…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?”