( – promoted by buhdydharma )
Like many others here and in blogland, I have enjoyed reading and hearing the dancing circular firing squad that is the conservative movement analyze the meaning of an Obama presidency and issue lofty calls for how to restructure the GOP and by extension the meaning of conservatism in America.
The conservative movement is by no means dead, it has a nasty ailment and in the long run it will survive. As has been repeated elsewhere Obama is not symbolic figurehead for progressive ideals and there is no reason to feel cocky, just a touch relieved.
I happened to stumble upon a post by a self described social conservative who sounded almost rational. He projects like a man with whom I would have quite a range of disagreements with. However, he also writes in a coherent rational manner that suggests his ideology is not rooted in fanatical hatred. I am not going to suggest that I am now worshiping at the tarnished shrine of bipartisanship. What he represents to me is a group of people who I think were largely silenced by extremists in his own party. I happen to know an awful lot of social conservatives who are decent people who might be puzzled by those who are different but harbor no specific grudge or anger.
You can read his whole post here and I will excerpt the parts I found interesting.
He isn’t very impressed by those who suggest the cure is move further right….
In any event, we are yet again treated to the insane concept that in order to regain our national footing, all we have to do is get more socially conservative. Apparently, the fact that we have lost young people, college educated voters, moderates, city dwellers, middle class suburbanites – this has everything to do with the fact that somehow we’ve been less socially conservative than we should have been.
Please, ladies and gentlemen, pardon my French, but are you fucking kidding me?
I have had enough of this garbage, absolutely enough. There are two reasons republicans have lost all of those groups, who should naturally be aligned to them. The first is they have betrayed what they said they were about – which is small government, spending restraint, government reform, ethical power, lower taxes and balanced budgets – and the second is that they have branded themselves as a regional party of southern religious demagogues who do not care about good government, but are instead only interested in fighting the culture war.
It turns out that despite being a republican and believing in what he thinks are the ideals of his party ( and this is one of many place where I disagree), the party is not exactly winning him over right now…
These are not the same people, folks. And the very notion that somehow we haven’t been socially conservative enough, after having a president in office for eight years who cited Jesus as his favorite philosopher, is laughable. We’ve had nothing but a focus on abortion, gays and the small town vs. metro America for a decade, and what has it left us with?
And don’t even start with me on the “John McCain’s problem was he never talked about social issues” – that just proves how little you understand about this election, why Obama won and why McCain struggled. If you think coming out for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage would have rallied this country, brought people together and given him an electoral mandate – please stop following politics.
This man it turns out despite self identifying as a social conservative would like to be spared annoying advice about how he or others should be living. Here is a guy who despite his stance on issues clearly believes in democracy and disagreement not theology and marching in lock step in really cool uniforms….
The funny thing is, I am socially conservative. I am not entirely comfortable with the idea of gay marriage, and I am extremely pro-life, among other things. I’m religious (practicing Catholic), I prefer small town America to urban cement, and I have a wife and young family. The most irritating thing about people who are advocating for more social conservatism is they don’t understand why they are driving people like me away from them.
I’m socially conservative, but I (and you will find 85% of people my age) have absolutely no tolerance for that much time and effort being devoted to telling people how to live, exalting God in a secular government, and dividing good people who disagree into “real” and “phony” or “down to earth” and “elitist”. I have no interest in that kind of garbage
In others words here is a guy who should be quite in tune with the republican party telling some of them to STFU.
Nor does he have much Patience for the anti-intellectualism that drenches the right….
I believe in the value of the intellectual, urban dwelling young person – I am only skeptical of those who hold their noses in the air about it. I am very reluctant to get excited about anyone running my government that doesn’t get curious about certain intellectual pursuits, particularly relating to government affairs.
He is actually a person the Dems much want to pay attention to. He still has hope for the soul of the republican party right now and never mentions even considering the Dems but nor does he demonize them. He goes on in his post to urge pragmatism over ideology and to suggest his party emphasize traditional small government themes and to abandon the culture war tactic.
Too soon to tell which way the republicans will lean. Makes me what how many other social conservatives are in fact a little weary of the hatred and ideology heavy bat their own party has been swinging. And hey, with all that effort they didn’t hit the home run did they?