I hear too often the saintlike reverence that conservatives have for the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Now I’m not going to say that it wasn’t a high water mark for conservatism, as it did pull conservatives, and the GOP along with it, out of the gutter of relative irrelevancy they had been in for the most part since the glorious (for progressives) days of FDR giving Uncle Sam the experience of government-program bukakke.
Yet even during those days, the government grew (as it had since the Washington administration), the debt shot up (and it took Clinton and the GOP Congress (notably under Newt Gingrich) to reign that in), and a new norm became entrenched in the party.
That new norm was the social conservatives.
It’s been 30 years since the Reagan Revolution, which did show what getting the government out of the way could do, but also added an element that sees the role of government as a moral arbiter. This of course necessitates expanding the size and scope of government.
I’m hoping you see the glaring inconsistency here. It’s the kind of sick paternalism that would mandate a government vag probe to discourage abortion. It’s the kind of nanny state control that would punish people for violating on one’s rights by ingesting a substance. And it’s the blind entrenchment to tradition that would deny rights to people because it’s always been that way, even as the culture changed.
My point here is that it’s time to declare the Reagan revolution over and start the libertarian revolution in the GOP!
Now before I get to the meat of that, let me point out something: Just because something has been the same for years doesn’t mean it should stay that way. It’s called progress (a reason the liberals snatched up that name). And in the case of social mores (which should never be the province of government regulation), they often are dictated by the culture. Go back 30 years before the Reagan revolution and the word “nigger” was acceptable speech. It didn’t take government regulation to force that out of all but the most backroom or low conversation. It took a shift in the culture to where we find overt bigotry offensive, and are more tolerant toward everything. (And yes, it did take government action to force the issue and protect people for a while, since it was entrenched morons holding their moral “high ground” that fought this (most of them Democrats).)
That tolerance now includes every alternate and deviant lifestyle out there. Which is good for me, because I’m starting to think the status quo sucks ass.
I’ll take a simple example in “gay marriage” or as we’ll be calling it in 10 years, “marriage.” I’m still not an active supporter of this, but I can find no argument against the state-sanctioned institution. Religious objections are fine, but not relevant because that would not comport with the first amendment. Compared with what I grew up with (during the 80’s), when gay people were a stereotype joke in movies, this has moved so far in those years that I couldn’t have imagined it now.
I could cite many other examples of this, but I’ll just let you Google that. And that’s how we got here. It’s how I became a libertarian. It’s how Obama won in
2012 2008 and the Tea Party pushed back in 2010. And it’s how you’re reading this shit.
The Internet has been around for over a decade in a form we recognize, and it gives us something that, when I was growing up, only got filtered through 3 networks, old guard papers and magazines, encyclopedias that had current events sections referencing Watergate, and this newfangled cable network called CNN. And that’s information. Information that’s from multiple, points of view. Sites that strive for objectivity and neutral points of view, sites with clear points of view that examine and analyze facts, and rabid sites that strive only to push out their agenda, no matter what the facts. Oh, and every magnicifent kind of porn you could ever want to cum to.
With the exception of the last sentence, this means information flows freely. And we can learn why people are different, we can discover that the view of all the social mores of the last 50 years were not the same throughout history, and that controlling this information gives people power.
So to address all of the social conservatives of the GOP (especially the bunch that thinks Rick Santorum should be the candidate) , it’s time to start letting go. Not to all belief and tradition. It’s what makes you good people, for the most part. But to the idea that it’s the role of government to enforce this. Because THAT is what most people who aren’t social conservatives are repelled by: the desire to mandate your moral values on them, to control what they may see, what they may hear, what they may do. With the knowledge of what is possible, there are few outside what you believe that would want to be forced, at the point of a gun, to follow your dogma.
This may take small steps for you to get there, but consider: the Tea Party did not explode into a movement because of declining social values, it moved because of the constant overreach of government. And it’s that tendency, embraced far too often among the statists (who love the Left) that must be combatted to hold this country together.
In short, the country is bleeding green. Are you in this to staunch the flow of blood, or to pray for its soul before death?