March 17, 2013 4 Comments
We often hear a lot of talk about how “divisive” social issues are or how “extreme” conservatism is. Some individuals-either out of fear or sheer disdain for conservatism-feel inclined to tell us to abandon traditional values despite them being in line with limited government.
Pro-freedom, pro-life, and pro-family? Goodness gracious – you must be a fascist! (Thank you, revisionist history.)
Many conservatives like incoming Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint have made the case for constitutional, sound conservatism.
What is sound conservatism, and how does it ensure our movement’s success?
Princeton University professor and renowned scholar Robert P. George observed that economic and social conservatism are synonymous. I discussed this topic in a November 2011 blog post:
Renowned conservative thinker Dr. Robert P. George of Princeton University expounds on this by presenting the case for sound conservatism in “No Mere Marriage of Convenience: Uniting Social and Economic Conservatives.”
He writes, “Sound conservatism, as a matter of principle and not mere pragmatism, will honor limited government, restrain spending, and provide honest money and low taxes — while at the same time upholding the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions; the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and the innocence of children.”
During a speech at CPAC 2013, incoming Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint had this to say about sound conservatism:
Economic and social conservatism go hand-in-hand. They’re natural allies. Strong families, churches and voluntary institutions build strong character and economic independence. And government must always remember we are endowed by our creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is true for you and me, and it is true for the unborn. When government understands its limited role, it can be smaller, people can be freer and our economy can create prosperity for everyone. And when government grows larger with programs like Obamacare that consume so much of our lives, it tramples on both economic freedom and religious liberty. This has united conservatives of all stripes to fight to end Obamacare so we can all be free to live our own lives.
When people call for the removal of social issues from the conservative movement, they are essentially telling the majority of constitutional conservatives-including fiscal conservatives-to shut up and give into so-called pragmatism. This should cause you great distress…
Those of us who believe in sound conservatism cannot allow the dilution of values to take place. It is our duty to champion limited government, the sanctity of life, marriage, fiscal sanity, strong national defense, American sovereignty, personal responsibility, reverence for the Constitution, and individual rights.
My fellow conservative Hobbits and wacko-birds: Principles, not pragmatism, always win.
- Jim DeMint’s Speech at CPAC 2013 (heritage.org)
- DeMint slams ‘establishment Republicans’ in CPAC speech (washingtonpost.com)
- DeMint: Obama Has Been “Irresponsible As a Leader” (heritage.org)
- DeMint: Obama ‘has lost contact with reality’ (wnd.com)