June 7, 2011
Thanks to Tony Blankley for noting in a column today that Barry Goldwaters classic political book, Conscience of a Conservative, and his 1964 GOP Convention acceptance remind us that social conservative ideas has been a part of modern conservatism from the beginning. Economic and social conservatives need to unite behind these interlocking and mutually-supporting pillars of conservative thought.
Here is how Blankley states it:
Consider how Goldwater asserted his religious social conservative principles to reinforce his conservative economic principles. In his acceptance speech, he argued, Freedom under a government limited by the laws of nature and of natures God. ... Those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen must see ultimately a world in which earthly power can be substituted for Divine Will, and this nation was founded upon the rejection of that notion and upon the acceptance of God as the author of freedom. That is the foundation of an argument that could be used effectively today against the hubristic government powers installed under Obamacare - making both an economic and a social conservative case.
Consider how the vital conservative case for free-market capitalism is made more powerful, more complete, in the first chapter of Goldwaters book:
The root difference between the conservatives and the liberals of today is that conservatives take account of the whole man, while liberals tend to look only at the material side of mans nature. The conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, those needs and desires reflect the superior side of mans nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants. Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhancement of mans spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy. Mans most sacred possession is his individual soul.
It is this spiritual aspect of human nature, once nurtured by loving parents in the home, that makes the liberal states war on the family so harmful to the formation of the social capital that greatly enhances economic output and productivity. Damage the soul, damage the economy.