Social conservatism has long been considered one of the three "legs" of the 3-legged stool of conservatism (along with fiscal and defense conservatism). There are a number of facets of this "branch" of conservative thought, including how we think about and set policy around issues involving marriage & family policy, abortion, education, crime & punishment, and other related topics. The Republican party has long held to traditional values around these issues. But in recent years, the leftist media drumbeat has sounded after every GOP defeat, claiming that "times are changing", and we should "dial back the social conservatism" because we're driving away millennials.
Since when are our values determined by polls and the foibles of "millennials"?
It has become dangerous to profess the truth. A week or so ago, National Review Online posted an article titled "Laverne Cox is Not a Woman", addressing the appearance of a "transgender" woman on the cover of Time Magazine. In the article, Williamson speaks the truth - much to the chagrin of the left and pseudo-left:
Regardless of the question of whether he has had his genitals amputated, Cox is not a woman, but an effigy of a woman. Sex is a biological reality, and it is not subordinate to subjective impressions, no matter how intense those impressions are, how sincerely they are held, or how painful they make facing the biological facts of life. No hormone injection or surgical mutilation is sufficient to change that.
Genital amputation and mutilation is the extreme expression of the phenomenon, but it is hardly outside the mainstream of contemporary medical practice. The trans self-conception, if the autobiographical literature is any guide, is partly a feeling that one should be living one’s life as a member of the opposite sex and partly a delusion that one is in fact a member of the opposite sex at some level of reality that transcends the biological facts in question. There are many possible therapeutic responses to that condition, but the offer to amputate healthy organs in the service of a delusional tendency is the moral equivalent of meeting a man who believes he is Jesus and inquiring as to whether his insurance plan covers crucifixion.
This is truth. It is a hard truth for the Leftist social liberal moral relativists who believe that "gender is a social construct", conveniently ignoring that truth that exists between their legs. Even if a person chooses to mutilate their genitalia, they are still who they were born as - male or female. But our youth has been fed the pablum of a liberal education system that has brainwashed them into believing lies.
And now the Libertarian elite (not to mention the Leftists, but that's a given) wishes us to accept the same kind of relativist silliness. Likewise, they wish for the GOP to just accept a new-found definition of marriage that says that two men or two women should be able to marry. Because POLLS! The majority now thinks that homosexuals should be able to marry, so we should support it!
Has anyone checked the polling on immigration lately? Because many of them show that the majority believes in a path to citizenship for illegals and does not believe that border security is a high priority.
How about the minimum wage? Seen the polling? Maybe the GOP should back down and support a > $10.00 minimum wage. After all, the polls suggest that's what America wants. Let's jump on the economic destruction bandwagon because demographics want it? After all, we have millions of millennials out of work, demanding high minimum wages and forgiven student loans. Just look at the polls!
In the last 3 Presidential elections, the most reliable GOP voting bloc was Evangelicals. They voted for the GOP candidate anywhere from a 3:1 to 4:1 ratio over the Democrat candidate. In 2000, George W Bush nearly lost the Presidential election to Al Gore because the Evangelical voting bloc believed Bush to be a social liberal and stayed home rather than vote for someone who was perceived to not share their values. It can happen - it has happened - and it can happen again.
A somewhat related note from a famous writer/theologian: When thinking about poll- and culture-driven values, we often land on the topic of sexual sin and "freedom". C.S. Lewis once wrote on the topic of a "right to happiness". This is often the excuse given for behavioral license - "I have the right to happiness - look, it's in the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, for Pete's sake! It says LIBERTY!" Lewis responded in this way:
Our sexual impulses are thus being put in a position of preposterous privilege. The sexual motive is taken to condone all sorts of behavior which, if it had any other end in view, would be condemned as merciless, treacherous and unjust.
Now though I see no good reason for giving sex this privilege, I think I see a strong cause. It is this.
It is part of the nature of a strong erotic passion—as distinct from a transient fit of appetite—that it makes more towering promises than any other emotion. No doubt all our desires make promises, but not so impressively. To be in love involves the almost irresistible conviction that one will go on being in love until one dies, and that possession of the beloved will confer, not merely frequent ecstasies, but settled, fruitful, deep-rooted, lifelong happiness. Hence all seem to be at stake. If we miss this chance we shall have lived in vain. At the very thought of such a doom we sink into fathomless depths of self-pity.
Unfortunately these promises are found often to be quite untrue. Every experienced adult knows this to be so as regards all erotic passions (except the one he himself is feeling at the moment). We discount the world-without-end pretensions of our friends' amours easily enough. We know that such things sometimes last—and sometimes don't. And when they do last, this is not because they promised at the outset to do so. When two people achieve lasting happiness, this is not solely because they are great lovers but because they are also—I must put it crudely—good people; controlled, loyal, fairminded, mutually adaptable people.
If we establish a "right to (sexual) happiness" which supersedes all the ordinary rules of behavior, we do so not because of what our passion shows itself to be in experience but because of what it professes to be while we are in the grip of it. Hence, while the bad behavior is real and works miseries and degradations, the happiness which was the object of the behavior turns out again and again to be illusory. Everyone (except Mr. A. and Mrs. B.) knows that Mr. A. in a year or so may have the same reason for deserting his new wife as for deserting his old. He will feel again that all is at stake. He will see himself again as the great lover, and his pity for himself will exclude all pity for the woman.
Lewis concludes with:
...though the "right to happiness" is chiefly claimed for the sexual impulse, it seems to me impossible that the matter should stay there. The fatal principle, once allowed in that department, must sooner or later seep through our whole lives. We thus advance toward a state of society in which not only each man but every impulse in each man claims carte blanche. And then, though our technological skill may help us survive a little longer, our civilization will have died at heart, and will—one dare not even add "unfortunately"—be swept away.
No, my friends, we should not cave to the left and pseudo-left libs (-erals or -ertarians). The truth is out there. It is not relative. It is not culture-driven. It is eternal. It is based on natural law and God's Word. The truth does not change based on the polls and culture. It does not change at all. Ignoring truth and allowing an unlimited "right to happiness" risks social and political ruin and further cultural decay.
My son's first memory verse was Malachi 3:6 - "For I am the LORD, I change not". God does not change and his truth does not. Nor should our values. And as conservatives, our politics should reflect that reality.