On Twitter yesterday, someone Tweeted the following:”Conservatives go on and on about ‘freedom’ right up until two guys kiss.”
And that seemed funny and true. So I retweeted it.
And then someone else chimed in with the reminder that there are (or used to be) two kinds of “conservatives”:
- the traditional kind, who worry about things like big government deficits and too much regulation, and
- the new kind, who want to re-combine (the Christian) church and state, overturn Roe v. Wade, diss education, reject science, ban gay marriage (and homosexuality), teach creationism as fact, and so forth.
In other words, in the common lingo, there are “fiscal conservatives” and “social conservatives.”
But the bummer for anyone who considers him or herself a fiscal conservative is that the word “conservative” is being grossly misused and warped by the second usage.
There is nothing “conservative” about wanting to ban gay marriage and abortion, emphasise Christian religious values in government decisions, teach creationism, et al.
Although the folks who advocate such policies take care to frame them as issues of “freedom,” “smaller government,” and “state’s rights,” this is just clever marketing.
It would not increase “freedom” to ban gay marriage or abortion. It would increase regulation and restriction. It would make government regulation and enforcement more over-bearing, not less.
Specifically, it would force everyone else in the country to hew to the moral views of a distinct minority of citizens—a minority who are arrogant enough to believe that what they think is “right” and what everyone else thinks is “wrong.”
The decision by these folks to label themselves “conservative” was a brilliant marketing move, because it associated them with reasonable Americans who love what their country stands for (freedom) and actually do support self-determination, equality, the right to pursue happiness, and other critical tenets of American freedom.
But these folks are not conservative.
In fact, they’re the opposite of conservative.
They’re actually aggressive, in that they feel justified in imposing their own moral and religious values on everyone else.
So, speaking on behalf of fiscal conservatives, maybe it’s time we came up with a new label for these folks—the so-called “social conservatives.”
We’re accepting suggestions in the comments below.
In the meantime, we’ll just call them “Aggressives.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.