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Values Voters: May their Chains Rest Lightly...
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, May 18, 2006

Amy Sullivan in The New Republic argues that there is a burgeoning religious liberal vote...
Rove is also reportedly worried about another group of evangelicals: the nearly 40 percent who identify themselves as politically moderate and who are just as likely to get energized about aids in Africa or melting ice caps as partial-birth abortion and lesbian couples in Massachusetts.
On the one hand, I'd love to see the Democrats dillute the influence of the social conservatives by making themselves a viable option for religious voters. On the other hand, the last thing I want to see is two Parties in a race to see who can implement the most religious "values".
They are simply two sides to the same paternalistic coin.
"Values". That's a very problematic word, as George Will points out...
This phrase diminishes our understanding of politics. It also is arrogant on the part of social conservatives and insulting to everyone else because it implies that only social conservatives vote to advance their values and everyone else votes to . . . well, it is unclear what they supposedly think they are doing with their ballots.
We all vote our "values". The only distinction is how far we would extend those values.

Reading liberal pundits excoriate Republicans for trying to "impose their values" on other people is painful; it's equally painful to read the Republicans who denounce liberals for wanting to "take away our freedom" through the welfare state, gun control, etc. They are simply two sides to the same paternalistic coin.
"Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
The idea that economic liberty is divisible from social or political liberty is blinding nonsense on stilts. We'd all be better off if the cultural paternalists joined the economic paternalists to create a single party devoted to the social engineering, and left at least one party to the "animating contest of freedom".

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." —Samuel Adams
 
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The idea that economic liberty is divisible from social or political liberty is blinding nonsense on stilts.
Agreed. Free markets mean free people, while controlled and regulated markets mean controlled and regulated people. Might not be so bad if the controllers and regulators were gods instead of just slimeball politicians and bureaucrats.
 
Written By: Manny Davis
URL: http://
We’d all be better off if the cultural paternalists joined the economic paternalists to create a single party devoted to the social engineering,
They have - it’s called the Republican party.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I agree with you—and for once, George Will—wholeheartedly, Mr. Henke. One of my values is that I don’t threaten people with the force, and (as the Duke says in THE SHOOTIST) "I require the same of them." I find "religious liberals" particularly nauseating. At least a lot of people on the Religious Right have a grasp of sound economics, thus having at least one foot in reality. And how to "religious liberals" get around the Ninth Commandment? That one I’ve never figured out, but hey, they’re religious—they don’t have to be logical.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
We all vote our "values". The only distinction is how far we would extend those values.

Reading liberal pundits excoriate Republicans for trying to "impose their values" on other people is painful; it’s equally painful to read the Republicans who denounce liberals for wanting to "take away our freedom" through the welfare state, gun control, etc. They are simply two sides to the same paternalistic coin.
Maybe I’m missing something here.

Why is it painful? Because both are statists being paternalistic in their own way, and are thus hypocrites?
That’s better than the alternative: neither party criticizing the paternalistic tendencies of the other. Hypocrites who are suspicious of those who they recognize have power over them are preferable to consistent nannies — they have a channel through which liberty-loving people can still reach them.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
And how to "religious liberals" get around the Ninth Commandment?
Yup that whole lying thing. Another good one is how most of their social and economic policies essentially break the Tenth, coveting their neighbors’ goods.

I’m also with Ornery, I would much rather have both parties will some redeeming qualities than one party of absolute evil. It gives options whenever either party is in control.

As for the rest of the post, it seems to me you got it half right. You’re right in that the social conservatives have no justification to push their values down the throat of the unconsenting through the offices of Big Government. I’m a social conservative and I support you on that one. Instead of properly dismantling Big Government and moving these debates from the halls of government into the public square, too many social conservatives are giving into the temptations of their secular predecessors and are using government power to impose their will on society. This is wrong. It is taking the easy road instead of the right one and social conservatives are being properly castigated for it.

But while you are right that "The idea that economic liberty is divisible from social or political liberty is blinding nonsense on stilts," you don’t seem to understand that statement’s full implications. The heart of social conservatism is still personal accountability and responsibility. And this is the heart of all liberty. True liberty cannot mean consequence-free Libertinism. Liberty is both the freedom to make decisions and the full responsibility to bear the consequences of those decisions without imposing those consequences on others against their will. The social conservatives still have some stuff right.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
Well this might not be popular, but I have to disagree. I am now a libertarian, and not particularly religious anymore, but at one time I was one of those dreaded religious conservatives (oh noes!!). And I have to say it was not a real far trek to come over to conservative-libertarianism. I still think abortion is horrible, I’m still not thrilled about changing the millenniums old definition of marriage to include gays(though I was always for civil unions). And I still think that drug use is a moral failure.
The only thing that changed is that I saw the futility of trying to get the government to solve these problems. Most of the (dreaded) conservative Christians you find out there are going to be like I was, they recognize the problem with big government and only need a little persuasion. However, you get no persuasion by ridicule, name calling, or animus.
BTW, if they all withdraw from politics, liberal democrats become the majority political movement again.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
They have - it’s called the Republican party.
He’s right.

The heart of social conservatism is still personal accountability and responsibility.
Incorrect.
This statement is contradictory. The keyword being, “social”. Social conservatism, by it’s very nature, is general, public accountability and responsibility.

I also disagree with this statement,
True liberty cannot mean consequence-free Libertinism.
Libertine,
n.
1. One who acts without moral restraint; a dissolute person.
2. One who defies established religious precepts; a freethinker
Just because one “acts without moral restraint”, doesn’t necessarily require a need for consequence. There are many, many individuals that live a relatively consequence free life all-the-while delving into acts of moral abandonment. It is only when these acts of moral abandonment impose consequence to others should society concern itself.

Drink all you want, just don’t get into your car.

You see, a libertine lifestyle that holds consequence only to oneself. Which is the heart of libertarianism. (Oddly enough I feel compelled to remind folks around here.)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I saw a piece for a kick-off rally having to do with this sort of thing, but I don’t buy it.

I just can’t see a real religiously motivated political group that bows in a big way to "secular" government at the end of the day, as liberal groups like People For The American Way would expect any good liberal.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
They have - it’s called the Republican party.
Whoosh. Right past you.
And how to "religious liberals" get around the Ninth Commandment?
The same way they get past the 2nd, 9th and 10th ammendments. Gradual erosion.
Maybe I’m missing something here. Why is it painful?
Because the inability to see the mote in their own eye is frustrating. It’s like watching Gary Coleman and Emanuel Lewis calling each other short.
Well this might not be popular, but I have to disagree.
I’m not sure you really did disagree with me. My problem is not with the moral values, but with the means of enforcing them.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

 
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