Monday, December 15, 2008

Squaring The Circle

How do you enforce traditional values and at the same time promote limited government?

Until Republicans resolve that question neither the traditional values people nor the limited government people are going to trust the party.


tomcpp said...

Simple : vote for laws that require someone to complain. Don't force the police to go and check, simply count on people themselves to report bad behavior.

Loren Heal said...

The question presupposes that traditional values (a term I will use without scrutiny) need to be enforced, and that social conservatives by their nature want government to enforce their values.

However, most social conservatives want merely not to have laws which are opposed to those values, and possibly for the government to advocate traditional values, as opposed to advocating non-traditional ones.

That is what Prop 8 was all about, I thought. It's not that we care what other people do, really, it's that we don't want the government actively supporting, with legal protection, nontraditional values. That's very different from saying we don't want anyone doing nontraditional things.

It's true that on some level we don't want anyone doing nontraditional things, but since of course we recognize tolerance and pluralism and limited government as higher Enlightenment principles, it's best to keep government away from that area.

So the answer is that we should all oppose government action which would change social mores, rather than supporting government action enforcing them.

I'll welcome any reply on that.

M. Simon said...


Let me point out a couple of things that have gotten lost in history.

1. Government involvement in marriage was promoted to prevent race mixing

2. Government involvement in what kind of intoxicants people could use was another keep the colored folks down measure. It still works that way.

3. Government schools were promoted as a way to indoctrinate kids in the "correct" religious values. That one got away from us.

IMO a true conservative (some one who wants to return to what works) would be against all those things.

I will grant that government should not be funding abortion. However, in the case of embryonic stem cells there are many more than will ever be implanted and perhaps it might be wise to say something similar to the position on abortion - getting government involved would be wrong but privately funded research should not be curtailed.

In addition a program to make adoption easier (reduce red tape) would signal that abortion will not be touched but that other solutions could be considered.

Finally emphasize that a robust economy is the best way to reduce abortions right now without touching any of the laws.

I think a message can be crafted that will not scare the left centrists and still keep social conservatives on board. The lens is smaller government.

The Crook County scandal is a perfect vehicle. The reason there are so many crooks in government is that government controls too much. It has too many favors to hand out.