It’s clear where the Conservative Political Action Conference organizers stand on the definition of marriage when they give a panel the name “A Rainbow on the Right: Growing the Coalition, Bringing Tolerance Out of the Closet.” Rainbow is the symbol for LGBT activism and queerness in general. Going in, you expect the tone of the proceedings to be “tolerant” social liberals (i.e., libertarians) versus one or two token bigots.
Atheist-turned-Catholic Leah Libresco reports:
[Dr. Matt] Spalding tried speaking in libertarian terms again, saying that, by default, conservatives should view any government institution with suspicion and that activists must address “whether the State has an obligation to recognize marriage at all.” In his view, traditional, one-man-one-woman marriage is “like gravity” a law external to the government, not written by it. Private contracts were a different matter, he said, but, for the public institution of marriage, the old tradition is “the only definition that makes sense.”
If marriage exists in nature, and man commands nature, then sure enough man can change marriage. The logic is sound, the premises are not.
Throughout the panel, the social conservatives seemed to be soliciting the help of the libertarians, trying to speak their language, while the libertarians seemed indifferent to the idea of converting social conservatives. The libertarians answered the questions that were posed to them but made no parallel attempts to appeal to socially conservative tenets in order to attract their fellow panelists to libertarian positions.
The closest the libertarians came to trying to attract social conservatives, rather than just rebut them, was when Matt Welch of Reason argued that religion benefits from a free market in churches and contrasted the vibrancy of American churches with the weakening ones in France. However, the diversity of American sects is not necessarily attractive to social conservatives, any more than a strong environmentalist is pleased by a completely free market in cars, where some meet gas efficiency standards and some do not.
If social conservatives includes Dr. Ken Grasso, I agree with Libresco. Wild diversity in belief systems do not a healthy republic make.
In the rocky marriage of conservatives and libertarians, libertarians crave a divorce. They’re acting out, seeing how far conservatives will bend to their will before breaking.
Enough already. Let them join the liberals. We’re told politics is downstream of culture. If so, libertarians and liberals are more natural allies than conservatives and libertarians ever were.
Senator Rand Paul won the CPAC straw poll. I wonder if the degenerates there who favored marijuana and same-sex marriage remembered Paul’s plea a month ago:
Speaking as a libertarian to a socially conservative gala, Paul said, “To many of us libertarian means freedom and liberty. But we also see that freedom needs tradition.”
Libertarianism does not mean “do whatever you want,” said Paul. There was a place for government, family, marriage, and the protection of life, he told the audience.
He talked of “moral” and “religious” virtues that are imparted by family and community. He also called for the place of Christian forgiveness in reforming the criminal justice system, particularly regarding mandatory sentencing for drug-related felonies, and for the rehabilitation of non-violent drug offenders.
All well and good. But what’s he going to do about the definition of marriage? Is he going to fold like Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, like Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, like Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway? Or is he going to argue against the federal judiciary’s voodoo logic that each individual has a constitutional right to whatever makes him happy? Will he defend the flat relativism of “rights” without responsibilities? Or will he argue that liberty is the means to which we strive for virtue and righteousness?
Based on Paul’s past statements, and given the political winds—“the right side of history [i.e., politics]” and all that—my guess is, when he runs for president, he will be agnostic on the definition of marriage, which is as good as joining the progressives.
In 2012, I primaried for Rick Santorum because he did not shy away from the toughest political fight of our time, marriage. True, there was a soft consensus in the field of Republican contenders on the definition of marriage, but all but one—Santorum—were afraid to vocalize it. He embraced his role as the enemy and came close to the nomination.
The definition of marriage is a litmus test. If you’re bold enough to stand for clear and transparent truth in the face of the Left’s shaming tactics and intimidation, you’ve earned my trust.
Mitt Romney embraced liberals’ premises and argued he would implement them better. Voters didn’t want better, they wanted different. Predictably he got rolled. We haven’t seen Romney since, except to decry the half-assed government “shutdown” and to undercut property rights in Arizona.
Big tent accommodation is a loser. It doesn’t change liberals’ minds about what a terrible person you are. It’s not even principled, as CPAC’s dismissal of social conservatives shows.