Jim DeMint Speaks the Truth

Wednesday, November 10, AD 2010

When a politician says something that’s this on the money, one wonders if there is a “but” in there to soften the message.  Not with Jim DeMint:

You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.

Naturally this bothers AllahPundit and some of the other shrieking libertarians at Hot Air, but DeMint is of course right. 

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7 Responses to Jim DeMint Speaks the Truth

  • Another point – one I think I made to the Cranky Conservative a while ago – is that without social conservatism, fiscal conservatism doesn’t work. The more unstable the family structure is, the bigger the safety net has to be. Even if Schwarzenegger had been the budget hawk he claimed (or intended) to be, the state has to spend a fortune on prisons and social aid. Why? Because a high percentage of people live in poverty. Why? Because social liberalism has gutted the traditional family and neighborhood structures.

  • I agree with Pinky. A return to virtue would go a long way toward alleviating many of the societal deficiencies on which the government feels the need to expend $$$ trillions. Of course, many liberals are libertines and often are morally bankrupt (want all things good except themselves; “not that there’s anything wrong with that”) and may be motivated by the desire to solidify their (dependent/desperate) voting bases . . .

    Still the dilemma: How to persuade the masses to turn away from the seven deadly sins?

    I ought to be able to ascribe from whom I obtained the following.

    Replace pride with humility
    Replace greed with generosity
    Replace envy with love
    Replace anger with kindness
    Replace lust with self-control
    Replace gluttony with temperance
    Replace sloth with zeal

  • Washington Examiner columnist (and Catholic conservative) Timothy Carney discussed this with Matt Welch of Reason a while back on Bloggingheads. He argues that the belief in limited government and in man’s fallen nature have similar philosophical roots.

  • I actually think you can be fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative. Those people are called well Libertarians (Yes I know there is among some of them a small pro-life and pro-family wing)

    These creatures exist in great numbers. The problem is they can’t get build a political coalition to get elected

  • I think it would be more precise to say that there is no necessary logical contradiction between the components of the world view of Gov. Whitman or Gov. Schwarzeneggar, but that the dynamics of political life tend to render it a sort of unstable equilibrium among working politicians (Gov. Schwarzeneggar and, to the extent you might credit him with principles, Gov. Pataki) and on occasion among opinion-mongers as well (David Frum).

  • In theory you can support the ideas of small government and social liberalism at the same time. As a practical matter, they can’t exist simultaneously though.

    It’s like supporting demilitarization and peace. Sounds great. But if the military capability is necessary to ensure peace, then you can’t have both together. Politics involves a lot of brutal trade-offs. We want to have the best colleges in the world, and all our kids to be able to graduate from them. We want to have universal health care with declining costs. We want unemployment benefits that last forever, with no incentive against seeking employment.

    Here’s my thinking. Anything that destabilizes families or neighborhoods removes the traditional local support system. This will result in widespread poverty, which can only be mitigated by the traditional local support system being reinstituted, or the creation of a new larger support system.

  • Paul,

    I only noticed this now, hence this comment appearing somewhat late.

    It is unfortunate that a lot of libertarians do have this “irrational fear.”

    They should read Edward Feser:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/feser2.html