Sunday, November 28, 2010

About Those Social Issues

Leslie alerted me to a move by some Tea Partyers to take a turn towards social issues. I am somewhat of a social conservative, at a time when those issues are being forced to the back burner by the severity of the fiscal issues facing the country. The Tea Party has amassed an impressive coalition that has seized both the imagination of the country and many seats in state and national legislative bodies. However, those who believe that we should somehow turn to social issues, when the hard work of dealing with the fiscal crisis has not even begun are insane. Almost no progress has been made on the most pressing fiscal crisis our country has faced since the Great Depression. We cannot afford to lose any allies in this fight. Picking fights with gays, or any other group that is supporting our core issues is a costly waste.

Further, most of the issues that the Tea Party is emphasizing are consonant with the values of social conservatives. A less intrusive government that does not force politically correct values on the people would certainly help our cause. Consider these items.

  • Obamacare is almost sure to expand federal subsidies for abortion. It was the only piece of legislation in at least the last decade to do so. By emphasizing opposition to Obamacare, not abortion per se, we bring along allies we would never have gained.

  • The state insurance pools under Obamacare are almost certain to fund and subsidize insurance for same sex couples and increase the pressure on the states to recognize "gay marriage."

  • As a general principle, the expansion of government crowds out deference to social norms, as government holds sway over an ever increasing portion of our lives. This crowds out the use of social norms that our reflect Judeo-Christian heritage as a means of regulating behavior. Consider pornography, which has many ill effects. We will never make progress in controlling it through purely legal means, we have centuries of experience on that front. But today, with increasing state intrusion into every aspect of our lives, down to how much salt we consume, the attitude among the young is "hey, it's not illegal or regulated, so it must be ok." We will have increasing difficulty making the case for traditional values in a society where the government is the arbiter of all decisions large and small.

The SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition (SCTRC) gets it right with the press release below. If you don't want to read it all, the money quote follows:

SCTRC wants balanced budgets, smarter spending, shrinking deficits, support for the free market, less intrusive regulations, lower taxes and fees, and transparency. Judson Phillips represents himself, not the thousands of unique, independent local tea party groups all across this nation, including our local one.

Click image to view, you may have to click again to enlarge.

Remember, "Government growth threatens our liberty and our prosperity." As Peggy Noonan put it, the Tea Party members know this, the hour is late. If we don't deal with the fiscal crisis all of our other issues will be mooted by the looming disaster.
Image at upper right courtesy of Temple of Mut.


  1. Brian, thank you for your clarity and support on this issue. In light of the other issues in the headlines, this might seem like a distraction, but our core identity and role needs constant protection. What we failed to include (and should have in retrospect) is a statement that we support and encourage citizens getting involved in groups that focus on the social issues that are close to their hearts. Eagle Forum, GOProud, and Salt & Light are all places where people can get more bang for their activist buck on social issues (all across the spectrum).

  2. Forgot to mention that you were linked by back on Friday. Sorry.

    Sarah, great point. Discourage exclusiveness. Encourage the big tent approach and pursuing small bore issues to one's heart's content.

  3. Thanks for such a thoughtful post, Liberator. I also appreciate the graphic of the presser.

  4. Sarah, I appreciate the addendum.
    Dean, Thanks for the link.
    Mutnodjmet, no problem, we aim to please.

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