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Social Liberals* Are Ruining The Country…

…but not in the way you think. No, this isn’t some tirade about how the societal fabric is being torn apart and/or sullied at the hands of libertines and druggies. That’s all a bit corny for me.

It’s because the “socially liberal” people keep electing big-government high-taxing economic illiterates.

I’m often bemused (and, when in a good mood, amused) when I read someone’s online profile’s self-description of his political affiliation as “Socially liberal, Fiscally conservative.”

Really? I wonder which of his Janus characteristics weighed heavier when choosing between McCain and Obama in 2008.

Clearly there is no doubt that the fiscal conservatism took a backseat. After all, the guy who promised that energy prices “would necessarily skyrocket” and professed his desire IN PLAIN ENGLISH to “spread the wealth around” and when confronted by the economic reality that lower tax rates result in higher revenues (and vice-versa), admitted that his philosophy on taxes was more about “fairness” than bringing in revenues necessary to run the government (albeit a HUGE government he’d like to have) was—is—not a “fiscal conservative”.

So obviously the SL/FCs in 2008 were voting for the guy who considered marriage a “sacred union” between “a man and a woman” and wants the government to control the content of the Internet because he’s so socially progressive. < /snark>

This all (re-)occurred to me yesterday when I was reading James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today column. In it he mentions that Paul Krugman is once again off the Left-side of the rails, and asking, “when has Obama given progressives any reason to believe they can trust him?”

When? Well, in spite of his feigns to the center during the 2008 election, we’ve seen Barack Obama as president blatantly refuse to do his Constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” with respect to DOMA, pushed for and won a repeal of DADT, and (many say) extra-legally created a new protected class of homosexuals. (We’re also to understand that his position on gay marriage is “evolving”…perhaps evolving into that of Rick Perry? Don’t hold your breath.)

Not only that, but tax-payer abortion is now back in fashion, the Administration is working gun-control under the radar“, political-correctness rules our foreign-policy, and war is only justified if we’re “leading” it “from behind”. Well, unless it’s class warfare—that’s always a fight he’s willing to take on.

What do all these things have in common? They’re “socially liberal”. Whatever his deceitful promises to appeal to the real social values of America during the campaign, it’s quite clear that President Obama is about as socially progressive an executive as we’ve ever had.

Which leads me to this conclusion: Those who voted for Obama because they believed him to be “socially liberal” are to blame for his destruction of our economy. Even more so if they call themselves “fiscally conservative” in the same breath. Their choice of Senator Barack Obama in 2008 was either the greatest blunder they’ve ever made, or they were (perhaps willfully) completely ignorant of his plans—EVEN IN THE FACE OF ALL THE EVIDENCE.**

Be that as it may, as with any conclusion, it leads to more questions, chief among them: Why do politicians who are seen as “socially liberal” so often the farthest thing from “fiscally conservative”? And why do voters who profess to be both find things like gay rights and abortion on-demand to be more important than the complete fiscal collapse of our Nation at the hands of big-government tax-and-spend socialists?

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

*I usually shy away from the term “liberal” in describing the Left in America. With campus speech-codes, confiscation of arms, usury-levels of taxation, and an overall zest for a more oppressive and more involved National (can we call it “Federal” anymore?) government, the last thing I’d call Democrats in America in 2011 is “liberal“. But I use it here for easier reference, and an argument can at least be made (although many of us classical liberals–small-l libertarians–would argue against it in many cases) that it might apply in a sense of “social” liberalism.

** And I’ll not go into it here… There is tons and tons and tons of evidence about how he’s made things exponentially worse in the past three years. But whether you agree it’s his fault or not, you surely can’t call him a “fiscal conservative” by any means.

UPDATE (from Dan):  Nick, you’re onto something.  I believe a lot of people stay with the Democrats largely due to social issues.  I keep meeting people who are aware of out-of-control government spending and unions who hold too much sway over our political system, yet vote Democratic because they could never support someone who wants to impose restrictions on abortions or because they want a “pro-equality” candidate on gay issues.  To some extent, Democrats stay competitive because the party leaders — and their advocates in the media — have convinced many voters that social conservatives define the GOP and force the fiscal conservatives to take a backseat.

Even this week on FoxNews, a woman (speaking after Krauthammer offered his “cynical” commentary on Obama’s debt speech) said Reagan couldn’t win the GOP nomination today.  That’s nonsense and she should know better.

This post is somewhat related; I asked, “does the perception that social conservative dominate the GOP prevent gays businessmen and women (less attuned  than we to the increasing economic focus of the GOP) from choosing the party which better represents their economic concerns?”

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16 Comments

  1. If the Progressive Left is unhappy with Obama, where are they going to go? Obama is the most radical left man ever to be elected to the presidency. The only people in him more radical are maybe a handful of absolute screaming whackjobs in the House (Sheila Jackson Lee, Barbara Lee, Fortney Stark).

    I think this “Progressives are unhappy with Obama” is just a mind-trick to try to make him appear centrist to dimwit moderates. In no sense is a president that makes the Government 20% larger in two years; nationalizes two car companies, student loans, and several banks; enacts massive regulation of energy, health care and finance; and radicalizes Federal bureaucracies like the NLRB and the EPA in any way a centrist.

    Comment by V the K — July 27, 2011 @ 2:16 pm - July 27, 2011

  2. …self-description of his political affiliation as “Socially liberal, Fiscally conservative.” Really? I wonder which of his Janus characteristics weighed heavier when choosing between McCain and Obama

    Sorry Nick, I gotta step in for the other side here.

    Well first of all, there are a bunch of liberals who claim to be fiscally conservative – when they are liberals, period. They need the “I’m a fiscal conservative” as a fig leaf for their self-respect, or something.

    But there are also people who believe in Small Government in all spheres: people who apply the idea of Small Government consistently. They would show up on most people’s radar as fiscally conservative, socially libertarian (more than liberal).

    It is a tragedy that neither major party applies Small Government – which is to say, the idea of human liberty – in a consistent way. That’s why I’m an Independent. But I lean Republican because with Republicans I get what I want (in terms of more freedom / smaller government) 40% of the time, while with Democrats I get it maybe 10% of the time.

    So chalk me up as “fiscally conservative, socially libertarian”. And 2008 was yet another devil’s choice because McCain was anti-freedom on so many things – just take McCain-Feingold, for starters. But in the end, yes I voted for… Palin.

    Why do politicians who are seen as “socially liberal” so often the farthest thing from “fiscally conservative”?

    Hold on. Would you care to explain the existence of Chris Christie?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 27, 2011 @ 2:51 pm - July 27, 2011

  3. ILC: Excellent point, and just the one I was making… You and I (as, likely many of our readers) are anomalies. But do an informal survey: How many guys who call themselves “SL/FC” voted for Obama? I think you’ll find our type to be the outliers in that group.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — July 27, 2011 @ 3:00 pm - July 27, 2011

  4. In fact, let me put a finer point on it: I’m not saying that SL/FCs don’t exist (I consider myself one, although I’d never use that tired label.)

    What I’m saying is that I can’t believe how many who describe themselves as such would actually vote for Obama. After a little scratching of their skin, I find in fact, they’re usually either not fiscal conservatives or more likely don’t have a clue what it means to be fiscally conservative in the first place.

    Hm..come to think of it, maybe that answers my question then.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — July 27, 2011 @ 3:04 pm - July 27, 2011

  5. Thanks. Well, my point was that if you are willing to let SL/FC morph a little into SL(tarian)/FC, then isn’t a Janus situation; it’s consistency, a consistent application of the idea of liberty.

    Now, back on SL/FC in your sense… how about Chris Christie?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 27, 2011 @ 3:10 pm - July 27, 2011

  6. After a little scratching of their skin, I find in fact, they’re usually either not fiscal conservatives or more likely don’t have a clue what it means to be fiscally conservative in the first place.

    Agreed. Like I said, some (actual) lefties claim to be FC because they think it makes them cooler if they challenge their brethren by paying lip service to the laws of financial arithmetic, or something.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 27, 2011 @ 3:13 pm - July 27, 2011

  7. Wasn’t Arnold supposed to be a “social liberal/fiscal conservative” and didn’t he increase state spending in California 40% while enacting the most Draconian environmental rules in the world?

    That is why I am suspicious of so-called moderates.

    Comment by V the K — July 27, 2011 @ 3:55 pm - July 27, 2011

  8. Well, Nick, at least you’re a bit honest here, admitting to being socially liberal/fiscally conservative even while not using that “tired label” yourself.

    I’m not surprised that you consider as “corny” the idea that “libertines and druggies” are tearing apart the societal fabric. The social fabric has to be torn apart for gays to achieve their supreme goal of normalizing and mainstreaming their sexual attraction. You apparently support that tearing apart under the guise of promoting “small government”.

    It never ceases to amaze me how getting governmental approval of their sexuality is promoted by gay “conservatives” as making government smaller and, thereby, increasing liberty. This is how they try to turn redefining marriage into a “conservative” cause.

    Conservatives believe in maximizing liberty by shrinking government. Changing the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples will shrink government and increase liberty. Therefore, redefining marriage is a conservative. What a non sequitir!

    Nick, if redefining marriage is conservative because it will make government smaller, then we conservatives can’t put any restrictions on that redefining process, right? If allowing gay marriage will make government smaller, then allowing, say, plural marriage will make government smaller still, right? I won’t be shocked if you disagree, Nick. The whole “redefining marriage is conservative because it will make government smaller” is considered a valid argument only when it benefits gays. After reading GayPatriot for well over a year, I’ve learned that that’s how “socially liberal/fiscally conservative” gays roll.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 27, 2011 @ 11:40 pm - July 27, 2011

  9. This social liberal/ fiscal conservative voted for McCain while gagging on it. He was the least worst choice that stood any chance at all. Usually I vote Libertarian in presidential elections but the last one required voting for the lesser evil, so McCain Palin it was.

    Comment by Scott M — July 28, 2011 @ 12:36 am - July 28, 2011

  10. Added this as an update, but will put it into the comments as well, given the length of the post:

    Nick, you’re onto something. I believe a lot of people stay with the Democrats largely due to social issues. I keep meeting people who are aware of out-of-control government spending and unions who hold too much sway over our political system, yet vote Democratic because they could never support someone who wants to impose restrictions on abortions or because they want a “pro-equality” candidate on gay issues. To some extent, Democrats stay competitive because the party leaders — and their advocates in the media — have convinced many voters that social conservatives define the GOP and force the fiscal conservatives to take a backseat.

    Even this week on FoxNews, a woman (speaking after Krauthammer offered his “cynical” commentary on Obama’s debt speech) said Reagan couldn’t win the GOP nomination today. That’s nonsense and she should know better.

    This post is somewhat related; I asked, “does the perception that social conservative dominate the GOP prevent gays businessmen and women (less attuned than we to the increasing economic focus of the GOP) from choosing the party which better represents their economic concerns?”

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — July 28, 2011 @ 1:25 am - July 28, 2011

  11. Being socially conservative is not a left or right thing. In fact, some of the most socially conservative people out there are Democrats (especially black Democrats). I think social liberals choose the Democrats for the same reason social conservatives choose the Republicans- both sides think that the other party doesn’t care about issues they care about (or are in agreement with them).

    Comment by MV — July 28, 2011 @ 6:35 am - July 28, 2011

  12. The whole “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” canard amounts to the proposition that porn-addicted, dope-smoking, baby-killing adulterers are definitely the ones you want to trust with the money.

    Comment by Matteo — July 28, 2011 @ 10:41 am - July 28, 2011

  13. Seana-Anna:

    What I consider “corny” isn’t the idea of the social fabric being ripped apart by druggies and libertines. It’s the idea that it’s Washington who should somehow play a role in fixing that through legislation and/or government fiat. I may not have made that clear. But even so, I’m not sure what you mean when you write that I want to tear that fabric in the name of “small government”. Because I prefer the concepts of liberty and individual freedom when it comes to drug legalization? I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree about whether individual liberty is more important than what you or I decide is morally correct.

    As for gay marriage, I know not of what you speak. I’m completely agnostic when it comes to gay marriage. Frankly, it’s not the government’s role to be involved in my personal relationships. Not sure where you get the idea (if I read your comment correctly) that I’m somehow a) advocating for gay marriage (or ever have), let alone b) using ‘small government’ conservatism to its end.

    You surely won’t find any history of that argument with my byline attached to it. Not even if you look back much longer than “well over a year”.

    All that said, I never bought into the ‘conservative’ ‘argument’ for gay marriage either. What I buy into is the libertarian argument against government-sanctioned marriage (be it between men and women or men and men, or within a group of three or even four people) in the first place. Render unto Caesar, I have always said.

    Perhaps I need to pen my own (Nick’s, not GayPatriot.net’s) treatise on that so as to make it more clear. Thanks for the idea!

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — July 28, 2011 @ 10:44 am - July 28, 2011

  14. Pot and narcotics may be vile (I don’t use ‘em), but government cannot get rid of them, nor even limit them effectively (as we see in America daily), unless it goes so far as to abrogate freedom and the Rule of Law a la Saudi Arabia or China. But that is throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    What I consider “corny” isn’t the idea of the social fabric being ripped apart by druggies and libertines. It’s the idea that it’s Washington who should somehow play a role in fixing that

    Agreed. Pot, for example, should be legalized. When a free society criminalizes the ‘victimless crimes’, it makes society worse, by *creating* new crime and criminals. For example, by creating extralegal income and extralegal property, it boosts the demand (the need) for extralegal property protection services – also known as gangs. This was seen in the U.S. during Prohibition, when the criminalization of alcohol famously increased the activity, income and power of organized crime and conversely, reversing Prohibition was one of the conditions that allowed its partial/gradual decline.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 28, 2011 @ 11:12 am - July 28, 2011

  15. these are the sorts who are fooling only themselves.

    Sorta like those “Constitutionalists” who decided that if their man Ron Paul did not get the Republican nomination, they were going to vote 0bama dammit.

    One of these later admitted it was “about one or two social issues” that they did not like about McCain/Palin….same person later was bemoaning the lack of single payer healthcare here…wtf??

    Pointing out that if their first choice was elected they would certainly not get SP care, and even the 0bamacare abomination would not be passed was shrugged off…

    Pointing out that their mother, recently in full remission from particularly nasty cancer would not have received the very expensive and so far successful treatment under Canada’s system, or would have paid full price on her own for it in the UK as the NHS would not cover it, but the UK has private hospitals where as Canukistan does not allow, made them very mad at me for dragging their mother into this…how dare I.

    cannot figure out how that brain functions.

    Comment by JP — July 28, 2011 @ 12:37 pm - July 28, 2011

  16. Nick at #13: Oh.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — July 28, 2011 @ 11:27 pm - July 28, 2011

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