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Social Conservatism and the Public Square

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By Glenn Fairman

If you believe that America can successfully sever social from fiscal conservatism and call the resulting abomination some species of prudent constitutionalism, then you, my friends, are gravely mistaken. By attempting to do so, we prove that we have profoundly misunderstood the moral-political implications of our Founding, which emanated by way of the “god of nature or nature’s god” and were aimed towards the enlightened ends of life, liberty, and happiness. As we speak, the Right is being cunningly tempted by the lure of their well-intentioned brethren who propose an individualist’s ethical fiction and generalize its enticing fancy into the public square. Yet, if statecraft is synonymous with soulcraft, then dismembering virtue from the commonwealth will have astonishing repercussions down the road for both the American regime and for its people’s moral excellence.

Social Conservatives believe that we are far more than just calculating material beings. Whether we trace our moral-intellectual roots from Adam or Aristotle, we are deemed rational creatures capable of attaining the rudiments of transcendent truth; thus, we are predisposed to be politically-natured gregarious beings. Knowing this, our aims are far higher than the accumulation or conservation of wealth. If we are not in the persistent pursuit of the first things of being: a search facilitated by virtue of our constitution’s regime of ordered freedom, then we are unworthy of that liberty — and will soon lose it as we descend into the maelstrom of our disordered passions. A good society requires a fabric of beliefs that will unite and sustain it — and even a creed as simple as E Pluribus Unum can give us form and cohesion for a time. Our coins even remind us of that great pillar of our civic founding — “In God We Trust.”

Ignoring the aged planks of social conservatism for an electoral win is suicide on the installment plan, because what some refer to as “those ancillary social issues” have huge moral-fiscal consequences down the road. Can a society that aborts its future tax base truly affirm that it will not also be indifferent, for the sake of expedience, to the lives of the elderly or the infirm? What are the monetized consequences of the drug addicted on civil society and its institutions? What are the fiscal ramifications of a humanistic school system selling a disenchanted worldview to our youth and how will that play out down the road when they make that fateful decision to be producers or takers? If there are many ways of “being’ and all are held to be equally valid, then why not opt for the life of maximized carefree pleasure over the drudgery of child-rearing? Why save for a rainy day through the sweat of your own brows? If the answer seems obvious and the narcissist’s road leads a people to penury and disintegration, then we should perhaps accustom ourselves to looking further down that road than the next election.

Read more: American Thinker

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