night for the liberals' "New Tone."

AndrewPrice said...

At least they didn't threaten to rape Sarah Palin's kids this time. That's something, I guess.

"Liberalism... setting a truly low bar."

The Liberal Doc Whoa said...

T-Rav, (weeps) This is why you can't trust democracy because people won't do what they're told. We should suspend democracy until we can weed out all those people who won't do what's best for the country.

AndrewPrice said...

I can't find the results anywhere. I know they called one race for a Republican, but I'm not sure of the other three.

Doc Whoa said...

Wow, Huffpo says that exit polling shows that 36% of union households backed Walker. That's interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

Ok, Here's what I've got so far.

Republicans won 3 of the 4 seats so far.

Here's the other one with just 22% reporting, the Republican has a big lead:

Van Wanggaard (R / Inc.) 11,301 62%
John Lehman (D) 7,033 38%

T-Rav said...

Indeed. Democracy...it's not about the process, it's about making sure the right people win.

Tam said...

giggle, giggle, giggle! I'm so giddy, as much from the liberal head 'splosions as from the victories! Yay, Wisconsin!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yeah, that pretty much sums up the liberal version of Democracy. It's a great tool to make people feel included... so long as you get the right results.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I'm feeling the same way. This has been a fun night and it really makes me think November is going to be a blast! :)

BevfromNYC said...

It's a little like the movie "Independence Day". Now that WI made it okay, other cities in, of all places, CA, voted yesterday to cut city worker pensions. San Diego and San Jose.

Anthony said...

I just read in Politico that one of Barrett's supporters slapped him after his concession speech. Damn.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0612/77105.html

Anthony said...

Andrew said:

we will end up imposing huge costs on employers, employees and the economy because of the need for widespread drug testing. Why? Because any company that makes any product or provides any service which can injury someone (i.e. any company) will need to take steps to ensure that their workers are not high when they are working.
-------------------

Does the fact that impairment is based on a legal or an illegal drug have an impact on a company's legal liability?

For example, if an airplane crashes because a pilot is drunk does that mean the airline company is off the hook or less liable than if the guy had been high on something illegal?

tryanmax said...

I have the word "schadenfreude" circling in my head to the tune of "Edelweiss." Try it, it works very well!

♪♫ schadenfreude ♪♫ schadenfreude ♪♫

I was rewatching some Ed Schultz video this morning. He didn't even consider this outcome to be possible! The left is truly on their heels this morning.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Wow! I thought for sure they would vote those down. It is like Independence Day! LOL!

Not to "go too far" but this all has an almost "Reaganesque moment" feel to it, like the country had turned a corner.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, That's hilarious! LOL! Here's the link: LINK.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Yes and no... it depends.

For something as obvious as alcohol, the liability would be the same as with illegal drugs. The assumption is employers must make sure their employees aren't drunk. That's why it's illegal for airline pilots to drink before they fly and why airlines have all kinds of policies about turning in pilots who do (some actually do breathalyze). And a pilot who gets caught drinking (even just a little) before flying will get fired on the spot and turned over to the authorities. They also do random drug testing on pilots.

The reason they don't require more alcohol testing is because there is an assumption in the law that you can spot someone who is drunk, which isn't true with people who are high -- blood shot eyes, slurred speak, unsteady behavior. So things like breathalyzers are rarely required and why drug testing would be required.

Something like prescription drugs are different. Since prescription drug "highs" are rare, they aren't something companies need to guard against very strongly. So they basically put in their employee handbooks that if you get high or loopy from such a drug, then you must notify the company.

If the company finds out about this (because you tell them), then they need to move you away from jobs where you put people at risk or they run the risk of a major lawsuit -- similar to letting a someone you know is drunk drive one of your trucks (it's actually criminal).

But that's where the other big difference comes in. If you show up high from an illegal drug, the company can fire you because you've done something illegal. If you show up drunk, they can usually tell you to control your alcoholism, but can't fire you immediately because alcoholism has some protected status (though not always). If you show up high on heart medication, they can't fire you at all -- that would be illegal in fact.

If marijuana or coke were made legal, it would fall into the alcohol zone most likely, and employers couldn't fire you until they tried to get you to stop. But at the same time, they would have to do more than just ask you to self report, they would need to actively seek out who is high and who isn't.

rlaWTX said...

YAY WI!!!

still flyin' high, tryanmax?

Patti said...

#1: I said that if the unions lost this vote it was a doomday's scenario for them. i see drudge took my thoughts and made them a headline. POW!

#2: this post is takes the same road as many christians who lead by example instead of beating people with their bibles as a way of conversion. well done.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Patti! I think there is much to be said for leading by example. You can always convince someone to change their minds, but you can't ever force someone.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Wow! Superb post, Andrew!

I consider myself socially conservative, although I often disagree with the agenda of most socons and their tactics.

I'm also a fiscalcon (fiscon?), foreignpolcon, nat'ldefcon, toughoncrimecon,...well, a con through n through.
Heck, the first three letters on my last name is con. :^)

Unlike most pun-dits I don't subscribe to the theory that all the cons are neatly seperated and have their own little agendas.

That doesn't mean there ain't some cons who are only concerned with social or fiscal problems, etc., but most overlap in several areas.

My agenda is simple: I want life, liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness (and property rights).
And I see the truth, first and foremost (which goes hand in hand with liberty).

I also agree with several of my fellow commenters that we can't have liberty, or, it won't last without morality and truth.

Liberty is good and cannot survive without goodness.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, "Conservative" is a very broad word which encompasses a lot, and the probably really only arise when people become obsessed with just one aspect of it.

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