The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why there is no credible "social conservative" Presidential candidate

I've been getting some amusement from the machinations of “social conservatives” trying to come up with a candidate this year. They've had a really hard time, because it's just not possible to find a credible Presidential candidate who is also a “social conservative.”

First, there was Michele Bachmann. A member of Congress, a former state treasurer, and certainly a “social conservative.” But when she began to campaign for the Presidency, it became obvious that she was only a slightly more intelligent version of last year's Christine O'Donnell. She had never given much thought to some of the major issues confronting the country, and was positively crazy when it came to some matters. The “social conservatives” abandoned her in droves as this came out.

So next, they turned to Rick Perry. The problem with Rick Perry is that he isn't really a traditional Republican, but rather an unreconstructed Dixiecrat. The Dixiecrats, for over a century, stayed in the Democratic Party, not because they agreed with the rest of the Democrats on any important issues, but because Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, and they had never conceded that the Civil War was won by the North under his leadership. When the Supreme Court decisions of the 1950s and 1960s made it clear that the Dixiecrats would never prevail, they looked at the fact that, on many economic issues, they had more in common with the Republicans than the Democrats and gradually moved into the Republican Party — Perry did so only in the 1990s! But Perry got tripped up on the “Niggerhead” issue — to him (as I said, really a Dixiecrat), a camp with a name like that was not particularly offensive, so he never considered that, once he put his political ambitions on a national stage, there are people out there who would find it so.

Now, the current “flavor of the month” is Herman Cain, who would obviously never be caught up on the “Niggerhead” issue. But while Cain has certainly been a competent executive (with a substantial record in the pizza business) he is not a politician. He got himself tripped up on the issue of the “Palestinian ‘right to return’” because he never understood that this really meant the extermination of Israel — he'd never been concerned with issues like that. And his credentials with the “social conservatives” have been seriously compromised by his waffling stand on abortion, the issue that “social conservatives” live and die for. He has proclaimed himself “pro-life,” but basically he is a “laissez-faire” businessman and opposed to government intervention in people's private lives, and this is exactly what the “pro-lifers” want. And so he's finding himself forced to contradict himself.

I believe it is truly impossible for an intelligent person to believe in the premises of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States and also be a “social conservative.” They are simply incompatible. And it is in this that the “social conservatives” have their problems. How can one believe in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and interfere with others' liberty to live as they choose, in the pursuit of what makes them happy? And imposing one's own religious beliefs on others is certainly incompatible with the First Amendment to the Constitution. This is why anyone intelligent enough to be a credible Presidential candidate is bound to reject the “social conservative” doctrine. And it is why the “social conservatives” have found it such tough going to find their candidate.


Dennis Sanders said...

I'd like to get your opinion on this post:

Opinionator said...

Well, I've looked at it, and at your comments there. Frankly, I don't think I have much to say that you didn't already. I pretty much share your thoughts there.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant analysis!