Matt’s new piece at Salon: “I’m a Republican — and ‘social conservatism’ must be stopped”

Another good one from Purple Elephant co-founder Matt Barnum (full article):

Rep. Randy Forbes is not happy. The Republican Party is not actively discriminating against gay congressional candidates as much as he’d like, and social conservatives like Forbes are fed up. He’s lashing out because he fears his brand of social conservatism is dying, and has no idea what to do about it. I’m a Republican, so I think Forbes’ crusade is not only politically stupid, it’s also undermining the very social conservative values that he purports to champion.

Today, “social conservatism” has come to mean fighting the demographically lost battle against same-sex marriage, and the legally lost battle against abortion. No ideology has narrowed in such a startling way. The culprit? Social conservatism. As a Republican who supports things like fewer abortions, I think it’s unfortunate that socially conservative means aren’t in line with socially conservative ends.

The best example is marriage equality, which conservatives have been battling now for over a decade. What’s odd about this fight is the extent to which gay rights activists have donned the trapping of family values (sometimes to criticism from those on the left). Go to the Human Rights Campaign website, and you’ll see talk of religion and faithadoption and foster care,commitmentparenting, and of course marriage. These are often considered fundamentally conservative values — so why aren’t conservatives celebrating rather than fighting them? Theanswer, of course, is the historical and religious opposition to homosexuality. For better or worse (I think worse), this religious-based view is undermining the simple conservative belief in the importance of marriage and family.

… cont …

Full article here.

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One thought on “Matt’s new piece at Salon: “I’m a Republican — and ‘social conservatism’ must be stopped”

  1. Fred

    Hello, Matt,

    Good work on your Salon article.

    You’re correct to spot a disconnect between supporting families and the policies of the social conservatives. The apparent contradiction disappears when you realize what they mean by “family”.

    It all fell into place for me when Edwin Meese denounced shelters for battered women as “anti-family”. Why would anyone think protecting women from being beaten and killed was “anti-family”?

    The core family value, to them, is male power of the most punitive sort. Abstinence-only sex miseducation, interference with contraception, and claimed opposition to abortion are one seamless consistent position that women must be punished for having the same sexual freedom as men. To today’s right wing, women must be put at risk of unwanted pregnancy, forced to carry to term, and then left with no social safety net to help with the resulting child. Anything else would make women independent.

    Notice it’s the same people who opposed the Violence Against Women Act.

    Reply

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