Monday, October 15, 2007

Thoughtful Social Conservatism

A visitor commented on Wednesday’s post, relative to compromises on the sanctity of life. It and my reply represent an importantant conversation that is rarely undertaken even among social conservatives. Pondering the question made me think that there are many questions that we do not fully enough flesh out. “Thoughtful Social Conservatism” would be a suitable title for a discussion of these questions, though such discussion is not well-suited to the sound bites of a political campaign.

Here is the comment and response:

Notes below posted to "Greatest story never told":

Land’s “Greater Good v. Greater Evil” argument has been the GOP left’s argument for as long as I can remember. You may remember Hannity shilling for Schwartzenegger in the
runoff that made him the “Governator”? Now it’s illegal to use harmful words like, “parents,” “mommy,” “daddy,” etc. in classrooms in the Golden State because they "discriminate" against homosexuals.

We have come to a major decision point in this country. One in which we need to risk eight years of Hillary at the helm in order to forge a new pro-family coalition.

Ethically, the best choice should be the only choice. If all voters operated this way, Hillary at the helm would not be risky because she would not win in a race where people of conscience voted their conscience. With Rudy or Mitt as her opponent, the eventual victor wouldn’t matter since their views are so similar to hers. In other words, we should rally around a true social conservative and let the electoral chips fall where they will.

Short version: We can all support candidates like Huckabee because it won't matter whether they can beat Hillary.... but I believe Huckabee can win anyway.

I couldn’t find either your profile or the post you referred to. But of course you're right, that the social left of The Republican Party has long given us "Land’s 'Greater Good v. Greater Evil' argument." But, we must be certain to note that Richard Land, Tony Perkins, and Gary Bauer are not of the social liberal left of the GOP.

So, theirs is not an animus of antipathy to social conservatism. Theirs is what at bottom, may be the more ignoble animus of a spirit of fear, rather than a positive spirit of exalting the standard of a clear an unambiguous ideal of the sanctity of human life.

The problem is not a Narcissistic one of whether we tarnish our own integrity with respect to our values. No, the big problem is the sacrifice of what war laid down as a foundational should be an American standard and which, in fact, one major political party in The United States has unapologetically abandoned.

If The Republican Party puts that most basic of principles on the negotiating table:

1) Republican strategists need never consider it, again. Its advocates can be taken for granted.

2) We are affirming as Republicans, a chief executive of The United States who is lost on the ABSOLUTELY MOST BASIC of founding American principles. That's the individual you want charged with protecting and defending The Constitution.

By the way, this is hardly a unique example of Giuliani's oblivion to American principle. Such ineptitude at comprehension of principle is a dangerous condition that will repeatedly reappear, and it has.

3) If American society assimilates and becomes passive to the denial of this most basic principle, self-centered incivility will become an acceptable and standard disposition. I believe that civility in America will be well down the path of dissolution.

By the way, one may look at my posture and assume that I am a reflexive follower of whatever position that most social conservatives and their perceived leaders espouse or embrace. Anyone is free to believe that, of course. But that assumption has the incomparable flaw of being untrue.

It is true that this blog has been generally devoted to the cause of nominating a social conservative as the Republican candidate for President of the United States in 2008. But, though we largely agree, the most important basis for my support is Mike Huckabee’s positive character, more than a perfect correspondence between our inclinations on policy questions. The latter are negotiable. The former is not.

I can point to many examples and in a book, I might. But right here on this very fundamental issue of respect for the sanctity of human life, we are presented with a good example:

Many will consider me an inflexible, unreasonable, and detrimental ideologue because I am intransigent about the morality and essential Americanism of respect for the sanctity of human life. However, I do not advocate for an amendment to The US Constitution, banning abortion, which puts me at odds with almost every social conservative that I can think of, including Mike Huckabee.

Understand, if I were president (which is a most slightly greater likelihood than that of hell freezing over), I would be glad of it. But, 1) presidents have no part in the process of constitutional amendment. Such must be at first proposed by 2/3 of the US Senate AND the US House of Representatives and then ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures. In short, as things stand, it ain’t gonna happen. Heck, a majority of a Senate CONTROLLED BY REPUBLICANS couldn’t even convict a Democratic president of high crimes and misdemeanors, who had repeatedly and brazenly perjured himself before a federal grand jury!

So in the first place, talk of such an amendment as of today is just a sentimental expression that abortion is wrong and/or Roe vs. Wade is an unconstitutional fabrication. I believe both of those things, but mere talk does nothing practical to rectify the really tragic problem.

Secondly, if such a process became a realistic possibility, we will have already progressed considerably in the necessary direction of public understanding that there is something very fundamentally amiss in American society. At this point, states and localities should reassert themselves in regulating or rejecting the practice of abortion. This process would of course, be greatly assisted by the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, which seems now a more attainable ambition, but I think states should challenge their captivity to this grotesquely unconstitutional ruling, regardless.

Also, the process of public and state assertion would also be greatly eased by the election of an assertive and articulate president of principle and character. And, so we return to Mike Huckabee...


Editor said...


I need your help activating a grassroots movement to knock some sense in some of our Ivory Tower Christian Leaders.

Here's a copy of an email I sent to Gary Bauer, I have more on you are welcome to duplicate. We need to shake these guys up a little. If nothing else get them to pray about this. Everything I read tells me they are reasoning, thinking and strategizing but NOT praying!

Mr. Bauer:

You, Tony Perkins, Mark Demoss and Richard Land are seriously compromising Christian principles and values for a perceived political win. At best I think you will assure a win for Democrats.

I will not compromise.

Christians should be involved in the political process, they should have influence but my friend we do not abandon our principles to win politically. When we do, we lose, because we become what we are opposed to.

For the first time in a long time, we have a Christian man driven by principle, a man of strong character, a man who lives what he believes, a man we can trust, a man who by his very nature can restore dignity and trust of the Office of President, a man who has more experience than any other candidate, a man who is electable.

And you have turned your back on him and endangered my family.

Count the cost, my friend. You and your co-leaders failure to stand behind Mike may cost not just the election in 2008 but will cost you your leadership position with me and thousands upon thousands of others. I think you guys need to get the message:
We want Uncompromising Leadership.

I also think you and the others should apologize to Bill Clinton. Apparently Character is not the issue.

"it is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord. than to put confidence in princes." Psalm 118:8-9

Praying for God's intervention in the hearts of our most prominent Christian Leaders,

email let him know what you think!

If you know Tony Perkins, Mark Demoss or Richard Land's email please send it to me.

Are you with me on this!

Vote at Family Research Council straw poll

Stephen R. Maloney said...


Tony Perkins, Mark Demoss, and Gary Bauer, a wonderful guy that I met many years ago, understand what is possible in politics and what is not. Illinois4Huckabee is another Christian conservative who mistakes egomania for principles.

I was delighted by Mike Huckabee's comment the other day about accepting a vice-presidential nod. He said the vice-presidency was: a job that nobody wants -- and no one turns down. He and Sarah Palin are probably the most likely people to get offered the vice-presidency, and I like Mike's suggestion that he'd accept the offer.

I would remind Illinois4Huckabee that no one is going to insist his spouse or his daughter have an abortion. No one will make his church (yikes, what a thought) marry or otherwise united gay people. They will have the right to continue hating gay people as much as they currently do. No one is going to force him to vote for any particular candidate, Democrat or Republican.

If he doesn't care what judges get appointed to the Supreme Court, Illinois4Huckabee is welcome to stay home -- or even to vote for Mrs. Clinton.

I fear, however, that will leave him (and others) right where they want to be: free to condemn their own country and society for the rest of their lives. If that makes them happy, they invited to be my guests.

steve maloney

Larry Perrault said...

IFH editor:

I have been away most of today. Excuse the commenter who followed you. He has a personal problem. He says he is a Republican and speaks as though being flexible about anything you hold as a value (flexible value seems often a contradiction in terms to me), such that while he says he is pro-life, he supports Rudy Giuliani. And, more importantly, he must charge terrible immorality to anyone like ourselves, who will not.

He has the decided tendency to ascribe hate and selfishness to other people: many so far, myself included. And, I expect there will be many more if he does not decide to relieve himself of his bile, elsewhere. When I see him spew venom about good people (boy, he realy hates that, when I cal "hateful and evil" people like James Dobson and Laurence White, an acquaintance of mine and one of America's most traveled and able pro-life speakers, "good people") I wonder who he's singing for, because he makes a fool of himself with such talk. Hey, I don't agree with Dobson on everything, but I know a man who loves Jesus and other people when I see one, as I have in Dobson's case for about thirty years.

Such reckless derision makes me angry, but when I reflect on the fact that Maloney appears to be utterly unable to discern such love, I can only pity him.

I wonder if there are enough Republicans like him to fill a high-school basketball stadium, who spew hate while charging hate: a very mode of behavior for a Republican, don't you think?

Anyway, if the Republican Party goes his direction, the party of Lincoln may already be dead. I haven't even gotten Maloney to say that he would not compromise on slavery (liberty) as well as abortion (life) in order to reach for the ultimate prize of "vivtory." As I often say, when the bottom-line prize is to win, there certainly must be some point at which it is reasonable to ask, "Win what?"

I'm with you. I have opened a document to write to Bauer, though it was clear to me in 2000 when he dropped out of the race to endorse John McCain, that he didn't know which end was up. Personally, I like John McCain all right and I respect his service. But, the man plainly does not understand the 1st Amendment, andneither does Fred Thompson, for that matter. That American heresy, McCain-Feingold is much of the reason that non-media celebrity Mike Huckabee is limited in the campaign funds that he can raise.

And speaking of that, I am trying to reach the campaign to discuss a fundraising sttrategy that was keeping me up, last night.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

On the critical issue of abortion, it's time for some Christian conservatives to learn who has abortions and why they have them. For example, compared to white females, Black females have three-and-a-half times as many abortions. For Hispanics, it's two-and-a-half times as many (per 100,000 of each ethnic or racial group). The mostly all-white mega-churches have almost no influence (or contract) with Blacks or Hispanics. As long as that remains true, many women will continue to seek and obtain abortions. When people have abortions because they're poor, which is often the case, the only way to prevent them is by making the women less poor. I'm sure that would come as shocking news to the Dr. Dobsons of the world. When Roe v. Wade became law, only two justices of the Supreme Court (Rehnquist and Byron White) voted against it. If conservative Christians of that era -- one generation ago -- had played a positive role in American politics, Roe v. Wade might never have obtained a majority. Now, we have various extremists advocating steps that would ensure more pro-choice judges get appointed to the Court (by President Hillary Clinton). In short, deja vu all over again.

steve maloney