12 November 2012

Why Social Conservatism is a Losing Strategy

Chuck writes:
Socially conservative Hispanics, in my estimation, hold a strong stigma against abortion and they’d socially shame a family member or friend who obtained one. That feeling is so strong that it doesn’t require politicians to push the plank and it doesn’t require them to care about whether or not other people are having abortions. So a national platform that focuses on limiting abortion or gay marriage or any of those social issues is a mere redundancy for the Hispanic community. They don’t really need a political party to help them do something that they’re already doing. A GOP preaching these values has a hard time gaining traction.

On something like gay marriage or abortion – here is how I believe Hispanics think about these issues. Being relatively more religious than others, their intuition about religion is different than the evangelical-influenced denominations that make up the core of the conservative movement and the GOP. And in truth, Hispanics seem to have it right given the presuppositions behind religious belief. Political opposition to abortion and a gay lifestyle is futile since God is the ultimate judge and jury. This leaves little room for a political party or the State.
Midwit “middle class” whites are too clever by half, politically speaking, which is why their political scheming is doomed to fail. I say this because I actually go to church at a predominately poor, predominately black congregation, and therefore am fairly familiar with the conservatism espoused by those of the lower social order. In many ways, the socially conservative blacks and Hispanics are far more conservative than middle class white SoCons (not that the two groups are radically dissimilar). For starters, the former group has a much more visceral disgust for homosexuality. White SoCons hate gays because gays are assholes; black and Latino SoCons hate gays because homosexuality is a perversion. White SoCons hate abortion because it is, in an abstract sense, murder; black and Latino SoCons hate abortion because it’s destructive, and they have witnessed it’s destruction first-hand.

As Chuck correctly notes, Latino SoCons (and I would toss black SoCons in the mix as well) do an okay job of enforcing social norms on their community. As such, they see no need for political involvement on these issues because the government would either make the problem worse or not actually make the problem better. Plus, why would you call the government to solve a problem you already have under control?

Thus, it should be clear why social conservatism is a losing issue: its presence as a political platform is a tacit admission of preexisting communal failure. Whites have failed to preserve their social mores, which is why they now feel compelled to enforce them from the top down. Unfortunately, this is being attempted in a democratic nation, which means that there is no longer a large enough consensus to actually enact the laws that SoCon desire. Of course, if there were enough social support for SoCon political policy, it wouldn’t be needed in the first place.

Ironically, it is the lower class black and Latino conservatives that have the solution for what ails whitey: more preaching. The religiosity of black and Latinos is one thing that helps enforce their social norms. The biblically basic, hellfire and brimstone manner of preaching that lower class religious folks flock to hear is one of the things that preserves their community. Such preaching is politically incorrect, to say the least, and I have sat through my share of it. Yet, for such lower class conservatives, various moral subjects, like homosexuality and infanticide, are not danced around at all. There is no mealy-mouthedness about these matters. They are vociferously condemned by the fanatically intolerant. And because of this, lower class conservatives have no need for top-down political showboating; they’ve already taken care of the problem for themselves.

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