While we don’t always agree with social conservatives, we recognize how they have helped build the conservative movement. That said, by and large, we share the same goals as many of them: reducing the size of the federal government and expanding the freedoms our founders fought for over two centuries ago, the freedom of association and the freedom to determine our own destiny.
Both Bruce and I have been involved in the conservative movement in various capacities since the Reagan era. We have both seen the commitment of social conservatives to electing candidates we also support.
We know that while we are often at odds with a number of social conservatives of variety of issues, we recognize that we need work beside them to advance certain shared goals, including a commitment to constitutional principles, judicial restraint, a reduced role for state and federal governments and more freedom for individuals and the institutions we join of our own accord. Those institutions include churches and synagogues as well as gay community associations (not to mention civic and professional organizations, to name but a few).
Hopefully, people will learn from the various experiences of gay people at this year’s CPAC, showing that while most rank-and-file conservatives are willing to work alongside gay conservatives, some are not wiling to do so if such association means the exclusion of social conservatives. Despite some misunderstandings expressed in the comment section to the blog and elsewhere, we do not seek their exclusion.
We are willing to work alongside social conservatives even if we have different goals on certain issues, provided the conservative movement as a whole continues to focus on the broad, inclusive agenda, promoted by Ronald Reagan, built upon with the 104th Congress and articulated anew with the Tea Party activism of the past two years.
And that it does not recast those unifying principles.
At the same time, as we have learned from the reaction of most conservatives in the run-up to CPAC, most conservatives remain willing to work with social conservatives provided such association does not mean the exclusion of gays and socially liberal small-government types.
We need to recommit ourselves to cutting the size of the federal government, including ending all earmarks, repealing Obamacare, preventing the judiciary from usurping responsibilities the Constitution clearly delegated to the legislature, confronting the pro-union agenda of the administration (and several Democratic governors) in order to streamline government. In short, it’s time we work with all those willing to reduce the power of the state and increase the freedom of the individual.
And for that inclusive agenda, we must roll up our sleeves and work together. The future of our nation is at stake.
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