Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Social Conservatism vs. Political Conservatism

In the context of ant-gay marriage amendments, Daniel McCarthy's argument represents the distinction between somebody who is actually politically conservative and somebody who is motivated by the brand of "social conservatism" in which government regulation of private adult conduct is desirable:
The tendency of democracy, in values conflicts as well as economic policy, is to look to short-term, easy fixes that aren’t fixes at all: temporizing measures that placate voters and keep power-seeking coalitions together, but that leave the larger forces of culture to work their logic without citizens even being conscious of what’s happening. Amending fundamental law to ban gay marriage when Americans have already created a culture that insists on equality — in all things but wealth — only turns constitutions into op-ed pages.
For somebody who is politically conservative, the idea of entrenching social mores into a constitution should be troubling.

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